Immersion Trips FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for an Immersion Project?

Complete the online Registration Form by the date listed on the Dates and Deadlines sections of this website. Upon submission of your Registration Form, CPS will follow-up with your registration status. If the project is not full, CPS will email applicants a link with payment information and hold your spot. Payment must be made within 48 hours of receipt to confirm a spot on the Project. Registration is first come, first served, and projects fill up quickly. Participants registering for projects are entering into a contractual agreement with the Center for Public Service. Each participant is responsible for paying the project fees or any expenses incurred on their behalf should they decide to withdraw. CPS has the right to remove any individual from the project for failure to meet the expectations stated in all materials/correspondence and mentioned on this website from the Center for Public Service.

How much does it cost? What does the cost of the trip cover?

The project cost is listed under each project description. The cost listed is all-inclusive: round-trip ground and/or air transportation from Gettysburg College to and from the project site, meals, accommodations, project supplies, and all activities. Any visa and immunization costs are not included and are the responsibility of the participant.

When do I make payments for the trip?
A $100 deposit is required within 48 hours of your registration to confirm your spot on the Immersion Project. Remaining payments will be due as stated in the Dates and Deadlines section of this website. Participants failing to make these payments on time risk being removed from the project.

Who is eligible to participate on an Immersion Project?

Projects are open to all Gettysburg College students. Occasionally, persons from off-campus participate. Participants must be sixteen years of age or older. Students must be in good disciplinary standing (no more than 5 points and not on academic probation) in order to participate on an Immersion Project. Each participant must agree to full participation in their chosen project by attending all pre-trip meetings, completing required paperwork and preparatory assignments (such as readings, videos, other activities), behaving in an appropriate manner at all times, participating in group reflection, and contributing to the group follow-up project.

The Center for Public Service reserves the right to remove a participant prior to departure for reasons of, but not limited to, failure to make project payments in a timely manner, financial debt to the College, a history of judicial violations, failure to complete required participant forms (such as release and health forms), failure to attend mandatory Orientation Session and/or group meetings. The Center for Public Service reserves the right to send a participant home during the project (at the participant's expense) for reasons of, but not limited to, violations of College policy, the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, disrespect toward site community or group members, or medical/psychological emergencies.

Is there financial aid available?

Yes. Monies have been made available by various donors to be awarded to current Gettysburg College students to offset the costs of Immersion Projects. The total amount of money available differs each year, depending on donations With limited funds available, this becomes a competitive process; not all applicants will receive awards. The amount of individual awards will vary. Applicants must officially register for an Immersion Project to qualify for award monies and also complete an Award Application, which is available on this website or as a hardcopy at the Center for Public Service. Deadline for Financial Award applications is stated on the Dates and Deadlines section of this website.

How much can I expect to receive as a Financial Award?

The Center for Public Service distributes the individual awards. Applicants must present well-written, thorough, and thoughtful applications responding to specific questions. Consideration is jeopardized when participants submit incomplete or inadequate applications. CPS will take into account: 1) total amount of award money, 2) total number of applications, 3) number of applicants per trip, 4) criteria detailed on the award application, and 5) number of applicants in each financial category. The Center for Public Service obtains the financial category of each applicant, as determined by the office of Financial Aid. Categories are high, medium, and low, based on an applicant's financial aid package.

Because donations vary from year to year, it is impossible to predict what the awards will be in a given year. However, in the past, students with the best applications and the highest need have received as much as half of the cost of their project as a Financial Award.

Why do I have to pay the deposit before I hear if I received a Financial Award? Can I get my deposit back if the Financial Award is not enough for me to participate?

Deposits are required to demonstrate that the participant has the appropriate commitment to the experience. However, if a participant pays their deposit, and after receiving their Financial Award notice decides that they cannot afford to go on the trip, we will refund their deposit. This is the only reason a deposit would be refunded, and only if the participant turns down the Financial Award within the time allotted on the award notice (typically three days). For all other reasons and times of withdrawal, the Withdrawal Policy applies.

Who will be leading the Immersion Project?

Each project is led by a student Project Leader with assistance from a faculty or staff member of the college who serves as a Project Mentor.

How can I become a Project Leader (students)?

Each Project Leader receives a reduction of $500 from his/her project fee (which in some cases is more than the total of the project fee - in this case, the leader does not receive the balance of that money, but does attend the trip at no cost). Participants interested in being considered for Project Leader must complete the Project Leader Application. Deadline dates for Project Leader Applications can be found on the Dates and Deadlines section of this website. A full description of the Project Leader responsibilities is included on the application, which is available on this website.

How can I become a Project Mentor (staff/faculty)?

If you are an employee at Gettysburg College and are interested in being a project mentor for one of the trips, please contact the Center for Public Service to discuss this opportunity.

Are the trips safe?

All domestic and international travel, whether personal or through the college, comes with a certain level of risk. The Center for Public Service and Gettysburg College takes all risk seriously and plans each project with attention to mitigating risk. Project leaders spend time in meetings prior to each project discussing cultural sensitivity issues and safety precautions. Participants are encouraged to do their own research on their destination to understand the community to which they are traveling. See the Safety and Medical information for more information.

What immunizations will I need?

We will make all participants on international Immersion Projects aware of what recommendations the Center for Disease Control makes for travel to those countries during orientation. However, participants are responsible to consult with their doctor about these recommendations and make informed decisions. You can see the CDC's recommendations for each country by searching the destination country on the CDC website.

What if I decide to withdraw from the project? Can I get my money back?

The $100 deposit required at the time of registration is non-refundable should the participant decide to withdraw from the project. In addition, the participant is responsible for paying for all expenses incurred on their behalf at the time of the withdrawal. For example, if airline tickets have been purchased by the time of withdrawal, participant will be responsible for the cost of the ticket, as well as any other pre-paid expenses.