Global Service Immersion

GlobalService Immersion

Broaden your horizons on a global service trip

Our global trips offer a combination of service, learning, and culture immersion that leads to a powerful experience for students. We currently lead trips to the Dominican Republic and Peru. Applications for all trips open in August.

Our trips offer the opportunity to connect to communities in different ways and explore a variety of important issues. Participants find themselves pushed out of their comfort zone as they engage in a variety of cultural activities, learn from the communities and nonprofits we work with venture to remote places where you'll experience more rustic conditions, and more. It will be an adventure you won't forget.

What makes our trips unique?

  • Short-term, impactful experiences
    Not every student has the time or financial means to study abroad for a semester or year. Our trips allow students to gain global experience on a short-term, impactful trip.
  • Experiential learning at a lower cost
    Our trips are not credit-bearing, which allows students the opportunity to have a global experience without being concerned about adding more credit hours to their course load. It also greatly lowers the price of our trips, making them more accessible to students. While our trips don't offer credit, we still prepare our students through a series of pre-trip meetings, have learning goals for each trip, and focus on providing students with a rich learning experience.
  • Exploring ethical service abroad
    We believe that building sustainable, long-term relationships with local nonprofits and communities is the most ethical approach to service work domestically or abroad, as demonstrated by our relationship in the Dominican Republic that began in 2005. We carefully vet and work directly with our community partners to ensure that our projects are community-driven and that our partners have the capacity to work with a group of volunteers. During pre-trip meetings and on the trip, we make sure students are aware of the criticisms of international service, and discuss how our goal is to work alongside our partners and learn from them.

Questions? Contact Eliza Wethey, associate director for global engagement, at elizaw8@vt.edu or 540-231-5853.

The cost of each trip varies based on the number of participants and location. Past volunteers have lowered their expenses via fundraising, but lower costs are dependent on both individual and team fundraising success.

Dominican Republic
The estimated program fee is expected to be $1,900. This fee includes international airfrare, ground transportation in country, food, lodging, translation services, and programming.

Peru
The estimated program fee is $3,600. This fee includes international airfare, ground transportation in country, flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, food, lodging, trip to Machu Picchu, and project donation.

Financial assistance
Thanks to the generosity of donors, there is a limited amount of need-based financial assistance available to help make these trips more affordable. All applicants will be considered. If cost is a barrier to applying for one of our trips, please reach out to Eliza Wethey at elizaw8@vt.edu or 540-231-5853.

All participants must have a valid passport for international trips. Please be sure to check your passport’s expiration date and renew it if needed as soon as possible, as renewal can be a lengthly process.

We also suggest that travelers review the CDC’s health information on traveling internationally, which includes country-specific suggestions. In addition, we suggest that travelers check with their personal physicians on what they should do prior to travel.

VT Engage is committed to the Virginia Tech Principles of Community and seek to uphold these principles in all that we do. This includes welcoming the participation of all undergraduate and graduate Virginia Tech students on our service trips, including our immersion trips. Our trips are enriched by participation from students of all backgrounds, perspectives, and identities.

However, due to recent changes in the United States, we strongly advise students from outside the U.S. or who are undocumented (whether you qualify for DACA or not) to carefully read the immigration information provided by Cranwell International Center before applying for one of our international trips.

Dominican Republic

January 9 - 17 2019

On our annual winter break service immersion trip to the Dominican Republic, participants work with our nonprofit partner, the Community Service Alliance which “empowers local communities in the Dominican Republic to challenge the status quo and improve standards of living.”

Possible service projects include building latrines and water filters for families, working with youth enrichment programs, and supporting small women-owned business. This trip is an opportunity for participants to gain a greater understanding of Dominican life, culture and history, nonprofit work, and more. 

The estimated program fee is expected to be $1,900. This fee includes international airfrare, ground transportation in country, food, lodging, translation services, and programming.

Curious about this trip? Check out reflections from past participants on Facebook.

Peru

May 20 - June, 9 2019

Join us to engage in three weeks of learning and service. In the rainforest, participants serve with ARCAmazon, which aims to conserve and protect the Amazon by promoting balance between people and nature. Projects may include environmental education, maintaining ARCA's education center, preserving the rainforest through patrolling their conservation area, and other community development projects.

In the Andes’ Sacred Valley, we partner with Llipin Yahuar, which focuses on empowering high Andean communities with vulnerable populations through health, education, and nutrition programs, specifically focused on women and children. Projects may include community development work, and native tree reforestation to restore habitats and increase water resources. 

The estimated program fee is $3,600. This fee includes international airfare, ground transportation in country, flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, food, lodging, trip to Machu Picchu, and project donation.

Curious about this trip? Check out reflections from past participants on Facebook.

Itinerary in brief toggle

Anticipated summer 2019 itinerary
May 20: Depart for Lima, Peru
May 21: Arrival in Lima, Flight to Puerto Maldonado
May 22-29: Service work with ARCAmazon (Amazon Rainforest)
May 30: Return to Puerto Maldonado, Flight to Cusco
May 31: Cusco
June 1-2: Machu Picchu
June 3: Cusco
June 4-7: Service Work with Llipin Yahuar (Sacred Valley)
June 8: Cusco 
June 9: Depart for United States