Center for Leadership & Community Engagement

Immersion: Citizens Take Action

Through Rollins Immersion participants are taken outside the Rollins community borders and immersed in activities and projects based on need-areas identified by community agencies and Rollins. Trained faculty, staff and student site leaders provide direction and support for participants during their weekend journey of education, reflection and action.

BIG Challenges. TOUGH Questions. LARGE Impacts.

Rollins Immersion exposes students to critical cultural, social, political and structural issues in the community through weekend and weeklong projects of civic and community engagement throughout the academic year.

Vision and Mission

Mission Rooted in the academic mission of Rollins to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership, Rollins Immersion is the commitment to engage students, faculty, and staff in communities in Florida and beyond through weekends (and sometimes week-long) experiences of education, reflection, and action.   

Vision Through direct community engagement, leadership development, multicultural education, discussion and pre/reflection activities students will be immersed in the big challenges and questions that face communities in the 21st Century.

How can I get involved with Immersions?

There are a few different ways! You can participate in an Immersion by checking out the dates and topics in the section below and applying through the online portal. Once you have participated in an Immersion, you can apply to facilitate one yourself! The application for facilitators will be sent out through in early September and again in mid-March, so keep an eye out! The program recruits for new facilitators one semester before the experience. You can always reach out to immersion@rollins.edu with any questions about the program!

Why is there an application process?

Often, we have many students who apply to attend one Immersion and we want to make sure we have a well-rounded, diverse team of participants! We take into account things like your year and major, along with your previous Immersion experience and answers to a few short-answer questions. We preference those who have not attended an Immersion before, to give more people opportunities! The answers to the essay questions don’t have to be long, but take some time to think about them and give thoughtful responses. Questions about the selection process can be directed to immersion@rollins.edu.

What can I expect from an Immersion?

As many Rollins students will tell you, Immersions are terrific opportunities to meet your fellow Rollins students, learn about an impact area to serve with a new community, and bring your passions to life. As one participant said, “This was a once in a lifetime experience!”

Weekend Immersions are offered to Rollins community members free of cost and include transportation, lodging, and meals. Here’s what you can expect on a typical weekend Immersion:

  • Before departing campus, meet with the facilitators (two students and a faculty/staff member) and your twelve fellow participants to get to know one another and learn about the community, social issue, and nonprofit partners with whom you will be engaging
  • Leave campus around 5:00 PM on a 15 passenger bus driven by a trained Rollins community member
  • Stay in community housing accommodations, paid for by the Immersion program*
  • Eat meals together with the full team – all meals are provided by the Immersion program!
  • Serve with nonprofit organizations for 6-10 hours throughout the weekend
  • Experience the community through cultural activities
  • Reflect on your experiences with the facilitators and participants
  • Return to campus by 7:00 PM on Sunday

All Immersion experiences are drug and alcohol free, for the safety and inclusion of all and to respect the communities we enter.

* Specific housing accommodations will be disclosed as part of the application process. Participants are expected to stay in the housing provided and may be asked to share queen/king size beds. Romantic partners will be asked to sleep in different beds/rooms.

What are Alternative Spring Breaks?

Alternative Spring Breaks are similar to weekend Immersions, but much more intense! Groups typically travel further from Rollins, either by plane or by car, and stay in the community for 5-8 days. Participants are immersed in the new community, which includes:

  • Attending 3-4 pre-departure meetings with your team of three facilitators and twelve participants, learning about one another, the social issue you will be addressing, and the community you will be entering, as well as preparing for departure
  • Intense community service, which sometimes includes early mornings or long days
  • Group exploration of the unique community offerings, such as museums, monuments, parks, neighborhoods, or community centers
  • Nightly reflections on service, empathy, social justice, and community-centered change
  • A commitment to refraining from the use of drugs or alcohol throughout the entire experience
  • Cooking/preparing meals in small teams, taking into account your fellow participant needs
  • Staying together in community-based housing, which could include churches, YMCAs, bunkhouses, rental homes, or camping*
  • A commitment to bringing an open mind, maintaining a positive attitude, and asking for support when needed

* Specific housing accommodations will be disclosed as part of the application process. Participants are expected to stay in the housing provided and may be asked to share queen/king size beds. Romantic partners will be asked to sleep in different beds/rooms.

Upcoming Opportunities

Please note: Not all applications will be live at the beginning of the semester. Check back or email Immersion@rollins.edu for more information!

Habitat for Humanity Immersion

Dates: September 21-23, 2018

Location: St. Petersburg, FL

Impact Area: Affordable Housing

Facilitators: Robert Whetstone, Manny Rodriguez, Ariadna Parada

Interested? Click here to apply!

Fall Break Immersion #1

Dates: October 12-16, 2018

Location: Florida City, FL (Everglades)

Impact Area: Environment

Facilitators: Quamarkus Williams, Jackson Nguyen, Isabel Urban

Interested? Click here to apply!

Fall Break Immersion #2

Dates: October 12-16, 2018

Location: Miami, FL

Impact Area: Women’s Rights

Facilitators: Princessa Long, Lauren Oxendine, Isabella Rivera

Interested? Click here to apply!

Holt Student Immersion

Dates: November 2 – 4, 2018

Location: Savannah, GA

Impact Area: TBD

Facilitators: Nancy Niles, Marilyn Lopez, and Christina Miller

Interested? Click here to apply!

**Note: This Immersion is specifically for students in the Holt School. All Immersions listed are open to Holt students, but this one is specifically designed by and for students in the Holt School!

November Immersion

Dates: November 9-11, 2018

Location: Apopka, FL

Impact Area: Farmworkers and Immigrant Rights

Facilitators: Amy Armenia, Meghan Oxford, Grace Marshall

Interested? Click here to apply!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend Immersion

Dates: January 11-14, 2019

Location: Jacksonville

Impact Area: Minority Rights

Facilitators: TBD, Kalese Justice, Ibet Payan

Interested? Click here to apply!

Black Student Union Martin Luther King, Jr. Immersion

Dates: January 11-14, 2019

Location: Savannah, GA

Impact Area:

Facilitators: Robert Whetstone, Teasa Mays, two students TBD

Interested? Click here to apply!

**Note: This experience is specifically for members of Black Student Union. Contact Robert Whetstone for more information.

Immersion Planning Team 2018-2019