The Catholic University of America

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply? What is the application process?
Where are the trips?
How much money does a mission trip cost?
Can/how does fundraising for trips work?
When do the trip occur? 
How long do the trips last?
What kind of work happens on the trips?
What are the living arrangements?
Do you have to be Catholic/religious to participate in the trips?
What safety precautions are taken?
What are the medical requirements/ vaccinations?
Are there chaperones for the trips?
Does the trip require additional insurance?
Are there leadership opportunites for students on the trips?
Are there any class requirements?

How do I apply? What is the application process?

A student may apply for a mission trip by filling out the online application on the Nest. The link for the application will be available on the Campus Ministry and Community Service websites early in the Fall semester. Applications are due by midnight on October 26, 2017. 

After a student completes the application, they will be required to sign up for a personal interview. Interviews occur on Wednesday, November 1 and Thursday, November 2 and are facilitated by a Campus Ministry professional staff  and the student leaders of the mission teams.

Where are the trips?

Currently the Office of Campus Ministry organizes spring break mission trips to Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Las Cruces, NM (Border Immersion) and Nazareth Farm, WV, and Guayaquil, Ecuador. We will also offer summer mission trips to Punta Gorda, Belize and Philadelphia, PA. These sites may change year-to-year and if the respective governments become unstable making the country unsafe for foreign travelers and missionaries.

How much money does a mission trip cost?

Currently, international spring break trips cost $800, international summer trips cost $1,000, domestic driving trips cost $325, and domestic flying trips cost $500. This fee covers all room and board costs, as well as all transportation expenses. The fee also covers travel incidentals such as food before and after the trip and supplies.  All other expenses are the responsibility of each student.

Can/how does fundraising for trips work?

There are two types of fundraising for the mission trips, individual fundraising and team fundraising:

Individual fundraising is the responsibility of each team member. Fundraising is done by soliciting funds from friends, family and/or their parish community. Individual funds raised are applied directly towards the student’s fee. Funds raised above and beyond the individual student fee are applied as a donation to the mission site.

Team fundraising is organized by the mission trip leaders and varies by group. Funds raised by team fundraising are used for administrative costs for the mission trip program.

When do the trips occur?

Campus Ministry organizes trips twice a year: one during Spring Break and one after graduation in May. 

How long does a trip last?

Spring Break trips last for the duration of the break (one week). Summer  trips organized after graduation are either one or two weeks in duration departing campus on the Monday after graduation.

What kind of work happens on the trips?

Students participate in a number of ministry opportunities. Teaching/tutoring, mentoring and organizing activities for children, visiting with the sick and elderly, as well as accomplishing some form of manual labor. Manual labor opportunities  depend upon the needs of the mission sites and change with every trip.

What are the living arrangements?

Teams are housed separately by gender. Communal living is the expectation.  There are no individual rooms or facilities. Team members simply share a room with each other.

Do you have to be Catholic/religious to participate in the trips?

Students do not have to be Catholic to be a part of the mission trip. However, the trips are sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry and there is a spiritual component to all of our mission trips. All team members will participate in, or be present for Mass and daily reflections/sharings.

What safety precautions are taken?

Each mission team is registered with the Department of State Overseas Travel Office. This registration alerts our local Embassy that our group is in the country, where they are and how long they will be visiting. The registration also includes a list of the mission team members and their individual passport numbers.

Other safety measures include registering and working with a reputable mission organization, having strict rules regarding team members visiting local communities, purchasing trip insurance and finally, continually reminding the team members that they are in a foreign country and that they need to be alert and watch out for each other.

What are the medical requirements/Vaccinations?

Each student is given a list of vaccinations that the Center for Disease Control either requires or recommends. Currently Jamaica, Belize and the Dominican Republic only have recommended vaccinations. Each student is encouraged to speak with their parents, guardians and/or doctor to determine which vaccination(s) they would like to receive.

Does the trip require additional insurance?

The only insurance a student needs is the health insurance required for them to be a student at CUA.

Are their chaperons on the trip?

Each mission trip is lead by two professional staff members who are employed by The Catholic University of America, one is a member of the Office of Campus Ministry and the other a staff or faculty member.

Are there leadership opportunities for students on the trip?

Visiting and ministering in a foreign country provides many challenges. All students are encouraged to be open to the culture(s) and assist one another in the experience. This team/mission experience provides a leadership training that develops prospective leaders for future Campus Ministry activities and programs. Each mission team has at least one student leader who applies and is chosen during the spring semester.

Are there any class requirements?

Currently there is a class requirement for the Spring Break Border Immersion Mission Trip. The class is a 3-credit Theology course taken during the spring semester. The class is a mandatory class for the border immersion mission teams and cannot be waived