Information for Immersion Accompaniers | University of Portland

Information for Immersion Accompaniers

Immersion experiences offered in 2024-25 will include: Rural Immersion (Fall Break), Urban Immersion (Winter Break), Border Immersion (Spring Break), Environmental Justice Immersion (Spring Break), and North Portland Civil Rights Immersion (Summer)

Immersions are three-day to three-week experiences that allow students to engage issues of social justice by being immersed with communities locally, domestically, or internationally. Some immersions include opportunities for direct service, and all invite students to hear diverse perspectives that can expand their understanding of critical social and/or environmental issues.

The immersion Participant Accompanier opportunity is open to University of Portland faculty or staff members in full-time, exempt positions who have a commitment to service and community engagement, a desire to encourage student formation, and a willingness to live simply while immersed in an extended experience with students. 

For additional information about immersions, read our Program Details for Students. and for more extended answers to the FAQs below, read our Immersion Accompanier FAQs.

How is my participation financed?

The Moreau Center for Service and Justice is committed to covering the cost for accompaniers. Expenses are not covered through student fees or fundraising but through other sources. Personal costs such as airport food, souvenirs, passports, immunizations, visas, and toiletries are the responsibility of the accompanier.  

How is it best to arrange my time away from the university? 

It is up to you and your supervisor or department head to decide how your time on the immersion is arranged. Some offices are willing to count this time as conference/professional development.  

What is the selection process for accompaniers? What are your criteria?

We look for staff and faculty who can integrate professional experience or academic interest with attentiveness to student needs. Our best accompaniers are those who listen well, create brave spaces for student development, and are flexible and open to new experiences.  

To best assess if a staff or faculty member is a good fit for one of our programs, we ask that you fill out an Accompanier Application form. All staff accompaniers must have the approval from their direct supervisor and all faculty accompaniers must have the approval of their Department Chair and Dean. After completing the application form, interested candidates meet with Moreau Center for Service and Justice staff. We seek feedback from the student coordinators about prospective accompaniers for their immersion. Once we’ve considered staff and student input, we extend invitations for participation. This process is designed to assist both you and the Moreau Center for Service and Justice in discerning a mutual good fit for all parties.  

What is the time commitment?

We have consistently found that the more time an accompanier spends with the student group before the program, the more meaningful their experience is on the immersion.  

For Fall Break Immersions, there is usually just one Friday afternoon seminar from 4-6:30pm so we ask that the accompaniers plan to attend the entire seminar. 

We ask accompaniers for all other immersions to attend at a minimum two group meetings, seminars, or social gatherings with the group. Most meetings/seminars take place on Fridays from 4-6pm.   

If you have further questions or comments, please contact Erin Savoia, Program Manager for Immersions at