Service & Civic Immersions

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United Nations

Through the annual “United Nations Global Citizenship Seminar,” offered through the Center for Faith and Public Life, students get a glimpse into the inner workings of the UN. In addition to touring the United Nations building, students receive detailed briefings focusing on humanitarian issues, refugees, human trafficking, trade and global debt and other forces behind global migration.

On past trips, students have met with senior level administrators, representatives from the UN, US Fund for UNICEF, the Institute of International Education, World Youth Alliance, and the International Rescue Committee.

For more information about the next United Nations trip, contact Julie Mughal. To register for the trip, click here.

The 2016 Fairfield U group that went on the UN seminar trip

"It was so intriguing to listen to such educated, important people. I loved learning about internship opportunities and the Fulbright scholarship, and it was amazing to hear what is being done around the world to help scholars. The trip made me feel more connected to the world and made me realize that there is a lot more than just the United States."

The United Nations trip is part of with the University-wide Global Citizenship initiative, as well as the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) project, which is also sponsored by the CFPL.‌

Washington, D.C.

During spring break, students have the opportunity through the Center for Faith and Public Life to visit the nation’s Capitol and get to know the city and the people who live and work there. Students meet Fairfield alumni, tour the Capitol with legislative staffers, participate in meetings hosted by senior personnel, and visit with international NGOs—all adding up to an amazing, unforgettable spring break.

"There are many advocates—not only in DC but all over the world. There are other passionate people in this world and I met many of them in DC. They inspired me to find my passions and explore, research, and be active."

"One of the best decisions of my time at Fairfield U was applying to attend this trip and actually getting accepted into the program. I learned so much, not just about various NGOs, politicians, etc., but also about my own possible future."

Learn more about the trip and view the application.

Please contact Karen Pritchard for more information.

Past People and Organizations Visited on the D.C. Trip

Congressman Jim Himes and Staff
Senator Chris Murphy and Staff
Senator Richard Blumenthal and Staff
Catholic Relief Services
Save the Children
The World Bank
The US Institute of Peace
Women for Women International
Department of Homeland Security
Senator Joseph Lieberman and Staff
Catholic News Services
Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs, USCCB
National Institute of Health

Service Immersions

Each year, students take time out of their summer or spring break to dedicate their vacation to truly becoming global citizens. During the spring semester, students prepare for service experiences that take place over spring break and summer. While on campus, they examine the issues impacting the communities they will be serving. Onsite during their service trip, they will learn to appreciate the challenges and struggles of others, and discover the value of teamwork and compassion.

Typical trips:

  • Atlanta, Georgia—Refugee Outreach with the International Refugee Committee (SPRING BREAK):  A group of JUHAN students work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Georgia, where they assist refugees in the Atlanta region in rebuilding their lives.
  • La Plant, South Dakota—Relationship Building with Simply Smiles (AUGUST): Simply Smiles is a not-for-profit organization that provides bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities. On the Reservation in South Dakota, students will spend the week doing home construction projects and running summer camps for kids.

What students have to say about these life-changing experiences: 

"In going to Atlanta and helping with the IRC, we are extending our efforts to help those who have had to start over after tragedies. As members of the JUHAN organization, we will learn more about crisis and offer a helping hand to those in need. By doing this, we are living as ‘men and women for others’—one of the many Jesuit principles." Kerri Beine ’18

Field Training Exercises

Students interested in humanitarian work can gain practical skills and experience through simulation exercises offered through JUHAN and the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education (CHSE).

Opportunities include:

  • FTX Atlantic Hope: Atlantic Hope is a complex, four day long full-scale exercise held outdoors that challenges participants to serve on a mock relief mission in response to a humanitarian crisis in a war-torn country.

  • Missouri HopeMissouri Hope is a domestic disaster response exercise that challenges participants to overcome their fears and hone their skills as emergency responders. Participants work together in teams where they rotate leadership positions and are challenged with mass casualty situations, high angle rescues, and water rescue operations.

For more information contact Julie Mughal or Karen Pritchard.

Support Engaged Learning: "Buy-A-Share" and Make a Difference

Many Fairfield students cannot afford the costs of transportation and housing for travel related to service experiences, and depend on the generous support of people like YOU! Your contributions—of any amount—make these trips possible.

The “Buy-A-Share” program is an opportunity to participate in life-changing service-learning and humanitarian experiences for Fairfield students. Click here to download the brochure.

Contributions of any amount are appreciated! Donors who give $250 or more will be invited to a special reception at the end of the academic year to celebrate with the students they supported. All donors will receive a reflection from a student about the impact of his/her experience. Please contact Melissa Quan for more information, or call 203-254-4000, ext. 3455.

“I am forever grateful to the Office of Service Learning… and to the donors who made this scholarship possible. Every interaction I had presented the opportunity for me to teach, but also for me to learn. I grew both personally and professionally!” - Kerri ’17, Public Health Nursing, DNP

Help us to help students like Kerri!

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