Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements of being a trip participant?
Full-time SNC students who are committed to social issues, direct service, making a difference and having fun are invited to apply. Participants must attend all pre-trip and post-trip meetings with their small group as well as TRIPS program large group events. After their trip, participants are expected to share their unique experience with others in the community.
How does the application process work?
Each fall, we solicit applications from students. These applications must be received by the deadline to be given full consideration. The trip leaders for your first choice trip review your application. If they think you are a good candidate for the trip, you are offered an interview for that trip. If they have too many applicants, they will pass your application on to your second and/or third choice trips. Do not be discouraged if you do not get an interview for your first choice trip. Some trips are very popular and have 40+ applications for 10 spots. We hope you will keep an open mind when it comes to your trip placement.
What about the interview? What’s that about?
If you are selected for an interview, you will meet with one or more trip leaders at a set date and time to learn more about you and your interest in the social justice issue. After this interview, the trip leaders will discuss their selections and work together to place as many applicants on a trip as possible.
When do I find out if I am selected for a trip?
An application and interview is required for participation in a trip. If you are selected for a trip, you will be notified by your trip leader and invited to an introductory group meeting.
What happens if I do not get selected?
Because there are only a set number of trips each year, we unfortunately cannot accept everyone who applies. If you are not selected, you may be placed on the alternate list and if someone drops from a trip, a person from the alternate list will be notified and placed on that trip.
How much does it cost to go on a trip?
Trips vary in cost based on the type (domestic or international) and the method of transportation. Domestic driving trips are currently estimated at $200. Domestic flying trips cost $325 with the exception of the Urban Education- Post-Katrina trip which is longer and costs $475. International trips are currently estimated at $950. Participants are expected to raise at least $100 each for a domestic trip and $200 for an international trip. Fundraising is mainly done through letter writing to family and friends.
When is my payment due?
Your trip participant fee is due at the first meeting of the TRIPS program in the fall. At this meeting, we will also collect a copy of your drivers license (if you will serve as a driver or are going on a flying trip), your health information and the fee. If you are unable to pay the entire fee that day, you will be asked to pay a small portion and then complete a payment plan. Contact the TRIPS staff at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have concerns about the payment or the timeline. We want to make sure every student can participate in one of our service trips.
Where does the rest of the funding come from?
Participant fees and fundraising are the two main sources of funding for the TRIPS program. Sometimes we have access to grants or other additional funding sources. We believe in the common good so we put all of the money into a fund and then disburse the money as needed per trip. Some trips are less costly while others are more expensive.
How can I become a trip leader?
We encourage all people who have the desire to be a trip leader to apply. Trip leader applications are available during the spring semester for the following trips taking place the following year.
Who is in charge of the TRIPS Program?
TRIPS is a collaboration between Campus Ministry and the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning. We have three student staff members and two professional staff members who oversee the trip leaders, plan the logistics of each trip and host educational sessions before and after the trips. Each trip is led by one or two trip leaders who take part in intensive training before their trip and while on their trip, they receive 24/7 support from professional staff on campus.
What if I have an idea for a new trip?
If you have an idea for a new trip, you will need to meet with the TRIPS staff to discuss your idea and the feasibility of the social justice issue and the location. We love having new ideas from students, faculty and staff so please contact us if you are interested in presenting your idea.