two students work in a field for service

Service & Immersion

The Jesuit mission knows no borders, and Saint Joseph's University, as a Jesuit institution, encourages students and faculty to take a truly global view of their opportunities and their responsibilities. Through study abroad immersion programs and service learning, Hawks are equipped with knowledge and training that will enable them to effectively engage with and respond to people and cultures from all parts of the world; and to use their talents towards the betterment of others.

Service & Immersion Programs


Service-Learning is a form of experience-based education where students engage in service as part of their academic coursework. Doing service work can help students better understand the abstract concepts presented in their classes. Service learning students come from all different majors throughout the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the Haub School of Business - all with an interest in combining academic work and service.


Experiencing new places and becoming immersed in a new culture helps students grow into global citizens. SJU's Center for International Programs can help you find a study tour, semester or year-long immersion program.


The Appalachian Experience (APEX) is a Spring break immersion program that is committed to serving with and for others while learning about the culture and concerns of the people of the Appalachian region. 

For over 25 years, Saint Joseph's University has been sending students to the Appalachian Region. Participants meet together several times throughout the year for preparation, education and team-building, all of which lead toward the spring break immersion experience.

Gain Global Perspective

Hundreds of Hawks each year participate in academic or service related immersion programs. These experiences have changed the course of some student's college careers, inspired others to pursue new passions and made all of them more engaged global citizens.

Hawk Immersion Experiences

Julian smiles wearing a yellow shirt in front of gray brick

I took part in many experiential learning opportunities while at SJU. I studied abroad in Leuven, Belgium, and while there, I interned with the European Parliament. After graduation I served 10 months as a volunteer with Taller de Jose, an organization that provides resource referrals and accompaniment to Spanish speaking residents of Chicago."

Julian smiles wearing a blue collared shirt in front of green foliage

Julian Zuzarte '18

international relations major, faith-justice studies, Latin American studies and Spanish minors

Devyn smiles wearing a long-sleeve gray t-shirt and black vest.

One of the really cool aspects of Saint Joe’s is that they offer service-learning courses where service is integrated into your class experience... My sophomore year class was based in the Spanish language, which is something I’m really passionate about. I think that Saint Joe’s offering that opportunity is something that other schools don’t have where it’s something that’s really integrated into your classroom learning experience.”

Devyn smiles wearing a long-sleeve gray t-shirt and black vest.

Devyn Schwarz '20

risk management & insurance major, Spanish minor

Vilma smiles holding a laptop in the Post Learning Commons on campus

In high school, I thought that service meant helping someone. Through my service experiences at Saint Joseph's, I've learned that in relationship-based service, I get just as much — if not more — out of the experience than the people I'm serving."

Vilma smiles standing in front of stacks of books in the Post Learning Commons

Vilma Fermin '20

communication studies major, sports marketing minor