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Explore the rich cultural diversity within our own country

Faculty and staff at UW-Eau Claire plan domestic intercultural immersion trips for all Blugolds that take place throughout the entire United States, including Hawai'i and Puerto Rico. Check out this year's Domestic Immersions below! 

COMING SOON! Applications will open up in Fall semester, 2023!

2022-2023 Domestic Immersion Programs

These Domestic Intercultural Immersion (DII) programs are cultural adventures in the truest sense--even without leaving the United States. Students who have participated in the past have regularly noted how their experiences were surprising and eye-opening as they embraced the opportunity to see and gain greater understanding of the lived experience of people from a variety of cultural perspectives.

Remember, you don't have to leave the United States to engage in a transformative immersion experience! 

Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 Nursing DII Programs

Partners in Health and Safety in West Central Wisconsin

Program Location: West Central Wisconsin
Program Dates: Fall Semester 2022 and / or Spring Semester 2023
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 6-8 students each semester. Senior nursing students with some Spanish language proficiency will be given preference.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Lisa Schiller
Corresponding Course: NRSG 428 Nursing Leadership I (3 credits)
Cost of Participation: No fees are expected, except for lunch during the 5-day immersion
Additional Attributes: R1, I1, S3; 30 Hours of Service-Learning

Abstract: This immersion provides screenings, immunizations, and education to mostly Latino farm workers at large dairy farms. Students integrate knowledge of agricultural health and safety and understanding of rural and Latino culture into their nursing practice, by providing on-site education and basic health screening. The program includes preparation in collaboration with partners, culturally sensitive services to farm works, and debriefing sessions upon completion of the experience.

Together to Eliminate Health Disparity: Somali Population

Program Location: Barron County, WI and Twin Cities, MN
Program Dates: Fall Semester 2022 and / or Spring Semester 2023
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 6-8 Senior 1 Nursing students each semester
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Mohammad Alasagheirin
Corresponding Course: NRSG 428 Nursing Leadership I (3 credits)
Cost of Participation: $150 special course fee, plus meals
Additional Attributes: R1, I1, S3; 30 hours of Service Learning

Abstract: This immersion works in two places where Somali communities are growing rapidly: Barron County, Wisconsin and the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Somali populations are a diverse cultural and social group that has unique healthcare challenges and needs, compounded by their distinctive background and experience as refugees. As future healthcare providers, nursing students should be able to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate healthcare services to all patients, and this immersion aims to helps students learn about these issues.

(PROGRAM POSTPONED TO FALL 2022!)

Winterim 2023 DII Programs

Civil Rights Pilgrimage (Winterim)

Program Location: Georgia (Atlanta), Alabama (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Selma), Louisiana (New Orleans), Mississippi (Jackson), Arkansas (Little Rock), Tennessee (Memphis)
Program Dates: January 6-16, 2023
Target Student Population: Limited to 25 students, targeting first-year students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jodi Thesing-Ritter and Sue Fondrie
Corresponding Course: Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies course (WGSS 422): Women of the Civil Rights Movement (3 credits during fall semester)
Cost of Participation: No program fees, but estimated $280 in meals.
Additional Attributes: R1; 30 Hours of Service-Learning

Abstract: Through the fall course, students will learn a shared vocabulary for understanding complex systems of racism, the history of enslavement, reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, methods of organizing during the Civil Rights Movement, and key roles that women played. Students will then travel for 10 days to the sites of historical significance, where they will meet with leaders to hear first-person accounts. Cities include: Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Selma, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Money and Jackson, Mississippi; Saint Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee. Students will engage in various activities, discussions, and reflections to make critical connections.

Apply Now!

Cultural Practices of the Hmong in Fresno, California

Program Location: Fresno, California
Program Dates: December 30, 2022 - January 9, 2023 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Limited to 12 students who have a demonstrated interest in learning more about Hmong culture
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Ka Vang and Cindy Yang
Corresponding Course: None, but students who have taken HUMS 110, HMNG 130, Honors Colloquium Hmong Culture or History course, or participated in an FLIIE immersion to Thailand or international research project in Thailand will be given priority consideration.
Cost of Participation: $200 program fee, plus estimated $300 in meals
Additional Attributes: R1

Abstract: The program is designed to run during the Hmong New Year Celebration in Fresno, so that students can attend not as a visitor by as a participant by taking part in various events. Students will learn about various cultural rituals during the new year, various styles of kwv txhiaj (traditional Hmong singing), and storytelling. Through this experience, students will be able to connect the new year to the roles, responsibilities, values, and belief systems of Hmong culture.

Apply Now!

Cultural Preservation through Tourism in Hawai'i

Program Location: Oahu, Hawai'i, USA
Program Dates: January 14, 2023 - July 24, 2023 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Limited to 12 students who have a demonstrated interest in learning more about Hawai'ian culture
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Ka Vang, Jesse Yang
Corresponding Course: N/A
Cost of Participation: $250 program fee, plus estimated $400 in meals
Additional Attributes: R1

Abstract: The Hawai'i immersion program will engage students in native Hawaiian communities and academic settings to learn about cultural preservation in the content of tourism in Hawai'i. Students will explore Honolulu and critically examine how their role as a tourist impacts the local communities in Honolulu and other surrounding areas. In addition, the program aims to involve students in critical thinking about the history of Hawai'i and how the people have preserved their culture either through the tourism industry or staying away. The eleven‐day program will consist of students undergoing multiple visits to local cities, attending lectures from faculty at the University of Manoa, visiting museum(s) of key events in history, and attending tourist attractions to observe and critique their role as a tourist. 

Apply Now!

Discovering Difference through Service in Puerto Rico

Program Location: Puerto Rico, USA
Program Dates: 1/6/23 to 1/15/23
Target Student Population: Experience is limited to 12 students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Katy Rand and Dr. Cheryl Jiménez-Frei
Corresponding Course: None
Cost of Participation: $350 program fee
Additional Attributes: R1; 30 Hours of Service-Learning

Abstract: Discovering Difference through Service in Puerto Rico is an opportunity for students to explore cultural, political, environmental, and societal differences through volunteerism. Students will be able to connect with community members of this US territory through hands‐on work, intentional conversations, and educational opportunities. Exposure to these components will allow students to critically think about their individual identities and privilege.

Apply Now!

Embracing the Somali Experience in Midwestern Public Schools

Program Location: Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota
Program Dates: January 3-8, 2023 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 21 students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Frank Watkins
Corresponding Course: None. Students meet 4 times before the excursion and once afterward.
Cost of Participation: $75 program fee + estimated $100 for meals
Additional Attributes: R1; 30 Hours of Service-Learning

Abstract: This program provides students with opportunities to expand their cultural competencies, pedagogical practices, and depth of personal interaction surrounding topics related to Somali experiences and to social justice issues in general. This comprehensive educational program combines more than 24 hours of classroom-based instructions, a week-long, full-day, field placement in specially selected schools that serve primarily Somali youth, and daily excursions in and around the Somali community in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Applications for 2023 available soon!

Spring Break 2023 DII Programs

Alternative Spring Break: Indianapolis

Program Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Program Dates: March 19 -26, 2023 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Experience is limited to 20 students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Katy Rand and Karen Dominguez
Corresponding Course: None 
Cost of Participation: $285 program fee 
Additional Attributes: R1; 30 Hours of Service-Learning

Abstract: Student participants of the Alternative Spring Break trip can expect to learn about the issues of homelessness, poverty, and food security in the Indianapolis area, as well as, how it ties back to the Eau Claire community. Additionally, they can expect to interact with individuals different from themselves, engage in meaningful nightly reflections and articulate their experiences, work collaboratively as a team, understand servant leadership and its core principles, and develop a plan for after the trip to incorporate and apply what they have learned. Students will use critical and analytical skills to understand their responsibility to the community we serve while evaluating and challenging the existing structures in ways that respect equity and diversity (R1). Through hands‐on service with various populations, students will be able to identify and explain how gender, class, race, socio‐economic status, etc. inform the perspectives of the complex issues we are examining. 

Apply Now!

Civil Rights Pilgrimage (Spring Break)

Program Location: Georgia (Atlanta), Alabama (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Selma), Louisiana (New Orleans), Mississippi (Jackson), Arkansas (Little Rock), Tennessee (Memphis)
Program Dates: March 17 - 26, 2023
Target Student Population: Limited to 25 students, targeting first-year students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jodi Thesing-Ritter
Corresponding Course: Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies course (WGSS 422): Women of the Civil Rights Movement (3 credits during fall semester)
Cost of Participation: No program fees, but estimated $280 in meals.
Additional Attributes: R1, 30 Hours of Service-Learning

Abstract: Through the fall course, students will learn a shared vocabulary for understanding complex systems of racism, the history of enslavement, reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, methods of organizing during the Civil Rights Movement, and key roles that women played. Students will then travel for 10 days to the sites of historical significance, where they will meet with leaders to hear first-person accounts. Cities include: Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Selma, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Money and Jackson, Mississippi; Saint Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee. Students will engage in various activities, discussions, and reflections to make critical connections.

New York City: Aspiring Artists (Music + Theatre)

Program Location: New York City, New York
Program Dates: March 19 - 26, 2023 (tentative)
Target Student Population: This program is limited to 12 undergraduate composition, voice performance, applied instruments and BA BME, and theatre students with a focus on voice performance.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Kenneth Pereira and Arthur Grothe
Corresponding Course: MUSI 491: Special Topics, NYC Travel Seminar (1 credit during spring semester)
Cost of Participation: $150 special course fee + estimated $250 in meals
Additional Attributes: R1

Abstract: UWEC music and theatre students will be engaged in the study of composition, voice performance, applied instruments, and theatre during one week in the major metropolitan area of New York City. Students will live, perform, study, attend performances, conduct interviews, and interact daily with artists and people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Students will also collaborate, interact, and share music with students from the Brooklyn High School for the Arts and York College.

(NOTE: PROGRAM NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for Spring Break, 2022)

New York City: Visual Arts (Art & Design)

Program Location: New York City, New York
Program Dates: March 19 - 26, 2023 (tentative)
Target Student Population: This program is limited to 15 undergraduate Art & Design students.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jill Olm and Ned Gannon
Corresponding Course: N/A
Cost of Participation: $200 special course fee + estimated $320 in meals
Additional Attributes: R1

Abstract: UWEC Art & Design students can fulfill their travel experience requirement through this Spring Break Immersion program. Students will engage with experiences unobtainable in the classroom and opportunities to expand student thinking on diversity of race, gender, economic, and cultural/historical status. Through studio visits with artist such as Jordan Casteel, George Boorujy, or Janaina Tschape, students will interact on an intimate level with international and domestic artists that represent progressive thinking on issues such as black male identity, the ecology of wildlife in a shrinking environment, and the nature and importance of abstract thinking in contemporary society.

Apply Now!

Summer 2023 DII Programs

American Indian Art Meets Modernism in Santa Fe and Taos

Program Location: Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico
Program Dates: May 29 - June 10, 2023 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 12 students, all students are welcome to apply
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Heather Fielding and Bob Bell
Corresponding Course: None (required spring course during spring semester 2023)
Cost of Participation: $225 special course fees (includes meals) + $390 (food) and $100 (personal expenses)
Additional Attributes: R1

Abstract: This Immersion program engages students with the history of American Indian experience throughout the presence and influence of non-indigenous people in the art world of early twentieth-century New Mexico. We’ll focus in particular on the Santa Fe Indian School (now the Institute of American Indian Arts), which played a unique role in the history of the struggle for American Indian rights and was and continues to be a major site for art education and art production. We’ll also examine the work of non-Native American and European writers and artists who came to Taos in this period, seeking inspiration and renewal in American Indian cultures. While these modernist artists learned from and promoted indigenous art, they also profited from appropriating American Indian culture.

Apply Now!

Q-Fest in San Francisco

Program Location: San Francisco, California
Program Dates: 6/15/23 to 6/28/23 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 10 students; all students are welcome to apply
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Chris Jorgenson, Kyle Whipple, and Kallie Adell Friede
Corresponding Course: None
Cost of Participation: None
Additional Attributes: R1

Abstract: Q-Fest is an ongoing program at UW‐Eau Claire built upon the strong foundations of what used to be the Eau Queer Film Festival. The Gender & Sexuality Resource Center will bring 10 students and 3 faculty / staff to San Francisco to attend the Frameline Film Festival (the world's oldest and largest LGBTQ+ film festival). Over a two week period, the Q-Fest cohort members will each screen a minimum of 25 films, with the ultimate goal of choosing which films to bring back to UW‐Eau Claire. All films will examine the lived experiences of marginalized people across race, sexuality, gender, dis/ability, class, etc. The film festival will anchor Q-Fest, which will also include a concert featuring queer artists, a half‐day admissions visit for prospective LGBTQ+ students and their parents / guardians, and a National Coming Out Day celebration. Q-Fest will partner with numerous campus and community partners, and all efforts will be led by the Q-Fest student participants.

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