My first experience happened as a junior when we led a trip to Florence, Alabama, and then my second as a senior when we led a trip to New Orleans, LA. The experiences we had were transformative, the immersion trips helped us discover our solidarity with communities outside of Oswego.
In New Orleans, we worked with a house in which HIV patients lived as they were trying to get their life back on its feet. At first, we all did not know if it was safe to hug someone with HIV--by the end of the week, we were shaking hands, hugging, and enjoying conversation with our new HIV-positive friends. The lessons have stayed with me and others for a lifetime; take time to listen to those who you see as different or scary, listen, engage with their story, and you just may be surprised about the commonalities and relationships you discover.