You must be at least 18 years old by the time of the trip to participate. You can apply if you are 17 as long as you will be 18 when the trip starts. There is no upper age limit, but please keep in mind that our trips are meant for college-aged students, and they will be given preference during the application process. Although we love and appreciate parents, they are not allowed to accompany their children on a FOCUS Mission trip.
Applications for spring break trips close on November 30th and applications for summer trips will close on February 15th.
Every FOCUS Missions participant is trained to effectively fundraise their mission trip cost. As FOCUS Missionaries, we raise our entire salary, trusting in people’s generosity and God’s grace to provide us with our spiritual and physical needs. If you feel called to participate in a FOCUS Mission, you will have the tools and support available to fundraise for your trip. A missionary will walk with you throughout the entire fundraising process. Allowing others to support us through their financial commitments and prayers is essential to the success of FOCUS Missions!
FOCUS Mission Trips are designed to be effective on two fronts: we provide aid to those in most need around the world and aim at building up the faith of those who volunteer on our mission trips. The latter goal, while certainly carried out with a Catholic angle, should not discourage anyone from applying. Catholics and non-Catholics alike are invited to take part in this excellent opportunity to do as Jesus did, working with the poor and “[making] disciples of all nations.” As a volunteer, you are asked to participate in group prayer and join in on faith discussions, but you will not be forced to participate in exclusively Catholic practices (i.e. the rosary, Catholic Mass etc).
Non-students are allowed to apply for FOCUS mission trips. However, since our organization primarily caters to college students, students will have priority in trip placements. If there is a spot available on a mission trip after all the students have been placed, non-students will then be placed on the trip.
More information about the Fellowship of Catholic University Students can be found at www.focus.org.
To support FOCUS Missions and the various mission trips it provides for college students, click the “Give Now” button on the donate page. You can make an easy, secure payment by credit or debit card online!
Here’s an instructional video!
- Round-trip airfare to mission country*
- Travel insurance
- Pre-trip orientation
- Post-trip debriefing
- All food, lodging, materials, and in-country transportation
*For mission trips that take place in the United States, airfare is not included in the fundraising cost, as students are expected to secure their own transportation to domestic mission locations.
- Cancellation insurance
- Visa fees and associated costs
- Flights / ground transportation to a given departure city
- Personal Incidentals
- Certain elective entertainment activities
FOCUS Missions strives to create the highest quality, most highly effective Catholic mission trips that exist. Funds donated in support of a mission trip are some of the most direct contributions possible for a charitable cause. For example, if we are building a certain structure, funds that are donated are brought directly with us on the trip and used to purchase from local suppliers. Likewise, we recognize that we have great responsibilities as stewards of your generosity and therefore we do our best to ensure your hard-earned funds are spent responsibly in accord with your intentions.
FOCUS Missions holds safety as a prime consideration for any mission trip that we establish. When any threats to safety are perceived our goal is to mitigate these factors to the greatest extent possible. In circumstances where we feel that a situation has developed beyond a point where we can prudently take participants, we will not hesitate to reroute or cancel a trip. Beyond extreme circumstances, here are some of the practices we have in place to mitigate risk and ensure a safe mission:
- We work very closely with pre-existing religious orders, lay ministries, our Catholic clergy who are keenly familiar with the on-the-ground realities of the environment in which we are serving.
- FOCUS Missions pays for a full-time security consulting firm to monitor all trip locations and recommend the best course of action.
- Our mission directors are put through a full course of training in Risk Mitigation practices and emergency preparedness.
- Our full-time staff members are required to be familiar with all information provided by the US Department of State and the United States Center for Disease Control prior to the trip.
- Each of our groups traveling abroad is registered with the US Department of State.
- Each student participating in mission has travel insurance coverage that includes live emergency assistance that can connect them with qualified medical professionals at home and abroad.
- Students are taken through a stateside orientation retreat that addresses specific safety considerations prior to entering a foreign environment.
Overall, we strive to meet the delicate balance between faith and prudence. Please remember that volunteering and working abroad no more guarantees a lack of security than staying at home guarantees safety. Should you have any additional specific questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at: [email protected] or 303-551-7365