Immersive Experiences

Orientation provides an opportunity to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Below you will find a variety of immersive experiences and brief descriptions. 

 

 Click here to download the Orientation Road Map infographic! 

Immersive Experiences

Book Arts, Letterpress Printing and Making! (In the Makerspace)

This immersive experience is designed to introduce you to the world of unique and special collections and acquaint you with Tacoma’s book arts community  You will visit studios, meet artists, go behind the scenes to handle special collections and artists’ books as well as make your own book.  The experience will conclude with a “pop-up” exhibit in the Collins Library, hosted by local book artists.  In addition, you will be introduced to the Makerspace, a creative space where you can experiment with 3D printers, scanners, and a variety of paper arts tools as well as sewing. For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Food Connection and the Tacoma Hilltop

This immersive experience is designed to introduce you to the Tacoma Hilltop neighborhood, it’s history and impact on the whole of Tacoma as well as provide you an opportunity to dig deep and work in the Food Connection Hospitality Kitchen. During the three days you will have an opportunity to learn about homeless and poverty in Tacoma. Participants will stay in the Father Bill Bichsel Center for the two nights of the experience where you will cook meals together with your group. One night will be spent at the Catholic Worker house participating in a Catholic Mass and a community meal. If you choose this experience, sleeping accommodations will be in sleeping bags in a community center with a full kitchens and fully equipped bathrooms without showers.

Musical Arts

Exploration of the musical arts scene in Tacoma and Seattle will fill your three days.  A variety of opportunities to learn about musical arts and explore historic theaters will be some of the activities offered. For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Rainbow Resistance & Representation: Queer Superheroes ArouNd the Sound

Immerse yourself into the Queer communities in Tacoma, Seattle and Olympia. Participants will get to know about resources available on-campus and in each of the other cities. A full day on the topic of deconstructing colonization and gentrification of Queer identities with guest lectures will be part of the experience. Additionally, a variety of interactive activities such as a visit to MoPop Marvel: Universe of Superheroes exhibit and an afternoon doing something creative around our superheroes theme! For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Transportation in the Pacific Northwest: Ferry, Airplanes, and Busses Too!

We might not have great mass transit in the Seattle/Tacoma area, but we do have a claim to fame with Boeing and our incredible ferries! As a participant in this IE you will get to explore The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to view 747, 777, and 787 Dreamliners being assembled on the Everett production line before they take to the sky. We’ll also take a ferry ride to one of the many islands nearby Tacoma and we’ll introduce you to Pierce Transit so you know how to get around Tacoma. This immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Bird Watching and Day Hikes

The Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve on the Nisqually River Delta near Puget Sound in northeastern Thurston County, Washington between the cities of Tacoma and Olympia. The refuge was created in 1974 to provide habitat and nesting areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds. It includes a protected estuary, salt marshes and open mudflats, freshwater marshes, open grassland, and riparian woodland and brush. As participants in this IE you will focus on exploring this refuge while bird-watching and day hiking!  We will have time to meet with expert bird-watchers from the Tacoma Audubon as well. For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Theater Arts

Exploration of the theater arts scene in Tacoma and Seattle will fill your three days.  A variety of opportunities to learn about theater arts and explore historic theaters will be some of the activities offered.  This immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Community Gardens in the Puget Sound

There are a lot of awesome gardens in Tacoma and Seattle. On this experience you will explore many gardens to help understand how communities interact with gardens for both food and as a way of experiencing art in nature. Your IE group will also spend an afternoon doing a service project with the Hilltop Urban Garden. For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Visual Arts

Our visual arts immersive experience includes visits to the Tacoma Art Museum, the Tacoma Museum of Glass, the Seattle Art Museum as well as our very own Kittredge Gallery. Additional activities will include working with local glass blowing artists and a service activity with the Hilltop Artist group at a local middle school. Whether or not you are an artist, this IE will showcase some of our greatest treasures. For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Zoos, Zoos, and a Couple of Aquariums Too

When you come to a new city, it’s always a good idea to visit the zoos and aquariums to really see what the city is about! The Pt Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Northwest. You'll see sharks and seahorses, polar bears and peacocks, walruses and wolves, all in one place! We’ll also have time to participate in a service project while at the Pt. Defiance Zoo. Our IE will also include heading to Seattle and taking in the Woodland Park Zoo and the 9th largest aquarium in the U.S., located in Seattle! For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Day Hiking and Canoeing or Sea Kayaking

Open to all experience levels! You will have the opportunity to explore the Olympic Mountains on a day hike and canoe or sea kayak on the Hood Canal. On your third day you will have the opportunity to participate in activities at camp or go on another day trip. Each day you will return to basecamp on the Hood Canal. You will stay at our beautiful basecamp in rustic cabins or tents with showers and running water in your campsite.

Introductory and Intermediate Day Hiking

Spend two days exploring the Olympic Peninsula on day hikes which may take you to the coastal or diverse mountain environments. On your third day you will have the opportunity to participate in activities at camp or go on another day trip. Each day you will return to basecamp on the Hood Canal. You will stay at our beautiful basecamp in rustic cabins or tents with showers and running water in your campsite. 

People in and of the Pacific Northwest: Migration and Immigration

Each day of this immersive experience is packed with really digging into the peoples of Tacoma. Activities include retracing the Tacoma Method and the history of Japan town in downtown Tacoma, the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, the Northwest African American Museum, and the Pacific Science Center. The last day will focus on the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound which focuses on empowering women in prison through education as well as the Detention Center and its impact on our community in Tacoma.  For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day

Explore the Olympic Peninsula: Car Camping & Day Hiking

Spend three days exploring the Olympic Peninsula with sight-seeing and day hiking opportunities. Your group will experience the Olympic Mountains and coastal environments. Each day your group will tent camp in different locations. Showers and running water will be available at each campground.

Experience the Pacific Northwest

This Immersive Experience allows for a variety of activities in both the natural beauty of the area and the urban city scape. One day you will be out on an easy/moderate day hike, the next day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience at a local non-profit in Tacoma and the last day you will get the chance to explore Tacoma/Seattle in a sustainable way on a city bus! There is something for everyone in this IE. You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Rock Climbing and Mural Painting  

This Immersive Experience is for the climber and the artist. You will have the opportunity to get oriented to our Puget Sound climbing wall, as well as other climbing facilities and areas in Tacoma. No climbing experience is necessary and no artistic experience either. This IE will allow you to explore both at whatever level you are comfortable with.  And throughout the experience, we will be painting the mural in our Puget Sound Climbing wall.  You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Backpacking on the Olympic Peninsula:

Whether you are new to backpacking or have some experience we have backpacking trips for you to choose from. These trips are a great way to get to know your group and get to know the famous Olympic Peninsula. Each trip takes off from our basecamp on the on the peninsula and spends two and half days getting to know part of the northwest as they experience mountain or coastal environments. For each trip you will be carrying your equipment, your share of the group equipment and food. Backpacks will weight 45-55 pounds. 

 

Northwest Urbanism: City, Space, Community, Nature

 In this three day module, students explore cities and urban space in the Pacific Northwest. Our conversations, readings, and field expeditions explore the history of regional urbanization, nature and the city, public space and community, the threshold between city and nature, and the footprint of urban planning on the landscapes of our cities. Our exploration is structured around a sequence of day trips. We’ll explore different neighborhoods here in Tacoma. We’ll journey together to several historic port towns on the Olympic Peninsula, including Port Townsend and Poulsbo, where we’ll consider the long interaction between urbanization and maritime commerce in Puget Sound. we’ll travel by public transportation to Seattle, where we’ll assess how the influx of energy and capital into the urban landscape has shaped public space. 

Overnight Canoe on Hood Canal

This is a great way to get to know a small group while also spending time with others at Camp Parsons. Canoe with us on an inlet on Puget Sound called Hood Canal for half a day before padding and pushing the canoe up river to your camp site. You will spend one night at a campground and one night at basecamp. No canoeing experience needed, but the ability to swim 50 yards in 50 degree F water is necessary. This Immersive Experience spends one night on the trail and the other night at Camp Parsons on the Hood Canal. You will not be coming back to campus during this three day immersive experience.

Urban Farming with L ‘Arche Tahoma Hope

L ‘Arche Tahoma Hope is made up of people with and without developmental disabilities who work to build transformative relationships and create a community where difference and the gifts of people with
developmental disabilities are valued. L ‘Arche Farm and Gardens provides a space where people with a variety of skills and gifts are able to work together. You will be volunteering with the garden and learning about how important this place is to the Tacoma community. Participants will spend at least one night out on the farm so that you can really experience all that it has to offer. This will be an opportunity to connect with the community at L‘Arche Farms and connect with your new Puget Sound classmates, as well as a great opportunity to get outside and get your hands in the dirt!

Exploring Spiritual Diversity in the Pacific Northwest

This immersive experience offers students a variety of opportunities to learn about some of the distinct ways in which we engage with spirituality and religion at Puget Sound and in the Pacific Northwest. We will travel to selected sites in and around Tacoma to explore the complicated relationship spirituality and religion has had in both causing and challenging acts of social (in)justice in our community. We will learn about several different spiritual communities including local Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Native American communities. We will explore the ways that crafting and sharing who we are is an important form of personal spirituality. Lastly, we will engage in spirituality in the most Pacific Northwest way possible – getting out into nature around Tacoma.  (The outdoor portion of the immersion will be weather-dependent and will be accessible to all members of the group.) You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Explore the Olympic Peninsula: Car Camping & Day Hiking

Spend three days exploring the Olympic Peninsula with sight-seeing and day hiking opportunities. Your group will experience the Olympic Mountains and coastal environments. Each day your group will tent camp in different locations. Showers and running water will be available at each campground.

T'ai Chi 

This immersive experience will focus on learning and practicing T'ai Chi. T'ai chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. If you have never experienced this martial art, now is the time to try it out. We will partner with the T'ai Chi and Qigong Wellness Center in Tacoma that has significant connection to the university. You will learn the history of T'ai Chi and the influence the art form has had on culture. Often described as meditation in motion, T'ai Chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements. You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Mindful Yoga

This immersive experience will focus on learning and practicing Mindful Yoga. We will partner with a  local yoga studio and an instructor that is certified in both yoga and mindfulness. We will learn about yoga and the history of the practice of yoga. Additionally, we will spend time at other studios connecting you to the vibrant yoga community in Tacoma. You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Day Hiking and Creative Writing

Day hiking and creative writing are a perfect match for the Pacific Northwest.  You will focus on the fundamentals of creative writing on the first day with a workshop from our very own Tacoma poet laureate Dr. Kupinse. You will travel to various outdoor locations for inspiration. You will workshop your pieces with others in the group.  Each day will inspire you and your writing. You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Environmental Activism with Citizens for a Healthy Bay

This Immersive Experience will focus on the environment around us and how we treat it and what we can do to preserve it. You will partner with the local non-profit, Citizens for a Healthy Bay. This non-profit has worked over the last twenty-five years to achieve a clean and healthy Commencement Bay. You will learn about what they do and then also get to participate in what they do with beach clean-ups, super-fund clean-ups and storm drain marking. Their goal as a Tacoma-based environmental nonprofit is to engage people to clean up, restore and protect Commencement Bay, its surrounding waters and natural habitat.  You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Soccer Athletes

This Immersive Experience allows for you to get to know your fellow soccer athletes outside of practice.  You will participate in a variety of activities in both the natural beauty of the area and the urban city scape. One day you will be out exploring the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the next day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience at a local non-profit in Tacoma with your fellow teammates and other new students and the last day you will get the chance to explore what it is like to be an athlete on the Puget Sound campus with some specifically tailored workshops around nutrition, time management and other campus resources! You will come back to your residence hall after each day.

Volleyball Athletes

This Immersive Experience allows for you to get to know your fellow volleyball athletes outside of practice.  You will participate in a variety of activities in both the natural beauty of the area and the urban city scape. One day you will be out exploring the Pacific Northwest, the next day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience at a local non-profit in Tacoma with your fellow teammates and other new students and the last day you will get the chance to explore what it is like to be an athlete on the Puget Sound campus with some specifically tailored workshops around nutrition, time management and other campus resources! You will come back to your residence hall after each day.  

Football Athletes

This Immersive Experience allows for you to get to know your fellow football athletes outside of practice.  You will participate in a variety of activities. You will get the chance to explore what it is like to be an athlete (focusing on you) on the Puget Sound campus with some specifically tailored workshops around nutrition, time management and other campus resources! Another day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience (focusing on others—outside of your football community and the UPS community) at a local non-profit in Tacoma with your fellow teammates and other new students. On the last day you will spend some time doing some community building activities (think Escape Room or Paddle Boarding), focusing on “us”—you all as a team. You will come back to your residence hall after each day.  

Transfer Student Only: Experience the Pacific Northwest

This Immersive Experience allows for a variety of activities in both the natural beauty of the area and the urban city scape. One day you will be out on an easy/moderate day hike, the next day you will immerse yourself in a community service experience at a local non-profit in Tacoma and the last day you will get the chance to explore Tacoma/Seattle in a sustainable way on a city bus! This IE will have only new transfer students participate.  You will come back to your residence hall or house after each day.

The Tacoma Food System

This Immersive Experience is about the importance of sourcing sustainable food. You will visit farms that focus on sourcing sustainable food for the Tacoma area. During these field trips you will explore the beautiful farmland areas surrounding Tacoma and get to play in the dirt, as well. You will participate in s Supermarket Ethnography activity where you will conduct a close-up study of particular behavioral tendencies of a supermarket and how that informs our food choices. For this immersive experience you will come back to your residence hall after each day.