Launch Retreats

If you’re a student who’s ready to embark upon a spiritually courageous life abroad and seek a greater purpose in your host country, then join InterVarsity Study Abroad for a weekend in Barcelona or London that will change the course of your adventure abroad...

Looking up at the grandeur of a cathedral that’s older and more mystical than any building you’ve spent time in back on campus, you lower your camera and let your five senses lead your mind and soul. The light from outside floats in through the stained-glass windows and draws your attention to an ornate cross.

From where you stand on the marble floor, you feel reassured of how loved and significant you are to God, even as you stand small in awe of him. You sense the magnitude and beauty of God’s work in the world, and you feel something stirring in you to invite others to be transformed by him too.

Later at dinner, seated around a table piled high with local specialties, you dive deep into conversation with someone who, like you, senses God has sent them abroad for purposes that will outlast the few months ahead.

You decide together to make sure this semester is one that matters...

What is possible by the end of Launch?

  • You have a sense of calling and direction from God for your semester.
  • You resolve to stand out as a follower of Jesus throughout your time abroad, and you have ways to stay accountable.
  • You believe that your love for God and your sense of his love for you will be deeper than when you left the U.S.
  • You expect God to bring encounters with people who are especially open to exploring Jesus for the first time, whether in your housing, classes, clubs & teams, or travels.
  • You understand the stages of transition you’ll go through when crossing cultures, and know how to react positively when the wear and tear of cross-cultural living starts to take its toll.
  • You have more confidence to live in, interact deeply with, and contribute to your new culture.
  • You are willing to set aside your checklist of “must-see” places and invite God to shape your travel.
  • You are eager to connect with a student ministry or church in your host city so that you can learn from other Christian communities.
  • You arrive as one of several strangers, but leave as a community of friends after bonding over food, late-night conversations, laughter, prayer, and worship.

Why London and Barcelona?

  • You'll experience a city you likely want to visit, but in a way that’s deeper than the millions of tourists who flock to it.
  • You'll encounter God in sacred places like Westminster Abbey (where royals have been crowned and historical figures like Sir Isaac Newton are buried) or Sagrada Familia (a whimsical cathedral that’s been under construction for over 100 years).
  • You'll study scripture while sprawled across the grass of a beautiful park or an historic church (weather permitting).
  • You'll bond with other students over local favorites like fish & chips, paella, and tapas.
  • You'll perhaps travel solo for the first time to a new city/country.

More about Launch Barcelona  More about Launch London