Cherokee Immersion | Mount St. Joseph University
Immersion trip group photo.

The Cherokee of North Carolina will introduce their rich and tragic history during this cultural immersion trip.

Students will participate in lectures, service projects, and informal interaction with the Cherokee people. Students will also participate in an afternoon-long study of the local ecology.


We will stay at Living Waters Retreat Center, a Catholic renewal center nestled in the little town of Magee Valley, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. The accommodations include semi-private rooms and baths, a wonderful dining room where all but two meals will be served to the group and several large gathering rooms for our evening class sessions. We will travel 30 minutes daily between the Magee Valley and Cherokee, a 19 mile trip.


Students will travel together in Mount St. Joseph University vans. Drivers have completed van safety training with campus police. The travel time between Cincinnati and Magee Valley is approximately seven hours, with a lunch break and several bathroom breaks.

Health Care Facilities

Medical facilities are available for minor emergencies (broken bones, stitches etc.) in Cherokee and Magee Valley. For major medical emergencies, the closest facilities are 40 miles east of Magee Valley in Asheville, NC or Fort Sanders/Sevier Medical Center in Sevierville, TN, which is about an hour drive from Magee Valley. Rangers and emergency personnel are specially trained to assist with any hiking related injuries and the park has three medical sites.


It is usually very cold and snowy on one day, turning quite warm and in the low to mid 70’s another day. One year we were treated to a mountain blizzard, while this past year we experienced late spring, early summer temperatures. Students should check the weather forecast before packing. Participants should bring boots or well-fortified shoes for hiking.

Contact Information

For more information, contact John Trokan, 513-244-4272

Additional Information

The course number is IDS 391/ RPS 591. The Trip will take place over the University's spring break.