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Current Alternative Break Programs

Every year, the Center for Community Engagement and Service trains and sends groups of 10-15 students into their local and global communities to experience hands-on work with social justice issues. If you'd like more information, feel free to browse these pages, or check out our Facebook page and info session dates (in right sidebar).

While orientation, reorientation, and activism activities occur year-round, the direct engagement component of the programs takes place during the winter, spring, and summer breaks. Student leaders facilitate the experience from beginning to end under the guidance of a staff or faculty adviser, making Alternative Breaks unique opportunities for students in a world classroom.

An Alternative Break program is broken into the following three components:

1. Orientation: student participants are oriented about the social justice issue, the community partners they will work with, the Alternative Breaks approach, and other topics such as voluntourism.

2. Engagement: the student group travels to destination and works in a mutually beneficial partnership with their community partner. This can take many forms: meetings, service, trainings, labor, etc.

3. Reorientation and activism: students come back for reorientation meetings where they discuss what had happened during the engagement component and what steps they will take to make sure their community is aware of the issue. The Alternative Break student group plans and executes activism activities, which can include fundraisers, screenings, exhibits, lobbying/advocacy, writing, etc.

Below is a list of the 2017-2018 Alternative Breaks program. If you find a program that inspires you, you'll have to create a Center for Community Engagement Interest Profile through EngageNet (link on right side bar) before you can apply. You will be contacted for an interview after the application deadline. 

Important: Read Before Traveling

Alternative Breaks are challenging! Please read the following information to learn more about challenges for all trips and those specifically for international trips.

Read Travel Information

Winter program participant applications are due
September 18, 2017.
Spring program participant applications are due
October 23, 2017.
Summer program participant applications are due
February 11, 2018.

Winter 2017-2018 Programs

Women and Youth Empowerment in Rwanda

Engagement: Kigali, Rwanda

Explore a recovering post-genocide Rwanda through the lenses of women and youth empowerment as well as the role of grassroots organizations and the government.

Applications Closed

Ghosts of War: Post-Conflict Recovery


Explore the difficulties of post-conflict recovery in Vietnam by meeting with various organizations and government officials that work to clean up the hazards left behind from the war. 

Applications Closed

A Look into Modern Day Servitude and Criminal "Justice"


This program will focus on the flaws of the criminal justice system, and how it directly influences people of color, specifically Black folks of all identities.

Application Closed

Spring 2018 Programs

Creative Impact for Youth Empowerment

Engagement: El Progresso, Honduras

Learn about the effects on youth in Honduras and how organizations like OYE (Organization of Youth Empowerment) help them better their community and become leaders in the world.

Apply - Honduras

The Inequality of Education, Race, and Political Power


Learn Hurricane Katrina's enduring effect on New Orleans, with a focus on historic inequity between races, political power, and environmental justice has impacted education for its most disadvantaged students.

Apply - Louisiana

Haitian Voices: Reconsidering International Development


Learn about the intersection of public health and international aid over the spring semester of 2018. Travel to Haiti and work with various community partners.

Apply - Haiti

An Examination of Race & LGBTQ+ Identity


This program will explore the nuances of racial identity and conflict amongst Afro, Indo, and Putagee Guyanese people as well as the consequences of openly identifying as LGBTQ+ in the West Indies.

Apply - Guyana

Summer 2018 Programs (May 2018)

Arts in Resistance


Learn about the history of how the arts act as a tool for organizing and resistance during both apartheid and post apartheid South Africa; examine how contemporary visual, music, and other arts address liberation and resistance South Africa and the United States.

Apply - South Africa

Education, Equity, and Empowerment


We will explore social dynamics and inequalities in education created by the caste system through being a camp counselor with an organization that focuses on empowering Dalit children, while becoming advocates for a more equitable India.

Apply - India

Navigate Migration and Community on the U.S.-Mexico Border


Explore a variety of topics such as the root causes immigration– foreign policy decisions, environmental destruction, economic trade, crime, and the life migrants face once they settle in the U.S.

Apply - Arizona & Mexico