Alternative Fall and Fall Weekend Break registration is currently full. Please sign up for the  AB Fall 2017 Waitlist if you would like to be notified if a trip spot becomes available.

Alternative Fall Breaks (AFB): October 7-14, 2017

Fall Alternative Weekend Break (AWB): October 20-22, 2017

If registration for a trip that you are interested in is closed (it does not show up in UMarket as an option to select), please sign up for the Waitist HERE! Sometimes students have to drop from the program and if you sign up for the waitlist you can be notified if a spot becomes available.

Trip Options

An immersive trip that is both highly educational and labor intensive, this trip will focus on the practice of environmentalism in an urban setting. Participants will explore recycling and upcycling initiatives, impacts of food production on communities and the environment, walkability of cities, and native space rejuvenation. Participants will be serving alongside community organizations in this environmentally conscious city and learning best practices of environmental stewardship in cities.

“Working at Free Geek really opened my eyes to the long process that must be taken to recycle electronics. I never realized that computers had to be broken down to plastic, metal, and chords. It made me realize that we should try to design our computers to be recycled easier and try to use less harmful chemicals when making them.” - Past Participant

Cost: $530 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are limited and available on a financial, as-need basis.

Dates: October 7 - 14, 2017

*This trip is specifically for 1st generation college students. If you are not the first in your family to attend college please apply for another one of our trip options*.

Focusing on environmental stewardship and reflection of personal narratives, this trip will have participants finding themselves camping and exploring Utah's desert through a challenging group hike and environmental service projects. While bonding with the group over camp fires and outdoor adventures, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences, the collegiate journey they are undertaking, and the practice of environmentalism across the state and in their daily lives.

"One key experience for me was climbing pinnacle 1. It was by far the most challenging outdoor experience I have ever been through but it added so much context to the trip because we were able to relate that difficulty to our education and how we all struggled at some point but all reached the top of the pinnacle in the end. That experience became more and more valuable to us as we continuously reflected upon it on the trip." - Past Participant

Cost: $100 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are limited and available on a financial, as-need basis.

Dates: October 9 - 13, 2017

Focused on the complexities of homelessness and affordable housing, participants on this trip will be engaging in service and dialogue surrounding the continuum of care in King County. Participants will explore the intersections of homelessness with identities such as gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, class status, and ethnicity. Participants on this trip will be learning from organizations advocating for housing first practices and social justice for homeless individuals.

“I’ve never really had too much experience or knowledge about food banks or homelessness. I had prior knowledge about the food system and the ways people are affected by it but I never got to see those effects first hand. This trip provided me with the hands-on experience and knowledge about hunger, homelessness, and poverty that I was lacking.” - Past Participant

Cost: $545 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are limited and available on a financial, as-need basis.

Dates: October 7 - 14, 2017

This is a new collaboration between the Alternative Break Program and the Taft-Nicholson Center. Participants will spend the week serving alongside of wildlife advocacy organizations, such as the Red Rocks Lake Wildlife Refuge, to better understand preservation efforts around habitat protection.  Participants will also find themselves to be a part of larger conservation dialogue and leave the experience with an increased awareness of human impact on the natural world.

Cost: $350 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are limited and available on a financial, as-need basis.


Dates: October 9 - 14, 2017


An education heavy trip, this trip explores, through dialogue and reflection, mental health, reproductive health, social health, the continuum of care, the harm reduction model, and the perceived stigmas of service provision models. Participants on this trip will learn from and serve organizations providing health initiative services to the Vancouver community. Through educational tours, speaking engagements, and direct service, participants on this trip will find themselves challenging health stigmas.

Past Participant Reflections

“Insite for me, was by far the most eye opening. They focus on the harm-reduction model when helping drug users in Vancouver. They provide clean needles and other supplies (except durgs) to IV drug users so that they can shoot up safely. This is a concept that I had never heard of until this trip. It deepened my knowledge about stigma and what a person can do to reduce stigma and help drug users.”

“One of my favorite parts of the trip was going on a tour of the Downtown Eastside with a former drug user named Rodney. It was so intriguing to hear his point of view and how he has been affected by the resources and policies we were learning about. It gave a really great contrast between the perspective of the implementers and practicality of the actual resource. I also like that he told us it was our choice to speak out about these issues or continue to ignore them.”

Cost: $560. (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences). *Participants on this trip also need to purchase $35 international insurance through the University's provider in addition to trip costs.

*Trip discounts are limited and available on a financial, as-need basis.

Dates: October 7 - 14, 2017

 Apply for a Fall Break Trip

Alternative Fall Break trips will fill on a first-come, first-served basis.  To reserve your seat on a trip, you must go online to the Alternative Break Umarket Store and purchase a non-refundable, down payment for the trip you wish to attend

Down Payment Amounts:

  • Wildlife Habitat Conservation: $100 non-refundable down payment
  • Community Health: $100 non-refundable down payment
  • Homelessness: $100 non-refundable down payment
  • Identity and Environmental Exploration: $100 non-refundable trip payment
  • Urban Environmentalism: $100 non-refundable down payment

Note: once you have placed a down payment you may not

  • register for the waiting list
  • switch to another trip

If the trip you are interested in is not listed as a down payment option, it is full. Please choose the waiting list option and continue the checkout process to be added to the general waiting list. Note your preference(s) in the section at the bottom of the form. There is no charge for being on the waiting list. Please note: if you are placed on a trip from the waiting list, your trip selection will be final.

Final AFB Payments are due on or before Sept 15, 2017.  Final trip payments will be posted for participants on Umarket by September 8, 2017. *Participants applying for financial, need-based trip discounts are encouraged to wait to make their final payment until AFTER the trip discount application has closed. Email for trip discount information if you have a financial based need or to discuss a payment plan.




May 1, 2017

AFB and AWB-Refugee and Human Rights registration opens. Students must provide nonrefundable down payment to reserve a trip spot.  These trips are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.


September 4, 2017


 Last day to register for open AFB and AWB trip spots and the AB Fall Waitlist.
September 6, 2017

 AB Fall Trip Discount Applications are Due by 11:59PM

These Trip Discounts (our version of a scholarship) are reserved for students who self-identify as needing financial assistance in order to participate in Alternative Breaks. We do our best to meet the need, but there are limited funds available. Please contact Laura Schwartz for questions regarding trip discounts. Please include 'TRIP DISCOUNT' in the subject line.

The trip discount application link will be  emailed to all those registered for a trip. Students must have placed a down payment to be eligible for a trip discount.

September 15, 2017


All Final Payments for AFB Due to Umarket. Total trip cost must be paid by this date or you will be dropped. Payment plans can be accommodated. Please contact Laura Schwartz for questions or regarding payment plans.

*Failure to provide final trip payment will result in forfeiture of your spot and potential financial implications for you as a student

This is also the final day to drop and receive a refund of trip funds above the nonrefundable deposit. If students drop after this date, they will not receive a refund for any trip payments and some fees may still be due. Students may petition the Alternative Breaks program for a refund of their trip payment due to extenuating circumstances, however the Alternative Breaks program reserves the right to refuse any refund requests. Even with a refund petition, pre-paid costs such as transportation or lodging cannot be reimbursed to students. Please contact Laura Schwartz with any questions about this process.

September 15, 2017


Participants: All Participant forms due.  Please see our participant resources section for links to all forms required for participation in the program.   

Volunteer Drivers: All Driver's Tests and License info due.  Please see our participant resources section for links to the online driver’s video and test, and to submit a photo copy of your license and its corresponding information.  Note: Driving is not required of our participants, but we encourage any safe, responsible participants drivers to help with driving the mini vans while on the trip.

October 7, 2017

October 9, 2017


October 20, 2017

DEPARTURE DAY - Homelessness, Community Health, Urban Environmentalism                  


DEPARTURE DAY- Wildlife Habitat Conservation, Identity and Environmental Exploration (First Generation Trip)



DEPARTURE DAY - AWB Refugee and Human Rights Trip

November 3, 2017


Join us to connect and reflect on your trip experiences. Also learn how to become more involved in service locally.

4:00-6:00 p.m., location TBA

Support for Alternative Breaks experiences provided by:


Parent fund



Last Updated: 12/18/17