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applications for Fall 2020 Alternative Breaks
experiences will open in April, 2020!


Fall 2019 Alternative Breaks Experiences

About this Experience

Participants will explore the underlying causes of hunger—including, but not limited to, poverty, social disparities in nutrition, and access to food—through a food justice perspective. Addressing various concepts including food deserts/swamps, policy initiatives, and food production, participants will recognize and analyze their own ideas regarding hunger. Participants will be challenged to explore the difference between hunger and food justice and how each of these issues relates to themselves and people in our communities.

Past Participant Reflections

“At the end of my trip when we went to the farm as out last agency, everything clicked. It was a culmination of all the services we had done finally coming full circle. We saw every step in the process of food justice. Plus, the person who was head of the farm was extremely insightful and I learned a lot from them.”

“I intend to take the experience and knowledge I was able to gain in Seattle and put it to work in variety of ways in my own community. This will include becoming more involved with a few different organizations and projects that are actively trying to fight for food justice and fight against poverty and hunger.”

Cost: $440* (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: October 5 - 12, 2019

ReGister Now

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

About this Experience

Blending environmental stewardship and reflection of personal narratives, this trip is an opportunity for first generation college students to build connections with Utah lands through challenging outdoor recreation activities and environmental conservation projects. Participants will find themselves building new trails, repairing old ones, exploring red rocks, and reflecting on the collegiate journey they are undertaking.

Past Participant Reflection

"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."

Cost: $150* (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: October 7 - 11, 2019


About this Experience

Participants on this trip will be exploring the three salient identities of immigration, poverty, and health from a community-based perspective. This highly educational experience focuses on the healthcare and educational access that immigrants and impoverished populations receive due to political climate, socioeconomic status, and oppression. Participants will be learning from and serving community centers in tutoring programs, community gardens, and other community based services.

Past Participant Reflections

“This trip was extremely meaningful in every aspect, but I feel like the playing factor in tying all the little pieces together was how well reflections post experience as a group gave us the opportunity to bounce ideas and opinions back and forth and reevaluate our thoughts and feelings. It helped me to overcome barriers that I had previously not encountered before in terms of dialogue and understanding.”

“The opportunity to talk to actual people and affected individuals was the most powerful experience. I will remember their stories, not the numbers of statistics that the community partners provided for us.”

Cost: $465* (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: October 5 - 12, 2019


About this Experience

An immersive experience 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, the walkability of cities, native space restoration, and the accessibility of clean air and water by different populations. Participants will be serving alongside community organizations in this environmentally conscious city and learning best practices of environmental stewardship in cities.

Past Participant Reflection

“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.”

Cost: $435* (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: October 5 - 12, 2019


About this Experience

This experience is a 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.

Past Participant Reflections

"We took a hike to the fine tower and it was up there that I realized how small I was. I felt intimidated and overwhelmed by the valley and realized that by even the smallest impact I am still making change. It's okay to be small."

"I learned different perspectives regarding conservation and how preservation of land/animals affects various parties in both negative and positive ways."

Cost:$320* (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: October 7 - 12, 2019


About this Experience

This experience addresses the complex and intersecting unmet needs around refugee rights and the resettlement process. Specific consideration is given to supporting the basic human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons in the Salt Lake Valley through volunteer work with community organizations.

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Cost: $50 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

At the time of registration, you will pay $100; however, after you complete your AWB trip you will be refunded $50. It is important to do your best to participate in the AWB experience if you register, as dropping from the program past the drop deadline will disrupt commitments to community partner organizations and pose challenges to the AB team experience.

Dates: October 18-20, 2019


Register for a Fall Alternative Breaks Experience

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 Breaks Umarket Store and purchase a non-refundable, $100 payment for the trip you wish to attend

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 Waitlist 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.

These are the expectations to which the Bennion Center holds all of its Alternative Breaks participants. Failure to adhere the Alternative Breaks and University of Utah policies will result in expulsion from the program and forfeiture of deposit and/or entire trip cost.

All participants are expected to:

  • Attend a Justice Workshop in preparation for their AB experience (approximately 1.5 hours)
  • Attend all pre-departure meetings and other trip activities and trainings (approximately 8 hours)
  • Provide policy information for any personal medical insurance they will have for the duration of their trip in the event of a medical emergency. Medical insurance is not a requirement to participate in Alternative Breaks; a secondary group insurance is purchased to cover those who do not have medical insurance.
  • Be financially responsible for any incidental personal expenses incurred during the trip (i.e. souvenirs)
  • Participate in all trip activities including work/service projects, team-building exercises, and other activities as determined by group leaders
  • Abide by all University of Utah policies and procedures as they apply to the Alternative Breaks experience
  • Remain alcohol- and drug-free from date of departure until time of return
  • Participate in a post-trip Reorientation event on November 1, 2019 from 4:00-6:00 pm (loction TBA).

Final AFB Payments are due on or before Sept 13, 2019. Final trip payments will be posted for participants on UMarket by September 1, 2019. *Participants applying for 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 need or to discuss a payment plan.

April 15, 2019

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 6, 2019

Last day to register for open AFB and AWB trip spots and the AB Fall Waitlist.
September 9, 2019

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 J Swanger for questions regarding trip discounts. 

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 13, 2019


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 J Swanger 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 J Swanger with any questions about this process.

September 13, 2019


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 5, 2019

DEPARTURE DAY - Hunger & Food Justice, Immigration, Urban Environmentalism

October 7, 2019

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

October 18, 2019

DEPARTURE DAY - AWB Refugee ;& Human Rights

November 1, 2019


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

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


Please contact J Swanger with any questions. 

Last Updated: 11/26/19