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Alternative Breaks

2021 Fall Semester Experiences

6 total COVID-conscious experiences

AB Lite Weeklong Experiences: Monday, 10/11 to Friday, 10/15

AB Lite Weekend Experiences: Friday, 10/22 to Sunday, 10/24

The Alternative Breaks fall selection process is application based only (not first-come, first-served as in the past). All break costs are all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences. AB Discounts are available to all participants based on financial need. Please see the AB Discounts application for more information (Please only submit an AB Discount application after you've been notified of your placement on an AB Experience).

Discount Application Form

For students interested in enrolling in Alternative Breaks for credit (BENN 2929) during the Fall 2021 semester:

Add codes for the course will only be distributed to students who have been offered a spot on a Fall AB experience. Please wait until after applications close and offers are made before seeking an add code for the course. If you would like to opt in to AB for Credit or have any questions, please contact Grace Hymel for additional information.

Fall AB Lite Weeklong Experiences (Oct. 12th - 15th)

OPTIONAL | Monday, October, 11th - All Program Welcome Event (Indigenous Peoples' Day Recognition, Dinner & Games Outside)

About this Experience

On this AB experience, participants will learn how to support people that have been affected by homelessness, systemic issues surrounding housing justice and learn about humanizing people affected by this crisis. We will plan on volunteering with local non-profits to gain meaningful lessons such as advocating for housing first practices and social justice for homeless individuals. 

Cost: $75.00

Dates: Tuesday, Oct. 12th to Friday, Oct. 15th

***This experience is specifically for first-generation college students. If you are not the first in your family to attend college, please apply for another experience.

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. Each participant will camp in dndividual tents, provided by the Bennion Center. (No camping experiences required!) 


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: $75.00

***Dates: Monday, Oct. 11th to Friday, Oct. 15th

About this Experience

According to the Census Bureau, immigrants comprise almost 14 percent of the U.S. population of more than 44 million people out of a total of about 327 million. Issues that immigrants face when they enter the country are housing, education, language barrier, lack of employment opportunities, access to medical services, cultural differences and many other issues. Immigrants bring many benefits to a country, they fuel the economy for example. When they enter the labor force, they improve the productive capacity of the economy and raise the GDP. In addition, the rise in high-skilled immigration, a pronounced trend since the 1990s, has been linked to innovation, specifically to higher patenting rates among immigrants. Through this experience, we will make sure that participants understand that “Immigration” is a very important issue that the US is facing, and raise awareness. We will work on certain aspects related to the issues that immigrants are facing like housing, unemployment and language barrier.

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: $75.00

Dates: Tuesday, Oct. 12th to Friday, Oct. 15th

About this Experience

An immersive experience that is both highly educational and labor intensive, this experience will focus on the multi-faceted and diverse ways that environmentalism manifests in urban settings. Participants will explore equitable access to transportation, food systems, and green space for different populations in Salt Lake City. Participants will be serving alongside community organizations in this environmentally conscious city and learning best practices of environmental stewardship and participatory justice in cities.

Cost: $75.00

Dates: Tuesday, Oct. 12th to Friday, Oct. 15th


Fall AB Lite Weekend Experiences (Oct. 23rd - 24th)

OPTIONAL | Friday, October, 22nd - All Program Welcome Event (Dinner & Games Outside)

About this Experience

What makes you feel safe? What makes an animal feel safe? Are they the same thing? Do pets need different things than animals in the wild to help them feel safe? How about farm animals? Zoo animals? Service and support animals? 

Join us on a journey to explore these questions and possible answers and meet some exciting animals! We’ll delve into different subjects, such as the environment, climate change, extinction, racism, conservation, and animal rescue and adoption, and how these topics relate to animals and humans and the balance they bring to nature. We’ll discuss how animals react when they don’t feel safe and how we, as humans, can help our animal friends feel comfortable and protected, contributing to the natural balance we all need. We’ll leave with a solid foundation on how we can help all animals, including humans, feel cherished and secure in our shared home here on Earth. 

Cost: Free!!

Dates: Saturday, Oct. 23rd to Sunday, Oct. 24th

About this Experience

During this experience, participants will explore the various factors that have resulted in the school-to-prison pipeline, a disturbing trend of children, mostly black,brown, and indigious students who experience the harmful effects of Zero Tolerance policies and prison-like schools and are ultimately pushed towards the criminal justice system (prisons and juvenile detention centers).

Participants will learn how to help connect youth with supportive resources to help them succeed in school as well as address the core structural barriers and racist policies.This experience includes volunteering with different organizations whose mission is to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and completing activities for the education and reflection on this topic. Finally, students will learn about ways that they can continue working to help support students after this Alternative Break experience. 

Cost: Free!!

Dates: Saturday, Oct. 23rd to Sunday, Oct. 24th



Participant Information

The Alternative Breaks fall selection process is application based only (not first-come, first-served). The deadline to apply for Fall Alt Breaks is Sunday, August 29th, 2021, at 11:59pm.  Info session attendance is not required but encouraged. Students should apply even if they cannot attend an information session.

INFO SESSIONS - Find out more about the program and meet this year's student leaders!

All information sessions will be held in the Bennion Center (Union 101) on the following dates: TBA

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 break 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 break activities and trainings (approximately 8 hours)
  • Provide policy information for any personal medical insurance they will have for the duration of their break 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 experience (i.e. souvenirs)
  • Participate in all break 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-break Reorientation event on Friday, October 29, 2021 from 4:00-6:00 pm (loction TBA).

Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected by Monday August 23, 2021. At this time, applicants who have been selected will have until Sunday, August 29, 2021 to reserve their spot with a $100 down payment. Payment method will be available online. Failure to place a down payment will result in forfeiture of your spot. Down Payments are non-refundable.

Payment Plans: Special arrangements may be made concerning a payment plan for the down payment/total payment. Please contact Grace Hymel for more information.

Total costs must be paid by Monday, September 13, 2021.

If you cancel your reservation on an experience after Sunday, September 19, 2021, you are responsible for the entire cost of the experience. Non-compliance is subject to a hold being placed on your University records.

Expenses covered by your payment include all community engagement activities, transportation, meals, and lodging throughout the experience.

Break Discounts to subsidize the cost of the AB experience are available to students with a financial need. All participants are welcome to apply if experiencing a financial need. Break Discount applications will be made available upon being offered a trip spot and are due Sunday, August 29, 2021.

For any questions or concerns please contact Grace Hymel.



July 7th, 2021

August 29, 2021

September 1, 2021

September 5, 2021

September 13, 2021

September 17, 2021

September 27, 2021

October 11-15, 2021

October 23-24, 2021

November 5, 2021

Applications open online for all Fall experiences

Priority applications close

Notification of participant status

AB Discount Application due

Final Payments posted

$100, non-refundable Down Payment is due to confirm participation

Final Payments due and all AB Participant Agreements due

Weeklong AB Lite 

Weekend AB Lite

AB Fall Reorientation Event (4:00-6:00pm, location TBA)


Please contact Grace Hymel with any questions. 

Last Updated: 8/30/21