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Alternative Breaks

2022 Fall Semester Experiences

Fall Weeklong Experiences: Sunday, 10/9 to Saturday, 10/15

AB Lite & Weekend Experiences: Friday, 10/21 to Sunday, 10/23

The Alternative Breaks fall selection process is application based only (not first-come, first-served as in the past). The Admin Team and EBoard will evaluate applications based on participants' willingness to learn and their ability to self-reflect.

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 2022 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 Weeklong Experiences (Sunday, Oct. 9th - Saturday, Oct. 15th)

About this Experience

Food insecurity is all around us and is a part of the American reality for many people. Our food systems are embedded with racism and classism. Having access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally relevant food should be the norm for everyone. On this break we will analyze how our food systems perpetuate injustice in oppressed communities, and the ways these injustices are being addressed by the community. We will learn about the intersectionality of food injustice by looking at race, class, environment, gender, etc. This experience will be immersive, you will be provided education materials on various hunger/food justice issues, will work with various community partners throughout Seattle, and as a group we will spend time reflecting on these experiences. Because we will be learning about hunger and food justice in Seattle, it is critical that we apply what is learned in Seattle in our on community in Salt Lake. 

Cost: $445.00

Dates: Sunday, Oct. 9th to Saturday, Oct. 15th

About this Experience

We believe that health care is a fundamental human right and must be guaranteed to every person in the U.S., just like other rights, regardless of immigration status, disability, gender identity, income, or geographic location. 

On this alternative break, we will 1. Realize the social, structural, systemic factors that contribute to the health inequity, making the already vulnerable populations from lower SE backgrounds, who are usually uninsured or underinsured, more likely to fall into the huge medical debt cascade created by this money-making industry 2. Learn more about the importance of incorporating cultural competencies into professional practice and research to address the centuries of racist, homophobic, and sexist policies that have led to the health disparities and disproportionately high mortality rates in minority communities. And with those in mind, we will work in power with a variety of community-centered local organizations to advocate for equitable, affordable, and culturally-competent health care. 

Through this break, we hope to better understand our healthcare system in the way we can address equalities that we see or experience. “The best way to ensure our wellbeing is to be concerned about others, and implement actions toward improving everyone’s wellbeing.” 

Cost: 350.00

Dates: Sunday, Oct. 9th to Saturday, Oct. 15th

***While this experience is local in Salt Lake, all participants must be able to participate in the full duration of the experience.

About this Experience

First Gen., Community, and Nature is a highly engaging experience built on environmentalism stewardship, community, and understanding of own personal narratives. This experience is for First Gen. college students who will build connections with Utah Lands through challenging outdoor recreational activities and environmental conservation projects. Each participant will be discovering new and past trails, reflecting on their collegiate journey while exploring the great red rocks of Sand Rafel and building a sense of community and support. The Bennion Center will provide transportation, food, and camping gear.(No camping experience needed!)

Cost: $250.00

Dates: Monday, Oct. 10th to Friday, Oct. 14th

***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

As an opportunity for active community engagement, this break will focus on the relationship between environmentalism and the urban areas where individuals work and live and will involve hands-on labor experiences. 

Participants can expect to learn from community partners in Portland, work on projects that will dive into sustainable transportation across the city, examine the access to green spaces and dive deep into the policies on air pollution in the urban areas. 

This break will explore the facets of healthy and unhealthy cities and the growing discrepancy of safe, environmental access. 

Cost: $445.00

Dates: Sunday, Oct. 9th to Saturday, Oct. 15th

About this Experience

We see that organizations are currently in place to maintain the status quo and are currently failing our Black community. Namely our Black students.

Operation S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is a research based experience created to prepare leaders to change and create organizations that are equitable to encourage better systems and foundations for the Black community. In this experience, the Operation S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Fellows of the Black Cultural Center will complete a case study of the African American Student Services, the Black Cultural Center at the University of New Mexico, and New Mexico's HB 43 - the Black Education Act. Through this experience we will conduct research helping the 2 universities see and recognize the differences between a PWI (Predominately White Institute) and a HSI (Hispanic Serving Institute), while grasping the early effects of the Black Education Act that went into law July 1, 2022. Through our partnership with UNM, we will work to: 1.) Gain a better understanding of how to navigate institutions through policy engagement, 2.) Improve confidence and ability to take part in important and meaningful conversations about race, and 3.) Build a foundational understanding in what can be done to influence institutional, local, and state Education Systems. Through this experience we will develop leaders that are ethical and justice oriented through a broader understanding of the inequalities faced in a larger community and what can be done next.

Cost: Free

Dates: Sunday, Oct. 9th to Saturday, Oct. 15th


Fall AB Lite Weekend Experiences (Friday, Oct. 21st - Sunday, Oct. 23rd)

About this Experience

The most challenging way to enter the United States is as a refugee. Refugees can be anyone who have crossed borders to seek shelter in another nation after fleeing war, persecution, or political upheaval. It's essential that are sensitive to other people’s experiences as we recognize why refugees leave their homes and countries and grasp the difficulty of adapting in the United States. We should acknowledge and appreciate diverse cultures and establish spaces of belonging where people can maintain their identities.This AB experience is intended to meet the needs of refugees while also campaigning for their rights in the Salt Lake area through close collaboration with local non-profits committed to provide a haven for these families. 

Cost: $10.00

Dates: Friday, October 21st to Sunday,, Oct. 23rd

About this Experience

Overuse of discipline in public schools, including suspensions, expulsions, and even arrests, has a negative impact on student wellness and has become a leading contributor to drop-out rates nationwide. Because disciplinary action often leads either directly or indirectly to involvement in the carceral system, this reality is often referred to as the "school to prison pipeline."  In Utah, Indigenous American, Black, and Latinx students are more frequently and harshly disciplined starting at an early age, which contributes to the disproportional representation of People of Color in the carceral system and exacerbates systemic injustices such as wealth and housing disparity.  

During this AB Lite, participants will engage in educational opportunities that will help them understand the root causes and impacts of the school to prison pipeline. Such opportunities will include reflective discussion, conversations with community members committed to ensuring safe and fair public education, and direct service with organizations of the same mission.

Cost: $10.00

Dates: Friday, October 21st to Sunday, Oct. 23rd


Meet the Site Leaders & Staff Partners


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 Wednesday, August 31st, 2022, 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, November 4th from 4:00-6:00 pm (loction TBA).

Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected by Monday, September 5th. At this time, applicants who have been selected will have until Friday, September 9th to reserve their spot with a non-refundable down payment. Payment method will be available online. Failure to place a down payment will result in forfeiture of your spot. 

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 26th.

If you cancel your reservation on an experience after Monday, September 26th. 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 on TBD date.

For any questions or concerns please contact Grace Hymel.



Friday, July 1st

Wednesday, August 31st

Monday, September 5th

Wednesday, September 7th

Wednesday, September 7th

Monday, September 12th

Wedneday, September 28th

Sunday, October 9th - Saturday, October 15th

Friday, October 21st - Sunday, October 23rd

Thursday, November 3rd


Applications open online for all Fall experiences

Applications close

Notification of participant status

AB Discount Application due

Final Payments posted

Non-refundable Down Payment & AB Participant Agreement is due

Final Payments due

Weeklong Fall ABs


Weekend AB Lite

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


Please contact Grace Hymel with any questions. 

Last Updated: 9/15/22