Skip to content

Main Navigation

Alternative Spring Break applications opening soon!

Applications for Spring 2020 Alternative Breaks experience will open on September 21, 2019. Please consider applying for one of the experiences below after that date!

 


 

Spring 2020 Alternative Breaks Experiences

This trip works with Best Friends Animal Society, which is a national leader in the no-kill movement and supports initiatives that treat animals based on individual needs. The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in Angels Canyon, is home to approximately 1600 homeless animals including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, and pigs among other species.  The sanctuary houses animals for life, or until they are adopted.   Volunteers support the mission of Best Friend’s through diverse service efforts from blazing trails in the sanctuary for animal outings and cleaning animal habitats to helping socialize animals. 

Cost: $300* (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-13, 2020

Explore the West Coast’s only national seashore through the trails and traditions of local conservation experts. This trip offers a hands-on understanding of the relationship between coastal ecosystems and human action as they engage in service projects aimed at removing invasive species and restoring natural biodiversity. Participants will practice sustainable living habits and will walk away with the skills they need to advocate for the ecosystems they love. This trip will include physically demanding service experiences, so please come prepared to hike and spend time outside!

Past Participant Reflection

“I was worried pre-trip that it might be awkward living with 16 people I didn’t know; however, that was not the case. The connections I made with the other trip participants are extraordinary. I truly believe I have 16 new friends. It was marvelous.”

Cost: $425 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

On this experience, participants will learn about behavioral health, the harm reduction model, and the stigma surrounding addiction through active service, conversation, and reflection.  Students will develop a deeper knowledge of the disparities faced by people suffering from mental and substance abuse disorders.  Participants will engage with community partners to observe and analyze the model of harm reduction in Vancouver to see how it approaches the issue of addiction and care of people suffering from addiction.  The stigma and stereotypes surrounding behavioral health disorders will be discussed and challenged to understand the underlying causes of these conditions.

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 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: $500 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences). *Participants on this trip also need to purchase $35 international insurance if they do not have a policy.

This trip is application based. 

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

The term "feminization of poverty" is used to describe the reality that the rates of poverty among womxn are disproportionately higher than those among men. This trip will focus on the structural inequalities that produce systemic cycles of poverty. Through direct service and education with community partners, participants will reflect on the ways poverty exists in many different forms all around us, and how structures and institutions that we live under don’t just perpetuate it, but rely on it for their very existence. This trip will focus on the questions; can you imagine a world without poverty? What does it look like, and how do we get there?

Past Participant Reflections

“It was an absolutely incredible experience. I was able to connect deeply with 11 incredible, beautiful people. I learned SO much about myself and my own values and beliefs. I became aware of the world on a whole different level.”

“At Work Options for Women organization, our group worked hands on helping women practice mock interviews. Working with these women was truly inspiring and I learned so much from them.”

Cost: $410 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

A highly educational trip, participants will explore how HIV/AIDS affects all demographic groups and how the disease affects folks living with HIV’s access to health care and food security. Participants will be directly working with support services that serve these communities. Participants will be challenging the stigma of HIV/AIDS and learning the important of reducing health disparities alongside community based programs.

Past Participant Reflections

“Working at Project Angelfood was very helpful in deepening my knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Prior to volunteering, a coordinator discussed with us the purpose of their organization. She talked about how important it is for someone fighting a life threatening disease to have access to good nutrition. This is something that I never thought about before but is so crucial to their care.”Past Participant Reflections

“I hope to get involved with the Utah AIDS Foundation and find out what unique things they are doing to create more awareness and help those affected by HIV/AIDS.”

Cost: $425 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

On this AB experience, participants will work in power with local non-profits to learn about root causes of homelessness, systemic barriers to overcoming it, and best practices in homeless services. The trip will focus on humanizing folx living houseless and changing narratives of violence and drugs to those of strength and resilience. Participants on this trip will be learning from organizations advocating for housing first practices and social justice for homeless individuals.

Past Participant Reflections

“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.”

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

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

Focusing on food insecurity and the environmental impacts of food production, participants on this trip will serve and learn alongside local organizations leading conversations surrounding food production, distribution, and access. Participants will be challenged to explore the difference between hunger and food justice and how each of these issues relates to their everyday life. 

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).

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

On this Alt Break experience, participants will be exploring the salient intricacies of immigration in relation to poverty, health and policy from a community-based perspective. This experience will focus 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 focused on the promotion of social justice for individuals of varying legal status.

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: $450 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based. 

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

Participants on this new trip will learn about the history, culture, economy, beliefs, and knowledge systems of Indigenous communities in the Colorado Plateau region, while working alongside Native-led non-profits and community partners. This trip will provide a platform for participants to reflect upon systematic injustices, both historical and present. 

Cost: $430 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

This trip is application based. 

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

Participants on this trip will explore the reciprocal relationship between our oceans and ourselves and the need for active conservation efforts and marine advocacy. This physically laboring and educational trip will identify the intersecting effects of our oceans, humans, wildlife, and the economy. Participants on this immersive trip will be learning from and directly serving non-profit organizations striving for marine conservation and education.

Past Participant Reflections

“The experience deepened my understanding of the importance of native plants to the functionality of an environment. I also learned about ways I could become more involved from the interns we worked with, and I felt as though we made huge progress in just a few hours.”

“The service also was very impactful; we were able to see the direct effect our service was having with the local community.”

Cost: $480 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

This trip will focus on gender, sexuality, identity, and social marginalization, and participants will be exploring the intersections of those pieces. A highly educational trip, participants will be serving community organizations that support these intersectional identities and challenging marginalization. Participants will be engaging in dialogue and reflection about the need for increased social acceptance and accessibility for the LGBTQIA* community.

Past Participants Reflections

“The reflections showcased the importance of considering privilege both outside and inside the LGBT community. My understanding of intersectionality was deepened through volunteering with Aguilas and Trikone.”Past Participant Reflections

“I learned SO much from this trip. I learned more about the history of the LGBTQ+ community and the issues surrounding it today. I met many incredible people, some with very similar opinions to mine and others who I disagreed with on some topics. I think meeting all of these different people and dialoguing was the most impactful.”

Cost: $485 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based.

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

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.

Past Participant Reflections

“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.”

“I did not realize how much the trip would affect not just my view of the subject but relationships with the people. I can happily say that these are 11 people that are good friends and I trust.”

Cost: $430 (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based. 

*Trip discounts are available based on financial need.

Dates: March 7-14, 2020

This trip will focus on the importance of water conservation, art and biology in the Colorado Plateau and will drive to foster within participants a larger understanding of the solitude and inspiration of Southern Utah. Participants will engage in a unique learning experience as they engage in multidisciplinary education about ecology and the environment, human-environment interaction, and sustainable living.

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

This trip is registration based. To register, please visit our UMarket store to make your down payment and reserve your spot!

 
Participant Information

The Alternative Breaks spring selection process is application based only (not first-come, first-served like Fall Breaks). AWB is first-come, first-served, so completing the registration confirms your participation. The deadline to apply for ASB is Monday, November 25, 2019 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

 

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.

Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected by Dec. 6, 2019. At this time, applicants who have been selected will have until Dec. 13, 2019 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 trip payment. Please contact J Swanger for more information.

Total trip cost must be paid by Friday, February 7, 2020.

If you cancel your trip reservation after Friday, February 14, 2020, you are responsible for the entire cost of your trip. Non-compliance is subject to a hold being placed on your University records.

Trip expenses covered by trip payment include service activities, transportation, meals, and lodging for the length of the trip.

Trip Discounts (AB version of a scholarship) to subsidize trip expenses are available to individuals with a financial need. All participants are welcome to apply if you are experiencing a financial hardship. Trip Discount applications will be made available upon being offered a trip spot and are due December 8, 2019.

For any questions or concerns please contact J Swanger.

Spring 2020 Dates

AB Spring 2020 Info

September 21, 2019

November 25, 2019

December 2-6, 2019

December 8, 2019

December 13, 2019

 

January 6, 2020

February 7, 2020

March 7-14, 2020

March 20-22, 2020

April 3, 2020

Applications open online for Spring 2020

ASB Priority Applications close

Notification of participant status

Trip Discount Application due

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

Final Payments posted

Final Payments due and all AB Participant Forms due

Alternative Spring Break Trips

Environmental Stewardship AWB

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

 

Please contact J Swanger with any questions



Support for Alternative Breaks experiences provided by:

U of U Alumni Association Logo
Parent fund
BW Bastian Foundation
Last Updated: 9/17/19