Spring Break

Spend your break volunteering, learning, and traveling with the Alternative Break program! Immersive weeklong opportunities around important social and environmental issues will be going out March 2018. Applications for ASB will open on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

Trip Options

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discount applications available on a financial, as-need basis.

Focusing on invasive species removal and habitat restoration, participants on this trip will find themselves restoring dune ecosystems and engaging in dialogues surrounding threats to coastal habitats in Northern California. The direct service as one of the foundations of this trip will be physically laboring, as students collaborate in teams on restorative projects, and students will have the opportunity to explore the coastline and beaches. Participants will experience living in concord with the environment amongst the redwood forests and will walk away with best practices for ecosystem restoration.

Community Partners:

Friends of the Dunes

Past Participant Reflections

“We pulled lupin in Arcata. The work was grueling, but it taught me a lot. The 17 of us spanned out and were able to make a huge difference.”

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discount applications available on a financial, as-need basis.

 

 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: $TBA. (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.

 

This exciting and education heavy trip will focus on the multi-faceted world of youth support services. Participants on this trip will be directly serving and learning from community partners that focus on the intersections of youth homelessness, educational access, well-being, development, and addiction. The interactions participants will have with the youth care services will invoke dialogue and reflection towards supportive action and advocacy for youth populations.

Past Participant Reflections

“Sitting in on the NA meeting was the most impactful part of my trip. Being able to hear such personal experiences of those going through recovery was an honor and it really increased my empathy and understanding towards people struggling with addiction.”Past Participant Reflections

“I felt the service provided a good foundational education about addiction and the intricate interaction it has with other social issues.”

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discounts available on a financial, as-needed basis.

 

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discounts available on a financial, as-needed basis.

 

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.

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discounts available on a financial, as-need basis.

 

Focusing on food insecurity and the environmental impacts of food production, this trip will serve and learn from local organizations leading conversations surrounding food production, distribution, and access. Participants on this trip have the opportunity to not only continue the dialogue on hunger and food justice in the King County community but will find themselves the opportunity to work alongside community partners towards a statewide impacts for food justice.

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

This trip is application based.

 

Participants on this trip will be exploring the three salient identities of immigration, poverty, and health from a community-based perspective. This highly educational trip 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: $TBA (Cost is all-inclusive and covers lodging, transportation, food, and volunteer experiences).

This trip is application based.

 

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discounts are available on a financial, as-need basis.

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discounts are available on a financial, as-needed basis

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discounts are available on a financial, as-need basis.

 

Participants on this highly educational trip will explore the unique relationships between poverty and gender identity and expression. This trip will focus on the social services such as women’s empowerment and access focused nonprofits to support these intersectionalities. Participants will reflect on the relationship between gender, resources, access, advocacy, privilege, and poverty both locally and nationally.

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

This trip is application based. *Trip discounts are available on a financial, as-needed basis.

 

 

The ASB application 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 28, 2016 at 11:59pm.  Info session attendance is not required but encouraged. Student 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:

 

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. 9, 2016. At this time, applicants who have been selected will have until Dec 16, 2016 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 Laura Schwartz for more information.

Total trip cost must be paid by Friday, February 8, 2017.

If you cancel your trip reservation after Monday, Feb 13, 2017, 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 11, 2016.

For any questions or concerns please contact Laura Schwartz or see our FAQs Page.

Spring 2017 Dates

AB Spring 2017 Info

September 19, 2016

November 28, 2016

 

December 5-9, 2016

December 11, 2016

December 16, 2016

  

January 27, 2017

February 8, 2017

March 11-18, 2017

March 31-April 2, 2017

April 7, 2017

Applications open online for Spring 2016

ASB Applications Close

*If you miss this date you can complete an application and be considered for the waitlist.

Notification of Participant Status

Trip Discount Application Due

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

   

Final ASB Payments Posted

Final ASB Payments Due

ASB Trips

AWB Spring 2016 Trip

ASB & AWB Reorientation Event (4:00-6:00)

FAQ

Support for Alternative Breaks experiences provided by:

 

 

Parent fund

 

Last Updated: 5/2/17