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The Alternative Break program strives to create globally civic-minded citizens through their involvement in service. Diverging from traditional breaks, Alternative Breaks give students the opportunity to make a lasting impact in communities around the world by participating in a service-learning trip.
This program is at the intersection of learning about social justice issues and applying direct service in real life. After learning about the social justice issues year round, students may work on Public Health outreach, Educational Outreach, Climate Change research in the Alternative Break. For instance, a trip to Washington, DC would require knowledge surrounding the aspects of public education and visiting India would mean learning about access to public healthcare. At the end of the trip, students reflect on what they’ve learned and contributed their research into the real world through a phase called Integration. While traveling to different countries is fun for us, our presence is especially exciting to the children in the rural communities. For many of these children, it’s their first meeting someone from the US, they’ve never even heard of second-story structures. In this shared experience, we are bringing something new to the community members and broadening their visions of the world.
While we will be traveling to diverse countries, everything on the trip is based upon US standards. This means that all the health and safety hazards are set in the US’s quotas. Depending on the year, there are also summer trips in addition to spring break. Although there’s a misconception that Alternative Breaks are only for students with certain majors, ANYONE can be involved! For Sixth College students, attending an Alternative Break fulfills the practicum requirement!
Attending an Alternative Break trip is a powerful and life-changing experience. The Alternative Breaks program is prestigious to colleges and well known to by job recruiters. The skills gained from being involved can be applied in the professional industry setting. Typically the trip lasts for a season, so one must reapply to attend additional Alternative Breaks in the future. Scholarship opportunities are available here to help fund your trip. Applications are almost out for the upcoming season. The Alternative Break program is recruiting site leaders for a service trip at the Mexico Border today. (As of 1/7/2019).
If you have any additional questions or would like to learn more about the Alternative Break, please contact the program director Emily Loui!