Alternative Spring Breaks: Make Your College Break Meaningful




Students who take part in Alternative Spring Breaks live cooperatively for a week while working with a local nonprofit to complete a project.

Pre-Trip Planning

Selected students play an integral role in designing two trips each year. Along with an advisor, student leaders:

  • Choose a viable community site
  • Develop a budget for housing, transportation, food, and miscellaneous costs
  • Generate the funds for the trip through various fundraising efforts

To enhance the cooperative nature of the week, students meet regularly throughout the prior semester to bond, establish principles for community living, and fundraise.

What to Expect

Work Day
The work and location vary by trip and can range from framing a house with a Habitat for Humanity chapter to clearing trails in a remote section of Virginia. There will often be a variety of tasks at the worksite, but this depends on the project. Some work can be quite physical, while other tasks might be more cognitive.

Typically, work is performed outdoors under the supervision of a site coordinator. Some on-site training may be offered, and groups work together to ensure everyone is comfortable in their assigned task.

The days are full, and students can expect to work from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This leaves time in the evenings for group activities, relaxation, and reflection.

After Hours
Living conditions are very basic; in the past, groups have slept on cots or mats in churches and similar facilities. Showers are located either at the living site or arrangements have been made to use the shower facilities at a local YMCA or civic organization. These steps are taken to keep costs down and enhance group bonding.

Meals are often cooked on site, with different students responsible for preparing dinner each night. Sometimes the host organization arranges lunches and dinners for the group, but this varies greatly.

Get Involved
Current students can learn more about Alternative Spring Breaks, access application documents, and review timelines by logging in to MySLC.