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Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break

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The Alternative Break (AB) program enables students to immerse themselves in a new and different community to learn its historical, sociological, cultural and political background. Each AB experience is crafted to explore the unique culture and social issues of its specific location and unite in a community initiative. Twelve to fifteen student Site Leaders and participants and two to three Educational Partners spend anywhere from one weekend to three weeks on a local, domestic or international trip and use service-learning as a vehicle for community engagement. Teams engage in pre-trip planning and education and post-trip group debrief and reflection; a structure that promotes life-long learning through the emphasis on reflection and reciprocity.

The AB experience encourages students to critically analyze their cultural assumptions and mindsets through learning about the complexity of people and the influence of diversity. The learning occurs for students as they are asked to step outside their comfort zones and be willing to engage in difficult conversations, ask questions, examine their beliefs, make mistakes and confront challenging issues. The AB program values holistic education and creates opportunities that inspire personal growth with focus on sustainable social change.

Annually, the AB program offers approximately 18-20 trips that take place during the traditional academic break periods (winter, spring, summer and weekends). New trip ideas are constantly researched and developed and thoughtful proposals from individual students, student groups, faculty/staff and community partners are considered at any time. The AB program is supported by the The Holden Center. Contact the Alternative Breaks Program at 541.346.8548 or visit The Holden Center with questions or for additional information about the program.