Alternative Breaks are year-long, student-led service-learning immersion programs that promote student leadership, equality, ethical volunteering, and social justice by cultivating a society of active citizens with the tools, resources, and experience to be effective leaders and allies within their local and global communities.
Student groups partner with community initiatives on a variety of social justice issues, from immigration rights to environmental protection and defense of freedom and human rights to race/gender/identity issues. Direct engagement occurs in locations across the globe and students have an opportunity to learn from community leaders ranging from New Orleans to Dominican Republic, Texas, and Laos.
If you're interested in engaging your local and global communities through service, activism, academic inquiry, and leadership, then feel free to explore these pages, contact us with questions, and apply by the posted deadlines. We look forward to you joining us in learning about social justice issues and critically reflecting on our role in the world community.
Alternative Break Student Leader Cohort Applications, 2017-2018
All American University Alternative Breaks are student lead and start with the proposal process. See the information to your right about how to apply.
Do you have leadership but need program ideas? Let us know!
Here are some program proposal ideas that might spark your interest:
* Xenophobia in Europe - what does the future hold?
* Preservation, identity and nationalism, a view from Standing Rock
* Community Policing and Race relations in Baltimore or Ferguson
* Your idea goes here:__________________________________!
"My trip to Laos taught me a tremendous amount about a world I knew nothing about, as well as a lot I didn't know about myself." - Laos program, winter 2016-17 student participant
"Throughout the experience, I’ve learned to listen with heart, to know with compassion, and to speak with empathy. The camaraderie I’ve developed with the other participants and leaders gave me the courage to fully analyze and heal from all the heavy moments on the program; I was able to learn strength through vulnerability. And with that strength, my experience in Vietnam has emboldened me to be a more active, global-minded citizen." - Vietnam program, winter 2016-17 student participant
Requests for summer program proposals (Student Leader RFP) applications are open so if you missed the winter/spring application, it is not too late to join the community! If you are an American University student with leadership experience and a passion, idea or just the drive to join the AU community, consider applying.
Schedule a time to discuss potential proposals with the Alt Break office staff or browse past years programs on-line. We can't wait to see what change you'll bring to the world!
Op-Ed: Reflections of a voluntourist: Spring Break in Haiti
SIS Senior and Alternative Break Student Leader Brennon Thompson offers incredible insight into our role as listeners, and the dangers of international aid. This article highlights many key aspects of responsible social action - reflection, listening to empower and the willingness to be critical of how our personal choices and actions perpetuate systems of social injustices.