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Community Engagement & Service

Alt Break 2016-2017

 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.

DC Reads Team Leader Named Newman Civic Fellow

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August 8, 2016 -

Asha Smith -- a team leader with our DC Reads program and the Vice President of the AU Chapter of the NAACP --  was nominated by our Assistant Director, Robin Adams. With one student honored per university, AU President Neil Kerwin selected Smith as AU’s 2016 fellow.

Read the full story

Recent News

tamil nadu 2016

Our summer participants who travelled to India, Rwanda, and Texas are back!

Our participants who travelled to Tamil Nadu, India, learned about education, equity, and empowerment by working with the community partner Communities Rising. During their 3 week stay, they helped this NGO put on a summer camp for Dalit children. Thank you so much to Communities Rising for hosting AU students. Learn more about the summer camp program by clicking the link to read the newsletter!

Learn more

Contact Us

For more information, feel free to contact:

Alternative Break Office | Center for Community Engagement and Service | MGC 264

Nicole Phillips, Alternative Break Graduate Assistant
(general inquiries)

Christine Gettings, Assistant Director for Global Learning and Leadership, CCES | 202.885.2684

Contact our office

Apply now!

Applications for participants for winter 2016-2017 and spring 2017 Alternative Break programs open August 22nd. The deadline to apply is Sunday, September 18th, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

Applications for summer programs will open early 2017.

Click on the links below to apply or learn more! 

Explore our programs

Apply - link opens 08/22


For the 2016-2017 academic year we are pleased to offer over a dozen programs focused on a variety of social justice issues as diverse as immigration reform to race relations, post-conflict recovery, environmental justice, and statelessness. 

We are also holding two info sessions where you can meet the leaders and learn more:

Info Session with Alums: 
Wed. Aug. 31 | SIS 300 | 6:30 - 8 pm

Information Fair: 
Thurs. Sep. 8 | Battelle Atrium | 7 - 9 pm

You can RSVP for these sessions and learn more by visiting our Facebook page.

Explore our 2016-2017 programs

RSVP for an Info Session

Connect with us!

Important Information: Read Before Traveling

Alternative Breaks are challenging! Please read the following information to learn more about challenges for all trips and those specifically for international trips.

Read Travel Info

Events Calendar RSS

Coming Soon

  1. Alt Break Active Citizen Day - Breakouts

  2. Alt Break Active Citizen Day - Breakouts

Full Calendar

Make an e-payment!

The payment schedule for 2016-2017 year is as follows:


1st payment and forms: October 2 

2nd payment: October 30 

3rd payment (winter): December 4 

3rd payment (spring): January 29 


1st payment and forms: February 26 

2nd payment: March 26 

3rd payment: April 23 

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