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Community Engagement & Service

Learn, Engage. Reflect.
Check out our current programs, spring & winter applications open now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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.

Our goal? Encouraging Active Citizenship.

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Are you an active citizen? Do you take daily action to advance social justice?

Learn more about how to take positive action or move along the continium at Active Citizen's Day, February 28, 2018 OR join an alternative break as a participant. 



Apply to participate in an Alt Break

RSVP to Active Citizen's Day

Recent News

Laos program, picture in park


Here are just a few highlights:

"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

Explore our programs

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 altbreak@american.edu
(general inquiries)

Christine Gettings, Assistant Director for Global Learning and Leadership, CCES gettings@american.edu | 202.885.2684

Contact our office

How far does your interest reach?



Alternative break applications are open NOW! Take a look at the inspiring list of programs that will be implemented this year on our current programs page. 

Winter program participant applications are due September 18, 2017.
Spring program participant applications are due October 23, 2017.
Summer program participant applications are due February 2, 2018. 

Explore Current Programs

Apply Today!

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. 

Read the full story

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On and Off Campus

Oct 23

Write, Edit, Shoot: Students Take on the NH Primary

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