Many students today are interested in doing something beneficial over their spring break. While it can be relaxing to hang out by a pool, why not spend the week helping others? There are many programs available for students that give them the opportunity to travel, have fun, and give back at the same time. You can choose from hundreds of alternative break locations both in the United States and abroad.
For the adventurous student, going abroad for alternative spring break can be a great experience. Many organizations exist to help plan international alternative spring break trips.
For example, Cross Cultural Solutions has full-time staff in foreign locations that are available to meet students the minute they step off the plane. Students are housed in a central location which is safe, and they don’t have to worry about transportation or food. In addition to being able to volunteer in a variety of projects, students also have the opportunity to learn about a new culture, try the local cuisine, and explore the area. Some popular locations include Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Russia, Thailand, among others.
If you want to volunteer internationally but you are uncomfortable doing it alone, many organizations give you the option of making plans as groups to give you the best alternative spring break experience possible.
Within the United States
If going abroad isn’t in your budget, consider volunteering closer to home. The United Way, for example, hosts several alternative spring break locations in the United States. In Newark, New Jersey, spring break volunteers can work with local education providers. They spend the week helping youth gain knowledge and skills needed to suceed academically. In Tucson, Arizona volunteers work with children in the Boys and Girls Clubs on a variety of projects.
Another organization that has thousands of students volunteering each year is Habitat for Humanity. This organization works around the country, building housing for lower income families. They always need volunteers and are very happy to work with students. Most states have Habitat for Humanity locations, making it an easy volunteer option for students. Early in the year, their website posts a list of locations. Many of them are rural locations, but they do provide housing for students.
In addition to these organizations, many colleges offer their own version of alternative spring break. Look at the service organizations sponsored by the school to see if this may be an option. Usually these organizations will raise money during the year to cover the cost of the trip. There is typically only one location, but transportation and housing are usually paid for and the trip leaders plan fun activities in addition to working.
For socially minded students who are looking to give back to their community during a week off, consider one of these alternative break locations. There are many options available, both close to home and across the world for low or no cost. Spending a week volunteering will be a great use of your week full of new experiences and challenges. There are a variety of resources to help you choose alternative spring break program that will help you evaluate your options and decide whether an alternative spring break is the right choice for you.