The Alternative Break (AB) program creates transformative, learning opportunities for students. Alternative break trips aim to develop the capacity for students to lead for social change. Alternative breaks enable students to immerse themselves in a community to learn its historical, cultural and political background. The Alternative Break experience encourages students to analyze their assumptions through learning about the complexity of social problems. The immersive community environments enables participants to experience and discuss social issues in a significant way.

For questions regarding Alternative Break Trips, please contact Eric Beeler at beelere@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-6938.

CCE: Alternative Break

Alternative Break 2019 Trips

Break away from apathy. Break away from the expected. Break away from the status quo. Apply to be an alternative break trip leader!

This is a unique leadership development opportunity to facilitate meaningful service, reflection, and education centered on a variety of critical social issues, explore new perspectives, and build community with OSU students.

Previous trip leaders have used the 120 hour experience to receive 4 practicum or internship credit hours. If this is something that interests you, please consult with your academic adviser.

The priority deadline to apply for this role is 11:59 PM on Monday, October 29, 2018.

Apply Now

Dates: Saturday, March 23 through Saturday, March 30

Trip Fee: $100 (includes 4 dinners and light breakfast) 

Explore the complex, multi-faceted factors at play impacting hunger and homelessness in San Francisco and learn about homelessness issues in major urban areas including the short-term relief and long-term solutions that are being worked for and envisioned. Participants will complete service projects centered on addressing hunger and homelessness while meeting and working alongside local visionaries who actively address these issues in their communities. If you have an interest in learning about homelessness issues in major urban areas, this is the perfect trip for you. The trip will include hands-on direct service work with people experiencing homelessness from diverse backgrounds such as preparing and serving meals. We will also complete indirect service projects, such as facility improvements and assisting organizations prepare for fundraisers, gaining behind the scenes awareness and understanding of organizations that address homelessness. On our community immersion day, we will explore San Francisco and all that it has to offer! 

The priority deadline to apply is 11:59 PM on Monday, November 26, 2018.

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Dates: Saturday, March 23 through Saturday, March 30

Trip Fee: $100 (includes 4 dinners and light breakfast) 

Uncover the human face and human cost of land acquisition, colonization, and immigration by exploring the influx and interplay of different cultural groups in the Yakima valley by working with the Native American Reservation, Yakama Nation, Latinx migrant workers, and the City of Yakima.  Through direct service work, we will expose the buried roots of the area’s historical relationship to the land and explore implications for the present and future of different cultural groups in the region.  We will see first-hand the human impact and cost of land acquisition and immigration in the pursuit of the "American dream”. During our trip we will work with different populations. We’ll help to teach English language skills to recent Latinx migrant workers, assist with afterschool children’s programs in an American Indian housing community, complete projects alongside members of the community experiencing homelessness, and even work on the land ourselves. The trip begins with an in depth look into the history of Yakama Nation via a visit to the Yakama Nation Cultural Heritage Center. During our community immersion day, the group will elect outings to a beautiful hike/park, a community festival, the Allied Arts Center, Yakima Valley Museum, or Yakima Area Arboretum.

The priority deadline to apply is 11:59 PM on Monday, November 26, 2018.

Apply Now

Dates: Saturday, March 23 through Saturday, March 30

Trip Fee: $100 (includes 4 dinners and light breakfast) 

Discover the pressing environmental conservation and restoration issues in Ashland, Oregon area. Participants will complete environmental restoration projects such as creek restoration, planting native species, mulching, invasive species removal, fertilizing, trail building/maintenance, and restoring bird habitats with a variety of community organizations. Participants will meet with local environmental leaders to learn about threats to the natural environment and local legislation that is impacting natural habitats and ecosystems. Lodging will be at a local ranch, Willow-Witt, focused on sustainable farming which will add to participants’ exploring of holistic sustainability. This trip will include many hands-on, physical projects and possible hikes in the beautiful Pacific Northwest outdoors. Participants will need to provide and have rain jackets, rain pants, and work boots for this trip to ensure comfort. On our community immersion day, we will explore Ashland, go hiking, and/or possibly attend a play at the local Shakespeare Festival.

The priority deadline to apply is 11:59 PM on Monday, November 26, 2018.

Apply Now

Dates: Monday, June 17 through Saturday June 22, 2019

Trip Cost: $100 (includes 4 dinners, 1 lunch) 

Discover various factors impacting cultural engagement, tribal policy and community wellbeing in Warm Springs by exploring elements of tribal governance, food sourcing, and community and cultural activities.  Through educational sessions and direct community projects, we will explore community gardens and sustainability, tribal government and jurisprudence, energy policy, economic development and social and cultural events that all impact the Warm Springs community.  During our trip activities will include educational sessions covering a wide range of topics related to tribal life, challenges, and solutions.  We will focus on engaging counter narratives and exploring the impact of settler colonialism upon indigenous communities. Some community engagement opportunities include working on landscaping at a senior living facility, working at a community garden, food preservation, hiking on the reservation, learning about the services and programs put on by OSU Extension for the community, and visiting the Museum at Warm Springs. The trip will also include a BBQ with OSU Extension staff and tribal members. We will staying on the Reservation of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, home to the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute tribes after they were forcibly removed from land across the northwest. The Warm Springs Reservation is inhabited by nearly 4,000 tribal members, most of whom live in or around the town of Warm Springs.

Alternative Break Information
  • Participate in ALL trip meetings and all group educational and teambuilding activities to the best of one's ability.
  • Support the mission of Alternative Break as a program that is focused on immersive community-engaged learning experiences centered on personal growth and leadership development through community projects, education sessions, reflection, and teambuilding; this experience is not a vacation or site seeing experience.
  • Be open to processing (at your own comfort level) the Alternative Break experience individually and as a group through organized reflection, journaling, and other activities that suit your reflection preferences.
  • Serve as a positive role model and representative of Oregon State University while on and off campus.
  • Be respectful of diverse community and cultural norms and values (cultural humility) that you may experience in community and/or with members of the Alternative Break team; expect to learn and be challenged.
  • Commit to being an active contributor to your team and show respect for fellow team members, community partners, and populations with whom you are completing projects.
  • Be willing to explore diverse perspectives, opinions and to advance cultural competency and sensitivity.
  • Adhere to OSU Student Conduct Code on trip.
  • Embrace experiences working independently as well as with a team or group.
  • Be organized, self-motivated, adaptable, and flexible.
  • Take responsibility for personal needs and wellbeing including communicating needs to trip leaders.
  • Refrain from the use or possession of alcohol or any controlled substance/drugs for the duration of the experience.
  • Sign an Alternative Break learning agreement.
  • Must be a currently enrolled OSU student
  • Must be paying student fees at the Corvallis campus
  • Must be in good university standing (academic and student conduct)

Every participant is responsible for paying the trip fee. Trip costs cover four dinners and food staples for travel meals, breakfast, and lunch. You are responsible for supplementing these travel meals, breakfast, and lunch. 

Please note that there is the ability for applicants to apply for Alternative Break Travel Grants. The Alternative Break Travel Grant Program is a financial need-based grant awarded to students applying to an alternative break trip sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement. The travel grants are administered and awarded through the Human Services Resource Center. The purpose of the Alternative Break Travel Grants is to reduce accessibility barriers related to financial need for students wanting to participate in an immersive service-learning experience. This is a separate application available online that should be submitted at the time of your Alternative Break program application.

Trip offers will be made before winter break and if selected, you must accept your spot via email within a week to hold your spot.  Thus, please be sure the email address you supply is one that you will be checking regularly. A non-refundable trip deposit of 50% of the total trip fee will be due by Friday, January 18, 2019.

Participants can pay for their trip via cash, check, or money order at the Center for Civic Engagement (SEC 206). Checks or money orders need to be made payable to “Oregon State University” and dropped off the Student Experience Center Information Desk. In the memo line, please write your name, AB, and MSICCE. Final payment due dates will be communicated after trip selections have been made. 

The trip deposit is non-refundable. If you have extenuating, unexpected medical, academic, or family/personal circumstances that are out of your control and need to cancel from the trip, you may be reimbursed for any expenses that the Center for Civic Engagement can recover. The emergency must arise before the trip starts to receive any refund. Students will be asked to provide a signed request for any partial refund that summarizes the extenuating circumstances. Please communicate any need to cancel as soon as possible so we can work with you. If you or the Center for Civic Engagement is able to identify a replacement participant that meets trip criteria, a full refund may be possible.

If accommodations for disability are needed in order to participate in the trip, please contact Eric Beeler at beelere@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-6938, preferably one month in advance due to the immersive nature of the experience.