You are here

Alternative Break

Explore Your Alternatives

Want to do something different on your academic break?  Join a UNLV Alternative Break Trip!

Alternative break trips are student-led, university-sponsored trips for a week or a weekend. They’re a great way to experience a different community and explore social justice issues through service alongside communities.  While you travel for a week or a weekend, you can plan to do service, learn about social issues, live simply, and get to know your fellow travelers and host community. Administrative or academic faculty will be present on trips to support the learning experience and maintain administrative aspects. These trips are subsidized by the University to be affordable to students, but still have some financial commitment from participants (cost is dependent on the trip).

Interested in a trip? Attend an Info Session to meet new people, learn about upcoming trips, and become more familiar with the program! Info Sessions are:

  • September 10, 6-7 p.m., SU 2nd floor
  • October 16, 6-7 p.m., SU 2nd floor
  • February 3, 6-7 p.m., SU 2nd floor
  • February 18, 6-7 p.m., SU 2nd floor

Apply to be a Site Leader

Interested in leading a trip? Being a site leader has awesome benefits:

  • Gain transferable skills like leadership, communication, time management, facilitation, logistics and planning, and many more...
  • Have your trip cost covered by the Alternative Breaks program
  • Become part of an amazing team of people at UNLV and the nationwide Alternative Breaks movement

Responsibilities of a site leader:

  • Commit to 7 weeks of site leader training in the fall (Fridays from 3:30 p.m.—5:30 p.m., starting September 19)
  • Go on a trip prior to leading one
  • Develop a reflection curriculum
  • Facilitate education, reflections and group activities
  • Research a social justice issue prior to the trip
  • Create an inclusive trip environment
  • Plan and lead pre-trip meetings with participants
  • Attend 1:1 meetings to check in with the program coordinator on planning progress
  • Spend 3-5 hours per week planning trip, 1 hour in OCED office
  • Maintain above a 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • Stay in good standing with the university
  • Uphold the program values of Alternative Breaks

The application is due by September 8th at 5:00 p.m.

Program Values

  • Simplicity
    Our trips are crafted to be affordable and different from the everyday. This means everything from sleeping on floors, cooking shared meals, sharing in chores and turning your cell phone off.
  • Community
    Our teams should get to know each other, as well as the local community hosting us.
  • Solidarity
    We strive to work alongside communities, finding nonprofit partners that are deeply connected with the community and working in partnership for social change.
  • Justice 
    It is important that we do service, but also learn about issues on a deeper level to understand why structural inequity exists and how we can work for social change. This process is often slow and challenging; we try to find hope along the way.
  • Continuation
    After our trips return, we take time to share our experiences with others, continue service and issue education, and plan steps we can take to advocate for social change. 

Our trips might be different than other trips you’ve been on, but that is exactly what we think makes them great. To create an effective and impactful learning and service experience, participants must commit to a drug- and alcohol-free experience. We make sure to include some recreation time as a group to experience the local culture, but that looks very different for every trip.

Trip Descriptions

Application Process

Our trips are open to all students—whatever your major, background or experience (undergraduates take priority over graduate students).

  • Apply online—all trip applications will be posted here mid-September. Make your deposit at the Office of Civic Engagement Diversity (OCED) in the Student Union 316. Please note that if you are awarded a space on a trip but decline it, your deposit will not be refunded.


In advance of trips, we ask participants to attend pre-trip meetings where to help prepare travelers for trip logistics, start to get to know each other, and begin to explore some of the complex issues they may encounter while traveling on an alternative break trip.

Weekend trip participants must attend the 1 mandatory pre-trip meeting beforehand; weeklong travelers must commit to the 3 mandatory pre-trip meetings for their site.

Meetings are held on Tuesdays. The dates, times, and locations will vary slightly for each trip. That information is included on each trip’s application.


Participant fees in Alternative Break trips cover transportation, lodging, meals, and any program fees while traveling with the group. The University heavily subsidizes the costs per student, so timely deposits and student payments ensure successful and affordable trips.

For more information about specific trip costs, please see trip information since there are variations on cost based on trip distance, length, etc. Deposit/payments can be made in the Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity starting immediately on the 3rd floor of the Student Union in 316 at the front desk).

Payment Schedule

The payment schedule for 2014-15 trips will be available mid-September when trip dates and locations are announced.