Apply for a Trip
Participants can submit their information at any point once applications are open; submit application and deposit to be considered complete:
- APPLY: the online application takes ~15-30 minutes and involves:
- Collection of some personal information
- Three short-answer questions, including a photo submission
- Discussion of your interest in topics
- Pay $50 deposit online via the link (in application and/or above in header)
- OPTIONAL: submit a travel subsidy application
Applicants can opt-in to be placed on a waitlist in case trips are full. If a participant withdraws and a spot opens up, program staff contacts the waitlist to offer that spot. Participants can be offered a space on a trip starting as soon as 11/5 (fall trip), 3/4 (spring break), or 4/29 (may trips) OR until one week before the trip.
People on the waitlist will be required to join any pre-trip meetings or to schedule one meeting if all other meetings have passed.
More about the waitlist:
- Waitlisters could be offered a space on a trip starting as soon as a few days after the deadline up until one week before the trip.
- If selected from the waitlist, participants will be notified by email and must accept their spot.
- If selected from the waitlist, participants must pay the remaining trip cost by the payment deadline or as soon as possible.
- If selected, participants must join pre-trip meetings to get info, complete forms, and connect with folks (or schedule meetings with AB staff if all pre-trip meetings have passed).
- If waitlisters are selected to go on a trip, their deposit is applied to their balance due.
- If no spots open and a waitlister does not join a trip, deposits will be refunded after the trips. Waitlisters will be notified via email that deposit funds are ready and can be picked up during business hours.
Apply to be a Student Site Leader
Want to be part of a national movement, gain transferable skills, have your trip cost covered, and make awesome friends and connections at UNLV? Apply to be an Alternative Break Site Leader!
Download these documents for more info on the role and responsibilities:
Application Timeline Applications are open in spring (April), selection is notified in May; site leader term starts in August through the following May (one academic year).
Questions? Email email@example.com.
Apply to be a Staff Learning Partner (formerly known as Staff Site Leader)
Join Alternative Break Trips as a staff Learning Partner! This unique opportunity supports student site leaders as they lead service and social justice trips, facilitates some nightly reflections, and helps manage logistics (driving, finances).
View the Learning Partner Info Packet for more info on role and responsibilities, important dates and more.
Apply online here by 10/16 at noon | Trip notification by 10/21| Accept by 10/23
We build our trips around our core values, which means a trip may look different than other trips you have been on:
- We build trips to be affordable through simple accommodations (group meals and cooking, communal lodging, shared chores, limited technology, etc.). The team will recreate and recharge, but the focus is on a simpler service trip experience.
- Our priority is to build sustainable relationships with each other, as well as the local community hosting us.
Definition: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.
We seek to work alongside communities and partner with deeply-connected nonprofits working with the community for long-term social change.
- We seek to be intentional about the potential impacts of our service, to understand structural inequity, and to explore how we can work for social change. This process can be slow and challenging; but also rich and empowering.
- Our goal is for folks to integrate this experience into life "back home" - to continue serving and learning, and make a plan to keep working for social change.
- Drug and Alcohol Free
- Participants commit to a drug- and alcohol-free experience to build a safe, responsible, reciprocal service and learning experience.
Note: Alternative Breaks are unique experiences that allow participants to immerse themselves in a different context or culture while performing meaningful service and working for social change. Issues of legality, liability, personal safety, and full immersion into the experience are of concern when alcohol and other drugs are consumed on an Alternative Break. As a result, UNLV prohibits alcohol consumption and has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the possession, use, manufacture, production, sale, exchange, or distribution of illegal drugs (as defined by United States law) by students, faculty, and staff participating in an Alternative Break.
This year’s trips:
- FALL WEEKEND - Nov. 8-11, 2019
Apps due 10/20 | Trip Notification 10/24 | Accept by 10/28
Pre-trip Meeting (*mandatory) 11/6 4:30 - 7:30 PM | Reorientation 11/13 4 - 6:30 PM
- Ecology and Fire - Santa Monica Mountains, CA ($50)
*This trip will do outdoor work and will require boots and/or sturdy shoes to be safe outdoors. Work with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area rangers and staff to do trail building, revegetation, and to learn about the recent impacts (human and natural) after the devastating Woolsey Fire in November of 2017.
- SPRING WEEKEND - Feb. 14 - 17, 2020
Apps due 2/2 | Trip Notification 2/3 | Accept by 2/5
Pre-trip Meeting (*mandatory) 2/12 4:30 - 7 :30 PM | Reorientation 2/19 4 - 6:30 PM
- Food Access and Community Gardens - Southern California ($50)
Come explore food access and community gardens for the weekend as we work with community partners growing food, organizing communities, advocating for worker and access justice, and educating people.
*This trip will involve outdoor, physical work; participants will need clothing that can get dirty and sturdy shoes.
- SPRING BREAK Mar. 15 - 21, 2020
Apps due 2/19 | Trip Notification 10/24 | Accept by 10/28
Pre-trip Mtgs 2/27 5:30-7:30, 3/6 4:30-6:30, 3/11 4:30-6:30 PM | Reorientation 4/2 5-7
- Ecology and Public Lands - Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (price TBA)
Work with one agency for the week and learn about ecology, public lands, native history, and responsible use. Service could include a range of projects including trail rebuilding, transport center clean-ups, seed cleaning, tree branch removal, and more.
*This trip will be in cold weather; participants will need warm shoes/boots, mittens, coats and more to work safely and comfortably in the elements.
- Food and Housing Insecurity - Seattle, WA (price TBA
Serve and learn about how housing and food insecurity affects different groups of people. We may volunteer with a food bank, hygiene access, meal and wraparound outreach agencies, meal programs and more. We’ll see the destination city Friday, but most of our time will be spent learning and doing service.
*This trip will be in cool/damp weather; participants need waterproof shoes, coats, umbrellas, and more to work safely and comfortably in the elements. This trip will also involve air travel and potentially public transportation.
- Immigrant and Refugee Experiences - Chicago, IL (price TBA)
To explore the complex issue of immigration and refugees, we will work with the Brother Darst Center in this urban location. We are learning more about the schedules they plan, but may work with the Immigrant Youth Justice League and a number of other partners that we will learn about as we get closer. We will also take some time to take in some of the local sights on Friday.
*This trip will be in very cold weather; participants need warm shoes/boots, mittens, hats, thick coats and more to work safely and comfortably in the elements. This trip will also involve air travel and public transportation.
- Immigration at the US-Mexico Border - San Diego, CA (price TBA)
We work with local organizations doing social justice work in this border city to explore the complex topic of immigration. We will tour the border, visit a local park to learn about the history, learn from advocacy groups, visit a local university to see their context, or serve with a local community garden-- this trip will be an interesting and powerful experience. We will also take in some local sights on Friday.
*Please note: the group on this trip will likely encounter an ICE/CBP roadside border checkpoint and ID check.
- LGBTQIA+ - San Francisco, CA (price TBA)
Explore the history of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement and the changing policies that affect this community. Serve with a variety of organizations doing projects that could include: working at a food bank, helping in a community garden, or connecting with individuals experiencing homelessness. The LGBTQIA+ community has a range of experiences and identities, and this trip will seek to take an intersectional look at the topics this community faces.
*This trip will take place in an urban context and will involve a fair amount of walking and/or public transportation.
- MAY - May 17-23, 2020
Apps due 4/15 | Trip Notification 4/17 | Accept by 4/20
Pre-trip Meetings 4/29, 5/6, 5/13 4:30-6:30 PM | Reorientation 5/27 4 - 7 PM
- Mass Incarceration, Community Development and Restorative Justice - Los Angeles, CA (price TBA)
Explore the fundamentals of this country’s justice system and how organizations are working to develop community to try and break the school-to-prison pipeline and reduce recidivism. Work this week will include volunteering with nonprofits focusing on education development, serving with work-ready programs, learning from policy groups.
- Ecology - Balancing Restoration & Recreation -Catalina Island, CA (price TBA)
Work and learn about environmental conservation and native island ecology. In past years projects have included trail building, painting and landscaping, beach clean-ups, and invasive plant species removal. Discuss and explore environmental restoration, conservation and recreation and how to balance these sometimes-competing priorities.
*This trip requires taking a round-trip boat ride to the island, camping in more remote locations, and outdoor work.
- Past Locations/Topics:
- Immigration at the US-Mexico border (San Diego, CA- asstd. orgs)
- Animal rights and welfare (Kanab, UT- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary)
- Native American history and culture (Carson/Tahoe, NV- NV Indian Commission)
- Mass incarceration and community development (Los Angeles, CA- asstd. orgs)
- LGBTQIA+ rights (San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, CA- asstd. orgs)
- Ecology (Sta Monica Mtns, CA- Sta Monica Mtns Nat’l Recreation Area; Grand Canyon, AZ- Grand Canyon Nat’l Park; Catalina, CA- Catalina Island Conservancy)
Additional Information: Join us for informal info sessions in the Student Union 316 conference room (see the UNLV Calendar for current dates). To get specific responses to questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety is a top priority for us. We work closely with our partners and have proactive and reactive plans to keep our teams safe. So while there are always risks associated with any activity, the university tries to minimize those to the best of our abilities.
- Pre-Trip Meetings
- These are held for several reasons, including building the team, communicating trip details, and reinforcing safety and travel practices. There is time at each meeting to answer participant questions.
- CDC and Student Health Center
- Our staff consults experts to ensure our students have taken the necessary preparations.
- Emergency Information
- We store emergency and health information two places on campus, and staff on the trip maintain records for the team on-site.
- Training and Preparation
- Each team has a first aid kit with them at all times. Participants are asked to be with groups of a minimum of three persons at all times. Our staff and student site leaders have risk management training, and keep resources with them at all times. A staff member remains on-call back on campus to support travelers.