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Alternative Break Programs

Alternative Break at American University

Summer Break Applications

Applications are DUE February 9, 2022

For questions please contact
Fill out our Alt Break Interest Form to receive email updates

The Alternative Break Program is a student-focused initiative that organizes international and domestic immersive learning opportunities with a social justice perspective three times per year (winter, spring, and summer break). Alternative Break Programs are service-learning experiences designed to heighten participants’ awareness of critical social issues, enhance their individual growth, and prepare them for lifelong social action. Each program focuses on a particular social issue and immersion, action, and training in that issue begins long before the trip itself. 

Alternative Break Programs are not just trips to interesting places to connect with communities, but are long term immersive training programs that develop student leadership and activism. Each program includes 8 weeks of pre-departure training, discussion, and preparation. Through alternative breaks, we hope to foster the personal growth of contributing members of society. 

General Info Sessions!

Come learn about Alt Breaks!
(all times are displayed in EST)

FRI, Jan. 21 @2PM

MON, Jan. 24 @4PM

WED, Jan. 26 @9AM

FRI, Jan. 28 @3PM

MON, Jan. 31 @10AM

TUE, Feb. 01 @5PM


Sierra Leone Program Info Sessions

(all times are displayed in EST)

TUE, Jan. 18 @5PM

THU, Jan. 27 @5PM 

TUE, Feb. 01 @5PM


Summer 2022

Access to Education: Sierra Leone

Summer Program in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

This program will look at the roles gender, disability, and geography play in the Sierra Leone education system.


2021-2022 Programs

Sovereignty and Stewardship: The Pipeline Problem

Spring Program in Washington, D.C. 

Discover tribal sovereignty and environmental stewardship and explore how extractive economies are a fundamental threat to both.

Program Information

Youth & Community Empowerment

Spring Program in El Progreso, Honduras. 

Learn about education accessibility and how community empowerment is utilized to overcome barriers youth face in Honduran communites. 

Program Information

Revolution Begins at Home: Transnational Student Organizing

Spring Program in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Build beyond the theoretical and dive into cross-solidarity organizing practices, from South Africa to the U.S.

Program Information

Food Justice Matters

Fall Program in Washington, D.C.

Examine the history of food movements, food insecurity, and current efforts to promote food justice.

Program Information

Migration of Eritreans & Ethiopians in DC

Fall program in Washington, D.C.

Investigate the reasons for forced and voluntary migration of Eritreans & Ethiopians. Disover their unique contribution to the D.C. Community.

Program Information

Exploring Maternal Health: A Public Health Crisis

Winter Program in New Orleans, L.A.

Explore and understand maternal health & maternal mental health through the lens of practitioners, community organizations, doulas, and midwives.

Program Information