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What is an Alternative Breaks (AB) trip?
An AB trip is an opportunity for you to engage in service learning during your spring break. AB is a great way to explore social issues and discover new things about yourself through education and purposeful action. Through short term immersion in various locations around the United States, you will team up with other students to explore complex social issues such as environmental conservation, health care, education, socioeconomic equity, identities and empowerment, and community development. By engaging with the community, you will learn about root causes and systemic issues in addition to the personal stories of the communities you will serve.
Alternative Breaks Philosophy
The Alternative Breaks program at Longwood University is part of a larger movement around alternative break experiences across the country. We subscribe to the philosophies of Break Away, the national leader in alternative break experiences. At Longwood, we utilize the active citizen continuum and incorporate the eight components of a quality alternative break as developed through Break Away. We are committed to providing more than just a service trip and moving towards creating the alternative break experience which incorporates pre-trip education and post-trip reflection.
Why participate in AB?
By participating in AB you will contribute meaningful service, develop new friendships, learn about different cultures and communities, and further educational or career goals. In addition, you will have the opportunity to explore social change and further develop as a citizen leader.
Who can go on these trips?
Longwood University is committed to providing access to all Longwood students who wish to participate; however, space is limited due to the popularity of the experience. ASB now uses an application process to select participants.
Anything else I need to know?
Alcohol and Drug Policy
The AB program promotes an alcohol and drug free philosophy. This prohibits alcohol consumption or drug use by anyone participating in the program, regardless of age. Any group member who does not adhere to this policy will be asked to leave the program at his or her own expense.
All group members must complete an application and provide proof of insurance coverage.
A meaningful service learning experience requires both education and reflection. Therefore, there will be a mandatory orientation meeting, as well as several mandatory pre-trip educational meetings. You will meet other group members and learn about the community in which you will be living and working. Attendance at these meetings is important for building strong bonds with community and group members.
Structured reflection sessions before, during, and after the trip will allow you to develop critical thinking skills and articulate what you have learned. It is a critical step towards self-discovery and your development as a citizen leader. You will have the opportunity to share your achievements and knowledge with all members of the group through the use of a team journal, required readings, and individual projects.
Current Alternative Break Experiences
Dates for 2016-17 coming soon!