The Alternative Breaks Program is a one-year commitment which requires attending pre-trip meetings, including visiting a local site related to your issue, and post-trip advocacy. After the trip, participants are expected to work to develop post-trip action on the issues related to their trip.
Applications for student participants are now closed for 2018-19
Faculty applicants apply below:
There is an interview process for all participants, leaders, faculty and staff.
After you complete your online application, you will receive an email from our Alternative Breaks Team to sign up for an interview at CSA. You will be placed in one of your top three trip choices.
- Trip leaders have to enroll into a one unit course Fridays 3:00-5:00pm during Fall Semester
- Attend AB Community Welcome Night
AB Community Welcome Night
This is mandatory for all accepted AB participants. Here you will meet the other AB trip participants, your trip leaders, and staff. You will learn about trip objectives, set up meeting times, and get to know the AB community.
Required to Bring
- $100 non-refundable deposit (cash, check, or flexi) for trips under $2,000
- $200 non-refundable deposit (cash, check, or flexi) for trips $2,000 and up
For more info, check out our FAQ and events pages.
Before You Apply
Before applying, please read the following information about the AB program.
Basic Trip Information
We usually have room for 10 student participants on each Alternative Breaks trip, 2 student leaders, and one staff person (some trips have 2 staff or an additional faculty person). Because of the great interest in the Alternative Breaks program, not everyone will be able to go on a trip. While you may have a certain trip that you would like to go on, please know that we work hard to ensure that every trip provides a great experience, and that most of our trips have received high reviews from participants.
AB Trip Participant Application Requirements
This program is open to all LMU students. No prior Alternative Breaks, travel, or service experience is required. The most important requirements are an open mind, an open heart, and a sincere desire to work together with others to help create social change.
If you are studying abroad in the fall you are allowed to apply for spring and summer trips, contact email@example.com to inquire about the trip selection process for students who are studying abroad. Students studying abroad are responsible for finding ways to connect with their trip leaders to stay informed of all the information. Students abroad in the spring cannot go on spring or summer trips.
Summer AB Trips & Seniors
Alternative Break trips during the summer may last two or more weeks. Seniors are not allowed to travel as participants in summer Alternative Breaks trips. Part of the AB experience is returning to LMU to focus on an action item or working with a similar community here in Los Angeles. This isn’t possible for seniors. We encourage Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors to participate in summer trips, and then bring back their knowledge to LMU.
The Alternative Breaks program is a one-year commitment. AB group members must participate in the entire AB trip (you cannot arrive late to the trip, or leave early). Participants will be expected to attend all group meetings set by the leaders of their trips (usually once or twice per month). Participants are required to participate in all education, preparation and fundraising activities for their respective breaks. All participants in Alternative Breaks are expected to attend the AB Film Festival.
Finally, all students will be required to attend pre-trip meetings (Winter Break: 4 meetings; Spring Break: 6 meetings; Summer: 8 meetings) before their trip. Leaders will be responsible for setting meetings and meeting times in advance that do not conflict with participants' schedules. Students are also required to attend the Advocacy Teach-In event and Post-Trip Orientation.
One unexcused absence is permitted, but for subsequent unexcused absences, participants will be fined $25 (fines will be added to trip fees). In addition, more than one unexcused absence from pre-trip meetings may result in removal from the Alternative Breaks program.
Participants are also committing to becoming advocates of social change. We encourage participants to share the knowledge they receive on their trips and begin local projects to bring awareness and social justice on campus and their communities.
AB Trip Prices and Accommodations
Prices for trips are all inclusive. Basic travel (airline, car, or bus) and basic room and board are included. AB accommodations are as varied as the places to which we travel and can include homestays, hostels, dormitories, missions, camping, basic hotels, or anything in between. Participants are required to pay for any necessary travel vaccines, any additional food or snacks (above the basic meals), and other incidentals (souvenirs, medications, etc).
Scholarships are available based on financial need. We cannot notify participants what your scholarship is until we know what trip you're going on. If you still cannot afford your trip after you find out if you've received a scholarship, individual and group fundraising options are available. Do not be discouraged to apply if you feel you cannot afford it. There are several fundraising strategies that you can work on throughout the year. Please see our FAQ page for more information about paying for your AB trip.
AB Trip Leader Application Requirements
In order to maintain the quality of the Alternative Breaks program, leadership priority will be given to applicants who have previous AB experience. The leader application process is very competitive--we have room for 2 student leaders on each Alternative Break trip. AB trip leaders pay 1/2 the price of the participants, but there are additional time commitments and responsibilities (see the leader application below for more information).
Roles of LMU Staff and Faculty
At least one LMU staff person goes on each AB trip. Occasionally an additional staff person or faculty member will accompany a trip. Staff and faculty members go on AB trips as participants and are asked to be part of the team. Their role is to participate in all daily activities as an active group member, to support the AB student leaders throughout the trip, and to act in the event of an emergency.