A group of LMU students posing in front of a painted wall on an Alternative Break trip.

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.

Important Deadlines

Participant applications accepted on a rolling basis

Application Process

After you complete your online application, you will receive an email from our Alternative Breaks Team to sign up for an interview at CSA. 

Requirements

  • Mandatory pre-trip meetings to be set by each group
  • Must be available for the days of their virtual trip for any workshops/reflections
  • Must complete some form of post-trip action with their cohort following the conclusion of the trip

AB Community Welcome Night

This is mandatory for all accepted AB student participants. Here you will meet the other AB trip participants, and your trip leaders. You will learn about trip objectives, set up meeting times, and get to know the AB community.

For more info, check out our FAQ and events pages.

Before You Apply

Before applying, please read the following information about the AB program:

  • 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.

  • 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 Alyssa Perez 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.

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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 half 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.