Alternative Spring Break

Participant Application Now Closed

 We will be notifying selected participants during the week of February 19-23!

Alternative Breaks are unique, student-led, multi-day immersion experiences focused on important community challenges. Our program began in 2017 as a co-sponsorship with International Student & Scholar Services with the goal to create Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips at Miami where global citizens can come together to learn and act locally. 

During the trips, participants will engage in community service, educational opportunities, daily reflections, leadership development, evening debriefs, and topical discussions. ASB trips are guided by a curriculum that promotes self-awareness, global citizenship, and leadership through community engagement. Each trip will engage in pre-trip education, preparation, and post-trip reflection to ensure a meaningful and impactful experience.

Alternative Spring Break 2018 Trips:

Food Insecurity: Sunday, March 18 - Friday, March 23 

Location: Columbus, OH

Duration: 6 days, participants will stay overnight together in designated Columbus housing site

Pre-Trip Meetings: Tuesday, February 27 at 7 PM, Tuesday, March 6 at 7 PM & Tuesday, March 13 at 7 PM

Homelessness & Poverty: Monday, March 19 - Thursday, March 22 

Location: Local (Oxford and Butler County)

Duration: 3.5 days, participants will stay in their own residence halls or off-campus housing

Pre-Trip Meetings: Monday, February 26 at 6 PM, Monday, March 5 at 6 PM & Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30 PM

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I participate?

The application for ASB 2018 trips has already past. Check back next academic year for more information on ASB 2019 trips!

Who can go on an ASB trip?

Trips are open to ALL Miami Oxford students, regardless of major, year, or past service experience. Our inaugural 2017 trip brought together a group of international and domestic (U.S.) undergraduate and graduate students from 8 countries with a diverse range of experience and skills.

Why should I participate on an ASB trip?

ASB trips are more than a traditional volunteering experience. By participating on a trip you aren't "giving up" your spring break; you are making the choice and commitment to spend your spring break in a purposeful way. As a ASB participant, you will immerse yourself in a local community, learning and reflecting on its needs and yourself along the way. ASB trips are also FUN! You'll get to know and become friends with people participating on your trip.

Do I apply for just one trip or both trips?

On your application, you are asked to rank your #1 choice of both trips. You can then indicate if you would like to be considered for both trips. It is up to you if you want to apply for just one trip or both!

How do I choose my #1 choice?

There are a few things to consider when deciding which trip to rank as your #1 choice. ASB is unlike many other spring break trips. ASB isn't all about the location and where you're going; rather, ASB trips place a focus on the specific community challenges the trips address. Consider which trip social issue you are more passionate about or interested in learning more about. Also consider the time commitment of each trip. The Local trip will be 3.5 days and you will be spend the nights in your on-campus residence hall or off-campus housing. The Columbus trip will be 6 days and all participants will stay overnight together in a designated Columbus housing site.

How are applications reviewed and participants selected?

Staff from the Office of the Community Engagement & Service and International Student & Scholar Services as well as the trip Site Leaders go through the pool of applicants and choose participants based on their application answers and service focus. No personal identifiers will be used in the selection process.

When will I find out if I am selected as a participant?

You will be contacted via email during the week of February 19-23.

If selected, do I need to confirm my spot?

Yes. You will have 48 hours to confirm your spot via email. If you do not confirm your spot, your spot may be offered to someone else who applied.

Is there a Wait List if I'm not initially selected?

Yes. We anticipate receiving more applications than available participant spots, so please note that submitting an application does not guarantee you a spot on an ASB trip. However, there may be some participants who may not confirm their spot or have to drop out of trips for various reasons (health, family, etc). Depending on the time when a student drops, we may be able to contact the next person on the Wait List.

How many people go on each ASB trip?

Each ASB trip is made up of 12 student participants, 2 trained student Site Leaders, and 1-2 faculty/staff Learning Partners.

Who is leading this year's Local trip?

Darsh Parthasarathy and Chenxuan Shen make up the energetic Site Leader pair facilitating our Local trip. Here is what Darsh and Shen have to say about their trip:

"What are your plans for Spring Break? Are you looking for a special and unforgettable experience? Join us and the rest of the Local ASB team as we explore how poverty and homelessness affects our fellow community members in the local area. We will spend the days of March 19-22 learning about these important issues by participating in a Cost of Poverty Experience and meeting with local community leaders, as well as volunteering with organizations addressing poverty and/or homelessness. Apply now on the form below! Email us, Shen ( or Darsh ( if you have any additional questions."

Who is leading this year's Columbus trip?

Aleah Holley and Kristie Cordeiro are the dynamic Site Leader duo leading our Columbus trip. Here is what Aleah and Kristie have to say about their trip:

"Make meaningful memories this Spring Break! Join us on the ASB trip to Columbus on March 18-23 to discuss the reality and injustice of food insecurity, which affects 1 out of every 5 children in Ohio. During the trip, participants will engage in community service with local partnerships and community building through evening debriefs and cultural exploration throughout Columbus. Apply now on the form below! Email us, Aleah ( or Kristie (, if you have any additional questions."

How much does an ASB trip cost?

Good news, ASB 2018 trips are FREE! This year's trips are funded by the Office of Community Engagement & Service with co-sponsorship support from International Student & Scholar Services.

Should I bring any money on my trip?

Yes. Your trip will not cover "souvenirs" if you would like to buy something to remember your experience. Also, while we will provide snacks for your trip, you may want to buy a soda or coffee when the group stops for gas. 

Are alcohol or drugs allowed?

No. This is a University sponsored event, so alcohol and drugs are prohibited at all times. 

What are the pre-trip meetings? Are they mandatory?

Each ASB trip has 3 pre-trip meetings that are led by the trip's Site Leaders and designed to give participants time to begin getting to know each other. Pre-trip meetings will also prepare participants for their ASB experience. Participants will begin learning more about the social issues they will be addressing and communities they will be serving. Additionally, Site Leaders will use time in pre-trip meetings to share the detailed trip schedule and complete any administrative tasks, such as waivers and volunteer training. 

These meetings are mandatory for all ASB participants. In the event a participant has a mandatory class, test, or work shift that cannot be changed and conflicts with a pre-trip meeting, the participant will need to contact the trip's Site Leaders to schedule a make up training.