Current Alternative Break Trips

The Volunteer Center has offered USC students the opportunity to explore numerous issues and problems across the U.S. since 1992, when we began to take students to the Navajo Nation in Utah. Since then, we have built long-lasting partnerships with governmental, non-profit and community organizations throughout the country. The opportunity to travel while engaging in community service continues to be an important element of the unique USC experience. Below are descriptions of trips we are currently planning. Follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our Newsletter for updates on the Alternative Break service trips for Spring 2018.

For general questions about the Alternative Spring Break Program, email us at asb@usc.edu (especially during the summer when most staff is away) and check out our trip info sessions in the Fall!


Interested in planning the ASB Guatemala trip? Apply by August 27, 2017!

Applications for Alternative Break Trips will open in early Fall.




Trip Title: “Building a Foundation for Growth: Opportunities Based on Educational Infrastructure in Rural Guatemala”
To Apply Click Here: Alternative Spring Break Application (CLOSED UNTIL FALL)
Deadline: TBA
Trip Dates: Approximately March 10, 2018-March 17, 2018


Guatemala is an exotic and visually inspiring country with huge volcano’s reaching up to 12,000 feet over crystalline lakes and picturesque towns. Once part of the Mayan Empire, Guatemala is a culturally rich and diverse country that is home to over 20 indigenous languages and a population that is comprised of somewhere around 50% Indigenous people who still maintain their style of dress, traditions, language and culture.

However, in spite of its rich environmental resources, Guatemala remains one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of GDP. Many Guatemalans travel far and wide to work for large landowning corporations and make only enough money to put food on the table. Over 50% of Guatemalan children suffer from malnutrition and Guatemala’s educational system is currently ranked second from the worst among Central American and Caribbean countries. Many children drop out after their first year of school, and there is another mass exodus during the middle school years. Many children lack adequate resources and encouragement on their studies, and families can choose to pull their children out of school to work.

Participants of ASB Guatemala will travel to Retalhuleu, a city in southwestern Guatemala, and work with a local school to construct educational facilities for the children of the community. Students will get to spend time with the children in the mornings working on various activities with them and in the afternoon students will transition to assisting with a construction project. If you have more questions about ASB Guatemala send an email to USCasbguatemala@gmail.com.

Approximate Cost: $1,500 USD* per participant

Info Sessions: TBA


Trip Title: “Navajo Nation”
To Apply Click Here: Alternative Spring Break Application (CLOSED UNTIL FALL)
Deadline: TBA
Trip Dates: Approximately March 10, 2018-March 17, 2018

The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American Reservation in the United States and the cultural home to the Navajo people, marked with beautiful sandstone mesas, towering buttes, colorful canyons, and dramatic desert scenery.  The Navajo people share rich cultural traditions and are well known for their contributions to the world at large, including their beautiful artwork and the role of the Navajo Code Talkers in WWII. However, the Navajo face many social and economic challenges, including maintaining their cultural identity in the face of globalization, an unemployment rate of 42%, and political disenfranchisement.

Since 1991, Alternative Spring Break Navajo Nation has enhanced the lives of both students and the communities they serve through its focus on cultural exchange and education. During this trip, students will have the opportunity to meet Navajo community members and work together on service projects, such as tutoring Navajo school children and helping improve school or community facilities. However, the main focus of this trip will be learning about Navajo life and culture and sharing this knowledge with students’ home communities so that the Navajo way of life is better understood. In addition to service projects, students will have the opportunity to participate in cultural and recreational activities such as visiting an open air market, cultural museums, visiting nearby national landmarks, basket weaving, and sampling traditional foods.

Approximate Cost: TBA



Trip Title: TBA
To Apply Click Here: (CLOSED UNTIL FALL)
Deadline: TBA

Trip Dates: Approximately March 10, 2018-March 17, 2018

In more recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest numbers since the Great Depression of the 1930s with approximately 80,600 homeless people sleeping each night in a New York City shelter system. This includes 15,000 families with 23,000 homeless children

This rise in homelessness is sadly often neglected by people and the media.There are multiple ways for people to provide help through social service groups, medical clinics, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, etc. Now here’s your opportunity to serve and provide assistance to the homeless in New York from March 10th-17th, 2018.

Through Alternative Spring Break New York, students will have the opportunity to travel to New York and provide hands-on service and aid to the homeless. By partnering with a non-profit organization, we will be given a chance to lend a helping hand to the community and attempt to make an impact. By assisting those in need, participants will learn more about the rich culture and history of New York. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and so much more! If you have more questions about ASB New York or would like to RSVP for an information session send an email to newyork.usc@gmail.com.

Approximate Cost: $1050 USD* per participant

Info Sessions: TBA




Trip Title: “Conservation Nation – Exploring Sustainable Environmental Practices and Appreciation in Washington ”
To Apply Click Here: Alternative Spring Break Application (CLOSED UNTIL FALL)
Deadline: TBA

Trip Dates: Approximately March 10, 2018-March 17, 2018

Orcas (2)

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

ASB Orcas Island focuses on exploring sustainable practices that can create a better understanding on preserving our natural environments. USC students will be traveling to Orcas Island, located in northwest Washington and just a short ferry ride away from Seattle. Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Island with over 5000 acres of land, and is known for its distinctive natural beauty.

Our service trip provides the opportunity to serve the park rangers by working hands-on to restore the environment within Moran State Park. Past projects have included trail restoration and construction on the scenic Mt. Constitution trail. ASB Orcas Island is an exciting opportunity for students who love the outdoors. Not only will students better the area, but also be able to explore everything the island had to offer. Moran features beautiful trails, lakes, and waterfalls, which participants will get to enjoy on their time off. The island hosts a variety of adventures like kayaking, biking, and hiking that participants can take part in. In the past, participants have said that working and living in such a remote environment “puts the world in perspective.”

Students will spend a week volunteering in Orcas Island at Moran State Park, as well as a one-day stay in Seattle to explore the city. This will allow students to have hands-on and holistic experience with sustainable practices in the state park as well as the city. If you have more questions about ASB Orcas Island or would like to RSVP for an information session send an email to orcasislandUSC@gmail.com.

Find out what the ASB Orcas experience is like! Check out this blog or this blog from ASB Orcas Island participants!  Read about ASB Orcas Island in the local newspaper

Approximate Cost: $750 USD* per participant

Info Sessions: TBA


*AB Trip costs may change slightly in the future. These preliminary estimates are presented for the purposes of helping students decide which trips fit within their budget. Fundraising opportunities are available, for more details visit “Fundraising for AB Trips.”

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