Winter

Alternative Winter Breaks

The opportunity to travel abroad while engaging in community service continues to be an important element of the unique USC experience. Below are descriptions of the trips we offered in 2016-2017!

If have general questions about the Alternative Break program, please email us at asb@usc.edu.


ANNOUNCEMENTS
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Visit us in July to learn more about the Alternative Winter and Spring Breaks planned for 2017-2018! 

To Apply Click Here: Alternative Winter Break Application (Closed)
Deadline: November 4, 2016 
Trip Dates: December 16th 2016-January 4th, 2017

Ever wanted to travel to a country with delicious food, beautiful attractions, and friendly locals, all while volunteering in the local community? If so, AWB India may be for you!

Through AWB India, USC students have an opportunity to work within Banjara Basti, an Indian community in Sikar, Rajasthan. According to a 2011 census, about one in six Indian city residents live in an area of high poverty or in a dwelling with unsanitary conditions, which is roughly 64 million people. For people living in poverty, access to educational opportunities is limited. Students will try to learn and to understand the barriers to economic and educational development in India and to implement realistic solutions in one small community.

During the week, AWB India participants will be working in partnership with the NGO Adventures and Volunteering in India. AWB participants will collaboratively design a curriculum to teach the community of Banjara Basti. Students will primarily instruct within the established primary schools in hopes to empower the children to play an active role in developing their own community through their education and to inspire a passion for learning.

By leveraging the strengths of each participant, we will create a culturally relevant, sustainable curriculum that can be used by future volunteers at AVI to continue Banjara Basti’s economic development. Following AVI’s mission, we strive to help the community help itself so they can continue to grow and empower themselves long after our group’s two-week stay. Past projects include teaching children basic English and math, creating an inspirational mural for the classroom, installing water filters in the school and the local community, raising awareness about basic hygiene practices, and collecting clothing and educational donations to give to local children.

On weekends, participants will spend time traveling to Pushkar by camel, shopping in Jaipur and Sikar, and visiting the Taj Mahal (you cannot go to India without seeing it!). In addition to working with children and weekend travel, participants will be immersed directly in Indian culture. AWB India participants will have the opportunity to participate in Hindi classes, traditional Indian cooking and dressing workshops, henna painting, and yoga & meditation classes. Participants will also live with a local family on their village farm in order to learn more about the economic and cultural practices of the region.

Read about AWB India in a participant’s blog!

If you have more questions about AWB India or to contact the coordinator send an email to India.AWB@gmail.com

Alternative Winter Break India & Tahiti Info Sessions:

  • Thurs, Sept. 8 @5 pm
  • Tues, Sept. 13 @5 pm
  • Wed, Sept. 21 @12 pm
  • Fri, Sept. 30 @11:30 am
  • unless otherwise indicated the location for info sessions is SKS410

Estimated Cost: $2,800 USD* per participant

Please note this fee includes round-trip travel costs from Los Angeles, lodging fees, most meals on the trip, and several cultural activities. Program costs may vary for international students participating in our international programs due to visa restrictions and requirements.

 

To Apply Click Here: Alternative Winter Break Application (Closed)
Deadline: November 4, 2016 
Trip Dates: December 29, 2016 – January 8, 2017

 

 

One of the most sought after tourism destinations in French Polynesia, Tahiti has much to offer its many visitors. Behind these paradisiacal scenes, however, is a vibrant people, who despite Westernization, have managed to maintain their rich culture and sense of hospitality. Join us as we explore this island’s lush landscape, collaborate with the nonprofits that work to preserve Tahiti, and learn about the history and way of life of the Tahitian people.

We will begin in the capital of French Polynesia, touring the city of Papeete, known for its municipal market and waterfront vendors. We will then travel to Papeno’o Valley, described as one of the most beautiful locations in the world by its visitors, lush and laden with waterfalls, yet significant for its archaeological sites and sacred cultural grounds. From Papeno’o we will hike across the island and end in the village of Teahupoo, famous for its surf break and often called the most dangerous wave in the world. We will be staying with local families and absorbing their culture through hands-on activities in agriculture, crafts, and of course food. Underwater caves and black sand beaches are possible destinations during leisure time. This type of work will carry over to our stay in Moorea, the small island off the eastern coast of Tahiti only a ferry away.

Though Tahiti is often taken at face value as an indisputable island paradise, there is much more to gain when visiting as a dedicated volunteer and student. Be prepared to learn firsthand about efforts towards cultural preservation, environmental conservation, and the effects of westernization and tourism on all levels of society. Leave with a greater understanding of a kind people, a rich culture, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Read about AWB Tahiti in a Trojans 360 blog entry and in the local French newspaper

If you have more questions about AWB Tahiti send an email to Tahiti.AWB@gmail.com.

Alternative Winter Break India & Tahiti Info Sessions:

  • Thurs, Sept. 8 @5 pm
  • Tues, Sept. 13 @5 pm
  • Wed, Sept. 21 @12 pm
  • Fri, Sept. 30 @11:30 am
  • unless otherwise indicated the location for info sessions is SKS410

Estimated Cost: $3,625 USD* per participant

Please note this fee includes round-trip travel costs from Los Angeles, lodging fees, multiple meals on the trip, and several cultural activities. Program costs may vary for students born outside the USA participating in our international programs due to visa requirements.