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Southern Oregon University

The Alternative Break Program offers multiple immersion service experiences in the region, nation and abroad. Through these trips, students have the opportunity to learn about complex social issues, build relationships with other students and staff, connect with a new community, and contribute important work to local organizations.


~~~ Summer 2015 International Trip ~~~

Puerto Rico

Monday June 15th to Saturday June 27th

Participants will learn about the environmental and youth education challenges Puerto Rico is faced with and work with various local organizations that help address these issues. They will volunteer with Cabeza de San Juan working on conservation projects, the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico, and the Casa de Ninos orphanage.

Volunteers will also hike through the El Yunque National Rainforest, explore the beauty of coral reefs, and enjoy a catamaran trip.




The application process has closed for this trip. 


~~~Past Trips~~~

~~~ Spring Break 2015 Trips ~~~


March 2015-San Francisco

Saturday March 21st to Saturday March 28th

Spend your spring break learning and serving in San Francisco, California! Through group travel, service projects, and reflection you will learn about sustainable food systems, urban farming, food insecurity, hunger, and homelessness. Examples of service project partner organizations include: bay area homeless services, Bay Area Rescue Mission, Alameda County Food Bank, Project Homeless Connect, Healthy Hearts Youth Garden, Roots Farm, and many others.

Traveling together in one van, we will depart for San Francisco early on Saturday, March 21st and return to Ashland the afternoon of Saturday, December 28th.Our team of eleven (one staff leader, one student leader, and nine student volunteers) will be completing all service projects as a group along with group meals and communal lodging. There will be one free day where participants can explore San Francisco in small groups.

Student participants will be charged a trip fee of $350 to $400, final cost to be determined when number of participants has been finalized. The fee will cover van transportation, program fees, guides, accommodations, and most food. Expenses related to "free day" activities are not included. Prior to the trip, opportunities for group and individual fund-raising will be coordinated in order to help offset fees.


Sept 2014-Nepal

Nepal Service & Outdoor Education Trip

From September 3-24, 2014, a group of SOU students traveled to Nepal to volunteer with the organizations Initiative Outdoor and Guiding Disadvantaged Youth to Professions.

Participants engaged in a multitude of service and outdoor education components, including a trek and/or backpacking trip, various service projects and cultural experiences.




June 2014-Guatemala

Alternative Summer Break 2014

From June 16-July 1, SOU students returned to Guatemala for the third time to continue our work with As Green As It Gets. The group learned about coffee farming, fair trade practices, artisan crafts, non-toxic cosmetics, and explored a few different regions throughout the country.

Participants volunteered in the small farming communities of San Miguel de Escobar and Santa Anita, traveled to the diverse towns of Antigua and Quetzeltenango, and explored the shores of Lago de Atitlan. Volunteers were immersed in Guatemalan and Mayan culture, learned about the communities' challenges and successes, and heard stories directly from farmers' and their families over dinner.


Dec 2013-New Orleans

Alternative Winter Break 2013

December 12-22, Outdoor Programs and Civic Engagement hosted SOU's second Alternative Winter Break to New Orleans, LA.

New Orleans was our first ever Alternative Break trip in 2005 and we were thrilled to return nearly 8 years later.

The group of students worked directly in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi. They helped build an oyster reef, maintain a church, volunteer at Head Start and many other amazing tasks. These organizations gave the students a direct look at how the Hurricane affected their lives then and continues to affect them today.

Visit our Facebook page to see some amazing photos from the week. 

March 2014-Bay Area

Alternative Spring Break 2014

From  March 23-29, 10 students and staff traveled to the Bay Area to focus on Early Childhood Education. The group worked with Early Head Start, Head Start and Boys and Girls Club to provide support to their important programming.