Skip to main content

Domestic Week-Long Breaks

Students sign-up for Alternative Breaks based on social issues they are interested in, passionate about, or want to learn more about. Students meet weekly with their group prior to departure in order to assist with planning and to educate themselves on the social issue addressed by the organization they'll be serving. Students will also learn about the Nine Quality Components of an Alternative Break, as well as the Active Citizen Continuum, created by the national expert in Alternative Breaks, Break Away

As a participant, you will attend weekly meetings with your group to get to know one another, plan details of the break, and become more educated on the social issue you address by the organization you will be serving. In addition to weekly meetings, participants will attend program wide events including Orientation, Kick-Off and the Re-Orientation Celebration. 

Participants must adhere to the participant policy, located in the Alternative Breaks Engage Central page forms section. The participant policy covers the billing process to your student account, the Alcohol and Drug-Free policy, being a committed, contributing member of your site, attending meetings and events, and risk management policies such as staying with a Site Leader at all times.

If you have any questions, please contact us at abinfo@cmich.edu.

Alternative Winter Breaks

Alternative Winter Breaks will not be traveling during the 2021-2022 academic year.

When traveling, Alternative Winter Breaks typically depart the Saturday of Fall Semester Commencement and return a week to eight days later.  This time period covers all possible travel time. 

Sign-ups for domestic Alternative Winter Breaks will be posted on the Alternative Breaks Engage Central page. Stay tuned for more details.

Alternative Spring Breaks

Alternative Spring Breaks will not be traveling during the 2021-2022 academic year.

When traveling, Alternative Spring Breaks typically depart the Friday or Saturday beginning Spring Break and return the Sunday before classes start.  This time period covers all possible travel time. 

Sign-ups for domestic Alternative Spring Breaks will be posted on the Alternative Breaks Engage Central page. Stay tuned for more details.

Alternative Summer Breaks

Alternative Summer Breaks will not be traveling during the 2021-2022 academic year.

When traveling, Alternative Summer Breaks typically depart the Saturday of Spring Semester Commencement and return a week to nine days later.  This time period covers all possible travel time. 

Sign-ups for domestic Alternative Summer Breaks will be posted on the Alternative Breaks Engage Central page. Stay tuned for more details.

Alternative Break Issues

This Break focuses on creating close, convenient and safe spaces for children to exercise, play, and learn about nutritional eating and healthy lifestyles.

This Break focuses on working to enhance the lives of children through science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

This Break works to assist individuals with physical or mental disabilities through accessibility and education.

This Break focuses on rescuing at-risk animals while improving their natural habitat.

This Break focuses on working to better the lives of rescued animals by creating safe and peaceful spaces for them to heal and thrive.

This Break focuses on incorporating arts education in urban communities to build environments that support arts-rich, lifelong learning. 

This Break works to enhance and preserve wetlands and wildlife in environmental areas. Break location varies by season.

This Break focuses on working with community-identified needs to assist in rebuilding communities affected by natural disasters.

This Break focuses on improving the quality of life for people who live independently at an assisted living facility.

This Break focuses on providing support in an educational setting focused on children from 6 weeks old to 6 years old. 

This Break focuses on working to protect the lives of previously exploited animals through rescue, education, and advocacy.

This Break focuses on working to conserve and improve the Earth’s natural environment by maintaining public land. Break location varies by season.

This break focuses on assisting with food preparation and service for individuals experiencing homelessness. Break location varies by season.

This Break focuses on working to maintain historical sites and landmarks.

Focuses on working to build affordable housing options for communities impacted by natural disasters. Break location varies by season.

This Break focuses on assisting with food preparation and service for communities experiencing homelessness.

This Break focuses on interacting with grades K-5 in a diverse classroom setting at a school focused on leadership development.

This Break focuses on working with the LGBTQ+ community to promote education, awareness, and advocacy for health and equal rights. 

This Break focuses on working to relieve communities that have been affected by natural disasters.

This Break focuses on gardening in an urban setting to provide nutritional support for individuals living in food deserts. 

This Break depending on season works to ensure nutritional accessible food is available for all communities or helps to provide nutritional assistance to individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and cancer. Break location varies by season.

This Break focuses on working to restore and protect the environment and its natural habitats.Break location varies by season.

This Break works to help children born internationally transition into the American school system.

This Break works to make housing affordable by providing maintenance and repairs.

This Break focuses on assisting with food distribution for individuals living in a rural community.

This Break serves with an organization whose goal is breaking the cycle of addiction and homelessness. 

This Break interacts with youth, grades K-6, in a classroom setting, 

providing support to elementary schools, and teaching about healthy lifestyles. 

This Break focuses on working to provide support services to families and individuals who have immigrated to the United States.

This Break focuses on assisting efforts to support girls and young women who have experienced domestic violence.

This Break serves in a rural setting to establish an atmosphere of support, respect, and health for persons with disabilities. (This break utilizes equine therapy and participants will be required to interact with the horses). 

This Break focuses on bringing hope and fun to children and families in need by engaging in uplifting activities. 

This Break focuses on working alongside students in urban settings at an after-school program. 

This Break focuses on conserving nature in urban areas and maintaining green spaces.

This Break is an opportunity for students to work in a veteran affairs system to give back to men and women of all ages who have served our country.

This Break works to better the lives of and environment of hurt and injured wildlife so that they can be released back into the wild.

This Break focuses on encouraging children and young adults by helping to provide a safe environment and educational support.

This Breaks works to provide support to youth that lack adequate resources to ensure proper development.

Sign-Ups

Sign-ups for weeklong domestic breaks occur on Tuesdays at 7:30 am. Watch the Alternative Breaks Engage Central page for news on sign-up dates.

Each break has 8 participant spots available to join the 2 site leaders to make a group of ten volunteers. 

Sign-ups occur on a first-come, first-served basis on the Alternative Breaks Engage Portal under "Events".

How to sign up for a Break:

  • Step One: Log onto Engage before 7:30 on sign-up day. 
  • Step Two: Go to the Alternative Breaks Engage Central page.
  • Step Three: At 7:30 events with Break issues as titles will appear. Open the form for the Break that you wish to attend. 
  • Step Four: Click "Sign Up Now."
  • Step Five: You are now registered to attend an Alternative Break. You will receive a confirmation email from the Student Coordinator with more information within the week.

The Waitlist 

Each season of breaks has a waitlist, which will be available as an Engage event per the sign-up directions above. Registration for the waitlist is the same process as registration for a Break.

Being on the waiting list for an Alternative Break means you are on a waiting list for all of the sites within that season of breaks, but will be able to preference which breaks you would prefer. If a participant drops a break, the next person on the waitlist will be contacted. The waitlist is ordered chronologically. If there is no response from the individual being invited to participate in a break, the next person on the waiting list will be contacted to fill the space.

It is unpredictable how many people will be on the waiting list and how much of the waiting list will be used. You may request to know where you are on the waiting list by contacting the current student coordinator. ‚Äč

Individuals can be added to a break up until the Friday five weeks before the break goes out (or in the case of breaks not leaving the first weekend of the break, five weeks before the beginning of the University break).  

(alt text here)

Put your learning into motion.