Frequently Asked Questions

What is ASB

Alternative Student Breaks is a student run service program that is based out of the Office of Student Involvement in the Division of Student Affairs. The Alternative Student Breaks program places teams of college students in communities to engage in service and experiential learning during their academic breaks. The objective of an Alternative Student Break is to involve college students in community-based service projects and to give students opportunities to learn about the problems faced by members of other communities. Being completely immersed in diverse environments enables participants to experience, discuss, and understand social issues in a significant way. The intensity of the experience increases the likelihood that participants will transfer the lessons learned on-site back to their own communities after the Alternative Student Break ends.

How did ASB originate?

Alternative Student Breaks began as a rather large dream in spring 2008. Students saw the necessity and exciting opportunities that existed to perform service and make a difference in someone else’s life while they had a break from class. Out of that dream, Alternative Spring Break was started to give students the opportunity to perform community service on their Spring Break. Students are also given the chance to spend time with other Auburn students all while helping others and making a difference!

ASB sent out its first service trip in spring 2009. For Alternative Spring Break 2009, a group of nineteen students traveled to Charleston, South Carolina. While there for 5 days, the group was able to work on several houses with Habitat for Humanity.

After the success of the first break experience, the ASB program grew and expanded to offer three trips for Spring Break 2010. With increased participation and a desire to offer this experience to more students, the program is working to offer more opportunities throughout the academic year.  With the scope of the program broadening, it became evident that a name change was needed.

After  much discussion, the name Alternative Student Breaks emerged as the best candidate based on the fact it embodies exactly what the program stands for.

When are the trips?

ASB sends students on trips during academic breaks throughout the year. The breaks when trips are offered are: Fall break, Winter break, and Spring break.

What do these trips do?

These trips work with agencies in communities across the globe dealing with many issues. Trips are coordinated to work with specific volunteer organizations related to their trip issue. Trips have rebuilt homes, worked with special needs children and adults, and most importantly, built relationships with those whom they are helping and those they are serving with. With the growth of the program, several more issues will be addressed by trips and their participants in the coming year. In addition to active service, participants are involved in educating themselves about their trip issue.

How can I participate?

There are five ways to participate:

As a Participant: Apply to be part of a group that goes on a community service trip during an academic  break. Once placed on a trip, participants will attend weekly/biweekly meetings with their trip to educate themselves about their issue, establish fundraisers, and to prepare for their trip.
As a Site Leader: Site Leaders are placed on a specific trip and coordinate trip logistics, site development, participant recruitment, and program planning. The role of a Site Leader is a time intensive and extremely rewarding endeavor. Site Leaders commit to the year-long development of the program and participate in a training program.
As an Executive Officer: Executive Officers are students who oversee the entire Alternative Student Breaks Program. An Executive Officer makes a year-long commitment to the program and undergoes an extensive training. He or she is responsible for recruitment and training of Site Leaders and assist leaders with the resources necessary for them to do their jobs.
As a Trip Advisor: The role as Trip Advisor is a unique way for professional staff, faculty, or graduate students to participate in an alternative break experience. Trip Advisors are facilitators: they attend this trip to support and enhance students’ experiences by aiding the Site Leader(s) in the facilitation of the trip. Trip Advisors are not expected to plan any logistical aspect of the trip; that role sits with the Site Leader(s), although Trip Advisors should receive that information from the Site Leader(s).Each ASB trip must be accompanied by an Auburn University faculty or staff member. He/she will serve as a liaison of Auburn, ensure compliance with AU and ASB policies, oversee the participants and Site Leader(s), and mitigate emergency situations and/or conflicts.
As a Donor: Financial and in-kind donations are necessary to make the Alternative Student Breaks Program possible. For more information on how to help Auburn University students serve the community through this program, please contact us.

How much do the trips cost? What does the cost cover?

The fee for students to participate in Alternative Student Breaks prices will vary depending on site location. For the most up to date pricing information, always check applications.

How will we get there?

Domestic trips travel in mini-vans or sport utility vehicles from a local rental dealership. International trips will fly.

Can I participate in more than one trip?

As a participant, you are only allowed to participate in one trip per academic year. As a site leader, you are allowed to site lead only 1 trip per year.

How can I learn more?

Feel free to contact asbtrip@auburn.edu or any of the leaders with further questions! For the most up-to-date information about applications and events visit the ASB AUinvolve page.Also, don’t hesitate to drop by the Office of Student Involvement located in 3130 AU Student Center to ask about ASB!

Last modified: August 27, 2016