GW Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks logo over picture of students partaking in service project


Applications are open from Monday, September 14, 2020 to Friday, October 2, 2020 and late applications are not accepted.

Alternative Breaks are substance-free, community service-learning experiences typically during the university's fall, winter, and spring breaks. For the 2020-2021 academic year, all service experiences will occur during spring break as a proactive measure to mitigate COVID-19 related scheduling concerns. To read more about how we are planning for complications as a result of COVID-19, please select the “2020-2021 Service Experiences” tab on the left side of the page. This year, participants and leaders will be serving in the local DC community employing virtual and in-person service opportunities with a variety of community partner organizations.

Our student-led program features six service experiences that provide students the opportunity to become active citizen leaders while building lasting connections with people from various communities through a mutually-beneficial experience. Each experience has its own unique service area and pre-trip education meetings allowing students to become informed about the community and issue area with which they will be working. 

This year, education is more important than ever. Because we are limited in our ability to serve in person, learning about and with community organizations is crucial to fully understand our role as GW students in the DC community even if we may not be there physically. Each service group will participate in educational meetings every other week in the fall and weekly meetings in the spring to discuss their specific issue area focus and how their community partners engage in the DC community. Additionally, all participants will learn about the basics of DC, racial justice, and the mission and vision of the Alternative Breaks program in their virtual orientation and through a virtual speaker series hosted for the entire program throughout the academic year. To learn more about the specific service experiences offered this year, please visit the “2020-2021 Service Experiences” tab on the left-hand side of this page.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weekly time commitment required for Alternative Breaks participants?

Participants are required to attend educational meetings every other week in the fall and weekly educational meetings during the spring. Participants are also expected to participate in program-wide Alternative Breaks fundraising efforts and program-wide days of service before and after their service experience over spring break. The weekly time commitment for participants is 3-5 hours on average per week. 

How much do Alternative Break trips cost?

There are no participant fees for the 2020-2021 academic year. All service experiences are free for participants!


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