Read below to review some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Alternative Breaks. Have a question that is not answered below? Reach out to the CU Alternative Breaks team at and we would be more than happy to help you!

What are Alternative Breaks?

The CU Alternative Breaks program sends teams of college students to engage in meaningful service during their breaks from school. This program provides students with the opportunity to explore the United States while making a difference through service, reflecting upon their experience and creating long-lasting connections with others. We hope you’ll be a part of this experience!

What do you do on an Alternative Breaks program?

While each program is different, all focus on a particular social or environmental issue. Each program will engage in meaningful service, reflect and create connections with others.

How do I get involved with Alternative Breaks?

Site Leaders: Each Alternative Breaks program is led by two site leaders. Site leaders are responsible for planning all aspects of an Alternative Breaks program, which includes recruiting participants, facilitating pre-program meetings, and leading the group during the program. In addition, site leaders create safe spaces for learning and reflection, encourage and foster full participation, and implement the philosophies of the Volunteer Resource Center and Alternative Breaks program. To learn more, visit the Become a Site Leader page. 

Participants: Any student is welcome to participate in Alternative Breaks! To learn more, visit the Spring Break Programs page.

Can I go on an Alternative Breaks trip with my friend?

When applying to participate in an Alternative Breaks program, we highly suggest ranking programs based upon your personal interests. While that may be a different program than your friend is interested in, we believe it is important to step outside your comfort zone and spend a week with people who are new to you. You never know ... you could gain another great friend!

Why are Alternative Breaks programs drug-, tobacco- and alcohol-free?

The Alternative Breaks program adheres to the 8 Components of a Quality Alternative Break, as outlined by Break Away: the Alternative Break Connection Inc. An important aspect of the experience is full engagement, which substances have the ability to interfere with. Out of respect for the communities we serve and our fellow students – and to help create a meaningful, productive, and educational AB experience – drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are not permitted, regardless of one’s age.

How much does it cost to participate in an Alternative Breaks program?

The Alternative Breaks program cost will vary, and is dependent on transportation, food, lodging and community partner fees. The program has many scholarships available. Indicate interest and need when submitting the participant application. To learn about the cost, visit the Spring Break Programs page.

How will we travel to our destination and where do we stay?

All Alternative Breaks programs travel in a 12- or 15-passenger van. Each program varies in terms of its eating and sleeping arrangements. Some organizations provide housing and meals, while others buy and cook their own food. In the past, programs  have stayed at local churches, camped in tents or stayed at the host agency.

How many people go on an Alternative Breaks program?

There are 10 participants and two site leaders on each Alternative Breaks program.

Why doesn’t the website reveal the specific destination of the Alternative Breaks programs and when do we find out where we are going?

The CU Alternative Breaks program has made the intentional decision to only advertise the state in which the their programs are traveling to. This decision was made in order to encourage participants to apply for a program based on a program topic that interests them rather than the destination of interest. Once accepted into the Alternative Breaks program, participants will learn their specific destination at the Reveal event.