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 (AB) program sends teams of college students to engage in community-based service projects during each college break. This week-long journey provides students with the opportunity to partake in meaningful service, reflect upon their experiences, and create long-lasting connections with others, all with the goal of creating active citizens. We hope you’ll be a part of this experience!

What do you do on an Alternative Breaks trip?

While each trip 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 trip is led by two Site Leaders. Site Leaders are responsible for planning all aspects of an Alternative Breaks trip, which includes recruiting participants, facilitating pre-trip meetings, and leading the group during the trip. 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 an Alternative Breaks trip! To learn more about participating in Alternative Breaks trip, visit the Spring Break Trips page as well as the Weekend Break Trips page.

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

When applying to participate in an Alternative Breaks trip, we highly suggest ranking programs based upon your personal interests. While that may be a different trip 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 Trips drug, tobacco, 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 AB experience is full engagement, which substances have the ability to interfere with. Out of respect for the communities we serve, fellow students, and in order to create a meaningful, productive, and educational AB experience, drugs and alcohol are not permitted, regardless of one's age.

How much is an Alternative Breaks trip?

The Alternative Break Trip cost includes transportation, food, lodging, and community partner fees. The Alternative Breaks program has many scholarships available, just indicate interest and need when submitting the Participant Application. To learn about the cost of our Alternative Breaks trips, visit the Spring Break Trips page as well as the Weekend Break Trips page.

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

All Alternative Breaks Trips travel in a 12- or 15-passenger vans. Each AB trip 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, trips have stayed at local churches, camped in tents, or stayed at the host agency.

How many people go on an Alternative Breaks Trip?

There are 10 participants and 2 Site Leaders on each Alternative Breaks Trip.

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

A few years ago, the CU Alternative Breaks program made an intentional decision to only advertise the state in which the their trips are traveling to. This decision was made in order to encourage participants to apply for a trip based on a trip topic that interests them rather than the destination of interest. Once accepted into the Alternative Breaks program, participants will learn their specific destination at Reveal if participating in a Spring Break Trip and via email if participating in a Weekend Break Trip.