Alternative Break 2023 Participant Application

What is Alternative Break?

Alternative Break is a transformative experiential learning opportunity where participants spend their academic break addressing critical issues throughout the country and world. The mission of Alternative Break is to empower participants to progress from members of their community to active citizens. With education, direct service, and reflection as a guide, participants embrace self-discovery and foster a sense of social awareness.
Each Alternative Break team consists of student participants, 2 student Site Leaders, and 1 faculty/staff advisor. Prior to the trip, participants engage in education, orientation, and trainings (EOTs); fundraising; and service. During the trips, participants take part in strong direct service, educational programing, daily reflection, and leadership development. Further, when teams return to campus they participate in re-orientation, reflection, and post service.

Qualifications and Expectations

All students who are currently enrolled at the College of Charleston are qualified to participate in Alternative Break. Previous experience with leadership or service is not necessary; however, the ideal participant has a passion for positive social change. The Alternative Break program is committed to providing access for all people with disabilities. Please contact Stephanie Visser at for more information.
Please read all statements in the form below carefully and seriously. Sign to indicate your agreement.
If you have any questions regarding the statements below, please reach out to before January 23, 2023. Thank you!

Trip Descriptions

Queer Resistance: Finding Joy as a Form of Liberation
New York City – March 6th-11th, 2023
$250* this cost includes all lodging, meals, and transportation
What is joy and how do you find it? Students will travel to New York City where they will explore the definition of joy and what it means for the queer community. We’ll journey through the Gay Rights Movement, from its beginnings at the Stonewall Inn to vibrant queer-friendly neighborhoods in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, unpacking the queer community’s history of overcoming hatred. Participants will have the opportunity to view the LGBTQIA+ landscape of NYC through a lens of empowerment, focusing on queer representation in media and pop culture, inclusive sex education access to healthcare for aging queer folk, and more. Through direct service, immersive experiences, and intentional reflection, this trip will challenge participants to think critically about the queer pursuit of happiness in the United States.
How I Met Big Brother: An Exploration of American Historical Censorship
Washington, D.C. – March 5th-9th, 2023
$250* this cost includes all lodging, meals, and transportation
Participants will travel to Washington, D.C. to learn about the American censorship of cultural and historical education
through a critical lens. Participants will be visiting historical monuments such as the National Gallery and exploring
famous D.C. museums to experience censorship throughout American history and media. We will be examining how our
cultural and historical education has been curated, and how museums can be used to aid the spread of propaganda.
Participants will visit the headquarters of Free the Facts, a nonpartisan organization that educates Americans about
governmental issues that are often unreported. Through educational experiences and intentional reflection, the trip will
challenge participants to rethink how history is told.

Things to Know

  • AB Participants should expect to walk up to 1-1.5 miles at a time. Think from the Cistern to the Battery.
  • Lodging will be provided in hostels. We will be living simply and communally. Participants will be expected to live in gender inclusive spaces. Based on hostel, service site, city specific guidelines, participants will be required to be up to date on vaccinations, including COVID-19.
  • Most meals will be made and served by the group at the hostel through the trip’s budgeted grocery allowance.
  • All activities and outings are ultimately decided and planned by the site-leaders. Participants are expected to stay with the group during the entire duration of the trip.
  • Trips will likely utilize public transportation.

Alternative Spring Break Timeline

  • January 23rd: Applications due by noon on 1/23/23. Applicants will be notified if they have been selected for
    an interview by midnight on January 23rd.
  • January 24th & 27th: Interviews
  • January 27th: Participants notified of selection by midnightJanuary 30th All participant meeting, 4:30-6:30pm
  • February 6th: All participant meeting, 4:30-6:30pm
  • February 13th: All participant meeting, 4:30-6:30pm
  • February 20th: All participant meeting, 4:30-6:30pm
  • February 27th: All participant meeting, 4:30-6:30pm
  • March 5th-11th: SPRING BREAK!
  • March 20th: All participant meeting, 4:30-6:30pm

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