You’ve drunk your fill on the Vegas strip, you’ve slept on one too many beaches in Cabo and you’ve even stumbled and fallen into the streets of your hometown. Why not shake things up and try an Alternative Spring Break this year? Organizations like Project’s Abroad and Habitat For Humanity offer alternative spring break trips designed especially for college students. Colleges and universities sometimes set up group trips ahead of time, so check with your school and see if you can’t make some local friends along the journey.
With Projects Abroad’s Alternative Spring Break Trips you have the chance to not only experience a new culture, but also impact the local community where you volunteer. Think you feel good partying on the beach? Try having someone shake your hand because you’re the first American they’ve ever met. Think you can’t make a difference in just a week? Think again. The Alternative Spring Break Trips offer weeklong trips abroad, which are scheduled during major university breaks. Volunteer with preplanned trips in Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Morocco, or plan your own in South America, Asia, and parts of Africa. Volunteers work together on a service project arranged by the company’s local staff members and receive food and accommodation. More information on the programs offered can be found here: http://www.projects-abroad.org/. Bring your knowledge and experiences gained abroad back to your campus or community and apply for The Ellen and Derek van Bever Award. A $1,000 scholarship is presented annually to one NSCS member who exemplifies an extraordinary service accomplishment, which has in turn created a contagious, positive effect on their campus or community. Find key dates, eligibility requirements, and more information at http://www.nscs.org/scholarships/ellen-and-derek-van-bever-award/.
If you enjoy the outdoors and have plans to stay in town, or at least the United States, this Spring Break why not volunteer with the American Hiking Society (AHS)? The AHS offer Volunteer Vacations include a series of trail building projects across the State’s public lands. Crews consisting of 6-15 volunteers are accompanied by a crew leader while backpacking or day hiking and accommodations can vary from campsites to cabins. The best thing about Volunteer Vacations, is that it allows you to not only look after our public lands, but also gain valuable volunteer experience, meet new people, and experience in the great outdoors! For more information check out http://www.americanhiking.org.
I’m sure you’ve at least heard of Habitat for Humanity, if not already volunteered for the organization. Well, Habitat has an international branch, as well (just incase you didn’t already know) – Habitat for Humanity Global Village. Volunteer teams get to travel to destinations throughout the United States and even around the world. These volunteer teams help advocate better living conditions, as well as raise funds to help locals in their volunteer location. They work with members of the host community in building suitable, affordable housing. What that really means is that you’ll be working on house construction, renovations and disaster relief. But you’ll also be advocating for improving not only the housing, but quality of living both in the States and around the world. For more information on programs visit http://www.habitat.org/gv/.
Bianca Williams graduated from the University of Arizona where she spent 4 years as a DJ and PA for KAMP Student Radio, as well as interning for a local record/concert promotion company. She possess a love for all things New Media, traveling, languages, film, radio, photography, vintage bikes, snowboarding… everything! and is in pursuit of a career in freelance writing. All of her musical tastes and influences come from her world travels and the amazing people who have shared their lives with her along the way. Bianca is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and works as an NSCS Social Media Ambassador. Follow her on Twitter @biancadene.