Whether it's working in community gardens around Buffalo, NY or teaching English to children in the Dominican Republic, UB students are making a positive global impact.
Alternative Break programs let you volunteer, perform community service and have unique learning opportunities during your winter or spring break. By spending time immersed in a new community, you’ll learn about your role as a global citizen, make new friends and connections, and discover how you can become an agent of change.
After your trip, you’ll be able to share the lessons you learned with your classmates, and continue volunteering in the local community.
The Student Engagement office offers Alternative Break Trips that engage students in direct service to address community needs. Each trip will focus on a social justice issue and allow students to learn about themselves and others while volunteering locally, nationally, and internationally. Trips may vary year to year depending on the availability of community partners and the prevalence of social justice issues to be addressed.
Below are descriptions of the trips for the 2023 season.
On any given day over 8,500 people in Toronto are experiencing homelessness. Participants on this trip will explore a variety of social issues that intersect with issues of homelessness and poverty in the city of Toronto. Join this team to volunteer with various non-profit organizations that provide support and resources to strengthen the community.
Refugees face many barriers upon arrival such as unfamiliarity with the local language, systems, technology, food, and climate. Participants of this trip learn about local, national, and international issues surrounding refugee resettlement. Join this team to volunteer with a number of organizations that help to integrate refugees into their new communities and schools.
On this alternative break trip, students will explore how they can be and what it means to be more civically engaged. Participants will learn about critical challenges facing our nation, interact with community leaders, and perform short-term projects with community agencies that work to enact positive social change. Join this team to develop the skills and connections necessary to become life-long active citizens.
The United States has the highest prison and jail population and the highest incarceration rate in the world. Participants on this trip will learn about the U.S. criminal justice system and areas in need of reform within the system. Team members will volunteer with and learn from community organizations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and learn about disability rights, voting rights, reentry, as well as racial, gender and socio-economic disparities within the justice system.
The application process for the 2023 Alternative Break Trips is closed. Check back in September for more information about our trips in 2024!
Any UB student can apply for the Alternative Break program. Each Alternative Break trip typically has 8-15 student participants, two student team leaders and two staff advisers. Students travel as a group to their specified destination with the staff advisers.
The cost for Alternative Break trips ranges widely depending on the trip, transportation costs and other factors. Approximate costs are listed when available. If you are accepted for a trip, you will receive a more detailed estimate. Financial support may be available; please contact the Student Engagement office for more information.
University at Buffalo
150 Student Union, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260
Email: Contact form
Phone: (716) 645-6469