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.
The Student Engagement office is excited to offer Alternative Break Trips that engage students in supporting and addressing social justice issues. Each trip will address an issue that is affecting many communities around the world, allowing students to connect to their passions for helping others while directly providing service for those in need.
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 local 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.
According to the EPA, “Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies”. Participants on this trip will volunteer with and learn from local community organizations and activists about the environmental injustices facing many communities. Join this team to learn how we can strengthen our communities to prevent future environmental injustices.
Each year, an estimated 5,500 individuals are homeless in the Western New York area; over half of these individuals are experiencing homelessness for the first time. Additionally, deep poverty is even more concentrated in the city which contains 48% of households with incomes below $10,000. Participants on this trip will explore a variety of social issues that intersect with issues of homelessness and poverty in the Buffalo area. Join this team to volunteer with various non-profit organizations that provide support and resources to strengthen our local community.
Attend an information session! Students are encouraged to attend an information session to learn about which Alternative Break experience will best meet their passions! You can sign up for these information sessions on UBLinked.
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.
The projects that students have participated in addressed issues such as: Access to Education, Environmental Justice, Civil Rights, Food Apartheid, and Systemic Poverty.
After your trip, you’ll be able to share the lessons you learned with your classmates, and continue volunteering in the local community.
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.