snowy range mountains with the slce logo

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks logo

Program Mission

To engage University of Wyoming students in service-learning across a diverse range of subjects and locations.
The goals of UW Alternative Breaks are:

  • Enact positive change through service
  • Empower student leaders
  • Expand teamwork-oriented skills amongst students
  • Educate on social issues
  • Encourage active citizenship

Information about upcoming Alternative Breaks coming soon!


Details about the Info Night in October and application dates will be posted here


See below for information about last year's trips and FAQs about the program.

Questions? Email

Go Forth and Do Great Things



2024 Alternative Spring Break Trips:


Conservation, Stewardship, and Rock Climbing
Moab, Utah

Join us for our continuing Alternative Break partnership with the UW Outdoor Program! Participants will spend time learning and serving with several different outdoor-focused organizations on projects including trail work and other public land improvements. In addition to service, students will get to experience some of Moab's world-class rock climbing! Instruction and gear is all provided and no previous climbing experience is necessary.


Community Health
Williamson, West Virginia

Spend your break learning about the history and culture of Appalachia while volunteering with the Williamson Health and Wellness Center and their partner organizations. Students will have the opportunity to learn about community health issues such as addiction treatment and prevention, access to healthy foods, and agricultural and economic sustainability.


Immigration and Border Issues
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Visit Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas to participate in a border immersion program that is intentionally designed to provide a comprehensive spectrum of views about immigration and the borderlands by speaking with first-generation immigrants, visiting local organizations working with immigrant populations, meeting with government officials to hear about border protection and law enforcement, learning about immigration law, and building an understanding of economic policies and realities affecting people on the border. 


Animal Welfare
Kanab, Utah

Travel to Kanab this spring to work with animals at the largest sanctuary of its kind in the country. On any given day, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is the healing home for up to 1,600 dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, horses, pigs, and other animals! Participants will also learn about their collaborative no-kill movement with the goal of bringing the entire nation to no-kill by 2025!


Youth Environmental Education
Boulder Creek, California

Work with a leading nonprofit camp in the heart of the beautiful California Redwoods to strengthen communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Volunteers take an active role in bringing about meaningful, enduring change in children and families. Participants will work with the camp's Outdoor Science School, where young students experience the thrill of nature through hands-on lessons and activities.


Cultural Heritage

Already have plans for spring break? Join us May 13-23 to learn about Bolivian history and culture while participating in a building project with a local school! This cultural immersion is a great opportunity to broaden your perspective on the world while connecting Bolivian issues to world issues. Students do not need to know Spanish in order to participate on this trip.

Alternative Breaks Information and FAQs

An Alternative Break is an immersive trip meant to engage students in service-learning related to a specific community and social issue. While they are not offered for academic credit, the experience can be similar to taking a condensed course. Alternative Breaks are not vacations.
You must be a full-time, Laramie campus-based, Consolidated Student Services fee-paying UW student in good academic and disciplinary standing to participate in the Alternative Breaks program.

The trips are being offered for free this year! This includes transportation, lodging, admission and program fees, and most meals. The only out-of-pocket expenses you would have are some meals on travel days, incidentals like snacks or coffee, and any souvenirs or other items you choose to purchase.

Additional personal expenses such as passports, visas, vaccinations, and COVID testing are the responsibility of the participant.

In most cases, if you decide to withdraw from a spring break trip after February 1, a charge will be assessed to your student account. This date will be April 1 for the May trip. More information about this is provided on the application.

There are no requirements specific to the program. However, some of the partner organizations that we work with have their own requirements that all participants must meet. More information about this is provided on the application.

The application includes the standard UW liability release and model/photo release forms. Once you are accepted you will need to fill out additional paperwork including a participant agreement, medical information, and an emergency contact form. This must be completed in order to secure your spot on the trip.

Some of our partner organization require additional paperwork that will be provided at a later date by your trip leader.

Students attending an international trip will need to register with the Education Abroad office. You will be provided with directions for doing this from the SLCE office.

All participants are expected to attend all pre-departure meetings and a post-trip reflection session. Participants are also expected to stay in regular communication with their trip leader(s); this means responding to phone calls and/or emails within 48 hours. If a participant is not meeting these requirements, they will receive a warning from SLCE staff. If this continues to be an issue, they will be removed from the program and may incur a fee depending on the date.

While on the trip, all participants are expected to represent UW, SLCE, and the Alternative Breaks program in a positive manner. This includes abiding by the UW student code of conduct, The Alternative Breaks drug and alcohol policy, rules and policies of the host organization, and the direction of trip leaders. Students who choose not to behave in accordance with this expectation will be sent home at their own expense.

No. Alternative Breaks are drug and alcohol free. Students who choose to violate this policy will be sent home at their own expense.

No. Participants are expected to participate fully in all activities and to spend their time with the group during the trip. While there may be some free time, it is generally limited.

Most trips will drive in UW vehicles. We ask that all participants comfortable doing so serve as drivers. All international and occasional domestic trips will fly. Transportation to the airport will be provided for flying trips.

No. All participants will travel with the group.

This is different for every trip and can include accommodations such as a church or community center, a house, hotel or hostel rooms, or even a cabin or yurt. Participants should not expect luxurious accommodations. Sometimes the entire group may share one space for living and sleeping while other times shared rooms are provided. When shared rooms are provided, these will be gender-specific. If you have concerns about this, please contact the SLCE office prior to submitting your application for more information.

We do our best to accommodate all students. However, due to the nature of these trips, what we are able to promise varies from student to student and trip to trip. If you have particular concerns you are encouraged to contact SLCE staff before submitting your application.

All participants are required to attend in-person weekly pre-trip meetings that will be scheduled by your trip leader. These meetings are meant to build group cohesion and provide you with the opportunity to learn more about the place you will be visiting, the issue you will be learning about, and information about trip logistics.

Spring Break participants are expected to attend a reflection lunch at noon on the Monday following the break.

All participants will be asked to take on a group role to assist with the trip. These roles will include things such as meal-planning, leading reflection, or helping to choose recreational or educational experiences. More information will be provided by your trip leader.


We work with a variety of non-profit and government organizations. Specific organizational information will be provided in your pre-trip meetings. While this is a secular program, we do sometimes work with faith-based organizations. You will not be proselytized to, but it is not uncommon to hear individuals reference their faith when sharing their identity, culture, and stories. If you have concerns about this, please contact the SLCE office prior to submitting your application for more information.

Participating in an Alternative Break trip is likely to push you outside of your comfort zone. This is an immersive, group-based experience where participants will have limited time to themselves. Some trips will be discussing difficult or controversial topics. Almost every trip will have something that does not go as planned. All of these things should be looked at as an opportunity for learning and growth. All participants are expected to exhibit flexibility and show respect to others when encountering difficult or unexpected situations.

Please contact the SLCE Office before submitting your application. You can email or drop by Union 033.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Alternative Break trips are drug and alcohol free. This applies to all participants, even those over the age of 21. Issues of community impact, legality, liability, personal safety, and group cohesion are of concern when alcohol and other drugs are consumed on an Alternative Break. At no time, nor under any circumstance are participants, Team Leaders, or staff members permitted to consume alcohol or any illegal drugs while participating in an AB program. Participants in violation of this policy will be sent home immediately at their own expense.


Contact Us

Service, Leadership, and Community Engagement (SLCE) Office
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