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Weeklong:  Sunday, March 3rd - Saturday, March 9th

Weekend: n/a

Acceptance as a participant in the Alternative Breaks program is application based

Spring 2024 Alternative Break Experiences

The application deadline has passed. Please check back in July for Fall 2024 experiences.


About this Experience

This alternative break aims to delve into the systemic causes of homelessness in America. We are committed to collaborating with community partners to gain a comprehensive understanding of the experiences faced by communities in Seattle. Housing instability is an escalating crisis in America. Due to rapid increases in housing and rent prices, wages have stayed stagnant, leaving most Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Consequently, most Americans are only a few unfortunate events away from being unhoused. Due to the complexity of housing, we will examine the intersections of other critical social justice topics in relation to housing justice during this break. 

Cost: $535

About this Experience

As xenophobia and negative nationalism continue to plague the United States, regulations and laws are continuously passed with the intention to restrict and oppress vulnerable groups. Specifically, many who have immigrated to the United States with hopes of a better life and future and those who are fleeing violence and hunger. On this Alternative Break, we will explore and learn and about the limitations, treatment, and overall criminalization of immigrant communities. We will accomplish this by challenging our understand of borders, policing, migration politics, and liminal bodies. Through this exploration, we will be able to humanize immigrant experiences and identities by participating within the San Diego community while exploring how the criminalization of immigrants adds to the carceral regime.

Cost: $535

About this Experience

1.9 million people are incarcerated within the United States. Our punitive criminal justice system disproportionately imprisons BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals. On this break we will analyze how our language and views on criminality are influenced by systems of white supremacy, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy to better understand how incarceration is used as a tool of suppression. During this Alt Break we will explore prison abolition as well as various reform approaches to mass incarceration. We will engage in educational and reflective experiences that will better our understanding of the underlying causes and impacts of mass incarceration on marginalized communities. 

Cost: $535

About this Experience

Our identities are important in how others perceive us and move through society.It's important to recognize the ways in which factors like race also influence our educational experiences. Our educational system continues to be influenced by ideas of white privilege and classism, which bars marginalized and underserved communities from accessing educational benefits that enable social mobility.Historically, the United States has prioritized the needs of certain racial groups over others, resulting in segregated and underfunded schools, phenomena like the school-to-prison pipeline, and important legal decisions that have huge implications for students, like the reversal of the affirmative action policy that was intended to mitigate educational inequities. On this break, we will connect with various organizations in the Los Angeles area that work to counter these inequities, and we'll learn how to begin to change our thought patterns and find ways of addressing these issues as individuals within Utah's higher education system.  

Cost: $535

About this Experience

Sex and Healthy relationships is a critical and sensitive social justice issue. Participants on this break will learn and engage with sensitive subjects including sex, rape, human trafficking, interpersonal violence, sex work, survivors and more. Please consider your personal comfort level in these topics prior to applying to this break. During this break, we will learn the different ways we interact with each other and ourselves through a sociological lens. Sex is integrated into the nature of a human being, therefore this break will examine both the biological, historical, and personal approach to relationships. We will engage with marginalized communities who face barriers in their sexuality, the sex industry, and their day-to-day relationships. We will aim to deconstruct this social justice issue with caution and an open mind. This AB aims to create a safe space to reflect, engage, and learn about this social justice issue, so join us to learn more.  

Cost: $535

"Recognizing and Overcoming Inequity in Higher Education."

This break will work within the theme by selecting participants who are active participants of
TRIO SSS. This immersive experience, designed for student engagement, delves into the
profound impact of historical disparities marginalized groups face in higher education. The break
is a gateway for participants to actively contribute to dismantling these barriers while gaining a
deeper understanding of the intersectionality at play and their identities.
Its a great opportunity for those passionate about fostering inclusivity and equity in educational
spaces. Through a carefully crafted itinerary, participants will explore the historical context of
systemic inequities, providing a comprehensive foundation for their advocacy efforts. Engaging
with local communities, educational institutions, and organizations, students will witness
firsthand the challenges marginalized groups face, fostering empathy and a sense of

An integral aspect of the break is emphasizing the identity work of Underrepresented students*
Through workshops, discussions, and collaborative projects, participants will unravel the unique
hurdles marginalized communities often face, paving the way for informed and compassionate
advocacy. While challenging the current norms, and systemic disparities in higher education.

** Students who identify as members of a group who have been historically excluded or
marginalized from equal access to opportunities or resources, and their representation in a
particular field is lower than what is expected from their presence in the general population.

Only available for TRIO students.

About this Experience

Civilization and the growth of urban areas coexist with our natural environments, so it is our responsibility as civilians to ensure sustainable coexistence. The presence of urban areas has led to various environmental challenges. Addressing these issues is crucial to foster a harmonious relationship between urban development and nature. Through education and hands-on experiences with the community in Portland, the Urban Environmentalism break will discover the challenges and solutions for more sustainable cities. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between urban development and the environment. 

Cost: $535

Participant Information

The Alternative Breaks spring selection process is application based only (not first-come, first-served). 

These are the expectations to which the Bennion Center holds all of its Alternative Breaks participants. Failure to adhere the Alternative Breaks and University of Utah policies will result in expulsion from the program and forfeiture of deposit and/or entire trip cost.

All participants are expected to:

  • Attend a Justice Workshop in preparation for their AB experience (approximately 1.5 hours)
  • Attend all pre-departure meetings and other trip activities and trainings (approximately 6 hours)
  • Provide policy information for any personal medical insurance they will have for the duration of their trip in the event of a medical emergency. Medical insurance is not a requirement to participate in Alternative Breaks; a secondary group insurance is purchased to cover those who do not have medical insurance.
  • Be financially responsible for any incidental personal expenses incurred during the trip (i.e. souvenirs)
  • Participate in all trip activities including work/service projects, team-building exercises, and other activities as determined by group leaders
  • Abide by all University of Utah policies and procedures as they apply to the Alternative Breaks experience
  • Remain alcohol- and drug-free from date of departure until time of return
  • Participate in a post-break Reorientation event (Friday, March 29th from 4:00pm-6pm & location TBD).

Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected by Monday, January 29th. At this time, applicants who have been selected will have until Wednesday, January 31st to reserve their spot with a $100.00 down payment. Payment method will be available online. Failure to place a down payment will result in forfeiture of your spot. Down Payments are non-refundable.

Payment Plans: Special arrangements may be made concerning a payment plan for the down payment/total payment. Please contact alternativebreaks@utah.edufor more information.

Total costs must be paid by Wednesday, February 14th.

If you cancel your reservation on an experience after Thursday, February 15th you are responsible for the entire cost of the experience. Non-compliance is subject to a hold being placed on your University records.

Expenses covered by your payment include all community engagement activities, transportation, meals, and lodging throughout the experience.

For any questions or concerns please contact Alternative Breaks.



November 6th

January 16th

January 29th

January 31st


February 14th

March 3rd-9th

March 29th

Participant + Discount application opens

Participant + Discount applications close

Notification of Participant Status and Break Discount

Participant Agreement & non-refundable Down Payment is due to confirm participation

Final Payments due

Alternative Spring Break

Reorientation Event


Please contact with any questions

Support for Alternative Breaks experiences provided by:

U of U Alumni Association Logo
Parent fund
BW Bastian Foundation
Last Updated: 1/17/24