Alternative spring breaks have been drawing in more and more students each year. This is in part because many are looking for something more than themselves to feel good about and feel that giving back is a great way to do so.
So what can you do for an alternative Spring Break?
"Alternative Spring Break," or ASB, usually means doing volunteer work during Spring Break. This life changing experience allows college students to get close to others in desperate situations both in the USA and abroad. Rebuilding communities for hurricane survivors and other natural disasters gives students a sense of pride, accomplishment, and the rewarding experience of having given back to the community.
Check with your college or University's Community Service Center or Office to see what Alternative Spring Break trips your school offers. There is often a variety of trips you can register for right through your school. Or see if your school has a chapter of Break Away, nonprofit organization that helps students to organize volunteer opportunities and service trips. Alternatively (no pun intended), you can reach out to organizations like Habitat For Humanity and United Way to see what options they offer.
Specifically want to volunteer abroad for Spring Break? Projects Abroad offers opportunities specifically tailored for a one-week spring break trip and here at StudentUniverse, we offer options for Volunteer Tours where you can really get to know the country and do some good at the same time. There are also many religious groups that offer spring break trips to impoverished countries to help those in need there.
For a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunity resources for students, check out this page from About.com. Have a look around to see what appeals to you!
Immerse yourself in the Culture! Go somewhere inspiring or rich in history and culture that is completely different from what you are accustomed to. While not the traditional definition of "Alternative Spring Break," this certainly is an enriching alternative to what many college students think of as Spring Break (crowds, beaches, crazy parties, and the like). There are so many wonderful places to visit that often get overlooked with the spring break crowd.
For example, India is an amazing country full of history and wonder. Among them, the majestic city of Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple (the Sikh holy site) and Agra, which is home to the Taj Mahal will leave you feeling rediscovered. Or visit the central plains in Vietnam, where well-preserved lush forests are still homes to native tribes. You may even see the occasional elephant. The Hindu temples and hot springs in Bali may be another place to consider. With so many options to be discovered and so much to choose from, your brief cultural spring break could prove to be life-changing.
Other ways to enjoy Spring Break can be to:
Forget the beach, head underground and go caving! Check with your school for a club that is centered on outdoor pursuits or extreme sports to find something catered towards beginners. Very often, clubs will organize extended trips for spring break. If you can, head to the Yorkshire Dales in England to explore some of the caves there. They have a training facility as well as caves for all levels of subterranean adventurers.
Sometimes the coolest things are found right under your nose. If you go to school in a large city, or are near one, go exploring. Many times college students don’t get a chance to do touristy things, so take this chance to go discover why people actually visit your city. Check out the internet to find great student deals and rates on local attractions. Go somewhere without a map and get lost to see what you will discover. Sample local food and visit the markets. The nice thing about staying close: you will save money by not having to pay for a hotel!
Become a History Hunter
Take off and discover some of a nation’s history! So many people never get to learn the history of their country, so take this chance to do so. If you are in the United States, visit Washington DC or Williamsburg, VA. If in Europe, take advantage of student rates and visit castles and historical sites and learn the history behind the walls. Discover the history of a monarchy and learn about kings and queens. Who knows, you might discover something amazing!
Hit the wilderness with a few friends and discover the great outdoors. Find a National Park near you and spend the nights roasting marshmallows and the days hiking. Check with friends living locally and see if you can scrounge up any camping gear to borrow. If not, everyone can pitch in to get low-cost camping gear. Cannoning, biking, hiking, and fishing are just some of the many fun activities there are to do.
Spring break options are unlimited, all you have to do is think big and be creative. Don't forget, we offer great flights to so many places around the world, so book your ticket here!