Alternative Breaks

The mission of the University of North Texas' Alternative Breaks Program is to raise awareness of social issues and injustices through education and intensive service-learning experiences. Students are immersed in communities that will bring to the forefront of social awareness and inspire lifelong action and friendships.

Alternative Breaks provide a variety of service opportunities. These opportunities not only contribute to a deeper understanding of social issues, service and community but are often the sparks that motivate people to get involved in community service.  Questions or concerns please email

AB Spring Experience Dates

AB Spring Experience Dates
March 9-15, 2024

$300.00 for distant experiences
$150 for local experiences

Applications for Spring Experience 
Now Open: Participants

Potential Spring Social Issues

  • Housing Insecurity
  • Food Insecurity
  • TBD


Meet Our Team

Meet our 2023-2024 Experience Leaders

  • Valerie Owenby

  • Juan Vallejo

  • Mackenzie Jones

  • Amanda Chiaha

Join Alternative Breaks

Site Leader Information

The issues we will be working with include: health and disabilities, disaster relief, poverty and homelessness, animals, environment, education and culture, and youth.

We are seeking 20 dedicated site leaders that can help organize and construct a spring break trip that makes a difference! Site Leaders must commit to attending site leader training and building a strong community amongst their participants.

The Role of a Site Leader

This is a great leadership experience for students who would like to gain more skills working with groups. Before the trip, Site Leaders are responsible for helping to select participants, conducting pre-trip meetings, organizing itineraries and travel logistics, and keeping participants informed. During the trip, Site Leaders work with their Trip Advisors to collaborate with the host site coordinators, mobilize participants, plan meals, trouble-shoot any problems, and facilitate reflection activities each day of service.

Ideal candidates are passionate about service, effective at motivating and organizing teams, are very organized and have a positive attitude. If you see yourself in this role, please apply! Two site leaders will be selected and work as partners on each trip, with one staff advisor.

The Rules

Site Leaders are strongly encouraged to select a diverse group of participants. This ASB experience is not meant to be a trip of all of your friends. Your significant other is not allowed to participate in the same trip as you. Site Leader fees are the same as participant fees for all trips. Only Site Leaders who pass the driver authorization process will be hired to drive vans during spring break. Site Leader trainings and participant events are  mandatory. Site Leaders who miss more than 1 meeting may be terminated from their position. ASB participants must be in good conduct standing with the University of North Texas and have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA.

Alternative Breaks FAQ

What is AB?

Alternative Breaks, AB, is a student-led program advised by the Center for Leadership and Service. AB is a unique learning experience where you will be able to engage in service in a social issue you are passionate about or interested in while being immersed in community and culture.

As an international student can I go on a AB experience?

Yes! As long as you meet the eligibility requirements of AB you are able to apply.

Can students with disabilities go on AB experiences?

The AB program makes every effort to ensure that students with disabilities can participate successfully on trips. If you have any questions or concerns please contact AB at or 940-565-3021.

How are social issues selected?

Experience Leaders propose Social Issues as a part of their application process. The CLS considers the social issue proposals and helps the selected Experience Leaders create experiences focused on the proposed topic or in an intersectional topic.

I'm interested in being an Experience Leader, can I apply?

Interested in leading one of our AB experience? Applications open and close in March, follow @UNTLeadandServe for updates on when applications open.

When is AB?

  • Winter in-person AB- January 8th-15th, 2022
  • Winter virtual AB- January 13th-15th, 2022
  • Spring in-person AB- March 12th-19th, 2022
  • Spring Virtual AB- March 11-13th, 2022

Where does the program usually go?

Experiences are within driving distance in the Southern Region of the US. Previous years, location ranges from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas.

How many people are on experiences?

Generally, 12 participants, which includes one faculty/staff advisor and one experience leader.

Do I have to drive myself to my experience location?

Your program fee will cover your transportation costs. Each experience will have vans that are driven by faculty/staff and students. Experiences will have a designated leave time based on their destination and decided on by the group.

How many hours of service do participants complete on an experience?

It will vary on the experience; most AB experiences will range from 30-45 hours of service during the program. However, your group may have a little less depending on other educational activities or more if your team decides to do service before and/or after your experience locally.

What does my program fee cover?

The program fee is $300 ($100 is a non-refundable deposit) that covers transportation to and from your destination and around the area, lodging, and food except during travel days. The fee also covers any community partner costs that may occur. The fee does not cover excursions, personal snacks, personal items (toothbrush, pillow, etc.), or souvenirs.

Why is my deposit non-refundable?

Our community partners are generally non-profit organizations working with limited resources, and spend a great amount of time and effort to plan and accommodate our students. If a student drops out of the trip- we are still required to pay our community partners and lodging partners for their time and service.

I can't make the whole experience can I come later or leave early?

Unfortunately, due to our policies, students are unable to come late or leave early. We are in the process of looking at shorter trip durations and weekend trips. As well as, we have our virtual experiences. Stay up to date with us @UNTLeadandServe on all social media platforms for announcements.

What is a typical Virtual AB?

Virtual experiences begin on Friday afternoon with a team conversation and overview of the day. After, the team will have the chance to listen and interact with an expert in the field of your social issue. On Saturday, your team will have an orientation with your virtual service partner about their organization, role, and how they interact with the social issue. You will then get time to work with them on a virtual service project. There will be a short break, and you will come back to your service project or work with an additional community partner. On Sunday, you will have reflection, brainstorming, and action plan setting with your team on the next steps beyond this experience.

What is a typical AB week?

Experiences will leave on Saturday and arrive at their destination on Saturday afternoon or evening. Teams will unpack, pick up groceries, make dinner, and set aside time for group reflection and discussion.

Sunday is typically an excursion day decided upon by the team during Pre-Experience Meetings. Teams will come back to make dinner, prepare for service the next day, and have time for group reflection and discussion. Also maybe some board games!

Monday-Friday will be service days. Teams will arrive at their community partners around 8 am, have a break for lunch decided by the group, and end around 5 pm. If teams decide they want to continue to explore their community they will have time after service to do so. Then teams will go back to their lodging, make dinner, and do group reflection and discussion.

Experiences will leave Saturday morning and arrive back on UNT's campus on Saturday afternoon or evening.

What am I eating on an AB?

Teams will be able to build a grocery list for breakfast, lunch, and dinners during their trip. We ask that if you have any food allergies or dietary needs, please let your experience leader know in advance. Typical meals will include cold or continental type breakfasts, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, and group meals for dinner.

What should I pack for AB?

Every experience is different, and your experience leader will provide you with a packing list specific to your group. We do recommend packing light in duffle bags, because of limited cargo space please don't bring hard or large suitcases on the trip. We also recommend bringing reusable water bottles, plates, utensils, and lunch bags. We don't recommend bringing any major valuables like cameras, laptops, or jewelry if it is not needed.

Where does AB stay?

Each trip is unique and will have different lodging arrangements. Trips may be staying in churches or community centers. Your site leader will have more information about your lodging once selected.

What are the expectations for participants?

In your team setting, you will be able to discuss guidelines on how to make your trip successful and welcoming. We ask that you come with an open mind ready to learn and understand more about the social issue and community you will be serving in. As well as, make your payments and submit your trip paperwork on time.Your adventure will begin with us at a Kick-Off event, and your experience leader will have dates for you to meet as a team to get to know one another called Pre-Experience Meetings. We will also host some training, and then meet one last time before your trip leaves at a Pre-Departure Meeting. After your service, we ask that you come back and share your story with other participants during our ReConnect. These dates and times will be given to you when you are selected.