Because Midterms: 8 Awesome Alternative Spring Breaks

by GoAbroad Writing Team

Take your mind off the craziness of your educational endeavors (ugh, midterms) and envision alternative spring break 2018 filled with meaningful experiences! From the forests and jungles in Central America to the mountains and valleys in East Asia, alternative spring break trips await you. Embrace warmer climates, new cultures, and heartfelt #instamazing activities with an alternative spring break abroad. Plus, you’ll be boosting your resume (*wink wink*). 

Because Midterms: 8 Awesome Alternative Spring Breaks

Whether you’re a high school student or a college student looking for volunteer abroad experience you’ll cherish forever, consider one of these eight alternative spring break trips:

What to do for Spring Break 2018?

1. Don't "paws" for this op: Dog and Cat Rescue in Nepal

Puppy in front of a wooden gate
How can you resist helping this face?

Provided By: Experiential Learning International

Were you the child that brought home a stray dog and made your mom shake her head? Between 20,000 to 30,000 street dogs in Kathmandu need your help and loving attention. You can play with them, administer medicine, and prepare meals for these furry animals in need. Consider this alternative spring break abroad, which happens to be one of the top alternative spring break programs for college students studying veterinary medicine. 

2. Get Your Hands Dirty on an Organic Farming Project in Belize

Wooden boxes filled with soil and plants
Get your green thumb skills on with farming.

Provided By: Kaya Responsible Travel

Looking for alternative spring break trips abroad, but not looking to go too far? Belize is just shy of 1,000 miles south of Texas, and volunteers will work on a small farm that works to grow organic food sustainably to support abused and orphaned children. Give back to the children of San Ignacio with this spring break volunteer project that is sure to make a difference. Kaya also offers one-week spring break projects in Ecuador and Costa Rica!

3. The Prescription is in: Alternative Health care Volunteer Program in Mexico 

Students and adults sitting in a circle
Just say “ohm” yes with assisting with wellness in Mexico.

Provided By: Love Volunteers

Spend your week away from school on an alternative spring break trip that brings alternative health care to underprivileged indigenous communities in Temixco. You’ll learn more than you think as a volunteer in Mexico. If you’re interested in yoga and meditation, this is a great alternative spring break opportunity for you to use your creativity in organizing classes and providing support at the wellness center.

4. Yes, it does exist! Circus Arts Volunteer Program in Costa Rica 

Young men juggling
Take multi-tasking with a new level with circus arts.

Provided By: Performing Arts Abroad

Get artsy this spring break by volunteering with at-risk youth in Costa Rica. This program is a great opportunity to use your theatrical skills or dance abilities. From miming to juggling to acrobatics, this program offers a chance to further develop your performance skills while connecting with local teens. This program does require a commitment of at least ten hours of volunteering for a one-week stay.

5. Highland Adventure Student Volunteer Group Project in Thailand 

A woman sitting on an elephant
Get your adrenaline pumping with this program.

Provided By: Friends for Asia

Grab your friends and organize an alternative spring break 2018 adventure! This unique spring break option combines community service at two to three different sites with a side of excitement. Most projects involve some type of work with children, but your volunteer experience could also include a visit to an elephant camp, canopy zip-lining, and a river boat dinner cruise!

6. Join Temple Renovation Efforts in Sri Lanka 

Man painting a column white
Sometimes ancient temples need an upgrade.

Provided By: International Volunteer HQ

Looking to REALLY get away for alternative spring breaks this year? This project focusing on temple renovation in Sri Lanka might be just the ticket. Learn about traditional construction methods and the significance of temples within Sri Lankan culture through repairing and cleaning these ancient structures.

7. Experience True Filipino Hospitality! Volunteer with Children in the Philippines 

Hundreds of Filipino children sitting, pointing, and laughing
Smiling and laughter is contagious while volunteering.

Provided By: Volunteer for the Visayans

Lucky to have a longer spring break? If you have two weeks and extra enthusiasm to spare, participate in an alternative spring break in the Philippines and volunteer with children rescued from the Tacloban City dumpsite. Support interactive activities, help children develop social skills, and serve as a positive role model this spring break!

8. Who wouldn’t want to? Eat Hummus & Volunteer in Morocco

Mother and son at a playground
Pass on skills and knowledge to the next generation abroad.

Provided By: Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS)

Warm up with an alternative spring break abroad in northern Africa. Cross-Cultural Solutions offer participants a plethora of projects that revolve around education, child care, or social services! Get a first-hand look into Islam and the history Rabat offers while making a difference in the lives of others.

How to Find Alternative Spring Breaks Abroad

There are a multitude of ways to zero-in on your ideal alternative spring break trip. Here are some ideas to get that travel-ball rolling:

1. Grab your friends and hit the interwebs. I’m sure you have an altruistic friend or two who would like to join you on this meaningful endeavor! Make a planning date, bring your laptops and lattes, and plunge into Google (or better yet, GoAbroad’s alternative spring break program directory!). 

2. Read. A lot. Be sure to read some articles to better understand your decision to go abroad. Share ideas with your friends. Here are some of our must-reads: 

3. Make a MyGoAbroad account. It’s a free tool to help you bookmark and save programs — because we like to work smarter, not harder. 

4. Craft a shortlist of programs that fit the bill. A handy-dandy list of favorites will make your next stages of research easier.

5. Talk to your study abroad office on campus. It might be that your university already sponsors alternative spring breaks or has pre-existing relationships with program providers — you don’t HAVE to choose this route, but the added in-person support as you navigate your options can be pretty awesome.

6. Weigh all of your options and pick one! After conversations with your advisors, your parents, your friends, etc., decide which program best fits your goals (personal, professional, academic, service-oriented) and needs (a lot of in-country support, all inclusive programming, accommodation considerations, budget, etc.).

7. Bask in your adventure-strewn glory! Huzzah! Remember to prepare yourself to maximize your cultural immersion while traveling and to enter the experience with the heart of a meaningful traveler.

Alternative Spring Break Trips FTW!

Still twiddling your thumbs and wondering “What to do for Spring Break?” We’ve got your answer. From teaching children to helping animals to growing food, these eight alternative spring break trips are in need of someone like you — these programs are *especially* recommended spring break service trips for college students and high school students! You’ll have LOTS of opportunities to visit family or party with friends at home, so take advantage of this time off from school to go abroad and to do something meaningful for others.

Find alternative spring break trips now!