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Southern Oregon University

The Alternative Break Program offers immersion service experiences in the region, nation and abroad multiple times per year. Through these trips, students have the opportunity to learn about complex social issues, build relationships with other students and staff, connect with a new community, and contribute important work to local organizations.


Nepal Service & Outdoor Education

Nepal Service & Outdoor Education Trip

From September 3-24, 2014, a group of SOU students will travel to Nepal to volunteer with the organizations Initiative Outdoor and Guiding Disadvantaged Youth to Professions.

Participants will engage in a multitude of service and outdoor education components, including a trek and/or backpacking trip, various service projects and cultural experiences. The specific treks and projects will be shaped by participants.

Applications are now open!

September 3-24, 2014

$3200 + Tuition 

Before you apply, please note:

  • This trip is being offered as a course through the OAL department. Course registration is required upon acceptance and may range from 12-15 credits (your choice).
  • The $3200 trip fee includes everything (flights, in-country transportation, service projects, lodging, food, free day activities, cultural experiences, travel insurance) except course tuition, travel day food and personal purchases such as souvenirs.
  • Passports must be in hand by July 18. If you are placed on the trip and do not already have a passport, apply for your passport right away! It can take up to 6 weeks to receive.
  • All participants are required to engage in an online forum throughout the summer; expectations will include introductions, readings and discussions.
  • Team members are also expected to participate in a Sharing Session during fall term, which will be a presentation to the campus community about your experiences in Nepal.
  • All trip participants will be covered by SOU's international travel insurance, but any and all medical expenses beyond what is covered are the responsibility of the individual traveler.
  • Any of the $3200 balance unpaid as of September 1 will be charged to your student account.
  • Applications are due by Friday, June 13 and applicants will be notified of their acceptance on the trip or placement on the wait list on Monday, June 16.
  • Upon acceptance, a $100 non-refundable deposit is due to the Civic Engagement Program to reserve your spot.
  • Questions can be directed to Erik Sol (, Outdoor Adventure Leadership Instructor, or Brittany Depew (, Environmental and Community Engagement Coordinator.

Sound good?! 

*Apply Here*


~~~Past Trips~~~

June 2014-Guatemala

Alternative Summer Break 2014

From June 16-July 1, SOU students will return to Guatemala for the third time to continue our work with As Green As It Gets. The group will learn about coffee farming, fair trade practices, artisan crafts, non-toxic cosmetics, and will have time to explore a few different regions throughout the country.

Participants will volunteer in the small farming communities of San Miguel de Escobar and Santa Anita, travel to the diverse towns of Antigua and Quetzeltenango, and explore the shores of Lago de Atitlan. Volunteers will be immersed in Guatemalan and Mayan culture, learning much about the communities' challenges and successes, and hearing stories directly from farmers' and their families over dinner.

The group will be housed together, meals will be cooked each day by local women, and transport will be on the local bus system -- quite an experience!


Applications are now closed!

June 16-July 1



Dec 2013-New Orleans

Alternative Winter Break 2013

December 12-22, Outdoor Programs and Civic Engagement hosted SOU's second Alternative Winter Break to New Orleans, LA.

New Orleans was our first ever Alternative Break trip in 2005 and we were thrilled to return nearly 8 years later.

The group of students worked directly in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi. They helped build an oyster reef, maintain a church, volunteer at Head Start and many other amazing tasks. These organizations gave the students a direct look at how the Hurricane affected their lives then and continues to affect them today.

Visit our Facebook page to see some amazing photos from the week. 

March 2014-Bay Area

Alternative Spring Break 2014

From  March 23-29, 10 students and staff traveled to the Bay Area to focus on Early Childhood Education. The group worked with Early Head Start, Head Start and Boys and Girls Club to provide support to their important programming. Check back in April for photos and students' reflections!