Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in GW Alternative Breaks?

GW Alternative Breaks are open to all enrolled George Washington University undergraduate and graduate students. Students going abroad in the Spring are eligible to apply for Winter trips. Students graduating in December are not eligible to participate on our trips. GW faculty and staff members can participate as learning partners.

Do I need community service experience to apply?

No! GW Alternative Breaks is open to all students regardless of community service experience.

How many trips are there?

There are currently 1 Fall trip, 5 Winter trips, and 5 Spring trips for the 2017-2018 academic year.

How many students are on each trip?

Trips vary in size from 10 student participants to 45 student participants. Each trip also has anywhere from 2-3 student leaders and 1-2 faculty/staff members depending on location.

What are the dates for this year’s trips?

The Fall Break trip will be from October 7-10, 2017. Winter break trips are from January 6-13, 2018 during the last week of Winter break. Spring break trips are from March 10-17, 2018.

How do I apply for Alternative Breaks?

The application for our Fall Break trip is released every August, and the applications for Winter and Spring Break trips are released every September. For the 2017-2018 Winter and Spring Break trips, the applications are open now and will close Friday, September 29th and Wednesday, October 4th (respectively). See the "Apply" page of our website for more details.

What is the weekly time commitment required for Alternative Breaks participants?

In addition to the trip itself, participants are required to attend weekly trip meetings and fundraisers. Weekly trip meetings are about an hour long and consist of pre-trip education and logistics. The number of fundraisers varies weekly per trip and is based on the amount of fundraising required.

How much do Alternative Break trips cost?

Participant costs vary per trip. The participant cost listed on each trip page is the amount trip participants are required to pay out of pocket. This cost covers transportation, accommodation, meals, and cultural activities. The remainder of the trip cost is fundraised. The amount of fundraising required also varies by trip and the amount of effort required is listed on the trip page. Souvenirs and other personal costs are to be covered by the participant and are not included in the participant cost.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. The GW Alternative Breaks Program offers a scholarship program to cover part of the participant cost. The scholarship program is offered to the highest scoring applicants on an essay based application that is released in the Fall. For more information and to apply, see the "Scholarship" page of our website.