The Office of Global Services is excited to announce our collaboration with the NYU Center for Student Life’s Alternative Breaks program!

NYU Alternative Breaks fosters a community of active citizens by challenging participants to engage with social issues through a commitment to social justice education; strong, direct service; and reflection to create meaningful change in their respective communities. Generally, the AB program is a year long program, beginning in the Fall of each academic year and concluding in the following Spring semester. Each AB program includes group travel that happens either during the Winter or Spring Break depending on the program. Throughout the program, students engage critically through dialogue, service, and reflection with their NYU peers on a particular social issue.

During group travel, a cohort of students, site leaders, and OGS staff complete a service project. Both the destination country’s cultural context and the social topic of the program determine the service-project focus of each site. OGS-sponsored AB programs take place in Costa Rica, Morocco, and South Africa.

Group Travel Locations


Costa Rica

The Costa Rica Alternative Break trip partners with Global Vision International and has a sustainability focus, working with locals to leave a positive impact on the environment and the community. Previous alternative break participants have participated in beach clean-ups, painting, tree planting, building a turtle nursery, burying turtle eggs, sign-making, and more. Participants learn about sustainability, Costa Rica culture and history, as well as take part in casual Spanish language lessons. This program occurs during Spring Break of NYU’s academic calendar.


The Cross-Cultural Center for Learning trip to Morocco is an immersive educational experience in Rabat and Marrakech. After engaging in an introductory Moroccan Arabic lesson and conversations about current affairs and Moroccan culture, participants are introduced to various human rights organizations and local cooperatives geared towards women's empowerment. This trip provides an educational understanding of service within Moroccan society. This program occurs during Spring Break of NYU’s academic calendar.

South Africa

The South Africa Alternative Break trip is a two week long service trip during J-term partnering with Global Vision International in the surrounding areas of Cape Town. The trip focuses on sustainable community development, specifically, but not limited to, women's empowerment. Last year's trip engaged with community members in the Lwandle and Nomzamo township, where each day students gave computer lessons in the morning and revitalized a school in the afternoon. Aside from daily service projects, participants learn about South Africa's history and culture as they engage critically with activists, entrepreneurs, and fellow community members throughout the trip.

How to Get Involved

The NYU Center for Student Life manages the OGS Alternative Break trips to Costa Rica and Morocco. OGS is involved in the selection of site leader candidates, and works in conjunction with AB throughout the program as points of contact for trip logistics.

Interested in becoming a participant on the Alternative Breaks trip to Cape Town, South Africa in the future? Applications will be linked on this page when available.

Please note that OGS is solely responsible for the administration of the South Africa AB trip, including site leader and participant selection, however, students are included in AB events such as the end of the year CelABration.  Please see NYU’s CSL page for more information related to participation on other AB Spring Break trips.

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