Student Volunteers, text saying "volunteer during spring break!"

NYU Alternative Breaks 

The Alternative Breaks (AB) program provides students with the opportunity to learn about political and social community dynamics while becoming a catalyst for collaborative social change. Through learning and practice, students will explore the theory of integrating service, education, and reflection to create meaningful change in their communities.

In March 2019 over 200 NYU students traveled across the world to spend their winter break or spring break working with various host communities on such issues as poverty alleviation, homelessness, public health, food justice, economic inequality, and the environment.

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.

Our vision is to create a community of lifelong active citizens who prioritize the pursuit of social justice: people who value the community as a priority when making life decisions. As part of the Alternative Break experience, participants will become more educated and experienced in all sides of a social issue. Upon return, they will be empowered to make more informed decisions and take meaningful action that supports a greater good. They will become contributing members of society and will weigh in on issues that impact their community.

Questions about the AB program can be directed to

Applications have closed for the 2023-24 Alternative Breaks programs. 

For the 2024-25 applications for site leaders will open in April 2024.  Participant applications will open in September 2024. 

Frequently Asked Questions