Huskie Alternative Breaks

Huskie Alternative Breaks (HAB) are one week-long, service-learning group trips during the university's spring break. Each trip focuses on a particular social issue, such as (but not limited to) poverty, education reform, refugee resettlement and the environment. You'll learn about the social issues through trainings beforehand and then engage in specific projects with non-profit organizations based on the social issue during that break trip.

In addition, you'll enroll in a service-learning course that provides all necessary training and education prior, during and after the alternative break trip.

I joined HAB because I wanted to get involved on campus and meet new people. I had no idea HAB would leave such a lasting impression. Through HAB I’ve been inspired to volunteer in my community, made lasting friendships, strived to be a better, more considerate individual and discovered a passion for service. I wish I had known about Huskie Alternative Breaks earlier in my college career.

Anna Cosenza Participant and Site Leader

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are alternative breaks alcohol-free?

Alternative breaks were founded as an alternative to the typical spring break experience. Alcohol affects group dynamics, participant safety, the local community, the university and the national alternative break student movement. As members of Break Away, we adhere to the 8 Quality Components, including alcohol-free breaks.

What do we eat and where do we sleep?

Accommodations are either provided by the host site or determined by the trip leaders. Possibilities include staying in tents, a church, a cabin or in the actual service organization/volunteer center. Food is also determined by each trip. Some sites provide meals, either for free or low-cost. Other trips have to buy and prepare all of their meals.

What is the typical schedule for an alternative break trip?

An alternative break is a service trip and participants will be volunteering almost every day, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The schedule will vary depending on the trip and the student leader. It is also typical to have team meetings and/or reflection sessions daily in addition to the scheduled service work. Every trip leader tries to allow time for sightseeing, exploring and may plan small field trips. However, the main focus is service, and the majority of the time will be spent volunteering.

Contact Us

Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning
Altgeld Hall 100
815-753-8154
engage@niu.edu

Business Hours

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Back to top