How will you describe your Alternative Spring Break?

Something incredible? The experience of a lifetime? Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is an extraordinary service-learning initiative which connects students to national and international partners, enabling them to engage in meaningful community service and critical reflection.

What is Alternative Spring Break?

ASB is an immersive year-long program that culminates with a week of social engagement and service-learning with a partner organization during reading week in February. For the 2017/2018 program, there are six different trips, each focusing on serving local communities focused on specific themes, including access to education, conservation, and access to clean water.

The reading week experience is preceded by months of preparation, which includes listening to guest speaker seminars, watching fascinating documentaries about a specific topic or theme, participating in various fundraising efforts for the trips, and team-building exercises.

Past projects have included:

  • helping with conservation and environmental monitoring efforts in Canada’s national parks
  • constructing latrines at an elementary school to help improve sanitation
  • assisting in building a vocational training centre that focused on teaching income-generating skills
  • assembling eco-bricks to reduce waste in the community and to create a structure for school buildings

Read stories from students who have previously taken part in the ASB program.

Apply to Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break Team Structure

Each trip for Alternative Spring Break is typically comprised of:

    • 12-18 Participants: Undergraduate students *APPLICATION CLOSES OCT 11
    • 2 Team Leaders: Undergraduate students (typically previous ASB participants) *NOW CLOSED
    • 2 Team Advisors: Carleton staff/faculty members or Graduate students *NOW CLOSED

Please see below for further details on each type of position and how to apply.


Participants will take part in all aspects of the ASB program, including all Pre-Departure sessions, Campus to Community Days, Post-Departure, as well as all fundraising initiatives. ASB participants represent the Student Experience Office and Carleton University in a professional manner throughout the travel experience. They will be positive role models for fellow student participants and Carleton students.

In each ASB group, there will be 12-18 students from all academic faculties and years of study. If you have an interest in making a difference and positively impacting a community, then you should apply! Preference will be given to new applicants, but past participants are also welcome to apply.

Application Period

Apply now to be an ASB participant!  The deadline to apply is Wednesday, October 11th, 2017.

Team Leaders

Team Advisors from Alternative Spring Break in NicaraguaEvery ASB trip has two team leaders who have previously participated in ASB. Team Leaders are full-time Carleton University students who will work in cooperation with two Team Advisors (Carleton University staff members) and one other Team Leader to guide a group of student participants through the Alternative Spring Break program. Team Leaders will assist with various aspects of the program, including: recruitment and team selection, service site arrangements, preparing the team, leading structured reflection activities, assisting with fundraising efforts, maintaining a blog of the experience and evaluating the program for the experience.

Application Period

Team Leader applications are now closed for the 2017-2018 year.

Team Advisors

The Student Experience Office hires staff/faculty and full-time graduate students to participate as Team Advisors for the Alternative Spring Break program. Team Advisors represent the Student Experience Office and Carleton University in a professional manner throughout the travel experience. They are positive role models and advisors for student participants and support students in their learning and personal development by providing guidance and feedback throughout the experience.