Alternative Breaks


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COVID-19: Latest Updates for Education Abroad
For the latest university-wide information, please visit COVID-19 Recovery Guidance Plan
August 12, 2020
We're in a global pandemic now, but one day we're all going to be able to travel abroad again. We're here to help you plan for that day, looking ahead to 2021 with great hopes! We are actively collaborating with the UNA COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (CRTF) that carefully reviews the health, safety and security of our programs on a regular basis, using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and local public health agencies for guidance. Decisions are made with the greatest care for the health, well-being and safety of our Lions Abroad.
Fall semester 2020 programs have been canceled and all affected students have been notified. Applications are open for Spring semester 2021, Spring break 2021 and Summer 2021, and will adjust accordingly as UNA monitors and assesses the pandemic situation. It’s imperative that students remain as flexible as possible and have a pivot/back-up plan in the event future programs are suspended.

Alternative Break Program Examples

Alternative Break trips take place during university breaks (i.e. Spring Break, Fall Break, etc.) in which groups of students travel to other communities to provide a service that is focused on a specific social issue. Our trips are both domestic and international depending on the issues and locations that are selected. We travel outside of our own community in order to get students out of their comfort zone, fully aware of their surroundings, and focused on creating positive change. Throughout the duration of the trip, the groups participate in daily reflection in order to address how the same social issues impact our own community and how the students can best apply themselves when they return home, thus moving along the Active Citizen Continuum.

Each trip is lead by student site leaders who are selected based on AB experience and ability to plan and execute impactful experiences. Site leaders assist in the logistical planning process, pre-trip meetings and service, group reflections during the trips, and post-trip service and reorientation. Our program has focused on social issues of homelessness and poverty, human trafficking awareness and prevention, animal rescue, disaster relief, environmental conservation and much more! Check the "Get Involved" tab for more information about participating on a trip or getting more involved with the program.

Example Program

This trip is partnered with the Cherokee Nation Early Childhood Unit. The mission of the Early Childhood Unit is to bring about a greater degree of social competence in children who may be disadvantaged. CNECU provides early childhood education to 990 children throughout the 14 county area of the Cherokee Nation in Northeastern Oklahoma. They serve 680 Head Start (age 3-5) children and 210 Early Head Start (6 wks-3 years) children in 10 centers & 9 public school collaboration sites.

Example Program

This trip is partnered with REACH in Roanoke. Their mission is to REACH together with the people of Roanoke, Virginia to restore hope, alleviate loneliness, and empower individuals by bringing folks together to transform homes, lives, and entire communities. Projects with REACH include alleviating homelessness, home repair and renovation, food collection and distribution, supporting at-risk youth and children, assisting in acculturation of immigrants into the Roanoke community, and much more!

Example Program

This trip is partnered with Stone by Stone. Based on the belief that all children deserve access to a quality education, Stone by Stone strives to succeed in making it accessible to the children of Desab, Haiti and neighboring mountain villages. Desab is a rural village in the mountains of Haiti roughly 2 hours away from Port au Prince. This is the 9th trip that UNA has taken to the village of Desab. The community is filled with love and compassion even though they live in vastly different conditions than us with no local water source or indoor plumbing. Projects will include sustainable initiatives to support the education of the children in the village.