Alternative Breaks

Each year, SUNY Oswego students dedicate portions of their winter and spring breaks to engage in direct service to local, domestic, and international communities.

With a wide variety of trips to choose from, you can find Alternative Break experiences that match your academic, personal, and professional interests. In the past, these week-long immersive service trips have partnered with community organizations that support efforts such as animal welfare, disaster relief, youth education, environmental concerns, quality affordable housing, health care, food security, and poverty alleviation.

Alternative Break Trips

Accessible Resources
$35; Oswego County, NY
This trip allows participants to learn more about Oswego by serving with a variety of organization focusing on making resources more accessible to everyone in the community. (Still receiving applications) 

Affordable Housing for All
Homeownership and Repairs in a Rural Area 
$220; Florence, Al
Students will build or repair homes in various stages of construction. No previous construction experience is required. (This program is currently full)

American Hiking Society
Sustainability and State Park Maintenance 
$220; Douthat State Park, VA
Repairing existsing and building new hiking trails (This program is currently full)

Live Free Livestock
Animal Rescue and Sustainable Farming 
$220; Paris, VA
Support a working farm while preparing farm animals for rehabilitation. (This program is currently full)

Three meals a day, snacks, housing, and transportation to and from sites as well as international trip flighs are included in the cost of participation.

How to Apply

Step 1

Read Info Packet

Info Packet

Info may change. Email for current information.

Step 2

Attend Info Session

Meet with a staff member from Community Services, contact to schedule a meeting. Proceed to filling out and submitting an application form.

Step 3


Email for application information.

Fresh Water for All initiative includes Puerto Rico water filter project

Why Go on an Alternative Break?

Our Alternative Break trips engage in hands-on projects and activities that address unmet social needs determined by the community. Sometimes the work is physically demanding, sometimes it is emotional. No matter the site, your full participation will lead to you gaining new skills, building meaningful relationships, and working towards a more socially just world.

The combination of direct service, social issue education, and daily reflections during the trip result in the most successful and transformative Alternative Breaks.

Going somewhere that is in need of help and seeing it firsthand is mind-boggling and life-changing. You learn so much, so many skills and you meet incredible people, and meet a lot of people on campus.