Alternative Fall Break

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Alternative Fall Break (AFB) programs provide an opportunity for students to learn and serve outside the UNC community over fall break, a four-day period when the university is closed during October. The learning begins before the break experience, as participants attend sessions and meetings designed to prepare them for the challenges and issues they will confront. During the break, students collaborate with community service partners in various capacities, engaging in both direct and indirect service as well as advocacy work.

An emphasis is placed on trip reflection throughout the trip and following the students’ return. After the completion of the four day experience, participants continue building friendships and their engagement in the local community through service and social events. Please note, AFB does not have an academic course connection, and therefore does not fulfill the experiential education requirement.

APPLES sponsors AFB experiences in six focus areas:

Urban Communities: Participants are immersed in an urban community exploring topics including, but not limited to, hunger and food access, addiction and health.

Latino Communities: Participants interact with migrant workers and Latino communities in North Carolina by exploring topics such as labor rights, pesticide use and access to healthcare.

Rural Communities: Participants are immersed in a rural community setting to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing a North Carolina population experiencing poverty.

Environmental Issues: An experience that changes based on the needs of the community, participants have an opportunity to explore a number of environmental issues. Past topics include sea turtle conservancy, hog farming and river pollution. Contingent upon the needs of the community, participants have the opportunity to more fully understand the challenges facing environments in North Carolina and assist with current efforts. Some past topics include, but are not limited to, sea turtle conservancy, hog farming and river pollution.

HOPE (Homeless Outreach Poverty Eradication):  In partnership with the student-supported organization HOPE, APPLES participants are immersed in an area with a significant population experiencing homelessness. Students discuss policy, health, culture and causes via collaboration with community non-profit organizations.

Service-Learning Initiative: Available to students who have previously participated in APPLES SLI (a pre-orientation for first-year and transfer students), this alternative break experience explores a variety of challenges facing the Appalachian communities of North Carolina and Tennessee.

When applying, students may indicate a preference for Latino Issues, Urban Poverty, Environmental Issues, HOPE or Rural Communities.

2013 Alternative Fall Break Timeline

August 20: Participant application opens
September 16: Participant application closes
September 21: Applicants notified about selection for interview
September 23-27: Applicant interviews
September 30: Notification of final selection
October 16-20: Fall break


Alternative Fall Break applications are now closed.

Break leader applications are available online until Sunday, March 30 at midnight.