Immersion Programs

The Center for Social Change and Community Involvement’s Immersion Program (Formerly know as Alternative Breaks) offers a variety of in-depth service-learning experiences for Lewis & Clark undergraduate students. These programs are aimed at connecting and supporting students with critical forms of community service as a catalyst for social change. 

Volunteers with the 2023 Alternative Breaks Program in Puerto Rico

The Center for Social Change and Community Involvement launched the Alternative Break Program as a primary means to promote co-curricular opportunities for civic engagement, social change, and global learning. These programs provide a valuable way to learn from and become immersed in diverse communities and social environments that aim to expand each participant’s understanding of critical social issues and the possibilities for social change. Ranging in length from a one-day to a week-long experience, students are connected to opportunities for direct service and learning through community engagement with integrated dialogue and reflection.

Projects are developed collaboratively by Center staff, student participants, and community partners to engage students with opportunities that support diverse communities while advancing cultural competency and sensitivity. The Alternative Break Programs are also supported by Break Away, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of quality Alternative Break experiences. Our service focuses on strengthening justice through community collaboration while cultivating active citizenship, self-awareness, and critical consciousness

The Center staff and student program leaders develop partnerships, coordinate logistics, and provide training and educational resources to participants in the program. The program incorporates a critical service-learning model built on a foundation of mutually beneficial community-campus partnerships by integrating educational components with service work and reflection activities to foster personal growth and leadership development through community projects, education sessions, and team-building exercises.

This program is open to undergraduate students at L&C who offer insightful, engaging, and passionate intentions for community involvement. Participants are expected to attend all pre-trip and post-trip meetings, work as a team to organize fundraisers, and apply their service experience to other local involvement opportunities and critical discussions.

Upcoming Immersion Programs 2024

May 6th-13th, 2024 | Oaxaca Mexico | Apply Now

Program Description: Cultural Exchange & Service Program studying indigeneity and culture in Oaxaca. Students will build meaningful relationships with students in Oaxaca, travel to cultural sites, and participate in a service project. Students will do a variety of cultural and service activities. *Students in Latin American Studies/Hispanic Studies are preferred. You must have a current, valid passport to apply for this program. Students are required to attend pre & post trip meetings, we will do our best to work with your schedules.

May 6th-13th, 2024 | Puerto Rico  | Apply Now

Program Description: This project encompasses a variety of opportunities involving community resilience and conservation work. Service projects may include hurricane disaster-relief projects: home repairs or revitalizing community gathering areas like beachfront gazebos, basketball courts, and ballparks. Other conservation and ocean habitat cleanup projects may include trail maintenance, reforestation, or ecological and agroecological projects. Many projects will involve hard work, grit, and persistence, in challenging conditions—with the opportunity to align under a shared value of community service that connects communities and builds lasting friendships.*Students are required to attend pre & post trip meetings, we will do our best to work with your schedules.

Program Logistics:

  • $1,800 program fee (Covers all costs associated with program, including travel, subsidized by the Center for Social Change and Community Involvement)
    • A very limited number of partial grants available for those with financial need (Apply through Application).
  • Application closes March 1st, 2024

Past Alternative Break Trips