Become a Participant

photo of Alternative Breaks participants carrying wood and working with a partner on a project

Interested in learning about the social issues we face as a society and as a Baltimore resident? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Our Intersession Alternative Breaks program is a great way for Hopkins students to learn about a social issue (HIV and AIDS, Immigrant and Refugee Right, or Urban Education) and participate in direct service in our community. It’s a great educational opportunity that can make a life changing impact. Read more about each Alternative Breaks trip or how to become a participant below.

Have questions? Read the frequently asked questions below or contact Caroline Ouwerkerk, Assistant Director.

This program is a wonderful, must have experience! It will challenge your view on social justice, introduce you to really wonderful friends, and ignite a desire to fight for social justice in the community. -Intersession, Urban Education Participant

How to Apply

We are excited about your interest in Alternative Breaks! Please understand that our Alternative Breaks program is highly competitive, and interested students must submit the appropriate application prior to the trip deadline. We typically receive about twice as many applications than we have open spots, so don’t wait any longer and apply today!

Become a Participant

The fee for each Alternative Break trip covers all activities, lodging, and food for the week. A significant amount of need-based financial aid is available, and applying for financial aid will have no bearing on your application to the program. Students interested in financial aid should indicate it on their applications.

Application Process and Procedures

Applications will be evaluated based on the student’s willingness to participate fully in the program and interest in the content of the course. The application for the Intersession Alternative Breaks trips is closed and will open again in fall 2018.

Important Dates

mid-OctoberIntersession trip leader and program participant applications open
NovemberAccepting Intersession program participant applications on a rolling basis as space is available
NovemberStudents notified: accept/decline/waitlist
Tuesday, November 28, 2017Payment and paperwork due to the Center for Social Concern
Week of Dec. 4 Intersession program kick-off
Wednesday, December 6, 2017Online course registration for students
Saturday, January 20, 2018Program begins
Friday, January 26, 2018Program ends

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

The program is open to all undergraduate students eligible to participate in Intersession programs. Previous community service experience is not necessary, but students should be committed to an immersive experience engaging with social justice issues and direct service in Baltimore City.

What will we be doing?

Students will meet on campus on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 20 and travel together to an off-site retreat center. There, students from all three Intersession programs will live together for a week. Each day will be different but will generally include instructional time, direct service, a conversation or exploration of a neighborhood with community leaders, and workshops about the concept of civic engagement. In the evenings, all three programs will come together for social outings throughout Baltimore. The program will conclude by noon on Friday, January 26.

Where will we be staying?

We will be staying at an off-campus retreat center in shared rooms. Students should expect simple accommodations and communal bathrooms.

What are the costs and fees?

The fee for the program is $175, payable through JHU Tickets (a link will be sent after you have been accepted to the program). The fee covers lodging for the week, all meals and snacks, instructional materials, and evening social activities. Substantial need-based financial aid is available.

Is financial aid available?

Absolutely, and your interest in financial aid will have no bearing on your application. If you indicate an interest in financial aid on your application, we will send your name to the Office of Financial Aid for a recommendation on how much assistance to offer. Then you will receive a discount code to pay for your program fee via JHU Tickets. Please note that while financial aid for this program is based on your need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid, the financial aid awards for this program are separate from your University financial aid package and will not affect the other aid you are receiving.

Will I get credit for participating?

Yes, students may receive 2 credits for successful completion of an Intersession Alt Break.

What happens after I am accepted to the program?

After you are offered a spot on the program (by November 15), you will have until November 28 at noon to accept your spot, submit your trip fee through JHU Tickets, and send your paperwork over to the Center for Social Concern. You are not considered fully registered for the program until we have your paperwork and your trip fee. Then, on December 6, when course registration for Intersession courses opens, you will need to log into SIS and register for the course, which will be marked as “Instructor Permission Required.” The instructor for your course will then go in and approve your request. If you do not submit your paperwork and trip fee by November 28, your spot will be offered to someone on the waiting list.

What are the expectations for program participants?

Students are expected to participate fully in all aspects of the program, including participating in all scheduled program activities, service projects, instructional sessions, workshops, and evening activities. Students will also have rotating duties for the week related to living in community (e.g. setting up buffet meals, cleaning up dinner, etc.).

This program is drug, alcohol, and tobacco free. Students who are found to be consuming these substances will be dismissed from the program.

Do I have to go to the program kick-off?

Yes, it is expected that all participants attend the program kick-off unless you are studying abroad in the fall semester or it is similarly impossible for you to attend. At this event, you will meet the other members of your program, get pre-trip materials and your packing list, and learn what to expect on the program. The program kick-off will take place the week of Dec. 4. Dinner will be provided.

I can no longer participate in Intersession Alt Break. What are my options?

Many more students apply for the program than we have the space to accommodate, therefore when we reserve a space for a participant, it often means declining another student who was really interested in joining. For this reason, we encourage students to discuss participation in the program with their parents/families and ensure that they are available for all program dates.

Cancellation Schedule

Monday, November 13, 2017Intersession Program Participant application deadline
Wednesday, November 15, 2017Students notified: accept/decline/waitlist
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Payment and paperwork due to the Center for Social Concern. Waitlisted students offered open spots in the program (if available)
Wednesday, December 6, 2017Online course registration for students
Friday, December 8, 2017Last day to withdraw with a full refund
Wednesday, December 20, 2017Last day to withdraw with a 50% refund
After Dec. 20 No refund is available
Saturday, January 20, 2018Program begins
Friday, January 26, 2018Program ends