If you don’t have plans for spring break and your resume is short on experience, you’ll want to research Alternative Spring Break (ASB) programs. While a good number of students hit the beach or take a vacation, ASB volunteers spend their time performing community service locally or overseas. These volunteer opportunities are diverse, so you’ll likely be able to find one that’s right up your alley.
Take a hike
American Hiking Society offers volunteer vacation packages for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. For one week, your goal is to build and maintain trails. You’ll get to see the beautiful sites the country has to offer and create trails for future hikers.
This opportunity would be perfect for an aspiring kinesiotherapist to add to their list of experiences. Kinesiotherapists emphasize the psychological as well as physical benefits of therapeutic exercise for rehabilitation. The idyllic scenes of nature and motivation to create trails pairs well with the career path of this health care profession.
Volunteering your time to help those in need of shelter can be quite fulfilling, so give working with Habitat for Humanity to build affordable houses a try. The houses that are built through the charity are at no profit and the new homeowners’ house payments are combined with no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fundraising. Each year, more than 10,000 high school and college students participate in this ASB program. Groups have the choice to work on a build site or spend time working in the ReStore. This provides students with a chance to learn about how affordable housing builds strength, stability and self-reliance for homeowners.
Habitat for Humanity would be a perfect spring break experience for a prospective built environmental specialist. These environmental health specialists are trained to monitor the safety of homes, apartments and schools. They assess basic structural soundness, evidence of poor maintenance and potential health concerns. Having the basic knowledge of how a structure is built teaches efficiencies, coding and how to prevent potential hazards.
Spend time in Costa Rica, Guatemala or Peru by volunteering with Máximo Nivel. For the past 15 years, they have brought students all over the world to give back to Latin America. Through this program, you can:
- Teach English
- Work with children
- Provide health care
- Provide animal care
This ASB opportunity is beneficial for those interested in health care careers such as health care interpreting, nursing and veterinary studies. Students training to become health care interpreters facilitate communication between patients with limited English proficiency, so working with non-English speakers can provide them with valuable firsthand experience. Nursing students promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness, so being able to work with children and provide health care to the community allows them to work medically within a different culture. Aspiring veterinarians and vet techs are able to work closely with animals and gain experience on learning how to care for them.
Make the most of your time off and volunteer your time and effort to the local and global community! Your list of experiences will grow as will your appreciation for the world around you.