Alternative Spring Break

Frequently Asked Questions

If I'm a Western faculty or staff member, can I be a regular participant in the ASB program?

Faculty and full-time staff are able to participate in the ASB program as Team Leaders.

If I'm a graduate student, can I be a team leader?

Graduate students are able to participate in the ASB program as Team Leaders, Student Team Leaders and/or a participant.

If I'm an undergraduate student, can I be a team leader?

Team leader positions are reserved for Western faculty and staff. If you are a student that has participated in ASB in the past or other Community Engaged Learning experiences and have leadership experience, you are encouraged to apply for the role of Student Team Leader.

If I apply to be a student team leader, do I also have to apply to be a participant?

Applicants who are not selected for the student team leader role will be given enough time to apply as a student participant through CareerCentral if they wish to be considered for a student participant opportunity.

How long is ASB?

ASB experiences can vary in length, most will take place during either fall or spring reading week and will be 4 days - 9 day experiences, however summer experiences in May can vary in lengh. Please check each location for exact travel dates. It is important to note that the program begins with offers being sent out in early November and includes pre-departure sessions, team building activities and get-togethers, ASB Serves, post-ASB workshop and concludes with ASB Showcase. Therefore, ASB is a 6 month program, not just a one week experience.

Can my friend and I go on the ASB together?

Individuals must apply and be selected for an Alternative Spring Break experience. You and your friend are more than welcome to apply to the same experience, however due to the adjudication process and number of spaces available per trip, not every person who applies will be selected. We cannot guarantee that you will both be selected. Remember that meeting new people is part of what makes participating in the program so special.

What do the program fees cover?

Your program fees are used to cover the cost of your transportation to the airport, transportation to location (flights and/or ground transportation), any registration fees with partner organizations, meals, accommodations, pre-departure sessions, insurance (trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage, health and emergency), team leader contributions, workbooks and t-shirts. Depending on the ASB experience in which you participate, you may be required to bring some spending money with you for meals at the airport, to cover the cost of airport taxes, etc. A general breakdown of the costs associated with each experience is provided can be found under locations. and a general breakdown of how all ASB fees are spent can be found under financial information cost breakdown

I want to participate in the program, and cannot afford the fees. Is there any form of financial assistance?

We have a strong focus on program accessibility and this year, we are able to offer assistance through a number of awards in order to assist students with ASB program fees. Please click on Financial Information to learn more about the awards that are available to students participating in ASB.

Is the ASB Pre-Departure Workshop Series mandatory?

Yes, compleating the ASB Pre-Departure Workshop series is mandatory. Any participant that is unable to attend the Pre-Departure Workshops will not have ASB verified on their Co-Curricular Record. No exceptions will be made. The ASB Pre-Departure Workshops are designed to prepare participants for their ASB experience. Participants will enjoy presentations about various issues, such as intercultural competency and Community Engaged Learning, and dialogue with their peers about their hopes and fears regarding their experience. These workshops are a great way to get to know your teammates, ask questions about your experience, and begin to learn about the culture and community in which you are about to be immersed. Students are also expected to participate in team socials, ASB Serves, trip specific meetings prior to the ASB experience, and in the Post-ASB Workshop and the ASB Showcase.

Am I responsible for any class conflicts prior to or after my experience? (exams, assignments, etc.)?

Alternative Spring Break experiences should not conflict with any scheduled days of school (Reading Week is February 20-24, 2017). However, you are responsible for ensuring you are prepared in advance for any assignments and/or tests that are scheduled immediately before or after your ASB experience.

Do I need health insurance for the ASB program?

ASB program fees include a Youth Inclusive policy for individuals 29 years of age or younger. The Coordinator will ensure that all students (where applicable) are covered by the youth policy that the program purchases. This ensures that if an emergency, cancelled flight, etc. were to occur, the team leaders have the policy number for all participants. If students are over the age of 29, the Coordinator will work with the student and insurance provider to register with the Adult Inclusive policy, but there will be additional costs to the student.

Can Huron, Brescia or King's students participate?

Students from the affiliate university colleges are eligible to participate in ASB.

Will I receive academic credit or recognition for this program?

At this time, ASB participants do not receive academic credit for completing the program. However, all participants of the ASB program are eligible to receive recognition on their Co-Curricular Record, through Tier 3 Leadership Education Program and the Global and Intercultural Engagement Honour.

Do I need a passport to participate in the ASB program?

Students participating in out-of-country ASB experiences need a valid passport (this includes New Orleans and Pine Ridge). London, Kingston and Thunder Bay participants will need government issued photo identification. International students should contact their respective embassy to inquire about documents required for international travel, as entry into certain countries may require an entry visa.

What kind of leadership is provided within the program?

Each ASB experience will be facilitated by one or two faculty, staff and/or graduate students of Western University and one or two student team leader(s).  They will assist in the facilitation of each experience. All selected leaders participate in extensive training to ensure a safe and rewarding experience for the participants. Please note that team leaders are not chaperones; students selected to participate in an ASB experience are responsible for any costs associated with their travel. If you are interested in either of these positions, please visit the ASB application page.

I have participated in an ASB experience at Western previously; can I apply again this year?

Students who have participated in the past are able to apply as a participant.  They may also consider applying as a student team leader.

What if I have read the entire website and still have a question?

Please forward these to They will be answered as promptly as possible.