Alternative Spring Break - Be the change!
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Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is an exciting opportunity for you to participate in a week-long, hands-on service learning experience! ASB 2015 Online Applications Open September 8, 2014 @ 4:30 pm
'When I look back on my first year of university, most other experiences will pale in comparison to the change this has caused in the person I am, and the amazing impression it has left on me about what I am capable of... and what the rest of the world holds for me.'
~ ASB 2006

more testimonials ....

San Jose, Costa Rica
Global Health and Ethics

International Service Learning

As a socially responsible international educational NGO, ISL enlists medical and educational volunteer teams for the provision of services to under-served populations in Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Africa.

It is the goal of ISL to partner student and professional teams from developed countries with service opportunities in developing countries. This is accomplished by offering educational opportunities on a contractual basis to both educational institutions and individual students.

Dates of Travel: February 14 - 21, 2015
ASB Pre-Departure Workshops:
Sunday, November 30, 2014 and
Sunday, January 18, 2015
1:00 pm - 5:00pm
Please note: Attendance at both ASB Pre-Departure Workshops is mandatory. Any participant that is unable to attend these workshops will not be permitted to participate on any ASB trip. No exceptions will be made.
Number of Participants:
16 Students
2 Faculty/Staff Team Leaders

Service Project(s)


  • Offering medical clinics in under-serviced communities:
    - Patient interviews/triage
    - Basic medical examinations
    - Dental cleanings/tooth extractions
    - Community health surveys
    - Vision testing
  • Please Note: all activities are directed/supervised by trained physicians and/or dentists; translators assist participants in communicating with patients


  • To simultaneously provide educational opportunities for students from developed countries while providing services for developing countries (including employment opportunities for health professionals, translators, cooks, etc.)
  • To perform medical services in a "field clinic" setting as dictated by the needs of the communities with whom ISL works

Cost - $2,800 CAD

Trip Cost covers:

  • Flight
  • Registration
  • Insurance (health, flight cancellation, baggage)
  • Transportation to/from Airport
  • Transportation in Costa Rica
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Administrative Fee (t shirt, team leader contribution, journal)
  • Note: ASB participants will be responsible for any luggage costs assigned by individual airlines, souvenirs, or snacks during the trip.

Medical Precautions

Students are required to be up-to-date on Tetanus, and Hepatitis A & B. Anti-malarial medication is required. The cost of medical precautions is not included in ASB fees, and is the responsibility of the participant.

Middlesex London Health Unit
London Travel Clinic, 520 Sarnia Rd. 519-432-5508

Sample Day

7:30 am: Breakfast
8:15 am: Leave for clinic
9:00 am: Arrive and set up clinic
12:00 pm: Lunch
12:45 pm: Return to clinic for afternoon
5:00 pm: Finish clinic, travel home
7:30 pm: Dinner
8:30 pm: Team Reflection
10:00 pm: Social Time/Rest


Participants will sleep in bunk beds in a house operated by ISL. Sheets/towels are provided, however students may bring their own and may choose to donate them at the end of the experience.


Meals are prepared in-house by ISL staff or at approved local restaurants, and reflect a variety of local foods (rice, beans, chicken, tortillas, plantains, etc.) Students with specific dietary restrictions may wish to bring supplementary snacks.

Other activities may include

  • visiting a national park/beach
  • eating lunch at a local restaurant
  • walking tour of the city
  • ziplining (additional costs apply)

The Country

Costa Rica is located in Central America, and borders both the Caribbean Sea (to the east) and the North Pacific Ocean (to the west). With a $1.9-billion-a-year tourism industry, Costa Rica stands as the most visited nation in the Central American region. Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. While the country has only about 0.1% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Around 25% of the country's land area is in protected national parks. Costa Rica has a population of just over four million, and the only official language is Spanish.

The Community

Poverty in Costa Rica has remained around 20 per cent for nearly 20 years, and the strong social safety net put into place by the government has eroded due to increased financial constraints on government expenditures. Immigration from Nicaragua has increasingly become a concern for the government. The estimated 300,000 - 500,000 Nicaraguans in Costa Rica, legally and illegally, have little to no access to healthcare, and other social services.

Photo Gallery

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Last Modified on September 23, 2014 5:37 PM, by [DR]