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Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks is a program within the Center for Community Engagement that sends small groups of UT students to outside communities to grow as leaders and learn through immersive service experiences. Alternative Breaks is great for passionate students who are looking to spend their academic breaks on a productive and interactive service-learning opportunities.

AB 5 core Values





Active Citizenship

The Alternative Break (AB) program started at the University of Texas at Austin in the 1990s through a former program within the Longhorn Center for Community Engagement. For several years, trips brought together UT students to unique locations while participating in week long community service activities. Groups of 10-14 UT student participants worked closely with community agencies on specific issues ranging from literacy, poverty, racism, hunger, homelessness, and the environment.

In 2004, the decision was made to suspend the Alternative Break program due to growing travel restrictions after 9/11. Nearly a decade later, in 2014, the Alternative Break program saw exciting new growth and was able to restart! In the 2014-2015 school year, AB sent 22 students into the city of New Orleans to serve. In the 2015-2016 school year, the program expanded even more with two new cities (San Francisco, CA and South Texas) as trip sites. AB took a break during the pandemic but we returned in 2022 with trips to New Orleans and our first international trip- Mexico City! Check out pictures of our past trips!

History of AB

Community Enagagement Collective

The UT Community Engagement Collective (CEC) is a network of students passionate about community engagement and active citizenship. The CEC’s vision is that all UT students will be active citizens, and the collective is an organization where anyone can find a place to get involved. The collective’s goal is to create community by leveraging university resources to meet community priorities.


What we do

  • Host major programs and events (Alternative breaks, The Project, Volunteer UT) to keep UT students engaged in the wider Austin community and beyond


  • Work to build intentional and sustained partnerships with community partners to create lasting change

The Collective is made up of 7 committees:

  • Community Relations

  • Culture & Membership

  • Education

  • Outreach

  • Development

  • Special Events

  • Trips


How to get involved 

Committee Chair

Serve as a leader of one of our 7 Collective committees

  • Guide committee members to set and meet specific goals

  • Hold weekly Office Hours and Collaboration Sessions

  • 4 hr/week commitment


Committee Member

Join the group as a general member

  • Attend weekly general body meetings.

  • Attend Office Hours and Collaboration Sessions as needed

  • 2 hr/week commitment


Apply Now!






The Collective is proud to host monthly service days, Alternative Breaks trips, and The Project (UT’s largest day of service) every year! Collective members meet every Monday, 5:30-7:30pm 

Contact us if you have any questions!

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