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What is Alternative Spring Break?
An opportunity for NKU students to spend Spring Break in Mexico doing volunteer service work in the city and countryside. You live with host families, learn about Mexican culture and society first hand, and have a bit of time for tourism, too.

When is it?
The next trip will be March 2004, coinciding with NKU's Spring Break.

What kind of work do we do?
Last year we helped two community development centers in impoverished urban neighborhoods by doing maintenance work, helping in their food distribution program, and preparing and participating in their spring fund-raising open houses. We also did maintenance work on a rural community center building.

Where do we stay?
We will stay with host families in Mexico City, possibly with some time in mountain town of Tepoztlan. The host families all have family members in their late teens and early twenties who serve as guides for NKU students.

Is there time for tourism?
Weekends and evenings are available for tourism. In 2002 the group spent a day at the pyramids of Teotihuacán; in 2003 the group spent a day at the floating gardens of Xochimilco. Evenings in the city are usually spent "on the town" with host families.

How much does it cost?
The cost varies with the airfare and subsidies we are able to obtain. The cost of the program in 2003 was approximately $700. This included airfare, ground transportation, lodging and most meals. For many students, most of this cost was covered by an NKU International Scholarship.  Contact the Office of International Programs for information.

Who is eligible to go?
Any NKU student in good standing. Our group will include two NKU faculty members and from 10 to 13 students.

Is a knowledge of Spanish necessary?
No. Students with no Spanish are placed in homes of families who are English speakers. Some basic knowledge of the language would be helpful, but is not required. Our group will meet before the trip to practice some basic Spanish words and phrases.

How do I apply to go?
The 2004 program will be announced in early Fall, 2003. In the meantime, contact Amy Bode or Anne Perry in the NKU Office of International Programs, or Kevin Kirby in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. 

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Send suggestions for this website to Kevin Kirby,  kirby@nku.edu.