Beer or Career?
Spring Break Alternatives for All Ages
Spring break for students is synonymous with a change of
scenery and 24/7 socializing, whether on warm, sandy beaches
or in the deep powder of ski resorts. However, the traditional
destinations and activities of South Padre Island, Cancun,
and Aspen are giving way to volunteer experiences and opportunities
to explore potential careers. Adults can take advantage of
these alternatives, too. What are three great options
for spring break?
"R&R" (Rest and Relaxation) Getaway
Depends on your age: a change of pace, meet new
people, lots of partying, concerts, contests, adventure
sports and recreational activities, shopping, spa treatments,
sightseeing, and getting a head start on a summer tan.
There are a number of trendy places to go: the Gulf
Coast states, Mexico, Arizona, Myrtle Beach, and Las
Vegas. Popular skiing and snowboarding destinations
include Colorado, western Canada, Lake Tahoe, and Vermont.
Depends on where someone wants to go, what kind of transportation
is needed to get there, and what level of accommodations
are desired. Remember to add on the meals and entertainment
budget, which can be sizable!
Alternative Spring Breaks (ASBs)
Volunteers want to make a difference related to
social issues such as poverty, hunger, homelessness,
conservation, housing, literacy, and racism. See new
places, learn new skills.
Here are samples of the range of programs within
the U.S. and abroad:
Construction in New Orleans and Biloxi, MS
Mentoring inner city youth in New York
Economic development for a Native American reservation
Upgrading hiking trails in Tennessee
Anti-death penalty activism in Texas
Land ethics in Nicaragua
Refugee and migrant worker assistance in Miami
Break Away®, the Alternative
Spring Break connection is a non-profit group
that provides training support to colleges and non-profit
organizations for developing alternative spring break/intensive
service learning programs. Over 100 schools host a
local chapter, which sponsors and coordinates trips,
and over 300 non-profit organizations are partners.
Cost is $150-$700 plus transportation expenses to
location of project.
for Humanity International, engages 12,000 high
school and college students in the "Collegiate
Challenge" during 2008 spring breaks. Habitat,
established in 1976, is an ecumenical Christian organization
dedicated to eliminate poverty housing. Costs range
from $10 to $200 and housing is provided; food and
all transportation expenses are the volunteer's responsibility.
Habitat's weeklong programs are offered year-round,
and are open to individuals age 16 or older.
Career Exploration Adventures
Sneak preview dream jobs and uncover opportunities
for summer jobs, internships or full-time jobs that
are related to your desired career direction or career
To maximize and focus your exploration, first get
a solid understanding of your natural talents (aptitudes)
and interests by taking a career assessment. Use the
results and career recommendations suggested by the
career consultant to plot your course of what careers
to explore and who to contact.
Consider your career assessment as a smart investment
for discovering an exciting future for yourself: $500
Develop your career explorer abilities through informational
interviews with individuals already working in your
dream job. Book a day to observe them in action in the
workplace, called "job shadowing."
If your exploration territory is in your own city, costs
are minimal. If you decide to travel to another city
to explore (for example, investigating government careers
in Washington, DC), transportation, lodging, meals,
and other expenses vary depending on your destination.
Want someone else to handle all the arrangements? Vocation
Vacations offers 1-3 day career immersion experiences
for 135 different jobs. Costs range from $549-$2999.
Participant is responsible for transportation, lodging
and meal expenses.
If time and budget are tight, plan a few days to enjoy a
spring break locally. No matter what alternative you choose,
shaking the monotony of late winter will replenish your energy,
fire up your motivation, and put a smile on your face.
© Copyright 2008, Career Vision. Article may be reprinted
Direction. Decisions. Satisfaction.