Thanks for your interest in a Branch Out International alternative break! Our vision is to create a community of active and educated individuals dedicated to the pursuit of social justice. We do this by engaging students in diverse quality alternative breaks so that they become active and educated members of society.
Team Member Expectations
As a member of Branch Out International, there are several program-wide policies for which your compliance is mandatory. Please read this sheet carefully, and indicate your willingness to fully abide by these policies by typing your name as an electronic signature on your application.
Team Meetings and Fundraisers
Your attendance and participation in weekly team meetings and team fundraisers is required, as set by your Site Leaders. Because we expect your commitment to your alternative break (in terms of time, focus and fundraising efforts) to be significant, Branch Out requires that students participate in only one Branch Out International alternative break each year.
While your work on your alternative break is critical, your break trip is not over until you bring back what you learn and apply it at home, whether through advocacy or continued service. Branch Out offers funding to support these activities. In addition to Reorientation activities with your team, you are expected to attend the Branch Out Reorientation dinner.
Branch Out Alternative Breaks is an alcohol and drug free program. All participants and leaders in Branch Out Alternative Breaks programs are not to possess, purchase or consume alcoholic beverages and/or illegal drugs while participating in an alternative break trip. This is a policy we take seriously and enforce without hesitation. Your acceptance of this policy is required for your participation.
Completion of Liability Waiver and Health Documents
Once selected to a team, participants have 48 hours to complete the Branch Out Participant Emergency Information form online.
- Application and $35 deposits due: Sunday, September 15 at 11:59 pm (checks must be submitted to the OCE by 5 pm September 13)
- Interviews: September 16 - 25
- Teams Announced: September 27
- Branch Out Reorientation Event: March 2014
- Teams recruiting this Fall: SPIMA, KSVP, Outreach 360, W&M Haiti Compact, Global Village Project
All applicants must read this carefully. Failure to abide by the outlined process will disqualify your application.
- Applications must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document, formatted as described below, via email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org, on the deadline designated by the team to which you are applying.
- You are permitted to apply to a maximum of two teams, so be sure to choose carefully based on the issue that interests you most.
- The subject line of your email MUST include, in this order: Name(s) of the trip(s) you're applying for (first choice, second choice), Last Name, First Name. Thanks for keeping our inbox sane!
- Do not submit applications to individual teams.
- Be sure to submit your application fee by the deadline (see below)!
All applicants are required to submit an application fee of $35, which will cover travel health and evacuation insurance during the trip. If you are not selected for a trip, your fee will be returned to you via your CSU. Bring cash (exact change) or a check for $35 made to the College of William and Mary to Blow Hall 326A between 8:30 am and 5 pm weekdays. This fee must be received by Friday, September 13 at 5 pm.
This fee will not be refunded to those who are accepted on a team and withdraw.
Contact Katie Caudle and Sam Quinn at email@example.com.
Please include all information below in a Microsoft Word document, attached to an email.
General Information (bulleted format)
- Class Year
- Student ID (93) number
- Language Skills
- Previous community service experience (including alternative breaks)
- Other time commitments and activities, including times and days of the week (Fall and Spring Semesters)
Copy and paste this statement into your application, and sign electronically by typing your name and the date: “I have read and agree to fully comply with the requirements of the Branch Out International program.”
Narrative Questions (paragraph format, no more than two single-spaced pages total)
- What do you hope to gain from a Branch Out International alternative break?
- What talents or personal strengths would you bring to the team?
- Describe previous experiences that have helped prepare you for an international alternative break.
- Give an example of a challenge you have faced and how you have met it.
If you are applying to a team that has submitted supplemental questions, include those answers in your application.
- Do you think any differences exist between an alternative break that regularly serves a community (e.g. an impoverished populace) and doing service in communities which have been struck by an acute disaster? How does the Haiti earthquake, and the subsequent influx of service initiatives and aid into the country, shape the way you think about our potential role and conduct in the country?
- What is one thing you hope to learn and take out of an experience in Haiti?
- The Haiti Compact will be working with a Christian organization during our stay in Haiti. You will need to be comfortable with this. While the organization and this team would never ask you to do anything that you are not comfortable with, it is important that we be respectful of the mindsets and manners in which our community partners come to the table. You may be asked at some point to attend a service or reflection period - while you will not be required to "actively participate," your attendance may still be suggested as a sign of respect. Can you agree to this?
- Travel to Haiti involves risk, and while no one can guarantee safety anywhere, Haiti is on the State Department Warning List. We have taken all recommended precautions for safety, but you need to be willing to accept the inherent risks involved in travel. Please explain how you have considered the risk of traveling to Haiti, and conversations you have had with your family about the alternative break.
Kenya Sustainable Village Project
- When is an instance in which you were humbled by a perspective outside of your own?
- Describe a time when you felt out of your comfort zone, and how you adapted to the situation.
- You are on an island and you need to get back to the mainland, but it is many miles away. WHAT DO YOU DO?
- How do you feel Outreach360 will contribute to your future plans or goals?
- Describe a fundraiser that you feel would effectively publicize Outreach360 on campus and successfully raise money for the alternative break.
Global Village Project
- GVP is currently undergoing major changes that may require a great deal of flexibility from our participants. Please describe one experience when you overcame an obstacle through flexibility or resilience. How did it make you feel?
- Throughout the year we will be spending a great deal of time fundraising for our trip. Please describe one fundraiser that you have either orchestrated or participated in. What elements were most successful? What would you have done differently?