Alternative Spring Break

Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation

Pre-Departure orientation is designed to prepare participants for their ASB experience. Participants will enjoy various presentations, strengthen facilitation skills, learn about critical thinking and intercultural competence, and dialogue with their peers about their hopes and fears regarding their experience. These workshops are a great way to get to know your teammates, ask questions about your experience, and begin to learn about the culture and community in which you are about to be immersed.

This year you will get to “choose your own adventure” through the Pre-departure workshops, with some mandatory workshops mixed with a choice of workshops. You will be able to sign up for most workshops through WesternCareerCentral.

Failure to complete this training may result in being removed from the program and/or no verification of the Co-Curricular Record

  • Core (ALL Required)

  • Supplementary (2 Required)

You must participate in all core pre-departure workshops listed below

Groundwork Meetings

This meeting aims to introduce you to your teammates, explore your expectation of the Alternative Spring Break Experiences and the University's expectation of you as a representative in a Community Engaged Learning program.

Tuesday November 27, 2018
AHB 1R40

Foundations for International Mobility and Engagement

This Pre-Departure training (called Foundations for International Mobility and Engagement) is offered through Western International.  Completion of these modules prior to travel is a requirement under Western's Safety Abroad Policy.

 Foundations for International Mobility and Engagement Modules include: 

  • Health & Wellness
  • Travel
  • Risk Management
  • Intercultural Engagement
  • Gender Norms & Sexual Violence
  • Critical & Ethical Global Engagement
  • Academic Preparation

How to join online within OWL:

  1. Log onto OWL
  2. Click “Membership” on the left bar
  3. Click the “Joinable Sites” tab at the top of this page
  4. Search for “Foundations for International Mobility"
  5. Join "Foundations for International Mobility/Engagement"

 Please contact Western International at or 519-661-2111 ext. 89309 if you have any difficulty.

Community Engaged Learning (register on Western CareerCentral)

This workshop aims to develop an understanding of Community Engaged Learning and is framed in an orientation context that is paired with strategies for reflection and international engagement. 

To view workshops sessions please follow these steps:

  1. Log into WesternCareerCentral
  2. Select ASB from the left menu
  3. Select ASB Event from the left menu
  4. Register for the workshop at a time that fits within your schedule

ASB Serves

This is an opportunity to understand community engagement right here in London before your Alternative Spring Break. You will have the opportunity to work along side an organization with other ASB participants to meet a community need. Sign-up for ASB serves will take place the first week of January.

Takes place the week of January 14-18, 2019

Team Time

This is an opportunity for you to meet with your team in a social setting and build a bond prior to your Alternative Spring Break experience. This is organized by your Team Leaders.

Determined through Team Consensus

Post-ASB Workshop

Here you will get an opportunity to meet and reflect with your team and others. You will also have an opportunity with your team to brainstorm ways to share your experience with the entire Western community through the ASB Showcase.

Sunday March 3, 2019
SSC 2050

You must participate in at least two of the pre-departure workshops listed below

Each session will be offered between 3-5 times at various times and dates before the February experience.

Register on CareerCentral. To view available workshops sessions please follow these steps:

  1. Log into CareerCentral
  2. Select "Alternative Spring Break" from the left menu
  3. Select "ASB Events" from the left menu
  4. Register for at least 2 of the following workshops at times that fit within your schedule:

Celebrating Diversity: Using an Anti-Oppression Framework

This workshop aims to develop an understanding of concepts of power, privileg, and intersectionality. These concepts are framed in an orientation context and are paired with strategies for conflict management and allyship.

Ethical Story Sharing

This workshop aims to understand the dangers of a single story and explore the dimensional sides of the stories we tell while exploring ways we can tell better stories.

Fair Trade Learning

This workshop aims to provide you with an opportunity to deconstruct your ASB experiences and understand how ASB prioritizes reciprocity in relationships through cooperative, cross-cultural participation in learning, service, and civil society efforts.

Exploration of Global Citizenship

This workshop will explore global citizenship, the importance of becoming a global citizen, how global citizenship helps young people, and how your ASB experience is related to global citizenship.

Gender Norms & Sexual Violence and Critical & Ethical Global Engagement

Pre-requisite: Foundations for International mobility and Engagement - Gender Norms & Sexual Violence and Critical & Ethical Global Engagement online module

Gender Norms & Sexual Violence - This workshop is intended to create awareness and discussion around cultural and gender norms that contribute to the perpetuation of sexual violence, and how we can prepare ourselves for going abroad. This workshop is not a guide of how to prevent sexual violence - that is solely the responsibility of perpetrators. Instead, the purpose of this workshop is to enhance self-reflection, discussion and awareness about gender norms and sexual violence in an intercultural setting.

Critical & Ethical Global Engagement - This one hour workshop focuses on complex topics covered in the online module, such as the context of global inequality, approaches to development, self-reflexivity, and common ethical dilemmas. 

Community Development

This workshop will focus on how you as a community guest can support the process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. This workshop will focus on your short term role in community development and how you can become aware of the type of collective action being taken at a grassroots level in the communities you visit.