Do you want to see the world but don’t have the means to? If you’re like me then the answer is yes.
Luckily, The William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth (AKA The Tucker Foundation) provides loads of opportunities for undergrads to travel for little to no cost through their service trips.
The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program allows students to lead and attend service-learning trips, both international and domestic, over spring break (in mid-March). On these trips, students conduct short-term projects for communities to help and learn about social justice issues such as poverty, homelessness, health disparities, and the environment.
This year, students will be traveling to Denver, the Dominican Republic, Florida, Washington DC, and West Virginia. I participated on the Dominican Republic trip in 2012 which focused on development in Batey Libertad, a Haitian migrant community in the western part of the country. ASBs typically cost students $200, which covers transportation, food, and housing. Luckily, financial aid is available for those who cannot afford the $200.
The Tucker Foundation also sponsors the Nicaragua Cross Cultural Education and Service Program (CCESP) to Siuna, Nicaragua for two weeks during winter break. This trip consists of two teams: Community Health & Community Development. The Community Health team is comprised of mostly undergrads and a handful of Geisel medical students and Dartmouth-affiliated doctors. They set-up a temporary health clinic and see patients from various communities of the area, as well as work with health promoters from each community to explore and address prevalent public health concerns. The Community Development team is made up of all undergrads who help with infrastructural development in the area. When I went on this trip in 2012, the Development team aided in a clean-water project.
Both the ASB and CCESP require a seminar during the entirety of the term before the trips to learn relevant cultural and political background of the countries and specific areas of travel/service.
To learn more about the Tucker Foundation, visit their website here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~tucker/
I hope you consider participating in one of these programs if you come to Dartmouth! They were very rewarding experiences for me.