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The Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning (AWOL) program sponsors opportunities for service-learning including alternative breaks during the university's winter, spring and summer breaks, as well as, monthly alternative weekends during the academic year.

AWOL Trips, Dates & Information

Breaks and Weekends with Purpose

AWOL alternative break participants travel locally, nationally and internationally in groups of 8-15 students to engage in service projects and gain new perspectives on social issues while meeting community needs.

The alternative weekends of service are monthly events led by USD students either locally in Vermillion or within the region. It's a great way to ease your way into service by going with a friend or roommate to learn more about a social issue, local organizations and how they serve communities and AWOL.

AWOL alternative breaks include five weeks of pre-departure training to get to know your group and begin exploring the social issue through educational curriculum. While on site, participants learn through hands-on service and reflection.

Make your weekends and breaks meaningful and memorable by learning more about pressing social issues such as education, sustainability, community development or health care at a location around South Dakota, the country or abroad.

Serve & Learn

AWOL Serve and Learn is a unique opportunity offered exclusively to incoming first-year students. Participants have the opportunity to move in to their rooms early and learn more about USD and the Vermillion area from upper-class students who hold leadership positions throughout campus.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the non-profit organizations that serve the Vermillion area and how you can get involved in community service while at USD. Participants will also tour campus, find out where their classrooms are and discover things to do in Vermillion.

National Connections

USD's AWOL program is a member of the national Break Away organization.  Through our membership we can connect with other active citizens on campuses across the country in leadership and service opportunities.


For questions, more information or to sign-up, email us at