USD's AWOL (Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning) Program sponsors opportunities for students to travel locally, nationally and internationally during winter, spring and summer breaks and one weekend a month. The students engage in service projects and gain new perspectives on social issues while helping the communities they visit.

This year’s winter break trips planned for Jan. 2-9 and the social issues each addresses:

  • Guatemala: poverty/habitat
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: disaster/poverty
  • Orlando, Florida: health/children
  • Springfield, Missouri: advocacy
  • Dallas: health
  • St. Louis: education/child well-being
  • Indianapolis: education/advocacy

Students interested in taking part in AWOL go through an interview process and help raise money to cover expenses. With help from the USD Foundation, AWOL has set up a crowdfunding site to help in that effort.

"AWOL meets a number of USD's strategic goals,” said Sarah Wittmuss, director of the Center for Academic & Global Engagement. "It strives to meet the diversity and inclusiveness goals of the plan, encourages service-learning and increases positive relationships between the campus and community.”

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