Tips for Parents
Students are preparing to pack their bags! Chances are, your student has already had conversations with peers about Spring Break plans. Students' itineraries will include everything from relaxing at home or working as many hours as they can to make extra cash, to volunteering in a remote country or vacationing in a sunny destination. What are your student's plans?
If your student has plans to travel to the beach, don't be surprised. Every year, thousands of college-age students swarm sunny destinations for a chance to have fun with friends. According to the Travel Channel website, the top 10 spring break destinations are:
- Panama City, Florida
- Cancun, Mexico
- South Padre Island, Texas
- Lake Havasu, Arizona
- Mazatlan, Mexico
- Daytona Beach, Florida
- Key West, Florida
- Rosarito Beach, Mexico
- The Bahamas
Alternative Spring Breaks
It's important to know that not every student spends Spring Break partying on the beach. While these sunny destinations are popular for many, so are alternative trips. These trips offer opportunities to conduct service work or to immerse oneself in another culture. Here are just three — of many — resources to get the conversation started:
Volunteer abroad for one week in Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru or Russia by working side-by-side with local people and making meaningful contributions.
MTV's and United Way's Alternative Spring Break 2007
Volunteer to provide hurricane relief by working in Gulf Coast communities. Or, visit the website to find out ways to make a difference in a local community or region. Volunteers can even create their own alternative Spring Break experiences!
Habitat for Humanity
Volunteer with four other friends or as part of an organized group to spend a week building a house for a family in need. Habitat for Humanity builds all over the world!
Most colleges and universities sponsor alternative Spring Break trips. These trips are usually organized by individual academic departments, a community service office, student groups or the student affairs staff. Suggest that your student talk with folks on her campus to find out what opportunities are available. It's likely that she will need to apply to participate and sometimes the application process can be intensive.
No matter what plans your student has for Spring Break, remind him to stay safe, supply you with contact information and have fun. And help students remember that getting the most out of college does not have to include Spring Break travel. Students can also broaden their horizons right in their own backyard.
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
Copyright 2006, 125 Paterson Ave., Little Falls, NJ 07424