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Alternative Student Breaks-POP (ASB-POP)

This is a POP experience. Registration requires you to rank POP experiences in which you are interested (you can rank only 1 or up to all 3). Students will learn of their POP placement by June 22 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Placement is not guaranteed due to space constraints.

What is ASB-POP?

New students will have the opportunity to learn more about how non-profit organizations work to promote social justice through hands-on service work. Spend a week traveling to a Midwestern city to work with a non-profit, learning about social justice through hands-on service-learning experiences and from the people who live in the communities. In addition to the service days, participants and their group will have a day dedicated to exploring cool parts of the city, this can look like visiting museums, landmarks, botanical gardens or local favorites that the facilitators have found! Serving alongside a group of 5-7 new students and two Northwestern student leaders, new students will have a great way to make friends and learn more about Northwestern before Wildcat Welcome.

See what some of our previous ASB-POP participants have said about the trip!:


Students will arrive to campus on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 and the program will conclude on the morning of new student move-in day on Monday, September 16, 2019.

Students assigned to participate in ASB-POP will receive more detailed information on check-in times and location after placement.



Students will first arrive to campus and then travel to their site location. Those placed on ASB-POP will have the opportunity to rank social issues and sites in which they are interested in June (after they are placed into ASB-POP). Below is an overview of sites for 2019:

What a typical day on ASB-POP looks like:

Below is just a sample of what a typical day on ASB-POP could look like for participants. 

Time Activity Description
8-9 a.m. Breakfast and Prepare for the Day Wake up, get ready for the day. Drive to service site with some fun tunes.
9-10 a.m. A Conversation About the Social Issue at Hand Chat with a representative from the site about their history, their mission, how they go about tackling the social issue, and an overview of how the social issue impacts the specific community we're visiting.
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Volunteer at the Site Work varies every day and at each site; you might be interacting with people the organization serves while learning their stories and how they are personally impacted by the site and social issue.
12-1 p.m. Lunch Lunch break! If it's a nice day, you bet there's a picnic in store!
1-4:30 p.m. Volunteer at Site Some example of the work you can do include gardening, helping with ESL classes, or helping with children at a daycare or many more activities!
4:30-5:30 p.m. Prepare Dinner/Down Time After getting back to our housing accommodations we will take turns in pairs cooking dinner. The rest of us will have some down-time which can be spent calling home, reading, playing cards/board games, etc.
4:30-5:30 p.m. Prepare Dinner/Lounging Time We will take turns cooking dinner. Each night a pair will cook dinner. The rest of us have down-time which can be spent calling home, reading, playing cards/board games, etc.
5:30-6:30 p.m. Family Dinner Eat dinner as a group, which is sure to include laughs and fun times!
6:30-8:30 p.m. A Night Out in Town We’ll get to explore the area and get to know the community better. This can include checking out local stores, bakeries, ice cream shops,, etc.
9-11 p.m. Reflection

Facilitators will lead small groups in activities and conversations that focus on self-reflection, gaining new perspectives, and building community within the group.