International Winter Breakouts

Registration opens August 1 on Studio Abroad (The Center for International Program's website).

Spend part of your winter break helping communities in locations around the globe, such as Belize, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico or Nicaragua. These experiences strive for a greater sense of global solidarity and understanding in the hearts, minds, and actions of all participants.

These trips are big commitment of time, energy and resources, but the reward is priceless. Please talk over the commitment with your family before applying. 

Applications can be found at Click on “Search Programs” and choose "January Intercession" in the drop-down menu under "Term." Apply for your first choice. There will be a section to declare a second or third choice of trip.

Applications for International Winter BreakOuts are due September 13, 2013. Groups will be selected from the applicant pool after September 15.


Each student must pay the cost of the trip listed. A $300 deposit will be due with your application. It will be refunded if you are not chosen to go on the trip. The remaining will be due December 12. (Trip payments may be refunded up to two months prior to departure date.  Students will receive a flight voucher for canceled flights in their name.) Groups are encouraged to fundraise together to reduce the cost for each participant. The program cost of the trip covers ground transportation, lodging, and most food. Plan on bringing some spending money. Airfare is subject to change. These are estimates based on 2014 airfare. Some funds have been set aside for partial scholarships based on need (Please contact Mary Niebler with questions about the scholarship.). 

Additional costs for trips outside of the U.S.:

  • Passport (if you don’t already have one) $135
  • Vaccination: costs vary widely/ health insurance varies/ which shots you need varies
  • Spending money

Preparation meetings

Participants must attend weekly preparation meetings with the group. This is a major commitment. You must be willing to commit your time and energy to this effort or you will lose your place on the trip.

If you would like more information about any of the events listed above, contact Mary Niebler at 937-229-2012 or e-mail her at

El Salvador Encounter

Jan. 3-11, 2015

The group will travel to San Salvador, El Salvador through CRISPAZ (Christians for Peace in El Salvador). The experience will include opportunities to meet Salvadorans, hear their stories, and accompany them for a short time in their daily lives. This experience is full of educational, experiential, and spiritual opportunities for growth. Truly an educational immersion experience, as participants have a chance to see first-hand sights of triumph and trial in El Salvador’s economic, spiritual, and political history and present. Check out the reflection by Riley Weber, who traveled with the group in January, 2014.

Cost: $960 (program expenses, room and board). Airfare is approximately $850

Back to top from El Salvador Encounter

Quito and Otonga, Ecuador

Jan. 3-11, 2015

This group will travel to Ecuador and work with the Marianists. They will learn about the local history, culture, climate, government and topography. Participants will see the city life of Quito and the rural life in the rainforests, volunteering with the local community. Students will grow in understanding of the local culture and the joys and struggles of maintaining a viable rainforest environment for the planet and its inhabitants. Some knowledge of Spanish is important for this BreakOut.

Cost: $800 (program expenses, room and board). Airfare is approximately $1200


Back to top from Quito and Otonga, Ecuador

Tijuana, Mexico

Jan. 4-11, 2015

Participants in this BreakOut will travel to Tijuana, Mexico, to work with the poor through the Tijuana Christian Mission. TCM began over 40 years ago when Martha Lopez started taking children into her home who had no food, little clothes, and no education. She fed them hot meals, found them shirts and pants, and enrolled them in the local school. As time passed, more and more children began living with Martha and her family. Today, over 80 children live at the Tijuana Christian Mission. The group from UD will spend the week with Martha, her staff and the children, and do work which they couldn't afford to do on their own. In past years, groups have built jungle gyms, roofed dormitories, built office space, laid ceramic tile, and led sports camps for the children.

Cost: $600 (program expenses, room and board). Airfare is approximately $500

Tijuana - The Story of Martha Lopez from Tyler Hays on Vimeo.

Back to top from Tijuana, Mexico

Belize City, Belize

Jan 3-10, 2015

Students on this year’s Belize Winter BreakOut will be partnering with A Broader View and working in an orphanage just outside Belize City. During the mornings, the group will help with general upkeep and rehab of the orphanage building, mainly doing painting and gardening. In the afternoons, they will work one on one with the children at the orphanage, helping them with their homework and providing companionship and new relationships. This is great opportunity to reach out to children in Belize and show them they are loved, even from afar. Read a reflection from one of 2012's participants.

Cost: $962 (program expenses, room and board). Airfare is approximately $900


Back to top from Belize City, Belize

Global Brigade to Nicaragua

dates tba

Students  have the opportunity to shadow licensed  doctors in medical consultations and assist in a pharmacy under the direction of licensed  pharmacists through a one week Medical Brigade in Nicaragua. Electronic patient records are collected for future visitations and to monitor overall community health trends. A one week Medical Brigade provides volunteers with the opportunity to make a tangible impact on communities while  gaining real life experience in the field of international medicine. Prior to travel, volunteers  collect medicines, recruit health professionals and fundraise.  Once in Central America, the team will visit  one partner community to administer day-long clinics  and conduct health workshops. The mobile clinic has five stations: intake (recording patient  demographic information),  triage (collecting main complaints and vitals),  consultations (shadowing doctors as they diagnose and prescribe),  pharmacy (filling prescriptions), and education (delivering workshops on preventive healthcare). Evenings prior to each brigade, groups learn from local doctors about the health needs of the specific communities, organize medicine, and delegate duties for the next day.

Program cost:  tba

Estimated flight:  tba
Contact Dr. Kathy Scheltens for more information at

Back to top from Global Brigade to Nicaragua