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What are Alternative Breaks for New Dukes (ANB)?

We are excited to connect you with other NEW students through service with global partners before beginning classes on campus in the fall. These student-led breaks are specifically for new Transfer students and incoming First-Year students.

Your ANB kicks-off with a day-long retreat where you will meet your student leaders, get to know other participants, and learn more about social issues in the New Orleans community. Your team (of 56) will then hop on a JMU chartered bus for the 17 hour ride to serve alongside the community of New Orleans, LA. This break mirrors Alternative May Break, but may also include working in a community garden, with a shelter for persons experiencing homelessness, with a food pantry, re-organizing schools that have been relocated, etc.

Your ANB Experience

In the 25 years of JMU Alternative Breaks, we have found that these are powerful and life changing experiences because our program is based on a core philosophy of service and learning. Check out our eight quality components here. By registering online for the break you commit to this philosophy including full engagment (which also includes having an alcohol and other drug-free experience).

The online registration does not guarantee you a spot, nor does it commit you to participate. There will be an approximately 48 hour window once registration has closed and we run the lottery in which we will email you to make your payment to confirm your participation on the break.  If funding is a concern, please also submit a break cost reduction application (see below) when you register online and we can adjust payments accordingly if the application is approved and include those adjustments in the email.

We will run an electronic lottery process to determine if you've been assigned to the break. After getting assigned to the break, you will receive an email communication with educational materials and logistics to help you prepare. **Please be sure you're checking your JMU email, as this is our only contact information for you.**  This email will also include a PayPal link to make your payment.  Payment will confirm your spot on the break.  If you are not initially assigned to a break you will be placed on a waitlist.

Plan to be in Harrisonburg by 8am on the Saturday your break begins. You will immediately enter a small group of eight or nine, including 5-6 new students, 2 student co-leaders, and 1 faculty/staff learning partner. Groups participate in the day-long retreat together.   


Current estimates for the breaks are $350 for the week which covers leadership, education, travel, housing, and most meals (inlcuding 2 educational excursions and 1 social excursion while in New Orleans). The cost does not include travel days food, souvenirs, and the other group free-time expenses. Also, you can apply for a break cost reduction that could offset the cost of your experience by a maximum of $100.  Break Cost Reductions are awarded based on the thoroughness of the application and your financial need as determined by your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your FAFSA must be on file with JMU to be eligible for an award. 


Payment will be due approximately 48 hours after registration has closed (specific details will be provided in the email sent to all registrants--tentatively Transfer 5/15 and First-Year 6/19). Payments will typically be made electronically.  You will receive a PayPal invoice email from the Community Service-Learning office. More information is available on the payment timeline chart.  


Transfer students click HERE to register for the ANB June 16-23. Registration has closed.

First-Year students click HERE to register for the ANB July 21-28. Registration has closed.

**When you register, you will need to have your student ID number handy. Even if you haven't received your JAC yet, you have access to your ID number (see the following instructions to locate it). 

Log into MyMadison at  Click on the Applicant tab. In the middle of the window under "Personal Information" you will see your 9 digit student ID number.

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