Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Dianne Timm

Thesis Committee Member

Beth Gillespie

Thesis Committee Member



This study sought to explore undergraduate students’ experiences participating in international alternative break trips. A qualitative approach was used to understand the motivating factors as well as the impact the trip had on them. Participants included three female undergraduate students who had participated in an international alternative break trip in Mexico were interviewed one-on-one. The results demonstrated there were multiple different motivating factors and impacts the students experienced. The motivating factors consisted of student involvement, they were all personally invited on the trip, practicing a new language, opportunity to leave the country, and service was not a motivator. The impacts the students had were they thought about their future plans, gained a better cultural awareness, had an impact through volunteer work, and had no negative experience.