See our “Join” page for open applications!

Get involved

There are lots of ways to get involved in AWOL regardless of your schedule. We have service trips that last a single day, an entire weekend, or even a full week. All USD students are encouraged to apply! Since AWOL is a student-led organization, there are also opportunities to serve in a leadership capacity, even if you’re unable to attend a trip this year.

Alternative Weekends

Alternative Weekends only cost $5 and are a great way to get started in the AWOL program. Under the supervision of a trained student site leader, you will travel to a location in South Dakota, Nebraska, or Iowa to serve with a local community organization. Some Alternative Weekend trips are only for the day, and others will be gone the entire weekend. You’ll receive more information about the these trips as it becomes available.

Winter Break Trips

Winter Break trips are typically scheduled in early January, after the holiday season and prior to the start of the spring semester. Applications open during the fall semester and participants complete six weeks of pre-trip meetings before departing for their destination. Applicants will select from a list of social issues they would like to learn more about and participants who are placed on a trip will learn about their destination and community partners during the pre-trip meetings. Domestic Winter Break trips typically cost $220.

Spring Break Trips

Spring Break trips are scheduled during USD’s observed spring break holiday. Applications open during the fall semester and participants complete six weeks of pre-trip meetings before departing for their destination. Applicants will select from a list of social issues they would like to learn more about and participants who are placed on a trip will learn about their destination and community partners during the pre-trip meetings. Domestic Spring Break trips typically cost $220.

Summer Break Trips

Summer Break trips are typically schedule in early May, immediately following the completion of the spring semester. Applications open during the spring semester and participants complete six weeks of pre-trip meetings before departing for their destination. Applicants will select from a list of social issues they would like to learn more about and participants who are placed on a trip will learn about their destination and community partners during the pre-trip meetings. Domestic Summer Break trips typically cost $220.

International Trips

International trips are typically scheduled in early January, after the holiday season and prior to the start of the spring semester. Applications open during the fall semester and participants complete six weeks of pre-trip meetings before departing for their destination. Information about the country, social issue, and community partner will be available at the time of application. Since international trips travel a much longer distance, typically by air, participants will be charged a higher fee than the domestic AWOL trips. Despite this, we have found the international trips to be very affordable for our students.

Site Leaders

Interested in leading your own trip? Each year we select students to become site leaders for upcoming trips. Applications open during the spring semester and interested students will select from a list of social issues for which to plan a trip around. Since AWOL is looking to develop long-term relationships with the communities we serve, selected site leaders may be assigned a location and potential community partners. The site leader will still be heavily involved in the planning stages of the trip and will be ultimately responsible for the service-learning that occurs on the trip itself. On occasion, site leaders may propose a new location/community partner/housing facility, which must be approved by the AWOL Executive Board before planning can begin.

AWOL Executive Board

At its heart, AWOL is a student-run organization. This means we need energetic, dynamic, and capable student leaders who can supervise and manage a complex organization that involves hundreds of students engaged in thousands of volunteer hours at dozens of locations around the country and world. Do you have what it takes?