CCEC plans annual alternative break trips abroad

Photo courtesy of Kansas Photo, Flickr

The Civic and Community Engagement Center offers Alternative Break Trips to students during winter and spring break. These trips provide students the option to make the most of their breaks, as they travel to an area and volunteer for the week. This winter, the CCEC will be hosting trips to Ghana and Costa Rica. Both trips have been very well received in the past. Junior Antonio Navazio and senior John Distefano have both been on alt. break trips, and have reflected on their experience to share with other students.

Antonio Navazio is a computer science major who traveled to Ghana with the Student Government Association during the recent spring break. This trip allowed Ramapo’s SGA to visit the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, or KNUST, to learn how the school operates and to experience the culture of Ghana. Navazio felt that the trip was a great experience.

“I had never been this far out of my comfort zone,” he said. “So it was a great new experience going to a place like that.”

Navazio enjoyed exploring and learning about the many unknowns in Ghana, including the food, culture and college life.

“I felt like going there gave me insight into a new world,” he said.

The trip to Ghana being offered this winter differs from Navazio’s, however, because it emphasizes service work and may include educational or literacy support for local communities.  

Overall, Navazio was thankful to go to Ghana and highly recommends visiting the country to everyone else. He concluded, “Traveling really pushes boundaries. Going to a new place will push your comfort zone and make you experience new things and do something that you wouldn’t normally do which is what Ramapo is all about. These trips are a great opportunity to do that with other students.”

John Distefano, a senior international business major, participated in the Costa Rica winter break trip in January 2015. Distefano was very interested in studying abroad, but he was not eligible to do so as a freshman. When he discovered the alternative break, he felt that it would be a great chance to travel as well as help out the community.

Distefano enjoyed the trip because of the experience of being in Costa Rica, as well as having the opportunity to meet and bond with other Ramapo students.

“I really enjoyed learning from the amazing people we were working with and about their views and attitudes regarding nature and sustainability,” he said.

The workers in Costa Rica were also very friendly, which was another great part of Distefano’s experience.

“One of the most memorable parts for me was talking with the workers every night and getting to know them as people,” he reflected. “They were so interesting, kind, funny, passionate, the list goes on.”

Like Navazio, Distefano highly recommends the trip to all students who may be interested. His advice is to simply just go for it.

“Make the most of your college experience and go beyond the limits of your comfort zone”, he said. “Not only will you learn more about yourself, others and the world in the process, but you will also contribute to some pretty amazing projects and get the chance to work with incredible and passionate people.”

If you are interested in applying for an alternative break trip, applications are live now on OrgSync and are due by Oct. 16. If you have any questions, stop by the CCEC main office in SC-213.