The Tar Heel Blog

Current students write about life at Carolina

The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Oct 16

What’s an Alternative Fall Break?

Hi Tar Heels!

This week, we’ll be focusing some on what our peers are/have been up to for fall break! Today, we’re looking at what we at Carolina call AFB or “alternative fall break” trips.

That’s right: You can do more than go home or on a family trip for fall break – you can learn and serve other communities with APPLES, a service-learning program led by UNC-Chapel Hill students.

APPLES, which stands for Assisting People in Planning Learning Experiences in Service, offers alternative fall break service trips in seven different focus areas: urban communities, Latinx communities, rural communities, environmental issues, arts in public service, hunger and homelessness, and refugee communities.

I spoke to a friend of mine, Mikeala Roberson, who went on an AFB trip with APPLES last year – here’s what she had to say.


Mikeala Roberson is a junior from Clinton, North Carolina, and is studying Global Studies at Carolina.


How did you find out about the Alternative Fall Break in the first place?

I found out just by posters around campus advertising the break, and I also saw pubs in a few GroupMe chats that I was a part of.

Why did you end up choosing it?

I chose to do it because I did not want to go home, sit around and do nothing for five days. Plus, I love to travel and go to new places, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me.

Which focus area did you choose?

I chose the arts in public service. We went to Asheville! I chose it because I have always loved every type of art, but I don’t get to indulge in art as much as I’d like to since I started college.

What’s one of your favorite memories from the trip?

One of my favorite memories was renovating a puppet studio and seeing the owner’s face when we were done with our project. She was so excited and very thankful, which was a heartwarming experience for everyone I think!

What do you feel you gained from the trip as a person?

I gained more of an appreciation for art, which I didn’t think was possible since I loved art so much already. Being a part of the behind-the-scenes work for different forms of art gave me a new perspective on how I look at and approach art now.

Overall, how did you feel it and what were your feelings on it looking back?

I loved the trip! It was amazing and felt so fulfilling. I had a great time and I wish I could do another alternative break!