UMass Boston

Beacon Voyages for Service


Learn about and donate to the 2023/2024 BVS Trips!

Effects of Colonization and Gentrification

Environmental Preservation

Filipino-American Experience

Beacon Voyages for Service (BVS) is an “Alternative Break” program that is part of a national movement to engage students in service. BVS involves students in a social justice movement by participating in week-long trips both domestically and internationally and through on-campus commitments throughout the year. BVS hopes to address social issues such as: Mental Health Stigma; HIV/AIDS; Border, Refugee & Immigration; Environment; Rural Poverty; Urban Poverty; Youth & Education; Domestic Violence; Disaster Relief; Health & Aging, etc.

The program at UMass Boston is a student leadership model. Student leaders are trained to coordinate the trip including developing community partnerships, fundraising, and travel. As students are selected to participate, they become active participants in the entire trip planning process.

Our program follows Break Away's eight components of a quality alternative break. We have two application cycles: one in the fall semester, beginning in September, and one in the spring semester, beginning in January. Our largest application cycle is in the fall, where we recruit students for the majority of our winter, spring break, and summer trips. Our spring semester application cycle provides opportunities for incoming & transfer students, or students who are seeking additional opportunities to get involved on campus. We select our executive team (Program Assistants & Trip Leaders) in the spring semester every year.

There are three ways to participate in the BVS Experience:

  • Participant - students who wish to partake in this immersive service experience
  • Trip Leader - students who have previously been participants on a BVS trip; these positions are unpaid
  • Program Assistant - students who have previously been Trip Leaders on a BVS trip; these positions are paid

Requirements for all positions to participate include:

  • Must be enrolled as a degree-seeking full time student
  • Must be in good judicial, financial, and academic standing with the university
  • Complete application along with short answer questions
  • All applicants must participate in a group interview
  • All participants are responsible for the cost of their trip. To confirm your spot on any trip you must pay a deposit. All deposits are non-refundable.
Beacon Voyages for Service
Campus Center, 2nd Floor, Suite 2300