International Student Travel

Solarize your spring break! Come soak up some rays on your spring break while learning to install solar and providing clean, renewable energy to communities with limited energy access in Nepal, Mexico or Nicaragua.

"It’s always exciting to embark on a new adventure--especially when you are pursuing something you care deeply about and you believe will benefit others." --Angela Shen, University of California, Berkeley 

"The combination of helping the community and the environment gives meaning to my spring break." --Nicolle Martin, North Carolina Central University

“Solar Spring Break was awesome, I gained experience in my future career field that will be excellent to reference in the future!" -- Kevin Shen, University of Michigan

What is Solar Spring Break?

Solar Spring Break, GRID Alternatives’ Alternative Break Program, gives college students the opportunity to spend their winter or spring vacation week installing off-grid solar in Mexico, Nepal or Nicaragua. Students are immersed in international communities while participating in hands-on projects and related educational and cultural activities. Program activities are designed for a deep personal and team experience. Students learn about community-centered sustainable development and explore the roots of energy poverty. 

In addition to installing solar, you will be spending your week working with a nonprofit that is dedicated to bringing the benefits of solar to underserved communities. You will connect with GRID's mission and vision and broaden your understanding of the communities we serve. We approach the experience through a service-learning framework and engage in daily reflections so that you can come prepared, integrate new information as you go, and get the most out of your time with us. Each project hosts 10 students. Participants must be 18 or older.

How will students make a difference?

Your work will bring solar power to communities who need it most. GRID’s projects benefit families living in rural areas that are not connected to the electrical grid, and therefore rely on expensive, unreliable, and toxic non-renewable energy sources for their lighting and cooking. Access to clean, renewable energy in schools, health clinics, homes, and on small farms unlocks educational opportunity, improves health services, brings light and AC power to households making new activities possible, and improves economic prosperity for families. GRID also bring solar to mission-aligned organizations in urban areas, reducing their electric bills so they can provide services to more people.  Students get real experience with renewable energy while making a difference for people and the planet.

What does it cost?

Each team fundraises $40,000 for their 8-day trip, which covers the cost of the installation process, international fees, lodging, food, local transportation and activities during your stay. Check out a sample trip itinerary here. Airfare and international health insurance are not included.  

Your university group will receive fundraising consulting from GRID Alternatives to determine the best way to raise your funds.  Fundraising activities might include peer to peer fundraising, personal solicitations, school sponsorships, or special events. Many colleges and universities also offer funds to support service learning opportunities.

Contact us for more information at