2023 Global Community Engagement Program

What are you doing between the end of classes and graduation? Apply for our new Global Community Engagement Program: Suffolk Serves in Spain, where you can learn and serve internationally with NGOs that do work in community development and environmentalism in Madrid.

Suffolk Serves in Spain May 2023

The Spanish city of Madrid is a vibrant multicultural environment, and Suffolk's Campus there is right in the heart of some of the wonders that the city has to offer.

Applications Now Open

Travel dates are May 10 - 20, 2023

Interested in volunteering in Spain at the end of the spring semester? The Alternative Break program engages students in how to be global thinkers and globally responsible citizens. Students will live and participate in community engagement work with members of the Madrid community, Suffolk Boston campus, and Suffolk Madrid campus. This program will help students learn about another culture, understand community-based challenges and how they're addressed abroad, through working with several nonprofit organizations in and around Madrid, Spain for a week and half after the end of the Spring term.

We will be accepting approximately 15 applicants for this trip.

Application Process:

  1. Students will submit this online application by February 8
  2. Promising candidates will participate in a short 20-minute interview with CCE staff in late January
  3. Students will learn of their acceptance in early February and will be required to attend up to 4 pre-trip meetings during the Spring semester. Dates TBD.

Tentative fee: $500 deposit due upon acceptance into the program

If you have any questions about the application process, please stop by the CCE (Sawyer 824), or contact Director of the CCE


  1. All participants must apply for the Service In Spain program through the Center for Community Engagement. More information on the application is due out in November. Check back for more details!
  2. Minimum of 2.5 GPA
  3. Students must participate in out-of-class learning experiences as directed by the program
  4. Students must be in good conduct standing with the University


You will pay a portion of the total cost of the trip, which includes transportation, meals, and housing. Total costs of the program are partially subsidized by the Center for Community Engagement. The trip payment will consist of a $500 deposit due upon acceptance to the program, and a final payment before the start of the trip, both of which will be billed through Suffolk University’s student accounts.

Contact the Center for Community Engagement for more information on specific costs and available scholarships.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

A limited number of need- and merit-based scholarships are available to help subsidize the cost of the program. Please contact Director Adam Westbrook for more details.

Suffolk Serves in Spain FAQs

Rather than a traditional vacation, Suffolk students serve in local communities to learn how nonprofits and community leaders address different social issues.

Applications are submitted through Microsoft Forms during the fall semester and reviewed by CCE staff. Following review of the written applications, applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview. Prior to acceptance into the program, applicants will be subject to a review by the Dean of Students Office for final approval. Applicants should hear about the decisions before going home for Winter Break.

AWB trips include a flight to the international locations. The Suffolk serves in Spain program partners with the Suffolk Madrid campus. The CCE is working closely with staff in Madrid to find community partners students will work with to have a meaningful, safe, and transformative experience. All travel, lodging, meals, and activities logistics will be managed by CCE and Madrid campus staff while in country.

Housing accommodations in-country are also organized in partnership with the Suffolk Madrid campus. Students will be staying in a modest hostel in Madrid and likely be sharing rooms with other Suffolk students. If you have any questions or concerns about housing, please contact the Director.

Typically, we send between 10-20 students and 2-4 staff/faculty on each trip. This year, we plan to send approximately 15 students and 2 staff to Madrid.

Tentative Dates for this year’s “Suffolk Serves in Spain” program are May 10-20, 2023.

Yes, attendance at the four pre-trip meetings is mandatory. These meetings are a critical component of the Suffolk Serves in Spain program and will prepare you to have a rich, safe, and meaningful service experience. These pre-trip meetings will take place in February and March 2023. Dates for these meetings will accompany your acceptance letter into the program. We do our best to schedule the pre-trip meetings based on participant availability.

You will find out your trip assignment and meeting schedule with your acceptance letter before you go home for Winter Break in December.

Please do not hesitate to email the Center for Community Engagement, or call us at 617-305-6306 with any questions.

Previous International Service Programs

Alternative Winter Break

Prior to 2021, the CCE partnered with the Political Science & Legal Studies department to provide international Alternative Winter Break opportunities.

As part of this service-learning program, each year, Suffolk students traveled for twelve days over Winter Break to many different countries to learn and serve in areas of democratic development including Myanmar, Cambodia, India, El Salvador, and Vietnam.

Suffolk is proud to continue providing similar service-learning opportunities to our students to experience new cultures and broaden their global horizons while making a difference in the lives of others.

Suffolk students and staff work with Habitat for Humanity and local school children in Cambodia during their Alternative Winter Break program
2019 Alternative Winter Break team in Banteay, Sri District, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia posing in front of a newly built Habitat for Humanity home that Suffolk students helped complete.

My time with Habitat for Humanity in Myanmar shaped my worldview and gave me experiences that I will take with me for life. The opportunity to spend time with the community and local culture, while providing a home for a family in need that we grew to love, was an unforgettable experience.

Chessa MacKenzie Class of 2022