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College Students Spend Spring Breaks Helping Others



By Catherine Groux
Posted March 06, 2012 01:04 PM

Many students spend their spring breaks volunteering around the world.
Many students spend their spring breaks volunteering around the world.
This month, bachelor's degree seekers across the county will put their studies aside to indulge in spring break. However, while this week-long vacation is designed to give students a break from their studies, more students are using it as an opportunity to supplement the education they receive in the classroom and help others.

Will Sutton, a Boston College nursing student, plans to spend his spring break in Nicaragua along with 10 other degree seekers, Wicked Local reports. For 10 days, Sutton and his classmates will use their nursing skills to help individuals in Managua and teach them how they can stay healthy.

The program is part of the Boston College Global Initiative, an international public service group. Since Sutton speaks Spanish, he said Nicaragua seemed like the perfect place to practice his nursing skills.

"Mixing nursing and medicine with Spanish is a dream come true," he told Wicked Local. "That I get to do that is incredible."

Boston College nursing students are not the only ones who will spend their breaks helping others. John Thomas, a medical student at Florida State University, recently told the Tallahassee Democrat that for the second year in a row, he plans to spend his spring break in Panama assisting locals who otherwise do not have access to medical care.

Thomas will be accompanied by 15 other degree seekers who participate in FSUCares, a student medical organization dedicated to helping under-served communities around the world.

Additionally, about 50 students from Florida State's FSU Alternative Breaks Program plan to travel to El Salvador and various cities across the U.S. for community service, the Democrat reports. Here, the degree seekers will do everything from educating immigrant children to rebuilding a hospital.

While these types of spring break opportunities require a great deal of dedication, compassion and understanding, many students say they are well worth it. Catherine Lampi, who is working toward a degree in international affairs, told the Democrat that she began using her spring breaks to volunteer during her freshman year. Since then, she has been on more than six community service trips.

"The beauty of alternative breaks is that they're composed of so many aspects," Lampi said. "After each one, I've learned something about myself."

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