Real Break FAQs
What will we do on a Real Break?
Every day is going to be a little bit different, but in addition to the service projects and visits to pilgrimage locations, participants will have built-in time for reflection and discussion with the group and trip leaders. There will also be time to participate in church services, relax with your new friends, and explore the area you are visiting!
What can I expect from a Real Break trip?
Each Real Break trip has it’s own mission and goals. However, all OCF Real Break trips are broken up into two categories – service and pilgrimage. The service-based trips have particular project(s) that are worked on with a specific host location. Though many of these trips also include visits to holy sites, their foundation is rooted in service. The pilgrimage trips give students a chance to explore and experience Orthodox sites with a unique itinerary designed for their age group.
How much does a Real Break trip cost?
The cost for Real Break California is $1450, and Real Break Puerto Rico is $1400. Most students are able to fundraise the entire cost of their trip. Airfare to the site location is not included.
Are scholarships available?
Real Break 2023 scholarships are made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Omega Chapter 371 of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). Real Break California and Puerto Rico participants will be awarded $250 toward the overall cost of their trips. Real Break Egypt participants may apply for a needs-based sliding scale scholarship of up to $1,500 toward the cost of their trip. Scholarships applications will be sent to Real Break participants after registration.
What options do I have for fundraising the cost of my trip?
Fundraising for your Real Break trip will be a new adventure! Very rarely do students not raise the total cost of their trip. In fact, they usually end up raising MORE than the amount needed! As soon as you register for Real Break, OCF will send you instructions to set up your own crowdfunding page as well as fundraising tips and strategies to help you on your fundraising journey!
What is the payment deadline and cancellation policy?
- A 10% non-refundable deposit is due by January 13, 2023 to secure a spot on the trip, however the total cost is not due until February 16, 2023.
- If a participant cancels prior to January 13, 2023 and has paid money in addition to the deposit, the deposit will not be refunded however the extra payments will be. After January 13, 2023 the participant is still responsible for paying the trip cost in full by February 16, 2023.
- In the event of illness or death participants who need to cancel near the time of the event, on a case-to-case basis travel insurance may cover the cost of participation.
Who will lead my Real Break experience?
Each Real Break trip is led by OCF-trained leaders who are excited to meet you and give you the best experience possible. You’ll get to meet your trip leaders before your trip so you and your teammates can build community even before you get to the airport. You’ll also have a chance to learn from and interact with host location leaders who are faithful Orthodox Christians living out the calling to be the Church in the world.
How will we communicate with home while on Real Break?
The use of cell phones is not prohibited during Real Break. Students will be able to stay in consistent contact with their families.
What if I don’t know anyone going on the trip?
That is ok! A large part of Real Breaks is putting yourself out there to build intimate relationships with new spiritual friends. Because you spend time with the same small group for a week you will quickly move beyond the surface and have space to really get to know each other. Be brave and know that it’s going to be ok! You’ll also get to meet your group before your Real Break.
What does my registration fee cover?
The trip cost includes transportation, lodging, meals, outings, materials, and donations for the trip hosts and certain visited sites. The trip cost does not include your flight to the designated arrival/departure airport.
What is Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s refund policy for Real Break?
In the event a participant needs to cancel his/her registration for a Real Break 2023 program, all cancellations must be submitted via email communication to Peter Mansour at email@example.com. The registration deposit is non-refundable and will be forfeited upon cancellation. Any other amount that had been paid beyond the deposit will be refunded if cancellation is received before January 13, 2023. Cancellations made after January 13, 2023, will not receive any refund, and participants will be responsible for paying the full amount of the trip’s cost by February 16, 2023.
When do I have to pay the total cost of my Real Break trip?
The total cost is due by February 16, 2023.
What flight should I book?
- Puerto Rico: Arrive at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) before 3pm Saturday, March 11, 2023 and depart after 1 pm on Saturday March 18, 2023.
- California: Arrive at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) before 3 pm on Saturday March 4, 2023 and depart after 2 pm on Friday March 2, 2023.
What safety considerations are in place for Real Break trips?
We don’t want you or your family to worry while you’re away. We purchase travel insurance for each trip leader and student registrant on every Real Break trip. These insurance policies cover minor travel disruptions and major health emergencies. Additionally, each trip leader is trained in proper safety protocols for their specific trip location.
Do I need to speak the local language?
English is fine! However if you do know this would be a great opportunity to practice!