What is Alternative Breaks?

Alternative Breaks offers a chance to raise students' self-awareness, supplement their educational experience with the university, and demonstrate Cal Poly's enthusiasm to make a positive impact outside of the campus community. Students are immersed in another culture, which provides the opportunity to examine social issues, reflect on their own positions of power and privilege, and build intercultural abilities. Volunteer service project trips give Cal Poly students a chance to make a lasting contribution and work together to develop skills as global citizens.

The Center for Service in Action hosts multiple Alternative Breaks trips throughout the year, providing students with a chance to make a difference during their breaks from the academic school year. Cal Poly students have the opportunity to serve their global community while exploring outside their positions of privilege. 

Domestic service trips typically occur winter and spring breaks, and global service trips occur during the beginning of summer break. 

Details of each trip vary, but typically involve humanitarian aid such as: tutoring low-income children, homeless shelter and food bank support, disaster relief, habitat restoration, and other community development projects in place where we are serving.

All trips include pre-trip orientation training workshops, evening group reflections, and free time to explore the area. All trips are led by Cal Poly staff. If you would like more information about applying to an Alternative Breaks experience, come to an information session or contact us at altbreaks@calpoly.edu or (805) 756-5834.

Upcoming Trips...

Spring Break:

Puerto Rico (March 23-30, 2024)

Applications have closed and we are thrilled with the amount of applicants and the team we have selected!



Summer Break:

Nepal (June 17-July 1, 2024)

Attend an info session to learn more!

Ready to apply? Make sure you have visited the University Cashier's office to make your $100 trip deposit BEFORE you fill out this application.

This deposit is to ensure applicants are serious about going. If you are accepted on this trip, the deposit will become your first payment. If you are not accepted, the deposit will be refunded to your student account. If you are accepted and deny your spot on the team, the deposit is non-refundable.

Both applications are due on Monday, February 26 by midnight.

Please do not apply until you have attended at least one info session where we discuss important trip details. If you cannot attend an info session, please email altbreaks@calpoly.edu or stop by our office for more information.

Trip Application (REQUIRED)

Sponsorship Application (not required but encouraged)



Contact Us

Center for Service in Action
Building 113, Room L119
Phone: (805)756-5834
Email: altbreaks@calpoly.edu


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