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 competence. 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 occur every 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) 756-7011.

Upcoming Trips...

Cape Town, South Africa (June 19-July 3)

We are thrilled to announce we will be taking students to Cape Town, South Africa the first two weeks of summer break! Students who participate will continue the work our Cal Pol community has been doing in Cape Town over the past 6 years with our service partner, Film School Africa. Join us in serving the community of Cape Town while making lasting connections and friendships. Students who participate will also earn the Global Leadership certificate. For more information, join an info session!

Applications for the Cape Town trip are due Monday, February 27th to the CSA office (Sierra Madre 113/L119) no later than 5pm. We require all applications to be turned in with a $250 application deposit stapled to the top. Deposits must be made with cash or check at the University Cashier's office. If you are interested in applying but cannot make an info session, please stop by our office for an application and we would be happy to answer any questions. 





Contact Us

Center for Service in Action
Building 113, Room L119
Phone: (805)756-7011
Email: altbreaks@calpoly.edu


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