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...

New York (December 11-17)

We are thrilled to announce we will be taking students for our Winter '22 Alternative Breaks trip to New York! Students will participate in meaningful community service projects addressing community needs such as housing insecurities, food insecurities, and poverty. Join us in serving the New York community while making lasting connections and friends. Students who participate will also earn the Global Leadership certificate. For more information, join an info session

Click here for a recorded version of the info session.

Applications for the NY trip are due October 24th to the CSA office by 5pm (Sierra Madre 113/L119). We require all applications to be turned in with a $100 trip 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. 

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

More information forthcoming.


Contact Us

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


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