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 and reflect on their own positions of power and privilege. Volunteer excursions 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 disadvantaged children, homeless shelter and food bank support, disaster relief, and habitat restoration.

All trips include pre-trip orientation workshop, evening group reflections, and free time in the evenings 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) 756-5338.

Upcoming Trips

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting travel ban for all CSU activities, all Alternative Breaks domestic and global service trips have been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.  Please check back here late summer or early fall 2020 for information about a new set of service project trips for 2020-21.


Contact Us

Center for Service in Action
Building 52, Room E22
Phone: (805)756-5338
Email: altbreaks@calpoly.edu


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