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Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks @ UCSD are national or international service and learning trips that cultivate lifelong socially active and globally conscious leaders through direct service, education, diversity, reflection, investigation of social justice issues, and reorientation.

Give now to the Alternative Breaks @ UCSD Support Fund.

Alternative Breaks@UCSD is a non-profit student organization.

Mission statement

Alternative Breaks are national or international service and learning trips that use education of social justice issues combined with quality direct service to have a lasting impact on students and the communities in which they work.


To create globally conscious active citizens committed to lifelong service.

Service and learning trips

Each trip incorporates 8 quality components of an alternative break, which include: Strong Direct Service, Orientation, Education, Training, Reflection, Reorientation, Diversity, and Alcohol & Other Drug Free.

Each trip is open to and includes 12 participants: 2 student site leaders, 8 participants, 1 community advisor, and 1 alumni or graduate member. Participants are recruited early in Fall Quarter.

Participants meet regularly with the Alternative Breaks @ UCSD Collaborative to discuss logistics, engage in training and reflection activities, and coordinate fundraising. The Alternative Breaks umbrella organization meets regularly with site leaders of each trip to discuss and train trip leaders on site logistics, risk management, and education before, during, and after the trip.

Possible social issues/ projects you will work with through AB@UCSD:

  • Caring for infants and children
  • Teaching children
  • Teaching English
  • Assisting teachers
  • Observing and assisting local health professionals
  • Working with people affected by HIV/ AIDS
  • Caring for the elderly
  • Caring for people with disabilities
  • Assisting teachers of Special Education
  • Working toward women's empowerment
  • Sharing your professional skills/ experience
  • Environmental sustainability and conservation
  • Hurricane relief
  • Education on sex/ drug trafficking
  • Native American

Learn more:

CCR ApprovedYour Co-Curricular Record (CCR) will be updated upon completion of the program. You can use your CCR to help demonstrate to employers, graduate/professional programs, and for awards the competencies and skills you gained through your experience. 


Alternative Breaks is a student-run program. The University of California, San Diego is not responsible for the program or its participants.