Student Service Opportunities

Campuswide Service & Civic Engagement Events

Alternative Breaks

Take a trip that makes a difference.

Alternative Breaks at IUPUI are student-led, social issue-focused, and service-based trips that take place during the fall, spring, and summer academic breaks. These trips are an “alternative” to standard college break trips: they are alcohol- and drug-free and focus on creating positive, sustainable change in communities and cultures around the United States. Each break is planned and coordinated by a student leader. Trip participants learn through service, education, and reflection about how they can be agents of change when they return to the Indianapolis community.  And let’s not forget - they are a lot of fun!

IUPUI offers two types of Alternative Break trips each year:

  • Spring Alternative Break - Domestic Trips

    • Applications will open in late Fall.
    • What & When: Spring Alternative Break trips occur during IUPUI’s spring academic break (March 13th - 19th, 2016) and are five to seven days in length.
    • Where: It is a surprise! Trips are in destinations that are no more than a 16-hour drive from Indianapolis.
    • How Much: The trip costs $100 for participants and includes travel, food, and lodging for most of the of the trip.
  • Spring Alternative Break - International Trip

    IUPUI's international alternative spring break trip focuses on the conservation efforts for leatherback sea turtles in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

    • Applications are now closed.
    • What & When: Spring Alternative Break trips occur during IUPUI’s spring academic break (March 15th - 21st, 2015) and is seven days in length.
    • Where: Port-of-Spain, The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
    • How Much: The trip costs $500 for participants.
      • Program Fee: $470 (includes air-fare, lodging, food, travel in Trinidad, and excursions)
      • Insurance: $30
      • Additional expenditures maybe required due to passport, traveling days' meals, and vaccinations.
  • Fall Alternative Break

    • Fall Alternative Break applications coming soon!
    • What & When: Fall Alternative Break (FAB) takes place for four days during IUPUI’s fall academic break each October (October 16th-20th, 2016).
    • Where: The trips take place in locations that are a 5–8 hour drive from Indianapolis.
    • How Much: The trip costs $50 for participants and includes travel, food, and lodging for the four days of the trip.

    If you would like to be notified when registration opens for the spring domestic & international trips, please email and ask to be placed on the “Alternative Break Email List”.

    Past trips have included:

    • Boone, North Carolina—Trail Rebuilding and Environmentalism
    • Tuscaloosa, Alabama—Tornado Relief
    • Cincinnati, Ohio—Hunger and Homelessness

What happens on an Alternative Break trip?

Service, group activities, and more! Depending on the trip length, the schedule varies, but students will volunteer with a community service site nearly every day. In addition to volunteer time, group education and reflection activities about the social issue are held daily. Each trip usually also allows time for sightseeing, exploring, and other small field trips.

Which location will I go to?

On the application, you may rank the trips in order of preference. We will try our hardest to place you on your preferred trip; however, if that trip is filled, we will place you on your second choice (and so on). If you only have interest in one trip, mark only that trip and do not rank the trips in order of preference. Be aware that may exclude you from attending any trip, because the applicants are placed in locations based on a variety of criteria.

Pre-Trip Meetings

Pre-trip meetings are mandatory for all participants to attend. These meetings are designed to educate and provide further information and requirements for the trips. If you are unable to attend the dates that are indicated on the application, please note that you will be required to meet with the trip leaders and the program organizer to gather this additional information.

Contact Us 

For more information on IUPUI Alternative Breaks, contact Community Service and Civic Engagement at or (317) 274-3931.

Individuals needing more information or auxiliary aids for communication or assistance for access or accommodation should indicate these needs on the application prior to turning it in. Questions about accommodations can be sent to