Application Process: Alternative Break Programs

This page details the steps for applying for Alternative Break Programs. Please review all information to note key deadlines and steps for your program's application process. Click the links below to read about each stage of the process.

Important Deadlines

Completing Your Application

Program Decision

After Acceptance

Preparing for Your Departure

Completing Your Application

  • Click on the program’s web page from the Alternative Break Programs list. You will see an “APPLY HERE” link under the program's description. Click on the link and you will be directed to the program's page within the Spartans Abroad Portal (SAP).
  • Click on the "Apply Now" button for the program you want to apply to. Each program has a separate application, so make sure you are on the correct program page.
  • Log into the Spartans Abroad Portal (SAP), our application system, using your SJSU ID number and your password.
  • Create and complete the profile as a first-time user in SAP. Once your profile is completed, you will be routed to your applicant home page.
  • Click on the ABP program link under the Applications box. This will take you to the Program Application Page that will contain application instructions and documents you need to complete and submit. You must submit all required documents and review all recommended documents prior to submitting. Once you have completed all application requirements, click on the 'Submit Application' button at the top of the Program Application Page. If you attempt to submit your application before it is complete, you will receive a warning message. Once successfully submitted, a date and time stamp will appear for confirmation on your application.
  • Check your email and SAP account frequently for messages from SAA.

College of Health and Human Sciences International Experience Requirement

If you are planning to sign up for an Alternative Break Program to fulfill your international experience requirement, please be aware that you will need to take the CHHS 198ITL course after returning from the program. For more details, please discuss with your major advisor and view more information on the CHHS website.

 

Program Decision

The Study Abroad and Away office will review your application and determine your eligibility for the program. You will receive a decision notification on the application status notification date as indicated on the Important Deadlines page. 

Accepted Students

Accepted students will receive an acceptance letter from the Study Abroad and Away office. See the After Acceptance section below for more details.

Waitlisted Students

Waitlisted students will receive notice from the Study Abroad and Away office, informing them that they have been placed on the program’s waitlist. Accepted students will have a certain period of time to commit to their program. If they choose to withdraw their application, or do not complete the required steps, their spot in the program will open up. At that point, program leaders will choose students from their waitlist. 

If you are waitlisted, check your email for messages about possible openings in the program. If you are waitlisted after the application deadline, the office can work with you individually to help you identify another program. 

Not Accepted Students

Students who are not accepted to the program or placed on the program's waitlist will receive notice from the Study Abroad and Away office, informing them of this decision. Students may be eligible to apply to another program in the future.


After Acceptance

The Study Abroad and Away office (SAA) will review your application and determine your eligibility for the program. You will receive a decision notification on the application status notification date as indicated in the Important Deadlines section. 

If your application to the program is accepted, you will receive an official acceptance letter from SAA. The official acceptance letter will provide instructions on the next steps of the process, including information on:

1) Review Alternative Break Program Student Policies

For the safety of all people involved, students are required to abide by ABP rules and regulations. This includes:

  • Reviewing the Student Policies: Visit the Student Policies page for detailed information.
  • Reviewing the Program Withdrawal and Cancellation Policies: Visit the Program Withdrawal page for more information about withdrawing from an ABP and what happens if a program is cancelled.

Important Note: Applicants should not purchase their flight until they receive a notification from Study Abroad and Away. The notification will let the applicants know that it is ok to proceed with purchasing the flight.  

2) Completing the Commitment to Participate Form

Upon acceptance, you are required to complete the Commitment to Participate Form to secure your spot in the program. You will find the link to the form when you log into your Spartans Abroad Portal account and view your checklist of required documents.

By signing this agreement, you are formally accepting your admission to the program and are promising to abide by the statement of responsibilities detailed in the form. Read the terms and conditions of the Commitment to Participate Form carefully. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at spartansabroad@sjsu.edu.

3) Full Program Payment

The Study Abroad and Away office will send a payment instruction email, which will include a link to the online program payment page and detailed instructions on how to submit your payment.

Alternative Break Programs may be cancelled if insufficient enrollment is met. If a program is cancelled, program fees will be refunded. However, SJSU is not responsible for refunding any personal expenses (e.g. flights, spending money, etc.) if the program is cancelled. Airfares and other individual expenses are the responsibility of the participant. Please refer to the Program Withdrawal page for more information on policies regarding cancellation, withdrawal and how any refunds may be processed.

4) Complete Student Health Form

After making the full program payment, you will need to complete the Student Health Form. You will find the link to the form when you log into your Spartans Abroad Portal account and view your checklist of required items. You will need to submit the form by the deadline posted in the Important Deadlines section. The intention of this form is to collect pertinent information in order to identify any resources that may be needed for your health and safety on the program. Please note that having a health concern will not impact your application; the Study Abroad and Away office will provide reasonable accommodations as needed.


Preparing for Your Departure

Pre-Departure Requirements

All participants are required to attend a pre-departure orientation that will cover cultural, health, and safety information for travel to your program location. Participants may also have to complete additional requirements for their program, depending on the location, planned activities and any partner organizations facilitating the program. The Study Abroad and Away office will contact you and provide information on how to complete your pre-departure orientation and any other applicable requirements.


Prepare Travel Documents

It is important to make sure you have the appropriate travel documents ready for your program. Participants should review what documents are needed to travel within the United States.

International Students: You will need a valid passport, your I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students), and your most recent I-94.

DACA Students: Information on domestic travel

US Citizens: You will need a valid form of government issued photo identification. Visit the TSA website to see what IDs you can use.

 

Buying Plane Tickets

Students should not purchase airline tickets until all of the group members in their Alternative Break Program (ABP) have paid the entire program fee. To be able to get the best airfare rates, students should make full payment by the stated deadlines. Failure to meet the deadlines can delay all other participants' ability to buy their plane tickets.

Once you have purchased your plane tickets, you must enter your itinerary information in your Spartans Abroad Portal account in order to inform the Study Abroad and Away office. You will see instructions for how to do so once after logging into your account.

In the event that an Alternative Break Program is cancelled, SJSU is not responsible for refunding any personal expenses, including flights. Airfare and other individual expenses are the responsibility of the student. Students may choose to purchase travel insurance or investigate refundable fares at their own expense. Please see the Program Withdrawal page for more information.