Betwixt and Between: Gap Year Options
Don't know what to do after graduation?
Planning to take a year or two off from further studies
or before beginning full-time employment?
Discover how a year or two commitment working in the community or abroad can benefit you!
AmeriCorps: A Program for the Corporation of National and Community Service, AmeriCorps places young people in non-profit organizations around the country for a one to two year term that ends with an education award. Other benefits include a living stipend, loan forbearance (they’ll even pay the interest accrued), and health care.
Here are a few programs that fall are funded through AmeriCorps:
City Year aims to create more service opportunities for citizens and to transform communities through this service.
Food Corps is dedicated to bringing healthy food infrastructure to schools.
Earth Corps provides an intensive year-long training program combining field service with education on environmental restoration.
Teach for America's mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity. Many cities have Teaching Fellows programs that are similar in mission to Teach for America (see Denver Teaching Fellows for an example).
AIESEC sends students from the U.S. to gain practical work experience abroad and receives individuals from around the world to undergo training with companies in the U.S.
BUNAC offers overseas work/travel programs.
Cross Cultural Solutions provides opportunities to volunteer abroad—working side-by-side with local people and experiencing another culture like never before.
JET: The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme promotes language education and regional internationalism by inviting foreign individuals to work in local government organizations throughout Japan.
Peace Corps "volunteers" live and work in developing countries with the goal of helping those countries while promoting cross-cultural understanding.
See our International Opportunities page for additional overseas resources.
Other resources from the CES Career Resource Library (located in Howarth 101):
- The Gap Year Book, by Charlotte Hindle and Joe Bindlos: A travel guide for those who want to take time off between their education and a career.
- The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Job Adventures, by Michael Landes: This is a great book for exploring alternative short-term paths in volunteer programs, state and national parks, ski resorts, sustainable living and farming, artist communities, which also includes various organization indexes.
- The Everything Guide to Alternative Careers, by James Mannion: Explore possibilities you might never have considered.
- Work Your Way Around the World by Susan Griffiths: A travel guide for finding short-term and temporary work around the globe.
- How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas, by Joseph Collins, Stefano DeZerega, Zahara Heckscher: Lists and complete profiles of over 100 organizations for any length of time commitment, plus an interest index.
- So, You Want to Join the Peace Corps…What to Know Before You Go, by Dillon Banerjee: Great answers to frequently asked questions about joining the Peace Corps, lots of additional information and a list of alternative programs.