Gap Year Resources

A gap year is a period of time (typically a academic year), taken by the student as a break between secondary school and higher education. Students exploring this post-secondary option utilize this time to take a break from traditional education to explore their passions and what they are truly good at, while experiencing the world.

These experiences can include work, internships, service, travel, language immersion, conservation, the arts, and skill development and training. Gap year programs vary greatly in terms of their aims, emphasis, location, and cost.

Many students emerge from a gap year more independent, mature, focused, and self-confident.

While a gap year option may be beneficial for some students, it is still strongly recommended that students considering this option still follow through with the college application process.

Once accepted to college(s), students can request to defer matriculation for one year. Some colleges are receptive to the idea of a planned, structured gap year experience, however - it is critical for the student to check with each institution about their own specific policy on deferring admission.

Action Without Borders

Non-profit job and internship database

African Leadership Academy

Two-year program supporting growth of African communities

All NY

New York City employment resource guide

Alliances Abroad

Customized study and work abroad programs

American Field Service

Conservation, education, health, social issues, or community development

American Institute of Foreign Study

Study abroad programs in 16 countries


Engaging Americans in service to meet critical needs in communities across country


Study abroad programs

Amigos de las Americas

Community service in Latin America; health, education, and environmental projects

Ancient Pathways

Experiential courses in desert survival, outdoor safety, and bushcraft

Audubon College

Environmental learning program in Minnesota


Study abroad programs in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific

Bridge Year

Spanish abroad programs in Chile and Argentina

British American Educ. Foundation

Placement in British boarding schools

Brown Ledge Gap Year

Making documentaries using digital video, audio, and photography


Help youth and adults with developmental and other disabilities

Campus Career Center

Entry Level jobs and internships for college students

Casa Xelaju

Spanish immersion program in Guatemala

Castle Rock Institute

Study of the humanities and outdoors in North Carolina, Australia, or New Zealand

Center for Cross-Cultural Study

Study abroad programs in Spain, Argentina, and Cuba

Center for Cultural Interchange

Homestay, internship, work, travel, and language study programs in 30 countries

Center for Interim Programs

Gap year counseling organization

Central American Service Exped.

International service and cultural experiences

City Year

Youth engaged in service, leadership development, and civic engagement

Class Afloat

Sail and study abroad

College Internship Program

Individualized academic, internship, and independent living experiences

Cool Works

Find a job at a national park, ski resort, theme park, ranch, etc.

Council on Intn'l Educ. Exchange

Study abroad programs worldwide

Cross Cultural Solutions

Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Peru, Russia, Tanzania, Thailand

Cultural Embrace

Travel programs that gain academic credit and work experience

Danish Institute for Study Abroad

Study abroad in Denmark

Disney College Program

Education and work experience at Walt Disney World resort


Independent city apartment living with internships, advising, and leadership


Join research teams around the world

Environmental job search engine

Education First (EF)

Educational tours and language programs

El Casal

Barcelona program combining language study, cultural activities, and homestay

Federation EIL

Homestays, study abroad, language training, work and cultural immersion programs

Flying Fish

Professional training and international adventure on the sea and snow

French Culinary Institute

Professional culinary arts instruction

Gap Adventures

Small group outdoor adventure travel

Gap Year Canada

Live and work in Banff

Gap year ideas and planning resource

Gap year ideas and planning resource

GIC Argentina

School and study abroad programs in Buenos Aires

Global Crossroad

Volunteer abroad programs

Global Experiences

International experiential education programs

Global Leadership Adventures

Service learning programs in Africa and Latin America

Global Learning Across Borders

Cultural immersion programs in Africa and Asia

Global Routes

Teaching internship programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Global Service Corps

Volunteer in Tanzania, Cambodia, or Thailand

Global Vision International

Volunteer abroad on conservation and community projects

Global Volunteer Network

International volunteering opportunities in communities in need

Global Volunteers

Volunteer abroad on community projects


Database of study abroad programs

Go Overseas

Database of study abroad programs

Habitat for Humanity

Community service for teams of young people

Inst. for Intn'l Coop. & Develop.

Training in Williamstown, MA, for development work in Africa and Latin America


Work, language, volunteer, professional training, internship and au pair programs

International Cultural Adventures

Cultural immersion programs

International People's College

Study abroad in Denmark


Internship search engine

Internship search engine

Intn'l Cultural Exchange Program

Turkish exchange program

Intn'l Part. Serv. Learn. & Leader.

Study abroad integrated with volunteer service

Intn'l Wilderness Lead. School

Education, outdoor leadership training, technical instruction

Italian Language School

Florence, Milan, Rome, and Siena


Volunteer teaching abroad

Jewish United Fund

Israel study abroad programs

Kroka Expeditions

Sustainable community living; instruction in adventure sports and wilderness living

Leap Now

Group and individual travel programs

Lexia International

Study abroad programs worldwide

Lingua Service Worldwide

Language immersion and study abroad programs

Living Routes

Study in an ecovillage learning about sustainable development

Love One Love All

Four-month travel program experiencing diverse cultures

Magic Carpet Rides

Structured fall semester in Guatemala; spring in El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize

Map the Gap International

Service learning and study abroad programs

Masa Israel Journey

Programs for Jewish youth in Israel

Massachusetts Audubon Society

Jobs and internships protecting nature

Monster College

Job network for college students

National Internship Program

Internships in media, government, and national organizations

National Outdoor Lead. School

Outdoor skills, leadership, and wilderness adventure programs

National Park Service

Internships at the park level and NPS centers and offices

One Small Planet

Volunteer, work, travel, and study abroad

Outward Bound

Wilderness expeditions

Pacific Challenge

Study abroad and experiential programs

Pacific Discovery

Study abroad, travel, cultural immersion, and service programs

Pine Mountain Settlement School

Environmental education and support to local community in Appalachia

Planet Gap Year

Gap year ideas and planning resource

Pro World Service Corps

Service & academic programs in Latin America, Asia, and Africa

Projects Abroad

Wide range of gap year opportunities

Public Allies

Leadership development in communities and non-profits

Quebec Labrador Foundation

Community-based conservation initiatives in Eastern Canada and New England

Quintessential Careers

Internship resources for college students

Resort Intern Connection

Internships in the resort, travel, and tourism fields

Rising Star Internships

Internship database

Rotary International

Youth exchange programs

Rothberg International School

Attend school in Israel

Round River Conserv. Studies

International conservation research and education

Rustic Pathways

Study abroad programs


Study abroad

School for Field Studies

Helping communities around the world learn environmental problem-solving skills


Live aboard boat sailing island to island, country to country, or continent to continent

Semester at Sea

Study abroad sailing programs

Sojourns Abroad

Programs in Siena and Paris

Southern France Youth Institute

Study abroad in France

St. Clare's, Oxford

Liberal arts study in Oxford

Student Conservation Association

Conservation service internships

Student Education Programs

Links to numerous programs

Students Partnership Worldwide

International peer educator volunteer programs


Summer and seasonal jobs with camps, parks, resorts, and environmental groups

Thames Academy

Post-graduate/pre-college transitional experience

The Corps Network

State/local programs engaging youth in service, training, and educational activities

The Nature Conservancy

Volunteer helping preserve nature and the environment

The Washington Center

Internships and academic seminars in Washington, DC

Thinking Beyond Borders

Cultural immersion and service learning

Transitions Abroad

Work and study abroad

Two Worlds United

Study abroad

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Academic study and on the job training

Up With People

Travel the world performing in shows

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

Conservation and park management projects on public lands in Vermont

Volunteer Match

Volunteer project database

Volunteers for Peace

International volunteer projects in 100 countries

Where There Be Dragons

Cultural immersion, service learning, and physically challenging adventure programs

WLS International

Volunteer in Cambodia, China, Nepal, India, The Philippines, Thailand, or Vietnam

Woolman Semester

Experiential education program focused on sustainability, peace, and justice

Work and Volunteer Abroad

Volunteer projects and internships in various countries

World Challenge

Educational expeditions

World Learning

International living, study abroad, and international development programs

World Ocean School

Educational internships aboard tall ship

Worldwide Classroom

Search engine for overseas programs

Worldwide Opps. on Organic Farms

Volunteer help on organic farms

Young Judaea

Study and volunteer in Israel

Youth For Understanding

Study abroad

Youth International

Experiential learning combining cultural exchange, volunteer service, and homestay