• Gap Year Programs
     
     
    A gap year is a period of time that students use to explore areas of interest.  The gap year does not have to last a full year and is typically taken by students between high school and college. The most common programs are volunteer service programs and international travel, study, or work programs.  
     

    USA Gap Year Fairs is a national circuit of events that bring together reputable Gap Year organizations, interested students and parents, high school college counselors and Gap Year experts.  Gap Year Fairs -  http://usagapyearfairs.org/

     
    If you are considering a Gap Year, here are two websites for more helpful information:

    www.interimprograms.com

     

     

     

    Aardvark Israel

    Aardvark Israel Gap Year is a 9-month program in Israel for recent high school graduates from all over the world that combines immersion into Israeli Society, service to the community through volunteer work and internships, and learning about Israel and Judaism through both formal academic and informal educational encounters.
     

    Academic Explorers: Martial Arts in China

    Developed specifically for students with a deep interest in China‘s rich cultural traditions, Academic Explorers offers a uniquely comprehensive study of Mandarin Chinese and martial arts.
     
     

    AAG is a leading international cultural exchange service provider that offers unique internship, work, teach and volunteer opportunities.

     

    Each year, AmeriCorps offers 75,000 opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. Full-time members who complete their service earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725 to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans; members who serve part-time receive a partial Award.

     

    “The mission of AmeriCorps NCCC is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. In partnership with non-profits—secular and faith based, local municipalities, state governments, federal government, national or state parks, Indian Tribes and schools members complete service projects throughout the region they are assigned. AmeriCorps NCCC requires an intensive, 10-month commitment. Members serve in teams of eight to twelve and are assigned to projects throughout the region served by their campus. They are trained in CPR, first aid, public safety, and other skills before beginning their first service project.

     

    Founded in 1964, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organizations in the world. With global offices in 15 countries, we organize cultural exchange programs for more than 30,000 participants each year.

     

    Amerispan offers a variety of programs, ranging from Language Schools to Volunteer and Intern to College Study Abroad.

     
    Aspire by API is dedicated to providing comprehensive summer study abroad programs for high school students as well as gap year abroad programs for recent high school graduates. Our language and cultural immersion programs provide students with educational opportunities to learn and develop relevant global skills in an exciting, enriching, safe, and secure setting.
     

    ASSE International Student Exchange Program

    ASSE's primary goal is to provide exchange programs, which enable students to learn about other languages and cultures while participating in community life and helping achieve international understanding.
     

    AustraLearn

    GlobaLinks Learning Abroad is the parent organization of AustraLearn, AsiaLearn and EuroLearn, providing you with an abundance of program options world-wide. Students may study and live abroad on a semester or year program, complete an internship, attend a short term program during an academic break period, complete a research project at an overseas campus, or earn their entire degree.
     

    Aventure

    “Our vision at Aventure (AV) is to create gap year opportunities for you to live and work in the developing world, to have an experience for life' and to promote global citizenship. Gap year ventures are 3-5 months and include teaching, sports, and community/environment/conservation.
     

    AYUSA Volunteer Abroad Programs

    AYUSA offers the most dynamic Volunteer Abroad programs for high school students who want to experience personal growth and make a difference in our world. Through experiential and academic learning, hands-on development work and cultural immersion, AYUSA in partnership with its sister company ProWorld, challenges its participants to grow as individuals and as members of our global community. Students complete an AYUSA Volunteer Abroad program with a broader perspective of themselves, life and the world. Project work, language classes, cultural excursions and cross cultural experiences give students an edge and teach them skills that cannot be gained in the classroom.
      

    Bridgton Academy

    Bridgton Academy's mission is to provide a program for young men in a unique, one-year postgraduate environment to prepare for the rigors of college and beyond. Bridgton Academy consists of an adult community committed to developing the whole student by providing a dynamic and challenging skills-based curriculum, a diverse campus life, and an appropriate extracurricular program to promote mental, social, and physical growth. The Bridgton Academy graduate should have grown through the postgraduate experience so that he enters college with improved confidence, values, judgment, life skills, and maturity to succeed.
      

    Building Bridges Coalition

    “Welcome to the Idealist.org Volunteer Resource Center (VRC). This is your starting place for learning more about and finding great volunteer opportunities around the globe—whether you're looking to get involved in your own neighborhood or thousands of miles (or kilometers) away.”
     

    Center for Cultural Interchange

    Established in 1985, the Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) is a non-profit international educational exchange organization dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness and world peace. Based in Chicago, Illinois, CCI organizes high school exchange, short-term group homestay, intern and trainee, work & travel in the U.S. and study, teach, work, volunteer, and language programs in over 30 countries around the world.
     
    With New York City as our classroom and laboratory, CITYterm brings together six residential faculty and 30 intellectually adventuresome juniors and seniors in high school for a semester of intensive, experience-based learning. CITYterm challenges its students to think, question, speak up and grow. Together in a closely knit community of students and teachers CITYterm explores, wonders, watches, and learns on the streets of New York City. Students spend every other day linking their classroom work to the endless array of opportunities available in the greatest city in the world.
     

    City Year

    City Year unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world. As tutors, mentors and role models, these diverse young leaders help children stay in school and on track, and transform schools and communities across the United States, as well as through international affiliates in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, England. Just as important, during their year of service corps members develop civic leadership skills they can use throughout a lifetime of community service.
     

    College Internship Program

    CIP's programs provide young adults with Asperger's, Nonverbal, ADHD and other Learning Differences with the social, academic, career and life skills necessary for success. Our mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults can build happy and productive lives.
     

    The Corps Network

    The Corps Network is a proud advocate and representative of the nation's Service and Conservation Corps. The Corps Network's member Service and Conservation Corps operate in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Over 30,000 Corpsmembers, ages 16-25, annually mobilize approximately 227,000 community volunteers who in conjunction with Corpsmembers generate 21.3 million hours of service every year. Today's Service and Conservation Corps provide a wealth of conservation, infrastructure improvement, and human service projects-those identified by communities as important. Some Corps improve and preserve our public lands and national parks. Others provide critical energy conservation services, including weatherization, restore natural habitats and create urban parks and gardens. Still others provide disaster preparation and recovery to under-resourced communities. Finally, Corps raise the quality of life in low-income communities by renovating deteriorating housing and providing support to in-school and after school education programs.
     

    Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
    CIEE is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. Our mission is one shared by many in international education: "to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world." To fulfill that mission, CIEE provides both outbound international education experiences for university students, faculty, and administrators, and study, work, and internship opportunities for people coming into the U.S.

     
    The mission of CEA Global Education is to create and facilitate opportunities for academic achievement, global competence and personal growth through quality international education. Core values include: Service First, Communication, Be Proactive, Continuous Improvement, Promises Kept and Act with Integrity.
     

    Disney CareerStart Program

    Our education program is designed to give participants a comprehensive experiential-learning opportunity that will provide them with an unparalleled enhancement to their academic and professional careers. As a participant in the Disney CareerStart Program, participants will be enrolled in the Professional Development Study, which is step one in their learning journey. Participants can customize their learning to shape their Disney CareerStart Program experience into an opportunity that specifically suits their needs and interests.
     

    Dynamy

    Dynamy's mission is to challenge, support, and empower young people to discover their purpose in life and to practice their values. We are a non-profit experiential educational program founded in 1969 and based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Through our two programs Internship Year and Youth Academy, participants seek a realization of strength, direction, responsibility, and action.
     

    Earthwatch

    Earthwatch Institute is a global environmental organization. The mission of Earthwatch Institute is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education in order to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
     
    An intensive program specifically designed for gap year students, El Casal combines travel, Spanish language study, cultural activities, homestay and involvement in the local community. Here, you‘ll learn more about another culture that you ever thought possible. Perhaps more importantly, you‘ll gain an understanding of your own culture and society that will serve you well in college and beyond.
     

    Flying Fish

    At Flying Fish you gain qualifications that lead to interesting jobs in your gap year and for future vacations. By now you are an experienced yacht skipper or action sports instructor and you can spend your holidays being paid to enjoy your favorite activity. Those who qualify with Flying Fish are soon using their skills to work outdoors and see more of Europe.
     

    The French Culinary Institute

    If you have a passion for food and dreams of success, you belong at The FCI. At our New York and California campuses, we‘ll train you for an exhilarating career—and the start of a truly fulfilling new life—in just six months (or nine, if you train at night). You can also take an informative amateur or specialized training course, and learn in the same kitchens, with the same distinguished chef-instructors who train our career students.
      

    Global Citizen Year

    Our mission is to prepare a new generation of Americans to provide innovative and effective leadership to address the global challenges of the 21st century. To do this we recruit a diverse corps of high-potential high school graduates as GCY Fellows; train our Fellows through intensive programs in the U.S. and abroad; support our Fellows through apprenticeships in Asia, Africa, and Latin America during a bridge year between high school and college; and sustain a dynamic network of alumni who remain engaged in global issues during college and beyond. With our support, GCY Fellows develop empathy, an ethic of service, the ability to communicate across languages and cultures, and a better understanding of the world and their place in it.
     

    Global College – Long Island University

    Global College's mission is the development of well-educated world citizens, men and women from a broad spectrum of nationalities and social classes who participate in an undergraduate liberal arts program that enables them: to combine first-hand experience of diverse cultural realities with the critical study of academic disciplines and human and ecological problems; to test intellectual theories and skills against the demands of practice and service; to carry out specialized field study under expert guidance that synthesizes cross-cultural understanding; and to develop a broad world view and a level of achievement in a chosen field sufficient to prepare for a life of committed action in the interest of the world community.
     

    Global Crossroad

    Global Crossroad conducts successful volunteer abroad programs in 18 countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The foundation of our success lies in our dedication, vision, and working philosophies. Global Crossroad's focus on grassroots projects, cultural immersion, and travel learning opportunities reflects the unique, alternative approach that we have adopted to garner memorable experiences for our volunteers.
      

    Habitat for Humanity International Volunteer Program

    The International Volunteer Program gives you the opportunity to serve with one of our overseas offices for several months. The International Volunteer Program will: engage you in the international movement for decent housing for everyone, empower you to help make a difference for Habitat for Humanity around the world, and enhance your experience with Habitat for Humanity.
     

    Himalayan Gap

    There are programs in which you can do community service; there are programs in which you can go trekking; there are ways in which you can arrange for Hindi or yoga lessons. But Himalayan Gap is simply the only option that combines all of these interests and more into one comprehensive, culturally enriching and organized program. In addition, our many options for weekend activities allow you to adapt the schedule to your own interests, making it a thoroughly personal gap year experience.
     

    InterExchange

    InterExchange is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting cross-cultural awareness through work and volunteer exchange programs. For more than 40 years, InterExchange has been connecting young people from all over the world with life-changing international cultural exchange opportunities. In turn, we provide a unique answer for businesses, organizations, summer camps, and families in need of staff, interns, volunteers, camp counselors and au pairs.
     

    Jewish United Fund Israel Experience

    “Bring Jewish identity and history to life with a trip to Israel! High school students, college students, and young adults are eligible for dozens of Israel Experience Programs arranged by age group, personal interest and duration of travel. Each trip offers the opportunity to make new friends, connect to the Jewish homeland and visit historical and holy sites. Choose from 10-day trips, summer adventures, and semester or year-long study programs.
     

    LEAPNow

    LEAPNOW provides students with access to thousands of diverse international and domestic learning experiences in 126 countries, and offers transformational teachings that give students the opportunity to empower themselves to ―be the change that you wish to see in the world (Gandhi). Cultural immersion, study abroad and work abroad are our main vehicles for learning about ourselves and the world. Intense work and study experiences abroad are complemented with contemplative learning retreats at our northern California campus that serve to teach students how to wholeheartedly participate in the world and live passionately without leaving any parts of themselves out - mind, body, spirit, soul, emotion, etc. We call this way of learning, ―Transforming Education.
      

    Magic Carpet Rides

    Are you ready to immerse yourself in Spanish and climb Mayan temples hidden in the jungle while serving the needs of Guatemala? Take a Magic Carpet Ride! With its rich heritage and natural beauty, Guatemala provides a stunning setting for cultural immersion as well as a convenient base to explore the treasures of Central America. According to the Lonely Planet, if continents had their own ecosystem of gap-year opportunities, this region quite possibly offers the most abundant and varied of them all. The majestic scale of the area, the extraordinary variety of the terrain and its amazing creatures, and the history of its inhabitants lend themselves perfectly to a grand adventure.
     

    Map the Gap International

    “Map the Gap International works with graduating high school students interested in taking a gap year - a structured, purposeful time out before college - guiding them through the process of program selection and preparation to help them plan the perfect experience. One distinctive of our programs is that your service will be a jumping-off point for understanding some of the larger issues affecting your host country. We call it “Mapping the Gap”: making the connection between your experiences on the ground and the many historical, cultural, and social dynamics that impact the people you’re serving. You will hear from experts in the field so that you can more fully understand the unique perspectives and challenges of the local communities.”
     

    MASA Israel Journey

    MASA enables young Jews (18 to 30) from around the world to build a lasting relationship with Israel, strengthen their Jewish identity, and gain meaningful and beneficial experiences by participating in a long-term program in Israel. MASA offers over 150 opportunities for you to live, learn, volunteer, explore, and connect.
     

    Mine the Gap, Inc.

    The Gap Year is a student-directed semester or year-long combination of 8 and 12 week internships designed for the high school graduate or college-age student. The participants are committed to exploring who they are, to experiencing new challenges and learning opportunities, and to building stronger skills to compete and contribute in their education and career. Three consecutive programs are recommended, each more challenging, culminating in an independent project chosen and created by the student, with agreement by the partner organization. To begin, critical skills are identified for strength and development, performance goals identified as each opportunity is outlined and these are agreed upon by student, partner organization and Mine the Gap.
     

    National Outdoor Leadership School

    The mission of the National Outdoor Leadership School is to be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment. We believe that education should be exciting, fun and challenging. With this in mind, our courses are designed to help people develop and practice the skills they need to live, travel and play safely in the outdoors. On our expeditions, people learn by accepting and meeting real challenges. Our instructors are educators, not guides. They are committed to inspiring students to explore and develop their understanding of wilderness ethics, leadership, teamwork, natural history, and technical skills.
     

    Outward Bound

    Outward Bound is a non-profit educational organization and expedition school that serves people of all ages and backgrounds through active learning expeditions that inspire character development, self-discovery and service both in and out of the classroom. Outward Bound delivers programs using unfamiliar settings as a way for participants across the country to experience adventure and challenge in a way that helps students realize they can do more than they thought possible. We help individuals and teams achieve their potential and develop the leadership skills needed to serve others and care for the world around them.
     

    Oxford Advanced Studies Programs

    “The Academic Semester in Oxford is an excellent opportunity for students to spend time pursuing their academic interests in Oxford, through teaching in small groups and by the individual tutorial method, as favored by Oxford and Cambridge universities. Courses take place throughout the academic year, and typically students enroll for between three months (a term) and a full year. The flexibility of the tutorial method means that students can enroll at any time. The opportunity to undertake a work experience internship as part of the program offers an additional dimension, giving students the chance to experience first-hand the realities of day-to-day working life in a controlled and well-monitored environment. A number of types of internship are offered and these greatly enhance a student's overall experience.
     

    Pacific Challenge

    Since its inception in 1985, Pacific Challenge has been operating safely and successfully taking over 2000 students, graduates, and faculty on our unique experiential travel programs. We offer unique programs carefully blending adventure, personal and leadership development, eco-tourism ideals, cultural immersion and bundles of fun? Combine this with United States university credits and you have an unbeatable travel study experience.
     

    Pacific Discovery

    Pacific Discovery offers unique educational travel programs to the most amazing places on earth. Our summer, semester and gap year programs blend adventure education, cultural immersion, volunteer and community service projects, sustainable travel, personal and leadership development, and tons of fun! The option to combine one of our programs with college credit gives you an unbeatable study abroad or gap year travel experience.
     

    Projects Abroad

    Projects Abroad is the leading volunteer abroad organization. We offer a diverse range of international service projects, plus the opportunity to become part of one of our volunteer communities abroad. Our continuous presence overseas and unparalleled in-country support from our international staff ensure that your experience will be far more worthwhile and genuine than those of the average tourist.
       

    Rothberg International School

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem invites international students from around the world to come to Israel to take advantage of the wide range of superb, first-class study programs offered at its Rothberg International School.
     

    Rustic Pathways

    Over the last 27 years, Rustic Pathways has taken great pride in the advancement of experiential education for our students and the improvement of communities all over the globe through cross-cultural communication and community service. Our diverse international family of students, alumni, staff, and families numbers in the thousands, and we are proud of the work we have done together and the cultural bridges we have built. Our programs offer students a bridge to the world, where they learn, work, and come face to face with all of the wonderful and challenging things that confront those who step outside of the world with which they are familiar. The benefits of taking a focused, productive Gap Year include greater independence, knowledge of self, and sense of purpose in the world.
     

    School for Field Studies

    SFS creates transformative study abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. Our educational programs explore the human and ecological dimensions of the complex environmental problems faced by our local partners, contributing to sustainable solutions in the places where we live and work. The SFS community is part of a growing network of individuals and institutions committed to environmental stewardship. SFS envisions a sustainable world where people understand the complex connections between humans and nature, participate in the responsible stewardship of the environment, and thrive within healthy ecosystems.
     

    Seamester

    To facilitate the development of practical watermanship skills and define academic interests in ocean and earth science while earning college credit and promoting personal growth, teamwork and leadership during a distinctive, experiential, educational program based upon active participation and individual support.
     

    Semester at Sea

    Mission: ―To educate individuals with the global understanding necessary to address the challenges of our interdependent world. With the world as our classroom, our unique shipboard program integrates multiple-country study, interdisciplinary coursework, and hands-on field experiences for meaningful engagement in the global community.
     

    School Year Abroad – Vietnam

    SYA Vietnam‘s curriculum focuses on sustainable development. A combination of AP Science, AP Economics, History and Culture courses and service learning requirements allows students to gain an understanding of the academic topics and the real world implementation challenges surrounding sustainable development. The SYA program is designed so that students leave the program knowledgeable about Vietnamese development, but also able to apply what they have learned to world-wide development issues. The unique combination of service learning, educational travel, and home stays provide the students with multiple perspectives on the topics studied, numerous opportunities to see real world forces in action and the chance to interact with and learn beside organizations and individuals who are working at the center of Vietnamese development. Students may spend the full year or fall semester with us during their junior or senior year or a gap year or before college.
       

    Student Conservation Association

    SCA provides college and high school-aged members with hands-on conservation service opportunities in virtually every field imaginable, from tracking grizzlies through the Tetons to restoring desert ecosystems and teaching environmental education at Washington, D.C.‘s Urban Tree House. We are truly building the next generation of conservation leaders.
     

    Study Abroad Italy

    SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences in Italy that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. SAI concentrates its programs in Italy, with a focus on understanding Italy‘s unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and the arts, while intentionally linking the art and design programs in Italy with those in London. SAI accomplishes its work in a sustainable and responsible manner, with consideration to the environmental impact on global and local communities.
     

    Taking Off Gap Year Consultants

    Taking Off is a highly personalized service working with anyone who takes time before or during college or later in life. Taking Off works closely with each person to develop a plan to insure that ―stopping out‖ does not become ―dropping out. Taking Off helps clients explore and identify interests, evaluate priorities and secure experiences tailored to their specific needs.
       

    United Planet

    As an international non-profit organization, United Planet (UP) strives to create a world in which all people understand, respect, and support one another. United Planet's global network of leaders and volunteers fosters cross-cultural understanding and addresses shared challenges to unite the world in a community beyond borders. The underlying principle of our programs is the concept of Relational Diplomacy -- recognizing that the relationship between people of diverse backgrounds is the basic building block for uniting the world. United Planet‘s innovative programs are designed to expose our common human bonds, generate respect and appreciation for our cultural, racial, and religious diversity, and enrich lives of our neighbors worldwide.
     

    Up With People

    Up with People exists today to spark people to action in meeting the needs of their communities, countries and the world while building bridges of understanding as a foundation for world peace. Up with People exists today to spark people to action in meeting the needs of their communities, countries and the world while building bridges of understanding as a foundation for world peace.
     

    Volunteer For Peace

    Volunteers For Peace promotes International Voluntary Service as an effective means of intercultural education, service learning and community development. We provide projects where people from diverse backgrounds can work together to help overcome the need, violence and environmental challenges facing our planet. We organize and promote projects where nations join together to improve life on our planet and volunteers experience a microcosm of our world. Through the exchange of ideas and international understanding, our projects are practical ways to both prevent and resolve conflict while meeting local community needs. By encouraging and providing opportunities for voluntary service we are sowing the seeds of a better future for all.
     

    Washington Internship Program

    “Our program helps recent graduates find interesting internships at major companies. We also specialize in connecting talented internship seekers with very successful people in specific industries and verticals.
     

    Where There Be Dragons

    Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences. While programs vary in their focus - with some trekking and wilderness intensive, others strong on service and development studies, and still others language-oriented - all Dragons journeys are designed above all else to be fun, safe and honest educational experiences.
      

    Woolman Semester

    The Woolman Semester is a progressive academic school for young people who want to make a difference in the world. Students in their junior, senior, or gap year come to take charge of their education and study the issues that matter most to them. Students take an active role in their learning experience through community work, organic gardening and cooking, permaculture, art, wilderness exploration, service work, and by doing advocacy and activism work with real issues of peace, justice and sustainability in the world.
     

    World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms (WWOOF)

    WWOOF organizations publish lists of organic farms, smallholdings and gardeners that welcome volunteer help at certain times. The diversity of hosts available offers a large variety of tasks and experiences. Volunteer helpers ("WWOOFers") choose the hosts that most interest them and make direct contact to arrange a stay. Volunteers usually live as part of the family.
     

    Young Judaea

    For nearly 100 years, Young Judaea has brought together thousands of Jewish youth from across the country and around the world, of every religious, cultural, and political persuasion, through a shared commitment to Jewish values, Jewish pride, and love of Israel. With summer and year-round programs in both the US and Israel, from 3rd grade to college and beyond, Young Judaea is truly unique in its ability to offer a fun, safe, social environment that also includes a distinct focus on education, leadership, and social action.
      

    Youth International
    Youth International is an experiential learning program that combines international travel, inter-cultural exchange, adventure, volunteer community service work, and homestays. Teams of up to 14 people between the ages of 18 and 25 travel together with two group leaders. For a full 12 week semester, they explore three different countries in one region of the world. Through a balanced combination of experiences, each Youth International team member is set up for an intense and dynamic first-hand education about the region in which they are traveling. At the same time, they are presented with a unique environment and opportunity for self-discovery.

Last Modified on December 22, 2017