Gap Year Options

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A Gap Year is a period of time, usually after graduation, when students take time to pursue a short-term opportunity before pursuing graduate school or starting a longer-term job. Gap years can help students explore career options, gain additional experience, give back to the community, and see the world.

Gap Year Options

There are many different possibilities for a gap year including work and internship experiences, volunteering, and traveling. A sample list of gap year opportunities can be found here. This list is a starting point, so explore other opportunities as well.

Explore Opportunities

You may consider meeting with a coach to discuss your own Gap Year plan. A few great websites with many Gap Year opportunities are and Gap year opportunities are also often featured through Handshake.

Selecting a Gap Year Program

When searching for gap year options, there are a few questions you can ask to choose the appropriate opportunity for you:

  1. What do I hope to gain from taking a Gap Year?
  2. What possible options are available to me?
  3. What are my career interests?
  4. What skills do I want to gain?
  5. What is the time commitment?
  6. What is my financial situation?

Highlighted Programs:

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA members serve annually with nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and tribal governments to make sustainable change in areas that affect poverty, including education, public health, climate, access to benefits, and more in any U.S. state or territory.  Through activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment, you will gain professional experience and leadership skills.

During your service year, you will have the opportunity to attend trainings to learn how to be a community development change agent.  Once you've successfully completed service in AmeriCorps VISTA, you will receive one year of non-competitive eligibility for employment in the federal government. This special hiring status enables you to apply for federal jobs with the advantage of not having to go through the standard public competitive selection process. NCE does not guarantee you a federal job, but it does provide a valuable opportunity! Members are also eligible for an end-of-service award.  You can choose between a Segal Education Award (valued at approximately $7,395) to pay for a range of education expenses or a $1,800 cash stipend. To learn more, visit their website!

Teacher Accelerator Program (TAP)

If you’re on track to graduate, a career in education is waiting for you! Join the Teacher Accelerator Program (TAP) at the University of Miami and fast-track your journey to becoming an educator. Comprising a one-semester course, a paid internship, temporary certification support, a teaching position with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and ongoing mentorship, TAP equips you with the skills necessary to teach in a classroom. Get started.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program supports individually designed study/research or English teaching assistantships that take place during one academic year abroad in a country outside of the U.S. You can apply at the beginning of your senior year to be accepted for experiences that take place during the following academic year. It’s also open to recent grads/young professionals who are generally up to 4 years post-graduation. Over the years, we have had several students receive the Fulbright U.S. Student Program award including Julia Lynch and Ezra Remer as well as our most recent recipient Emma Hantgan. Students work with the Prestigious Awards and Fellowships unit in the OAE to develop and submit their applications.

Peace Corps

If you are interested in actively contributing towards the development goals of communities around the world, learning another language, experiencing a unique way of travel, and living in another part of the world, the Peace Corps might be a perfect way to spend your gap year(s). Work side by side with locals in a number of programs like community economic development, youth development, education, environment, health, or agriculture.

Once you have completed your service there are a number of advantages that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers can take advantage of like a readjustment allowance, non-competitive eligibility for government jobs, and a lifetime ability to join the Coverdell fellowship to continue your education in one of over 100 universities across the United States.

If the Peace Corps sounds like a great way to spend your gap year period, please do not hesitate to learn more by visiting their website!