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My Honors College

Opportunities and Experiences

Below is a list of gap year opportunities for students who decide to take a break between undergraduate and graduate school or who are still exploring career paths. Opportunities range from cultural exchange, to teaching, to community service, to farming, and many more. This list is in no way meant to be comprehensive but is intended to give students a place to begin their search. Some programs provide funding for further education in addition to living stipends, and others may be at the cost of the student. The opportunities range from lasting a few weeks to a couple of years. Overall, these experiences give graduates the chance to do something meaningful while they make decisions on their next step after college (all of the descriptions below were taken directly from each organization’s website; the links are provided).


AMIGOS offers Gap Year and Gap Semester opportunities in Nicaragua, Colombia, and Brazil with the goal of empowering youth leaders and promoting community development throughout the Americas. Gap volunteers intern with local development organizations, live with host families, and collaborate with community leaders to carry out sustainable development projects. Additionally, volunteers organize and lead extra-curricular activities for local youth, and create multimedia projects to track and share their activities. As a group, volunteers participate in monthly workshops as well as cultural and historical excursions around their host country. Please visit our website for more detailed information about the structure of each individual Gap Program!

Founded in 1980, The Center for Interim Programs is the first and longest-running independent gap-year counseling organization in the United States. Over the last 30 years Interim has developed a database with over 6,000 programs, placements and opportunities all over the world. Our experienced counselors help to create, based on your interests and budget, a customized year of reputable options which include: group travel programs, low cost volunteer options, job-like placements, language schools, wilderness options, academic semesters, research trips and much more. We are the key note speakers at the USA Gap Year Fairs nationwide.

City Year is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation. At City Year’s 25 urban locations across the United States and two international affiliates, teams of trained young people called corps members serve full-time in schools for the academic year as tutors, mentors and role models. By focusing on attendance, behavior and course performance, which identify students who are at risk of dropping out, corps members are uniquely able to help students and schools succeed.

CNCS is a federal agency that helps more than 5 million Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service. The following opportunities are all provided through CNCS.

AmeriCorps programs do more than move communities forward; they serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship. The following opportunities are all provided through AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) strengthens communities and develops 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 and state parks, Indian tribes, and schools, members complete service projects throughout the region they are assigned.

AmeriCorps State and National supports a wide range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive community service each year. We provide grants to a network of local and national organizations and agencies committed to using national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

Today, about 46 million Americans live in poverty. Through AmeriCorps VISTA, you can make a tangible difference. And, you’ll find the fulfillment that comes from using your knowledge and skills to help those in disadvantaged circumstances turn their dreams into reality.

Every year, millions of Americans suffer the effects of natural and man-made disaster. Disasters can lead to human losses, social problems, economic harm, and environmental damage. Given the prevalence and severity of disasters and other hazards, FEMA is looking for ways to diversify and fortify its existing disaster workforce structure. FEMA is partnering with CNCS to support 1,600 additional service corps members annually within AmeriCorps NCCC, a full-time residential service program for individuals ages 18-24.

As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service—at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country. When they return home, Volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences—and a global outlook—that enriches the lives of those around them.

All kids- no matter where they live, how much money their parents make, or what their skin color is- deserve access to a great education. But in our country today, low-income children do not have the same access to a great education as their wealthier peers. It’s not easy to close this gap, but hundreds of proof points show that it’s possible. It takes committed leaders in our classrooms today who will continue to fight for students tomorrow. Teach For America’s mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by developing such leaders.

Cross-Cultural Solutions is widely known as the leading organization in the field of international volunteering. Our volunteer programs are unique in every way. Our global infrastructure supports thousands of international volunteers each year and over 250 sustainable community initiatives. More than 250 CCS in-country staff members are working year-round, ensuring that you are volunteering with a project that interests you and is contributing directly to the goals of each community. No other short-term international volunteer program has such a global presence and community-centered approach toward volunteering abroad.

Dynamy Internship Year is the oldest and only residential internship program in the country. Our mission is to offer young people, ages 17-22, a transformational gap year (or semester) opportunity. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dynamy Internship Year integrates full-time mentored internships in over 240 organizations with urban and backcountry leadership experiences, personal and college/career advising, city apartment living, optional college seminars and the company of a remarkable group of peers.

A nonprofit organization founded in 1971 that recruits students and teachers to participate in research regarding wildlife, climate change, archeology, and ocean health. Volunteers travel to various countries around the world to aid in the study of global change; internship opportunities are also available.

If you’re passionate about music – if you can’t wait to get home from school so that you can practice, if the highlight of your week is an orchestra rehearsal, if you scour the web for recordings or videos of your favorite groups or artists – then Eastman Immersion is for you. In this gap year program, students 17 years old and up spend a full academic year practicing, performing, listening, studying,and sharing their art as part of a rich cultural and intellectual community. At the Eastman School of Music, we not only provide an intensive, professional musical experience, but also nurture inquiring minds so that our students can become effective leaders in the future.
At EF our mission and our passion are one and the same. For almost 50 years, we’ve helped millions of students become citizens of the world by breaking down barriers of language, culture and geography. Through cultural exchanges, educational travel, language training and degree programs we are the World Leader in International Education.  Join us to and invest in your dreams and experience total cultural immersion abroad. Achieve fluency and see the world at one of our accredited International Language Centers, located in some of the world’s greatest cities.  Our 6, 9 and 11-month gap year programs are personalized to focus on your career and academic goals. Short term courses starting from 2 weeks and up are also available year round.   College credit and internship opportunities ensure you’re always adding to your resume during the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll become a citizen of the world by studying alongside students from 100 countries.  Study French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, or Japanese abroad and live the language with EF!
The English Opens Doors Program, of the Chilean Ministry of Education and supported by the United Nations Development Program, aims to increase the English proficiency of Chilean students and teachers of English as an indispensable skill to aid in Chile’s continued development in our globalizing world. An exciting and important part of this initiative is to bring native and near-native English speakers, between the ages of 21 and 35 years, into Chilean public and subsidized schools to develop the listening and speaking skills of young Chileans as well as to encourage cultural exchange. These native and near-native English speakers are recruited, selected, and trained through the National Volunteer Center to volunteer as English Language Teaching Assistants in the Chilean school system. Host family housing and small stipend provided. Applications are opened for upcoming fall 2016 programs.
EnRoute Consulting creates customized itineraries for students who are looking for a meaningful, rewarding gap year. Director Julia Rogers offers a personalized, supportive approach in connecting young people with vetted opportunities domestically and abroad.  We specialize in assisting students who are enthusiastic about taking a gap year but don’t yet know how or where to best spend their time.  In addition to mentoring students throughout the planning process, we are passionate about connecting our clients with high-quality options that fit their interests, goals and budget. Itineraries can include elements such as volunteering, interning, language study, outdoor adventure, independent travel and enrichment programs. EnRoute offers a range of affordable services to give students and their parents the knowledge and confidence to execute their ideal gap year plan.
Based in Boston and the sister company of Gap 360, Britain’s leading gap year provider, First Abroad caters to Americans who want to explore the world, take a break from school or work, develop a new career or hobby, or all of the above. First Abroad welcomes 18-and-up gappers from every background, education and skill level. Travelers take part in paid jobs abroad, volunteer and internship positions, adventure and cultural tours, backpacker bus pass trips, self-development odysseys and everything in between. With nearly 200 trips to 50+ countries, there’s a gap experience for everyone.
FSD partners with more than 300 community-based organizations throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America to support sustainable change. Our development model relies on active community participation to mobilize lasting solutions. While respecting local value systems, we partner with local leaders to build networks and collaborate on community-driven approaches to development issues.
Gap Year South Africa harnesses the power of volunteerism and aims to connect the developed world with the developing world. We believe in the power and importance of committing time and energy into a developmental project. Our on the ground organization in South Africa has an extensive network of contacts and intimate knowledge of local conditions, which allows us to organize the best possible South African Gap Year projects.  Gap Year South Africa works extremely closely with under-resourced local South African communities. At the core of Gap Year South Africa’s DNA are our community development projects. This is our primary objective as an organization and we want to welcome volunteers that are motivated to make a difference and serve others that have been afforded very little opportunity in life. Our South African Gap Year projects contribute to social and economic development and address priority areas such as education, health, moral regeneration and social cohesion.  In addition to our community development initiatives we also offer Surfing and Sports Coaching projects. These provide volunteers with the opportunity to focus on a specific sport whilst serving our local community as well.
Himalayan Connections provides programs that engage with the cultures, religions, and environments of the Himalayan region of Sikkim; promote cross-cultural understanding through service, internships, homestays, and exchange; and to cultivate personal well-being through mindfulness and mindful travel.
Impact America provides an opportunity for recent graduates to engage with communities of need in a meaningful way, broadening their perspectives and making a real impact in their communities.

The AmeriCorps Member position combines service with our nationally unique initiatives: FocusFirst, a high-tech vision care initiative for preschoolers; SaveFirst, a high-quality tax preparation initiative for low-income families; SpeakFirst, a debate initiative for talented and motivated middle and high school students in Alabama; CollegeFirst, a Summer Advanced Placement Institute focused on math and science for high schoolers in Alabama; and Stories from the Line, an initiative that navigates the complexities of poverty through the development of a series of short films. Positions are available in Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida beginning in July 2018. A limited number of positions are also available starting in December 2017 in a variety of cities across Alabama (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Montgomery), Tennessee (Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville, & Chattanooga), & South Carolina (Greenville & Spartanburg). Applications reviewed on a rolling basis.
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LEAPNOW runs LEAPYEAR, the only gap year program that is a full academic year in length, focuses equally on international travel and your inner journey and features a fully integrated and accredited year of college and rites of passage.  With LEAPYEAR you can take a year “on” without having to take a year “off.”  LEAPYEAR includes 3 months of guided group travel and adventure in Asia or Latin America (your choice); a 3-month individual internship chosen from a database of over 6,300 opportunities in 126 countries; and 4 residential retreats at our California campus devoted to making a graceful and inspired transition into adulthood.   The program is accredited through Naropa University, with FAFSA access to Federal financial aid and generous private scholarships.  LEAPYEAR is an antidote to too many years spent in stale classrooms, and will help you “get a life” before you get the rest of your education.
The Mississippi Teacher Corps (MTC) selects exceptional college graduates to teach in high-poverty public schools in Mississippi. MTC provides training, support, certification, and a full scholarship for a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Mississippi. The school districts where participants are placed provide full pay and benefits.
The Year-Round Internship Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students whose colleges and universities allow them to pursue off-campus independent study during terms or semesters of the academic year as well as summers. JPL has identified the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics areas that are essential for the laboratory’s continuing contribution to NASA’s future success and for which its leadership is key.
For nearly 50 years, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) has been the leader in wilderness education. More than 223,000 students have learned and mastered outdoor skills, developed leadership, and studied environmental ethics in the world’s most spectacular and wild classrooms. NOLS offers over 65 course types in skill areas including backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, sea kayaking, sailing, canoeing, skiing, snowboarding, horsepacking, and wilderness medicine on courses ranging from nine days to an academic year. Each year, NOLS provides $1.5 million in scholarship assistance to our students, and optional academic credit is available for all courses.
NGOabroad is a unique service that helps you enter or advance in international humanitarian work & provides frugal, customized international volunteer opportunities.
An initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain. The program is primarily devoted to providing grants for US and Canadian university students—majoring in any subject—and graduates with some knowledge of Spanish. Its main objective is to provide North American native English or French students with the opportunity to assist a teacher in the English or French programs in elementary, secondary or language schools in Spain (12 to 16 hours a week). A minimum stipend of €700 a month is awarded throughout the months of October through May (both included).
Over one million students in the U.S. have benefited from Outward Bound’s unparalleled approach to “learning by doing.” Outward Bound in the U.S. traces its roots to 1962 when courses were developed to prepare young people entering the Peace Corps and careers in foreign service. Today, Outward Bound offers courses in some of the most spectacular and inspiring settings in the United States and in Central and South America, successfully preparing students to confront the challenges they face today with self-confidence, tenacity and compassion. From 30 days to 85 days, from mountaineering to dog sledding to swimming with dolphins to service projects in remote villages, student emerge from Outward Bound with new insights about themselves, about teamwork and compassion and about how to make a difference in the world.
Projects Abroad can be a great alternative to Doctors Without Borders for volunteers interested in participating in medical internships all over the world. Medical interns can be high school students interested in becoming a doctors, undergraduate college students on the pre-med track, students taking a gap year, medical school students or doctors. Everyone and anyone is welcome to sign up for a medical internship in any of 16 different countries with Projects Abroad.
Sansori’s Bridge Year allows students to learn, through their own experiences, how to integrate commerce, compassion and community in their personal and business lives. Through international travel, cultural immersion, online business seminars, and on-the-job training at established social enterprises, students emerge from the Bridge year program with a clear sense of what contribution they wish to make in their community and how to do so, ways to support themselves financially, and the tools to center their mind and body as they navigate through the world.
As a designated J-1 SWT visa sponsor by the US Department of State, World Wide Cultural Exchange (WWCE) is dedicated to open the doors for travelers to experience the world. TAKE AUSTRALIA is WWCE’s exciting cultural exchange program for new grads and gap year students that enables travelers of ages 18-30 to Work and Travel in Australia up to 12 months. TAKE AUSTRALIA participants enjoy the convenience of WWCE’s ongoing support throughout the program and get a membership access to an exclusive online job database that consist of several cool job opportunities. Short-term and long-term job placements are available from a few days to 6 months at a time.
Thinking Beyond Borders empowers and inspires students to address critical global issues with gap year programs intentionally designed to be exciting, supportive, and transformational. We combine deep cultural immersion, working with inspiring local leaders, and engaging readings and discussions to create an incredible learning environment. Program Leaders with Master’s degrees in International Development and education will support your learning with seminars and mentoring. TBB’s full-year and semester options include a 7-country Global Gap Year, the China Gap Semester, South America Gap Semester, and South Asia Gap Semester.
VYCC offers a 20-week (late June-mid Nov) experience living and working on the VYCC farm in Richmond, VT. In addition to farm work, participants are involved in leadership training as well as efforts to alleviate hunger for local families in need.
Disney has over 140 different disciplines offering internships in California and Florida. Interns gain experience working in fields ranging from concept development to engineering, and architecture to special effects.
Organic farms around the world receive volunteers and offer training and lodging in exchange for work in the garden or on the farm.



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