Gap Year

Paid Opportunities

A paid gap year job generally requires the most planning if you are not considering traveling abroad; they are also usually the most competitive.  In this section  you will find descriptions of opportunities that offer a modest salary in addition to providing living expenses. Some of the opportunities involve monetary compensation in the form of grants or scholarships that must be applied for in addition to the program itself.  

 

Community, Leadership, and Social Justice

Baltimore Community Fellowships- Open Society Institute

Established to assist individuals wishing to apply their education and professional experiences to serve marginalized communities. The goals of these fellowships are to encourage public and community service careers, expand the number of mentors and role models available to youth in inner-city neighborhoods, and promote entrepreneurial initiatives that empower communities to increase opportunities and improve the quality of life for their residents.  Up to 10 individuals are awarded a Community Fellowship to implement innovative projects that seek to improve the circumstances and capacity of an underserved community in Baltimore City.

Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship
A project of the Congressional Hunger Center, this unique leadership provides support to those seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty.  20 participants are selected annually for this eleven-month program. For half their term of service, fellows are placed with urban and rural community-based organizations all over the country involved in fighting hunger at the local level, such as grass roots organizing groups, food banks, economic development agencies, local advocacy groups and faith-based organizations. They then move to Washington, DC to complete the year with national organizations involved in the anti-hunger and poverty movement, including national advocacy organizations, think tanks, and federal agencies.

Charles Koch Institute Programs
The Charles Koch Institute educates and trains professionals on the importance of economic freedom and how it increases well-being for the overwhelming majority of people. Through the Institute's professional education, research, and training programs, we work to prepare professionals for careers in advancing economic freedom.  They offer three programs:  the Koch Associate Program, the Koch Internship Program, and Liberty@Work.

Echoing Green
To accelerate social change, Echoing Green invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions. Through a two-year fellowship program, they help their network of visionaries develop new solutions to society's most difficult problems. These social entrepreneurs and their organizations work to solve deeply-rooted social, environmental, economic, and political inequities to ensure equal access and to help all individuals reach their potential. To date, Echoing Green has invested over $28 million in seed funding to over 471 social entrepreneurs and their innovative organizations.

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
Located in Washington D.C, the purpose of this fellowship is to provide an opportunity for college students to gain practical knowledge and experience by helping non-profit, public-interest organizations working on peace and security issues. Applications are encouraged from those with a strong interest in these issues or those with prior experience with public-interest activism or advocacy. Fellows may do several things such as research, writing and organizing the support of the goals of their host organization.

Idealist Fellowship Forum
This discussion board offers information on various fellowship opportunities for those interested in work within the nonprofit sector.

Insight Collaborative Fellowships
Program selects Fellows who are dedicated to making a positive difference in the world through conflict management, and provides them with an opportunity to turn their passion and determination into action.  Through intensive training and planning, Insight Collaborative teaches Fellows how to develop and implement innovative programs throughout the world in a series of three-month placements.  Incorporating the knowledge and experience of local partners in the field, Fellows provide training, manage teams, coordinate projects, and help organizations address the needs of those affected by conflict.

Jewish Organizing Initiative
JOI recruits young Jewish adults (generally ages 22-30) from all over the world for a year of leadership training that includes: working for social and economic justice, Jewish learning, training in grass roots community organizing skills, and Jewish community bonding.  The fellowship year involves work in social justice community or labor organizations, generally in low-income community organizations, (sometimes in the Jewish community) and weekly learning and reflection about organizing for justice, Judaism, and community building.

Kettering Foundation
The Ohio-based Kettering Foundation is an "independent, nonpartisan research organization rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research."  They offer research fellowships to doctoral students as well as opportunities in journalism & democracy and international civil society. Salary and benefits are provided, and the application deadline is mid-March.

Public Allies
Public Allies advances skills, networks and experience of diverse young leaders as they strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation.  Public Allies selects the communities’ most promising young leaders, ages 18-30, who commit to a rigorous and rewarding ten-month program of full-time, paid apprenticeships in community organizations, team service projects and weekly leadership training.  Public Allies operates in D.C., Chicago, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Delaware, Eagle Rock, L.A., Milwaukee, New York, Raleigh-Durham, and the Silicon Valley.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
RMYC provides young adults (ages 16-25) with comprehensive services to help them develop job skills, work ethic, environmental awareness and healthy lifestyles. Through paid work experience, service to the community and educational services, RMYC helps youth develop the skills they need to succeed in the classroom, the workforce and everyday life.  Projects include trail construction and maintenance, fence construction and disassembly, habitat restoration, streambed repair; dry stone masonry, noxious weed mitigation and fire fuels reduction.  RMYC participants are paid a competitive stipend for their work and may also be eligible for AmeriCorps education awards depending on their term of service and position.

Villers Fellowship for Health Care Justice - Provides a national perspective on health care justice work; based in the Families USA office in Washington, D.C.

Wellstone Fellowship for Social Justice - Fosters advancement of social justice through participation in health care advocacy work focused on unique challenges facing many communities of color.

Education

Teaching fellowships are designed for talented individuals— whether they have already led a career in another field or have just graduated from college— who seek to make systemic changes to our society through the education system. Fellows are usually placed in urban public schools where the demand for teachers is high. There is a particular need for those with a background in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fellows can draw upon their past experiences but are not required to have a traditional teaching degree because they pursue one throughout their fellowship. Most programs are a one-year commitment and require an extensive application process. Deadlines typically fall in October or November. In addition to the programs listed here, there is also a range of international teaching fellowships to help meet the demand of English-language teachers abroad.

AIMS 
This is a one-year program at Phillips Andover Academy (boarding school) in Andover, MA, providing the recent graduate with an introduction to teaching at the high school level. Students come from all 50 states and foreign countries. A mentor supports each teaching fellow in class preparation and helps evaluate their success. A stipend, medical insurance, housing and meals are provided.

Baltimore City Teaching Residency
Baltimore City Teaching Residency is committed to providing the students of Baltimore with a new group of teachers who will work to increase their level of achievement and help prepare them to find academic success. Resident Teachers work in the most critical teacher shortage areas as designated by City Schools. Resident Teachers pursue teaching credential with the Baltimore City Teaching Residency and one of their university partners (The Johns Hopkins University, The College of Notre Dame); attend a comprehensive training prior to teaching; receive a teacher’s salary with full benefits; and have access to tuition assistance, home ownership programs, and student loan deferral or forgiveness programs. The Baltimore City Teaching Residency operates on two admission cycles (Winter Program start training in January, Summer Program start training in June/July).

Citizen Schools
The Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellowship is a service program offering a two-year, leadership development experience, including service as a team leader at a Citizen Schools campus, professional development with a partner organization in the community, and the opportunity for optional enrollment in a pioneering Master's program in out-of-school learning.

Close-Up, Washington, D.C.
Inspire and empower middle and high school students to develop the skills they need to participate in our democracy.  Work with and be supported by a team of talented educators.  Be in the D.C. area during an election year, travel to NYC, Philly and Williamsburg.  Meet Washington insiders and policy makers; make friends that will last a lifetime.  Have a job where you can make a difference.  You’ll get good pay and benefits, housing assistance, and valuable teaching experience.

DC Teaching Fellows
As a Fellow, you will join close to 700 talented individuals who have passed through a rigorous selection process and trained in an intensive pre-service program to become teachers in the DC public schools. You will become enrolled in a teacher certification program at either The George Washington University or American University, with the option to obtain a Master's degree in an area of education; simultaneously, you will receive a full teacher's salary, medical and dental benefits, and resources from administrative program staff while teaching in the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships
For students and young professionals to undertake teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

Greenwich Country Day School- Co-Teacher Program
Recruits recent graduates who are interested in exploring the teaching profession, but could benefit from a 1 or 2 year internship in an elementary level classroom.  Applicants need not have majored in Education.  In addition to teaching responsibilities, Co-Teachers coach Middle School athletics and/or coordinate after-school enrichment programs for students in grades 1-3.  Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2012, and they hire on a rolling basis.

Institute of Reading Development
Offers full-time, summer teaching positions, with an opportunity to gain over 500 hours of teacher training and teaching experience working with children of all ages.

Janet H. and C. Harry Knowles Teaching Fellowships
KSTF Teaching Fellows are young men and women who have received a bachelor's or advanced degree in science, engineering or mathematics and are committed to teaching high school science and/or mathematics in U.S. schools. The fellowship supports them professionally and financially for up to five years through a teacher preparation program to eligibility for tenure.

The New Teacher Project
The driving force behind many teaching fellowship programs, this organization seeks to recruit and train high-quality new teachers for the nation’s public schools. Their website provides a list of their 15 teaching fellowship programs, including Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Louisiana, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Phoenix, St. Paul, Texas and some of the programs listed below.

New York City Teaching Fellows
NYC Teaching Fellows are accountants, nurses, recent graduates, chief executives, secretaries, artists, reporters, and retirees who have decided to use their diverse experiences, knowledge, and achievements to positively affect the lives of students. At the same time, each Fellow is pursuing his/her own education through a subsidized Master's degree program. Participation in the Fellowship does not require teaching experience or previous education coursework.

Philadelphia Teaching Fellows
Philadelphia Teaching Fellows recruits outstanding professionals and recent graduates to teach in the School District of Philadelphia. They seek to attract a broad group of candidates to meet the District's critical need areas including: special education (English, math, and science), mathematics, physics, chemistry, and Spanish.  Fellows are trained at an intensive Training Institute, where they are instructed in the foundations of teaching grounded in a research-based curriculum proven to be effective with urban, high-need students. Upon successful completion of the Training Institute, Fellows will assume full-time teaching responsibilities in School District of Philadelphia classrooms. Fellows will also pursue Pennsylvania Certification concurrently through a local college or university.

Phoenix Teaching Fellows
The demand for teachers is reaching a crisis point in many of Phoenix's high-need schools, particularly in math, science and special education.  The Phoenix Teaching Fellows program is recruiting individuals from many academic backgrounds; candidates do not need to have taken courses in education or have prior teaching experience.  The program is looking for outstanding students and alumni who are interested in making a difference in Phoenix schools while earning an Arizona teaching certificate. 

Prince George’s County Teaching Fellows
The Prince George’s County Teaching Fellows (PGCTF) seeks outstanding professionals and recent graduates to become part of this highly-selective program and teach in the county's highest need classrooms. Professionals and recent college graduates from all fields, particularly those with experience in math and science, will bring their experience, knowledge, and records of achievement to the classroom to positively impact the lives of students most in need. Fellows will pursue their teaching credential through a partnership with the Maryland Practitioner Teacher Program and a local university- a unique opportunity to earn certification while working full-time. Fellows receive a full-time teacher’s salary with full benefits while pursuing their certification.

Rhode Island Teaching Fellows
Rhode Island Teaching Fellows is focused on recruiting leaders who will have a lasting effect on student achievement.  They seek outstanding and diverse candidates with a relentless drive to make a difference, a dedication to setting only the highest expectations for themselves and their students, and an ability to thrive on overcoming challenges.

Teach for America
This two-year program provides teaching experience in under-resourced urban and rural public schools in America for recent graduates of all academic majors.  Salary, possible loan deferral or forgiveness through AmeriCorps, and professional development are provided.

teachNOLA
teachNOLA Teaching Fellows seeks the nation's most outstanding mid-career professionals and recent college graduates to significantly impact education by teaching in New Orleans public schools. This highly-selective initiative recruits talented individuals with an intense desire to drive the city's rebirth by boosting academic achievement for all students. Fellows are assigned to teach in a specific subject area. Subject assignments are based on teaching eligibility (including passage of appropriate teaching tests), district need and - to the extent possible - the candidate’s stated preferences from the online application. Most Fellows teach high need subjects areas such as science, math, special education, Spanish, French, and early childhood education.

Urban Teacher Center
The Urban Teaching Center prepares highly effective teacher who can significantly accelerate student achievement in the nation's highest-need schools. The Urban Teaching Center is a four-year alternative teaching prep program that will let you receive a Master's of Education, paid by them, for a part of your work.

Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship`
The WWNFF has two teaching fellowship programs: the Indiana Teaching Fellowship and the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship. The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship seeks individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) into high-need Indiana high schools.  Includes a $30,000 stipend, admission to a master’s degree program at one of four participating Indiana universities, preparation in a high-need urban or rural secondary school, support and mentoring, guidance toward teaching certification, and a lifelong membership in a national network of Woodrow Wilson Fellows. The Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship provides a $30,000 stipend to exceptionally able candidates to complete a yearlong master’s program at four of the nation’s top programs. In exchange, the candidates must agree to teach for three years in secondary schools.

Environmental

Garden Club Scholarships
Offers scholarships "to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondence and publications, and to restore, improve, and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement."

Green Corps
Green Corps’ mission is to teach the next generation of environmental leaders the strategies and stills they’ll need to win tomorrow’s environmental battles while providing critical field support for today’s pressing environmental problems.  Green Corps provides transportation to and from trainings after August training, as well as subsidized housing during the first Introductory Classroom Training in Boston.  Organizers arrange their own housing while in their cities, although Green Corps will help provide temporary housing when organizers first arrive in their cities.

Student Conservation Association
The Student Conservation Association (CSA) provides service opportunities, outdoor skill and leadership training to thousands of young women and men each year.  In all 50 states, high school, college, graduate students and others join together through SCA to care for national parks and forests, historic and cultural resources, and urban green space.  All positions are expense-paid and tuition free.  Conservation internships range from three up to twelve months in over 50 disciplines.

Government and Public Policy

Presidential Management Fellows
Offers a two-year, rigorous leadership program with developmental fellowships at various Federal agencies.  Recruits outstanding graduate students from various programs of study.

Psychology and Mental Health

Devereaux Institute of Clinical Training & Research
The full-time, 12-month Professional Psychology Traineeship and Externship experiential learning programs are intended for recent college graduates who are considering graduate study in psychology or a related behavioral healthcare field. The program provides a supervised learning experience combining didactic and hands-on training. A major goal of the programs is to expose trainees and externs to the variety of roles and functions of practicing professional psychologists and thereby enable them to consolidate and refine their career goals before making an informed decision to enter professional psychology as a career. 

 

Unpaid Opportunities

Most gap year jobs provide monetary compensation in the form of basic housing and living expenses. Some of these positions also include a modest exit stipend, or a small sum of money payable upon completion of the program. These opportunities generally vary in level of competition: some are very competitive and need to be applied for early, while others require less planning.  

Arts

American Symphony Orchestra League 
This one- year program provides recent graduates with practical training in various areas of orchestra management and administration.  The program includes three separate assignments with professional orchestras, in-depth orientation into the music industry in New York City, and career counseling.  Benefits include a stipend, travel, some relocation expenses paid, and medical insurance is available.  The deadline for this program is early November. 

The Julliard School  
Julliard's nine-month internships cover two main areas: technical theater or arts administration in New York City. These offer hands-on training in many areas within the school.  The program explores different employment opportunities and often reinforces or redirects career goals.  Stipend is provided.

Rochester Folk Art Guild
Apprenticeships available for people searching for a practical approach to learning and living. Work with experienced master craftspeople in pottery, woodworking, weaving, and glassblowing.  You also take part in the daily life of the community.  Stipends and scholarships are sometimes available for apprenticeships six months or longer.

Seattle Repertory Theatre's Professional Arts Training Program 
This is a nine month internship program (September-May) for graduating seniors who are looking to transition from academia into the world of professional theatre. Seattle Rep offers internships in the areas of Artistic, Arts Management, Communications, Costume Shop, Design, Education, Production Management, Properties, Scenic Arts (Paints), Stage Management and Technical Production.  A small stipend is provided.

Summer Institute in Art Museum Studies
The Summer Institute in Art Museum Studies at Smith College engages liberal arts students and recent graduates (not enrolled in graduate programs) in an in-depth, behind-the-scenes, hands-on exploration of art museums.    Through a combination of classroom instruction and assignments, visits to museums, conversations with museum professionals, and an exhibition project, participants learn about the purpose and function of art museums and the numerous challenges they face.

Community and Leadership

City Year
City Year unites young people ages 17 to 24 from diverse economic, racial and geographic backgrounds for a year of full-time service to their communities. During the ten month program, City Year corps members engage in a variety of activities to meet critical needs in their communities. They are primarily focused on the education and development of youth, serving as mentors for children in partnership with public schools and organizing and running after-school programs and curricula on important social issues including domestic violence prevention, AIDS awareness, and diversity. As a corps member, you will commit to a minimum of 1,700 hours of service over a ten month period from late August to the middle of June. 

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute 
This is a fellowship program for recent graduate or undergraduate students to assist in educating the Hispanic community in the political system, enhancing their leadership skills, and exposing them to policy-related careers.  Round trip transportation to Washington, D.C., and a monthly stipend is provided.

Coro Foundation
The Coro Foundation provides a nine month internship involving a series of assignments (four to six weeks in duration) in government, labor, business, community, media, and political settings.  Fellows also complete a six week group project and an individual public service project exploring serious public concerns such as housing, economic development, and corporate social responsibility.

Good Shepherd Volunteers
One or two year volunteer programs in human service areas including group/foster homes for adolescents, alternative school, and daycare programs, community centers, and shelters for homeless women.

Illinois Legislative Studies Internship Program
ILS is a ten month internship available to research a wide variety of question on public issues for legislators. The information is used to develop programs, support or oppose bills, and aid other legislative activates. A stipend is provided. The deadline for application is early March.

Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship
An eleven month fellowship to gain first hand knowledge of the California legislature through work in the capitol and a graduate seminar.  Monthly stipend and benefits are provided.  Deadline is mid-February.

Job Corps Academic/ Vocational Education Internship Program
Job Corps is a one year program for graduate students enrolled in academic education, vocational education, and human resources development.  Stipend is provided, but no benefits are included.

Milwaukee Community Service Corps
The Milwaukee Community Service Corps (MCSC) is a grassroots organization working to meet the needs of the community through visible and measurable community service. Corps member participants have the opportunity to learn new skills, earn a wage, and serve their community.  Corps members renovate vacant homes, plan community gardens, landscape vacant lots, remove graffiti, intern in youth service agencies, perform lead outreach and reduction activities, distribute food, engage in recycling projects, and construct new playgrounds. Terms of service range form three month summer positions to year long, full time slots.  MCSC AmeriCorps members also have the opportunity to earn a post-secondary education award that ranges from $1100 to $4725, depending on length of service.

Ohio Legislative Service Commission
Full-time internships assisting members of the Ohio General Assembly with legislative duties including writing news releases and speeches, weekly columns for local newspapers, and researching memos on topics of interest to the legislator.  Most participants choose to remain in the public service following internship.  Stipend is provided.

Postgraduate Professional Development Program- Washington Center
The Postgraduate Professional Development Program (PPDP) is a special program for recent graduates (within the past 18 months) and graduate students from all majors and backgrounds. It is designed specifically to help these individuals explore career options, gain valuable skills and make professional contacts.

San Francisco Conservation Corps
The San Francisco Conservation Corps (SFCC) is a non-profit job and academic training organization serving young people ages 18-26.  Corps members develop their job and academic skills, leadership abilities, and environmental awareness by completing outreach, conservation and community service projects throughout the city.  Simultaneously, they participate in academic programs, environmental and restoration classes, personal and professional development coaching and computer literacy training.

Volunteer.gov:  America's Natural & Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal
Search for volunteer opportunities throughout the United States based on agency or opportunity type.

Education

Volunteer Teaching Corps
The Volunteer Teaching Corps recruits graduates from top colleges and universities.  These dedicated women and men come to Chicago to serve for two years as teachers in underserved urban schools.  Corps members live together and receive room, board, medical insurance, transportation, and a modest monthly stipend ($150 per month) for personal expenses.  The savings created by this simple lifestyle provide scholarships for children in need.

Andover Teaching Fellowship
This is a one year program at Phillips Andover Academy (boarding school) in Andover, Massachusetts, providing the recent graduate with an introduction to teaching at the high school level.  Students come from all 50 states and foreign countries.  A mentor supports each teaching fellow in class preparation and helps evaluate their success.  A stipend, medical insurance, housing and meals are provided.  The application deadline for this program is March 1.

St. Johnsbury Academy Teaching Fellowship 
This is a one-year fellowship program that provides teaching experience in independent secondary education, including classroom teaching, extracurricular activities, and resident life. Areas include English, social studies, math, science, foreign language, and vocational training. Stipend, room and board in resident program, benefits and tuition credits arc provided.

Environmental

Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center 
This is a ten month teaching internship in National parks working with elementary students, combining ecology and nature awareness with visual arts, music, theater, verbal expression, integrating multi-cultural studies, environmental problems, and student action using computers for learning and communicating. Stipend, housing and meals are provided. The application deadline is April 1-5.

Student Conservation Association (SCA)
SCA is the nation's largest and oldest provider of national community service opportunities in the conservation field, securing positions for students and adults. Volunteers interested in preserving the environment are sought after for programs maintaining our public lands and natural resources. Stipend may be provided. 

Urban Adamah
A residential leadership-training program for young adults that integrates urban organic farming, social justice work and progressive Jewish living and learning. Fellows will operate an organic farm and educational center in Berkeley, CA, while interning with community-based social justice organizations addressing issues at the intersection of poverty, food security and environmental stewardship. The Urban Adamah curriculum is designed to equip fellows with the tools to become agents of positive change in their own lives and in their communities. Twelve Urban Adamah fellows will be selected to participate in the inaugural three-month pilot program starting in June, 2011.

Faith Based

AVODAH
If you are 21 or older, passionate about working on social justice issues in an urban environment, interested in doing this work from a uniquely Jewish perspective, excited about living and working with people from different backgrounds, this is a position for you. You will receive a stipend from your placement agency, which you will use to pay rent, purchase food and take care of your personal living expenses. Upon completion of the program, you will receive a $1,000 exit stipend, and, if you qualify, a voucher from AmeriCorps for $4,725.  You can use the voucher to pay off student loans, or you can apply it to tuition payments at any accredited school of higher education. You will live in a house with other participants, where your rent payments will be subsidized by AVODAH. 

Christian Appalachian Project
The Christian Appalachian Project’s mission is to “help people help themselves: through education, economic opportunity, employment and a sense of Christian community. Every volunteer is strongly encouraged to do Project Hours, i.e., involvement with church ministries, town community activities, involvement with CAP programs, Hospice Care, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Adult Literacy Tutoring, etc. Project hours are service hours above and beyond your regular forty hours of service and house responsibilities.

Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Applicants should be 21 or older and have a college degree or applicable work experience. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel expenses to the orientation site in the region in which they will serve. JVC provides travel from the orientation site to the city where the volunteer will work and transportation to and from retreats during the year. Placement agencies cover costs for housing, utilities, a food stipend, transportation to and from work, medical insurance and transportation home at the end of the year. In addition, volunteers receive a small personal stipend, the amount of which may differ between regions, to use at their own discretion. Some regions ask volunteers to undertake some fundraising efforts before their volunteer year, but acceptance is not conditional on the fundraising. JVC placements require a one-year commitment which begins in the first weeks of August with an orientation and ends the following August.

Lutheran Volunteer Corps 
Individuals of any age over 21, any background, nationality, sexual orientation, or Christian denomination who are interested in committing to a year of service are encouraged to participate in the Lutheran Service Corps program.  Many volunteers are recent college graduates transitioning form college life, and a year of volunteer service provides an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience while preparing to enter the workforce or return to graduate school. Volunteers function as non-paid employees of the agency. Duties vary greatly depending on which agency you work for, but most of the placements involve direct service to clients.  You may teach adult learners to read, provide support services to AIDS clients, facilitate skill-building activities for youth or provide helpful services to seniors. Volunteers live together in an intentional Christian community at the Hillstrom House, located in the historical Florence section of northeast Omaha, a neighborhood diverse in income and race. 

Mercy Ships
A volunteer program utilizing ocean-going vessels to bring physical and spiritual healing to the poor and needy in port cities.

Volunteer Ministries/ United Church of Christ
Two week to one year or longer programs offering domestic and international opportunities for graduates considering faith-based volunteer missionary service.  Volunteers can serve in many capacities including emergency shelter facilities, outdoor ministry programs, habitat programs, women's advocacy, organic farming and health advocacy.

Westmoreland Volunteer Corps
A one year Christian volunteer program in the Washington, D.C. area working for service or advocacy agencies, providing aid to the homeless, poor, elderly, and runaway youths supported by the local church, the Westmoreland Congregational Church of Christ.  Housing, health insurance, food allowance, and personal expense stipends provided.  The deadline is March 15.

Unpaid Opportunities

 

Most gap year jobs provide monetary compensation in the form of basic housing and living expenses. Some of these positions also include a modest exit stipend, or a small sum of money payable upon completion of the program. These opportunities generally vary in level of competition: some are very competitive and need to be applied for early, while others require less planning.  

Arts

American Symphony Orchestra League 
This one- year program provides recent graduates with practical training in various areas of orchestra management and administration.  The program includes three separate assignments with professional orchestras, in-depth orientation into the music industry in New York City, and career counseling.  Benefits include a stipend, travel, some relocation expenses paid, and medical insurance is available.  The deadline for this program is early November. 

The Julliard School  
Julliard's nine-month internships cover two main areas: technical theater or arts administration in New York City. These offer hands-on training in many areas within the school.  The program explores different employment opportunities and often reinforces or redirects career goals.  Stipend is provided.

Rochester Folk Art Guild
Apprenticeships available for people searching for a practical approach to learning and living. Work with experienced master craftspeople in pottery, woodworking, weaving, and glassblowing.  You also take part in the daily life of the community.  Stipends and scholarships are sometimes available for apprenticeships six months or longer.

Seattle Repertory Theatre's Professional Arts Training Program 
This is a nine month internship program (September-May) for graduating seniors who are looking to transition from academia into the world of professional theatre. Seattle Rep offers internships in the areas of Artistic, Arts Management, Communications, Costume Shop, Design, Education, Production Management, Properties, Scenic Arts (Paints), Stage Management and Technical Production.  A small stipend is provided.

Summer Institute in Art Museum Studies
The Summer Institute in Art Museum Studies at Smith College engages liberal arts students and recent graduates (not enrolled in graduate programs) in an in-depth, behind-the-scenes, hands-on exploration of art museums.    Through a combination of classroom instruction and assignments, visits to museums, conversations with museum professionals, and an exhibition project, participants learn about the purpose and function of art museums and the numerous challenges they face.

Community and Leadership

City Year
City Year unites young people ages 17 to 24 from diverse economic, racial and geographic backgrounds for a year of full-time service to their communities. During the ten month program, City Year corps members engage in a variety of activities to meet critical needs in their communities. They are primarily focused on the education and development of youth, serving as mentors for children in partnership with public schools and organizing and running after-school programs and curricula on important social issues including domestic violence prevention, AIDS awareness, and diversity. As a corps member, you will commit to a minimum of 1,700 hours of service over a ten month period from late August to the middle of June. 

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute 
This is a fellowship program for recent graduate or undergraduate students to assist in educating the Hispanic community in the political system, enhancing their leadership skills, and exposing them to policy-related careers.  Round trip transportation to Washington, D.C., and a monthly stipend is provided.

Coro Foundation
The Coro Foundation provides a nine month internship involving a series of assignments (four to six weeks in duration) in government, labor, business, community, media, and political settings.  Fellows also complete a six week group project and an individual public service project exploring serious public concerns such as housing, economic development, and corporate social responsibility.

Good Shepherd Volunteers
One or two year volunteer programs in human service areas including group/foster homes for adolescents, alternative school, and daycare programs, community centers, and shelters for homeless women.

Illinois Legislative Studies Internship Program
ILS is a ten month internship available to research a wide variety of question on public issues for legislators. The information is used to develop programs, support or oppose bills, and aid other legislative activates. A stipend is provided. The deadline for application is early March.

Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship
An eleven month fellowship to gain first hand knowledge of the California legislature through work in the capitol and a graduate seminar.  Monthly stipend and benefits are provided.  Deadline is mid-February.

Job Corps Academic/ Vocational Education Internship Program
Job Corps is a one year program for graduate students enrolled in academic education, vocational education, and human resources development.  Stipend is provided, but no benefits are included.

Milwaukee Community Service Corps
The Milwaukee Community Service Corps (MCSC) is a grassroots organization working to meet the needs of the community through visible and measurable community service. Corps member participants have the opportunity to learn new skills, earn a wage, and serve their community.  Corps members renovate vacant homes, plan community gardens, landscape vacant lots, remove graffiti, intern in youth service agencies, perform lead outreach and reduction activities, distribute food, engage in recycling projects, and construct new playgrounds. Terms of service range form three month summer positions to year long, full time slots.  MCSC AmeriCorps members also have the opportunity to earn a post-secondary education award that ranges from $1100 to $4725, depending on length of service.

Ohio Legislative Service Commission
Full-time internships assisting members of the Ohio General Assembly with legislative duties including writing news releases and speeches, weekly columns for local newspapers, and researching memos on topics of interest to the legislator.  Most participants choose to remain in the public service following internship.  Stipend is provided.

Postgraduate Professional Development Program- Washington Center
The Postgraduate Professional Development Program (PPDP) is a special program for recent graduates (within the past 18 months) and graduate students from all majors and backgrounds. It is designed specifically to help these individuals explore career options, gain valuable skills and make professional contacts.

San Francisco Conservation Corps
The San Francisco Conservation Corps (SFCC) is a non-profit job and academic training organization serving young people ages 18-26.  Corps members develop their job and academic skills, leadership abilities, and environmental awareness by completing outreach, conservation and community service projects throughout the city.  Simultaneously, they participate in academic programs, environmental and restoration classes, personal and professional development coaching and computer literacy training.

Volunteer.gov:  America's Natural & Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal
Search for volunteer opportunities throughout the United States based on agency or opportunity type.

Education

Volunteer Teaching Corps
The Volunteer Teaching Corps recruits graduates from top colleges and universities.  These dedicated women and men come to Chicago to serve for two years as teachers in underserved urban schools.  Corps members live together and receive room, board, medical insurance, transportation, and a modest monthly stipend ($150 per month) for personal expenses.  The savings created by this simple lifestyle provide scholarships for children in need.

Andover Teaching Fellowship
This is a one year program at Phillips Andover Academy (boarding school) in Andover, Massachusetts, providing the recent graduate with an introduction to teaching at the high school level.  Students come from all 50 states and foreign countries.  A mentor supports each teaching fellow in class preparation and helps evaluate their success.  A stipend, medical insurance, housing and meals are provided.  The application deadline for this program is March 1.

St. Johnsbury Academy Teaching Fellowship 
This is a one-year fellowship program that provides teaching experience in independent secondary education, including classroom teaching, extracurricular activities, and resident life. Areas include English, social studies, math, science, foreign language, and vocational training. Stipend, room and board in resident program, benefits and tuition credits arc provided.

Environmental

Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center 
This is a ten month teaching internship in National parks working with elementary students, combining ecology and nature awareness with visual arts, music, theater, verbal expression, integrating multi-cultural studies, environmental problems, and student action using computers for learning and communicating. Stipend, housing and meals are provided. The application deadline is April 1-5.

Student Conservation Association (SCA)
SCA is the nation's largest and oldest provider of national community service opportunities in the conservation field, securing positions for students and adults. Volunteers interested in preserving the environment are sought after for programs maintaining our public lands and natural resources. Stipend may be provided. 

Urban Adamah
A residential leadership-training program for young adults that integrates urban organic farming, social justice work and progressive Jewish living and learning. Fellows will operate an organic farm and educational center in Berkeley, CA, while interning with community-based social justice organizations addressing issues at the intersection of poverty, food security and environmental stewardship. The Urban Adamah curriculum is designed to equip fellows with the tools to become agents of positive change in their own lives and in their communities. Twelve Urban Adamah fellows will be selected to participate in the inaugural three-month pilot program starting in June, 2011.

Faith Based

AVODAH
If you are 21 or older, passionate about working on social justice issues in an urban environment, interested in doing this work from a uniquely Jewish perspective, excited about living and working with people from different backgrounds, this is a position for you. You will receive a stipend from your placement agency, which you will use to pay rent, purchase food and take care of your personal living expenses. Upon completion of the program, you will receive a $1,000 exit stipend, and, if you qualify, a voucher from AmeriCorps for $4,725.  You can use the voucher to pay off student loans, or you can apply it to tuition payments at any accredited school of higher education. You will live in a house with other participants, where your rent payments will be subsidized by AVODAH. 

Christian Appalachian Project
The Christian Appalachian Project’s mission is to “help people help themselves: through education, economic opportunity, employment and a sense of Christian community. Every volunteer is strongly encouraged to do Project Hours, i.e., involvement with church ministries, town community activities, involvement with CAP programs, Hospice Care, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Adult Literacy Tutoring, etc. Project hours are service hours above and beyond your regular forty hours of service and house responsibilities. 

Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Applicants should be 21 or older and have a college degree or applicable work experience. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel expenses to the orientation site in the region in which they will serve. JVC provides travel from the orientation site to the city where the volunteer will work and transportation to and from retreats during the year. Placement agencies cover costs for housing, utilities, a food stipend, transportation to and from work, medical insurance and transportation home at the end of the year. In addition, volunteers receive a small personal stipend, the amount of which may differ between regions, to use at their own discretion. Some regions ask volunteers to undertake some fundraising efforts before their volunteer year, but acceptance is not conditional on the fundraising. JVC placements require a one-year commitment which begins in the first weeks of August with an orientation and ends the following August.

Lutheran Volunteer Corps 
Individuals of any age over 21, any background, nationality, sexual orientation, or Christian denomination who are interested in committing to a year of service are encouraged to participate in the Lutheran Service Corps program.  Many volunteers are recent college graduates transitioning form college life, and a year of volunteer service provides an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience while preparing to enter the workforce or return to graduate school. Volunteers function as non-paid employees of the agency. Duties vary greatly depending on which agency you work for, but most of the placements involve direct service to clients.  You may teach adult learners to read, provide support services to AIDS clients, facilitate skill-building activities for youth or provide helpful services to seniors. Volunteers live together in an intentional Christian community at the Hillstrom House, located in the historical Florence section of northeast Omaha, a neighborhood diverse in income and race. 

Mercy Ships
A volunteer program utilizing ocean-going vessels to bring physical and spiritual healing to the poor and needy in port cities.

Volunteer Ministries/ United Church of Christ
Two week to one year or longer programs offering domestic and international opportunities for graduates considering faith-based volunteer missionary service.  Volunteers can serve in many capacities including emergency shelter facilities, outdoor ministry programs, habitat programs, women's advocacy, organic farming and health advocacy.

Westmoreland Volunteer Corps
A one year Christian volunteer program in the Washington, D.C. area working for service or advocacy agencies, providing aid to the homeless, poor, elderly, and runaway youths supported by the local church, the Westmoreland Congregational Church of Christ.  Housing, health insurance, food allowance, and personal expense stipends provided.  The deadline is March 15.

Opportunities Abroad

 

View the Gap Year Opportunities Abroad page to review gap year programs in a selection of countries by industry.

 

Career Development Office Disclaimer

Goucher College makes no representations or guarantees about positions listed by the Career Development Office (including part-time, full-time, or care giving employment opportunities and internships), either on the website or in the CDO office. Goucher is not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions, or other aspects of off-campus employment. It is the responsibility of students to research the integrity and safety of the organizations to which they are applying. Students are advised to use caution and common sense when applying for any position with an organization or a private party.

This web site also contains links to other web sites not under the control of the Career Development Office and we are not responsible for the contents of any linked site. The CDO provides these links only as a convenience and assumes assume no liability for acts or omissions by third parties or for any material supplied by them.