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Gap Year & Short-Term Positions

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The gap year refers to a period of time, usually one or two years after graduation, when students take a break from education to work or volunteer before continuing with graduate/professional school or starting a longer-term job. These short-term experiences help students explore career paths and gain experience. In some cases, these experiences will turn into longer-term.

Tip: Think about your motivation: Why do you want to take a gap year or two? Have you thoroughly thought about how this might fit with your future goals?

Define your goals: Are you interested in expanding your resume, living independently, clarifying your interests, or experiencing a different culture?

Research: What are your options?

Plan ahead: Planning ahead is useful in order to avoid missing deadlines for applications or fellowships. Give yourself ample time to update any international travel documents you may need, save money, or book trips in advance.

To help you explore a variety of options, we created the following list of resources commonly used by Yale students and alums. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list; we intend for you to use it as a starting point and not as an end point.

For additional short-term opportunities, look at your specific career fields of interest in the career resources database, the Health Professions page, and Yale's Fellowship and Funding website. You can also meet with an OCS advisor to further discuss your options.

Visitors to this website using the database, should refer to our terms of use policy.

Gap Year Resources

FEATURED

ATTRA Internships in Sustainable Farming

This directory of on-the-job learning opportunities in sustainable and organic agriculture has been published since 1989 as a tool to help farmers and apprentices connect with each other. It is available for farms in the U.S and its territories. There are a few in Canada and the Caribbean as well.
FEATURED

AVODAH

Avodah strengthens the Jewish community’s fight against the causes and effects of poverty in the United States. We do this by engaging participants in service and community building that inspire them to become lifelong leaders for social change whose work for justice is rooted in and nourished by Jewish values.
FEATURED

Blue Engine

Blue Engine partners with schools to unlock human potential. We bring together teams of teachers working in historically oppressed communities to reimagine the classroom experience for all students, resulting in dramatic gains in academic achievement and diverse groups of apprentice teachers prepared for success in the classroom.
FEATURED

Blueprint Schools Network Fellows Program

Blueprint School Network promotes educational equity and improves life outcomes for students by partnering with school districts to plan, implement, and monitor school improvement initiatives.
FEATURED

Campus Compact - Newman Civic Fellowship

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The fellowship, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, provides training and resources that nurture students’ assets and passions to help them develop strategies to achieve social change. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides learning opportunities focused on the skills fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.
FEATURED

Cape Eleuthera Island School Teaching Opportunities

The Island School was founded in 1999 and offers an independent semester abroad program in The Bahamas for high school sophomores or juniors.
FEATURED

Catholic Volunteer Network

Catholic Volunteer Network fosters and promotes full-time domestic and international faith-based volunteer service opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skills.
FEATURED

Center for California Studies: Capital Fellows Programs

The Center administers four fellowship programs, known collectively as the Capital Fellows Programs. These nationally recognized public policy fellowships offer unique experiences in policy-making and development in each branch of government. Capital Fellows are placed at some of the highest levels of California state government and assist state legislators, senior-level executive staff, and court administrators with a broad range of public policy issues and projects and are typically given assignments with a significant amount of responsibility and challenges.
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Charles G. Koch Associate Program

A 10-month program offering professionals the opportunity to gain real-world experience at a non-profit organization through paid, full-time work experience.
FEATURED

Charles P. Howland Fellowship

Awarded each year to graduating seniors in Yale College to support projects abroad, primarily volunteer public service, for ten to twelve months. Candidates must demonstrate promise of useful activity in efforts to improve international relations and present a proposed project of some benefit to society. For Yale students ONLY.
FEATURED

Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program

The CDF Freedom Schools program is committed to training, connecting and nurturing a team of young leaders dedicated to service and advocacy on behalf of children.
FEATURED

Children’s Corps

Children’s Corps is a unique opportunity for individuals who are passionate about supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families impacted by the Child Welfare system. Members receive intense training, support, competency development skills, with the goals of strengthening the Child Welfare workforce.

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