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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


Volunteer Services Overseas

We bring people from different backgrounds, expertise and experiences together to fight poverty.

Volunteering India

We have been providing volunteer and internship programs in India since 2004 to over 3500 volunteers from around the world. Our programs are located in New Delhi and Palampur-Dharamsala. Volunteers can choose to join in one of the many different options we provide, including childcare, women empowerment, teaching, summer programs, mini breaks, group programs and family volunteering in India.

Volunteering Journeys

Volunteering Journeys is about bringing you closer to rising global and social issues and helping you to experience travel in a responsible way. You, us, the people you work with, and the people you encounter along the way, are all passionate about seeing the world with a new perspective. As such, our volunteer programs abroad are about living in local communities, learning, growing by sharing and, adding value to your life and those you meet along the way.

Volunteering Solutions

Volunteering Solutions was established in 2006 with the aim of changing the face of volunteer traveling, and in the last 10 years, we have had more than 12,000 volunteers who completed their journeys with life changing experiences. Currently, Volunteering Solutions operates in 19 countries, providing options ranging from Child Care, Teaching, Medical and Healthcare, Community Development, Marine Conservation and much more.

Walt Disney Animation Studios Internships

Join us for an opportunity to work behind the scenes, experience the art of animation, and be a part of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Williamstown Theatre Festival

The Williamstown Theatre Festival is one of the greatest summer theaters in the nation, and is proud to offer employment opportunities for theatre artists, technicians, and administrators. WTF’s summer season offers a variety of career advancement opportunities for young theatre professionals and recent college graduates, and more experience professionals. Ranging from supervisory to assistantship positions, WTF staff members have the opportunity with some of the top professionals in American theatre. Please click on the links below to learn more about upcoming employment opportunities. Summer Employment opportunities run from mid-June through August. Williamstown Theatre Festival is committed to telling diverse stories and to fostering an inclusive environment both onstage and off. We are seeking talented artists and administrators from all backgrounds, for all of our educational, professional, and artistic programs.

Woodward Internship Program - Westport Country Playhouse

Westport Country Playhouse is home to one of the nation’s preeminent theater internship programs. The training of emerging professionals in the theater has formed a vital part of our mission since 1941. While on campus, interns work directly with senior staff and gain crucial on-the-job experience in a vibrant and innovative theater. The Playhouse offers internships in both production and theater administration. Applicants must have completed at least two years of a baccalaureate program and be able to demonstrate a commitment to their chosen fields. The Woodward Internship Program is a summer program. Each year, the Playhouse begins recruiting in January and accepts applications on a rolling basis until positions are filled, usually by mid-March. For the best consideration, please submit your application materials early.


Workawayers typically are interested in cultural exchange and learning and will help out for a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation, with visits lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months. Travel cheaply and stay for free, whilst making a difference to the communities you visit. Put your existing skills to good use, or try something new you‘d never normally get to do and pick up new skills along the way. There is an ever growing list of 1000s of active hosts in over 155 countries offering all kinds of places to stay.

World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

Want to live and learn on organic farms worldwide? Want to share your life with other like-minded people? WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community. As a volunteer (or WWOOFer as we call them) you will live alongside your host helping with daily tasks and experiencing life as a farmer.


WorldTeach offers the opportunity to teach in communities around the globe. We seek motivated and inquisitive global citizens who yearn to do more than simply tour a different country; those who look to immerse themselves within a culture and want to live purposeful lives. Our participants have unparalleled opportunity for personal and professional growth while bridging world cultures.

Yale-China Fellowship

The Yale-China Fellowship is the longest continuously-run program at Yale-China and is the flagship program of Yale-China's education program area. The two pillars of the Fellowship are teaching and community engagement: teaching provides Fellows with a defined role in a Chinese community and is an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth, while community engagement builds the person-to-person connections that lead to the deepest possible levels of mutual understanding and respect.