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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

Chronicle Books Design Fellowship

The Chronicle Books Design Fellowship Program is an opportunity for four early-career designers to gain hands-on experience designing our distinctive books, gifts and brand alongside our in-house creative teams.
FEATURED

Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellowship

As a National Teaching Fellow, you'll be a practical activist and put your beliefs into action to ensure all students have the skills, access and beliefs to succeed in college and beyond. You'll also be part of the local community and affect change from within by building connections between students, families, schools, volunteers and community resources. Teaching Fellows personally make this happen for students across an entire school or grade level by plugging in to bridge gaps and connect the people who need to work together on behalf of students.
FEATURED

City Year Corps

City Year helps students build an ever-expanding sense of who they are, why they matter and who they want to become. You’ll be responsible for supporting students by helping them learn about themselves, what they’re interested in and what they’re capable of doing.
FEATURED

Cohen Public Service Fellowship

Established to support up to a full year of purposeful public service activity. Graduating seniors may apply for projects lasting nine to twelve months. For Yale students ONLY.
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Concern America

Concern America is an international development and refugee aid organization that works with economically impoverished communities around the world to develop long-term solutions to poverty. Concern America recruits and sends professionals who serve as volunteers for two or (often) more years. Medical doctors, public health specialists, educators, engineers, and other experts are sent to share their skills and knowledge with community leaders in developing countries.
FEATURED

Department of Justice - Antitrust Division

The Division’s paralegals work alongside attorneys to represent the American public in civil and criminal federal antitrust cases throughout the U.S. The Division prosecutes certain violations of the antitrust laws by filing criminal charges that can lead to large fines and jail sentences. In other cases, the Division institutes civil actions seeking court orders forbidding future violations of the antitrust laws or enjoining anticompetitive transactions.
FEATURED

Disney | ABC Creative Talent Development Programs

Disney | ABC Television Group’s (DATG) Creative Talent Development programs are instrumental in identifying and developing creative talent with multicultural voices and perspectives.
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Diversity Abroad

The Diversity Abroad community inspires, connects, and assists you in reaching your academic and career potential in our increasingly interconnected world. We connect you to study abroad, global programs, scholarships, graduate and career opportunities. Join the community - be inspired, get matched to the perfect program, access exclusive resources and events, and prepare for your future success.
FEATURED

Echoing Green Fellowship Programs

Echoing Green identifies tomorrow’s transformational leaders today. Through its Fellowships and other innovative leadership initiatives, Echoing Green spots emerging leaders and invests deeply in their success to accelerate their impact.
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El Pomar Fellowship

The El Pomar Fellowship is a highly selective, two-year post-undergraduate leadership training program that develops today's young professionals into tomorrow's leaders. It is designed to bring together highly qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests, and develop them into effective leaders for the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The Fellowship seeks to develop professional skills and educate Fellows in the role of philanthropy in the nonprofit sector, while offering direct management experience.
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Emerson National Hunger Fellowship

The Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program is a social justice program that trains, inspires, and sustains leaders. Fellows gain field experience fighting hunger and poverty through placements in community based organizations across the country, and policy experience through placements in Washington, D.C. The program bridges community-based efforts and national public policy, and fellows develop as effective leaders in the movement to end hunger and poverty.
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Environment America

Climate change, plastic pollution, wildlife disappearing forever—the damage being done to our planet is heartbreaking. But solutions are all around us: better solar panels, better electric cars, and on and on. Environment America’s mission is to harness our country’s wealth, technology and imagination to make our world a greener and healthier place.

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