Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session CAREER LINK

Gap Year & Short-Term Positions

You are here

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


Farmer Training Program at the University of Vermont

UVM’s Farmer Training Program is a six-month, hands-on program for aspiring farmers and food-systems advocates that provides experiential, skills-based education in sustainable farming. Students will get a unique and comprehensive education by running all aspects of the 10-acre Catamount Educational Farm, learning from expert farmers and educators in the classroom, and alongside successful, inspiring farmers in the Burlington area.

FEMA Corps

Millions of Americans suffer the effects of natural and man-made disasters each year. In an effort to strengthen the federal government’s disaster preparedness and response, AmeriCorps NCCC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partnered to create FEMA Corps. This unique program unites individuals who share a passion for service and provides the ultimate professional development experience.

Frederick Mortimer Clapp Fellowship

Funds one graduating senior who has demonstrated a serious interest in writing English poetry. It is expected that the recipient will devote him or herself full-time to writing poetry during the term of the award (twelve months). Any major is eligible. For Yale students ONLY.

Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Young Fellows Program

Recent college graduates spend 11 months working with key staff members at FCNL to build expertise in advocacy from a public interest perspective.

Global Health Corps Fellowship Program

Global Health Corps recruits and selects highly qualified applicants with diverse skill sets to work with high-impact organizations in year-long paid positions. During their fellowship year, fellows make a significant and measurable contribution to the placement organization and the target population. Fellows work in teams of two at each placement organization – one national fellow and one international fellow. Our fellows and alums represent 40+ nationalities and have diverse backgrounds, experiences, skillsets, and passions. They are architects, designers, web developers, business analysts, teachers, communications specialists, supply chain managers, and more.

Gordon Grand Fellowship

Supports a year (nine to twelve months) of purposeful travel, research, or work abroad or in the United States in the fields of business or public affairs. Proposals should engage in some way with the private sector and should foster a heightened awareness of the issues that will shape the business world of the future. For Yale students ONLY.

Green Corps’ Environmental Leadership Training Program

Are you determined to make the biggest positive impact you can on issues like climate change and clean water, but you don’t know where to start? Green Corps offers a yearlong, paid training program that will prepare you for a career in environmental organizing.

Hartford Stage Apprenticeships

The apprenticeship program is designed to provide valuable on-the-job instruction for recent college graduates and early career theatre professionals. Apprentices will enjoy close working relationships with experienced staff, and meaningful hands-on work opportunities.

Hearst Journalism Fellowships

The Fellowship is a two-year program focusing on journalism in a changing digital world. The Fellowship program consists of two 12-month rotations at our top metro papers. Fellows will receive training, mentoring and real-world experience alongside top journalists who are using cutting-edge tools to tell stories through data, video, and more.


Idealist is one of the premier job search engines for nonprofit organizations. It also features an organization search list and helpful career articles and blogs. Use the advanced search feature to have jobs emailed to you. Idealist is all about connecting idealists - people who want to do good - with opportunities for action and collaboration.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation: Post-Bachelor Fellowship

The Post-Bachelor Fellowship (PBF) is a structured health research program where individuals can apply their knowledge and passion to help advance the field of health metrics and accelerate global health progress. This fellowship provides a unique opportunity for recent college graduates with strong quantitative skills to train with faculty and senior researchers on a variety of public health projects.

International Zoological Expeditions

IZE specializes in coordinating faculty led, study abroad programs that reveal the magnificence and beauty of our planet's most rare and unique habitats! We have been the pioneer of educational expeditions in Belize since 1970, focusing on the biology of the rainforest and coral reefs. Our mission is to provide colleges, universities, natural history organizations, families, and adventures alike with an affordable, worry free, once in a lifetime adventure!