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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

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Project Horseshoe Farm Fellowship

Horseshoe Farm offers an intensive paid 1 year (13 month) community-based gap year service and leadership development Fellowship. It is geared to top recent college graduates from around the nation interested in community health and education, non-profit and organizational management, social entrepreneurship, and community service leadership. The competitive Fellowship is a unique opportunity for high levels of responsibility and mentored hands on learning in a rapidly growing community based non-profit organization. Its aim is preparing citizen service leaders needed for tomorrow's communities.
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Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is one of the largest volunteer abroad organizations in the world. Founded in 1992, we send 10,000 people abroad each year on a variety of service projects and internships overseas.
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Public Allies AmeriCorps Ally Program

Our partnership with AmeriCorps dates back to its founding in 1994. Since then, our signature AmeriCorps Ally Program has identified thousands of diverse young adults and prepared them for leadership. Allies are placed with a nonprofit organization where they help address critical community needs such as youth development, education, workforce development, environmental issues, arts programming and community health. Our AmeriCorps program is a dynamic pipeline for talented young people to emerge as leaders and to strengthen the capacity of community organizations.
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Public Allies Eagle Rock Fellowship

The Public Allies Eagle Rock Fellowship provides thirteen individuals with an advanced year-long service and leadership development experience at the nationally recognized Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, located in Estes Park, Colorado. The Public Allies Fellowship at Eagle Rock is a residential, community-based opportunity for individuals who are passionate about alternative teaching and learning strategies, youth development and empowerment, educational equity, social justice, and re-engaging high-school students in their education.
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Public Health Associate Program

The Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) is a competitive, two-year, paid training program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PHAP associates are assigned to public health agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the United States and US territories, and work alongside other professionals across a variety of public health settings. Throughout the two-year training program, associates gain hands-on experience that will serve as a foundation for their public health careers. After completing the program, PHAP graduates are qualified to apply for jobs with public health agencies and organizations.
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Puffin Foundation

The Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.
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ReliefWeb

ReliefWeb has been the leading online source for reliable and timely humanitarian information on global crises and disasters since 1996. The site includes a job board for humanitarian and development opportunities.
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Reuters Institute Journalist Fellowships

Reuters Institute Journalist Fellowships offer an opportunity for practising journalists to develop an academic understanding of the media industry and focus on in-depth research, away from the pressure of tight deadlines.
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Robert C. Bates Postgraduate Fellowship

Supports seniors who, after successfully navigating an undergraduate education at Yale, have designed a three to twelve-month project to build on their Yale experience through further research, an internship, or other creative projects that contribute to society. Projects must be conducted outside of the continental United States, immediately after graduation. For Yale students ONLY.
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Samuel Huntington Public Service Award

The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a $15,000 stipend for a graduating college senior to pursue one year of public service anywhere in the world. The award allows recipients to engage in a meaningful public service activity for one year before proceeding on to graduate school or a career.
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School for Ethics and Global Leadership – Teaching Fellowship

The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL) is a selective, semester-long residential program for motivated high school juniors from across the United States. The Teaching Fellowship is a teaching and administrative position that represents an extraordinary opportunity for an outstanding educator to help refine a program at a school that we hope will change the world. In addition to developing the school’s flagship course, applicants are expected to be an instructional leader in a dynamic and innovative educational community serving as a nexus for globally-minded educators around the world. This position includes housing and extensive dormitory supervision responsibilities.
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Scoville Peace Fellowship

The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, established in 1987, is a highly-competitive national fellowship program that provides recent college and graduate school alumni with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security. Twice yearly, the fellowship’s Board of Directors selects a group of outstanding individuals to spend six to nine months in Washington. Supported by a salary, the fellows serve as full-time junior staff members at the participating organization of their choice.

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