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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


Service through Music Fellowship

Supports a graduating Yale student who proposes to spend the fellowship year (nine to twelve months) engaged full-time in an ambitious, innovative project combining music and public service. Based on the shared conviction of generations of Yale Glee Club alumni that the arts - and choral singing in particular - can be used to foster understanding between people, promote mental well-being, and bring about positive social change. For Yale students ONLY.

Shakespeare Theatre Company

Each season, STC offers approximately 20 fellowship positions ranging in focus from Stage Management and Acting to Development and Education. Our fellows are an integral part of STC’s staff, working alongside renowned designers, actors, artists and administrative staff. STC’s highly-competitive Professional Fellowship program allows young theatre-makers the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the running of the nation’s leading classical theatre.

Sight for All-Ophthalmology Rotation in New Delhi, India

Through Child Friendly Health International's Sight for All Program, students can join one such organization in its effort to reduce preventable visual handicaps. Located in Delhi, VENU Eye Institute and Research Center is a non-government organization with a mission to bring quality eye care to the doorstep of the visually afflicted. Through VENU, participants will be exposed to primary mobile eye care clinics, observe ophthalmic procedures in the operating theater, and participate in advanced level classes at the institute.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Fellowships

The Smithsonian Institution is committed to training the next generation of scientists to meet the environmental needs of the 21st century. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center offers a variety of fellowship opportunities to graduate, pre- and post-graduate students. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland conduct environmental research in temperate, tropical, and polar ecosystems across the globe.

Sotheby's Training and Internship Programs

Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in ten different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BidNow programme allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world.


Worldwide database of sponsored funding opportunities

Stone Barns Center’s Apprenticeship Program

Our Apprenticeship Program offers an immersive and diverse farming experience for growing farmers. Under the guidance of the farm management team, apprentices have the opportunity to engage in the operational management of diversified field crops, soil greenhouses, multi-species livestock and grazing systems. Our integrated production provides a whole-systems approach that allows participants to explore the interconnections across a wide range of agricultural disciplines.

Studio Insitute, Arts Intern Program

Since its inception in 1999, the Arts Intern program has provided an exciting opportunity for college undergraduates to learn about nonprofit professions, through internships in museums and cultural institutions. The program seeks candidates with demonstrated financial need and encourages applicants from diverse cultural backgrounds. ​ Organizations host interns in meaningful positions in many different departments, including curatorial, education, marketing, development, collections, and special events. Interns will have time-bound assignments and individual projects that will be presented at the conclusion of the internship.

Taliesin Nexus

Filmmaking and television are collaborative art forms. They are the creative product of an entire NEXUS of people, from producers to writers to directors to editors, as well as financiers and distributors. In order to encourage the creation of great stories, we serve as a nexus between up-and-coming filmmakers and experienced industry professionals who share a passion for a free society. We teach filmmakers of promise by leveraging our network of Hollywood pros to create educational opportunities. To that end, we organize workshops, internships, writing groups, and other events that bring together talented creators who can network and learn from each other.

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Television Academy Foundation Internship Program

The Television Academy Foundation's Internship Program provides 50 internships in over 30 different categories to college students nationwide. The program gives both undergraduate and graduate students in-depth exposure to professional television production during an eight-week, paid summer period in Los Angeles.

Texas Tribune Student Fellowships

The Texas Tribune fellowship program provides aspiring journalists the opportunity to hone their reporting skills and learn a host of new ones that will prepare them for the 21st century newsroom.