What are the best gap year programs?

Gap years are time a student takes after high school to pursue another opportunity outside of continuing their formal education.

Gap years include volunteer work, an internship or job, or traveling abroad. Finding a gap year program might be a little tricky, as few are officially described as “gap year” programs. But there are opportunities where you can commit to working a particular amount of time in return for paid expenses such as travel, room & board, and meals.

Below you will find some of the more common programs that students pursue during their gap year.

The best kind of a gap year program will be one in which you can have your expenses paid for. While some students might have enough in savings to take time off to travel the world, there are opportunities where you can commit to working in exchange for expenses paid. Some of these programs will even include opportunities to travel.

Here are some examples of Gap Year Programs that might interest you:

  • National Civilian Community Corps: This is a program offered by AmeriCorps for adults between ages 18-24 and covers all expenses, including room & board, meals, transportation, etc., for a 10-month commitment.
  • FEMA Corps: In partnership with AmeriCorps, this program allows people to volunteer for disaster relief support. This program is a great opportunity for those interested in the government and emergency management sector. It’s also an excellent opportunity to begin your professional network if pursuing a career with FEMA is something you would like to do later on.
  • GapForce: GapForce is a top-rated organization as of 2019 for gap year opportunities. They offer opportunities worldwide from Mt. Everest Base Camp, Thailand, Costa Rica, or even the African Plain. Their goal is to provide a unique collection of experiences and have advisors ready to help guide you to the program that best fits you.
  • GOOverseas: This organization is more of a search resource that offers opportunities to travel the world for different experiences. 

When choosing a gap year program, it’s important to do your research and choose the one that best fits you. After all, there probably won’t be another time in your life where you have so much freedom to do anything you want.

While you may feel pressured to work or study during your gap year, you don’t have to. Many students take this opportunity to see the world or give back to a community in need.

Either way, there’s no right or wrong choice. Just make sure you pick the right option and make the most of your experiences. They will help develop new perspectives that you can share when deciding to go back to school and choose your career.