Want to take a break before starting your next academic adventure? Contemplating on what to do during your gap year? Don’t want to work a boring retail or fast food job? Want to meet new people? Here’s a list of five programs that will look great on your resume and helps others during your gap year!
Joining AmeriCorps is a good way to help others in nonprofit and education within the country during your gap year! Americorps has many different options to choose from ranging from FEMA disaster relief to literacy projects around all 50 states! There are many different options to choose with when deciding how long to serve for Americorps. Projects can range anywhere from a summer to a year! Besides disaster relief and education projects, people can also be assigned to digital media, marketing, and project management positions. Americorps accepts both high school graduate, GED and college students, so a wide variety of people can apply! A modest salary is given to all volunteers and depending on location, you can receive relocation allowance.On top of this, AmeriCorps provides the option for an end-of-service education award that can go towards paying any student loans you may have or you can use it for school instead!
2. City Year
Are you a good public speaker, love mentoring or helping out younger people? Consider serving a year with City Year. City Year is an organization that places people in low income, high need communities to foster and grow a support system for success in younger students. You will serve in an 11 month project and tutor students in cities like Oakland, Los Angeles, and Chicago. As a member you will receive bi-weekly pay, and like in AmeriCorps, an education end-of-service award.
3. Teach for America
Is educating a passion of yours? Teach for America is a non profit that places college graduated people into low income area schools as teachers for partnered K-12 schools. Past notable alumni include Vampire Weekend lead singer Ezra Koenig! Gap year participants commit to two years of serving and teaching as full time employees in urban and rural areas. They receive full time school school salary plus an AmeriCorps education voucher! Acceptance rate is low and hovers around 11-15% however, so make sure your application is in the best shape possible!
4. Teach Abroad!
Want to teach in a completely new environment? Explore a different region of the world and live there for a year! Hang outside of your comfort zone and make memories with different cultures that will last you for a lifetime. Some programs in South Korea and Asia provide housing, paid flights, on top of your salary! Take the TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TOEFL( Test of English as a Foreign Language) tests become an English teacher or teacher’s aide for young students and discover new potentials!
5. Peace Corps
Do you dream of helping people in need in remote places or countries during your gap year? Join one of the many Peace Corps opportunities available on their website. Peace Corps is a government organization that provides 3 month – 2 year volunteer opportunities in countries like Costa Rica, Madagascar, Ukraine and many more. Peace Corps volunteers get to travel and see parts of the world they would have never been exposed to otherwise. Some do more than one Peace Corps tour, but there is a five year cap on volunteers. You can help provide a variety of project tasks in these countries like youth and economic development, health, education and agriculture!
Find any you like? These are all great options to nurture and grow your skills during your gap year in an environment that is both stimulating and challenging. Plus, you’ll have so many stories to tell once you are back!
What are you planning to do during your gap year? Let us know in the comments below!
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Andrea is a writer from California who keeps buying used books she doesn't need from library sales. Her favorite author is Sylvia Plath and she is currently working on her first novel, a middle grade book about kids in space.