Gap Year Opportunities
What is a gap year?
Whether you are not quite ready to commit to your career or graduate school, or simply seek to try something new and gain new skills, there are a variety of "gap year", short-term options, available for you to consider. A gap year is typically a short-term job, internship, volunteer or other learning opportunity. It could be in another country or in the United States and it could be paid, offer a stipend or require you to pay an application fee. Despite the name, a gap year can be shorter or longer than a year in duration. Many Terps explore gap year opportunities after graduation.
Why would someone decide to choose a gap year?
Graduating Terps choose to do a gap year for a variety of reasons. Some are still not quite sure what they want to do and use the gap year to test out a new opportunity. Others use the gap year experience to build their resumes in preparation for graduate school or a full-time, permanent job. Finally, others see a gap year as a chance to give back and support a community, either locally or internationally, through service.
What are some options?
Some popular examples of gap year experiences are:
- Americorps (general overview of programs). A few specific, popular Americorps programs with UMD students also include:
Tips on Selecting and Applying for a Gap Year
- Often, these opportunities have deadlines early in the fall semester of your senior year. Be sure to research programs ahead of time.
- See this short guide on how to effectively plan pursuing a gap year.
- Look for opportunities to connect with visiting recruiters.
- The National Scholarships Office, listed above, is another great resource, particularly for help with applications for competitive fellowship programs.
- Not sure where to start? Set up an appointment with a career advisor in Handshake to discuss which gap year programs might interest you.