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:
Tips on Selecting and Applying for Gap Years
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 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 to discuss which gap year programs might interest you.