GAP Year Planning Resources


A GAP YEAR is a period of time typically taken after high school and prior to college or post-secondary education. GAP years allow one to explore and learn in new and different ways, reflect on personal goals and values and better plan for the next steps in life. GAP years can include travel, volunteering, service, or working as an intern or as a paid employee through an organized gap-year program or set up independently.


GAP YEAR FAIRS:  Virtual fairs that connect students and families with GAP year programs and allow for personal interchange to learn about ways to engage in service oriented, educational and/or personal growth experiences. 

**Register here for MA FAIR: January 13, 2021 Massachusetts Virtual Fair

Center for Interim Programs: Offers Gap Year counseling and insight with links to many programs to explore.

Gap Year Solutions: Consulting assistance on ways to plan a GAP year experience, whether an internship, work, service or travel.


AmeriCorps National Service Programs: AmeriCorps offers a variety of service opportunities, from the classroom to the outdoors, and everything in between. No matter what you’re passionate about, where you’re from, or why you choose to serve, AmeriCorps is your chance to Be the Greater Good.”

AmeriCorps VS. Peace Corps: Both AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps give thousands of Americans the chance to give back in a more formal capacity. In addition to serving as vehicles for making a difference. They offer perks such as tuition for school, loan forgiveness, and free health care. 

American University Gap Year Program

American Field Service (AFS): Intercultural programs for high school students and recent high school students – Gap Year. With over 100 study and community service programs, participants live with a host family, learn the language and culture while developing global and cultural competencies.

City Year:  is an AmeriCorps Program that began in Boston and is now nationwide.  Serve as a tutor or mentor in schools, running after school programs and developing youth leadership programs. Stipends and other benefits are provided. Join other 17 -23-year-olds and work as part of a diverse team to support social justice and equal opportunity in education. Participation includes a weekly stipend and a post service financial award that can be put towards tuition and other opportunities 

City Year City Year (@cityyear) • Instagram photos and videos

Student Conservation Association: Opportunities to Serve the Planet SCA provides housing, food, and other expenses for volunteers who work on short- and long-term projects. 

Dynamy: An internship based domestic program (summer, semester or full year) that combines work-based learning, independent living, individual advising and assistance with higher education transition. Optional college credit can be earned at Clarke University. 

Earthwatch: Hands on scientific experiences working alongside experts in their fields of study who are tackling urgent environmental challenges through research, education, and community engagement.

Habitat for Humanity:  Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home and believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.

Outward Bound: Outward Bound is the leading provider of experiential and outdoor education programs for youth and adults. Experience Outward Bound on one of their backpacking trips, mountaineering tripswhitewater rafting tripscanoeing tripsdog sledding expeditions, sailing trips and many other offerings.

National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS): Global wilderness education programs, ranging from two weeks to a full semester that prioritize leadership, skills mastery and gaining global perspectives. College credit can be earned, and financial aid is available.

Reach out to Chelsea Adolescents – ROCA: Volunteers and interns are vital to the work done at Roca. Opportunities include teaching and tutoring, job development, carpentry, culinary, fitness, digital and financial literacy, administrative support and more. 

Sea Education Association SEA: Adventure with a Purpose. SEA is an educational experience aboard a large research vessel with the goal of inspiring ocean scholars, stewards and leaders. College credit can be earned.

Semester Off:  Innovative, group-based, educational enrichment program to build resiliency and skills for life’s next steps. Through the Integration of academics, executive functioning skills development, career counseling, yoga, meditation, exercise, community service and team building, students develop confidence and are ready to perform to their full potential. Participants can earn college credits too!  Based in Wellesley, MA.

Teen Life: A guide to Gap Year Programs, many organizations listed.

UN Volunteers – more info coming

United Planet: is a non-profit organization with a mission to create a global community. They connect volunteers who want to make a difference in more than 30 countries. Participants learn, teach, work and engage themselves in a culture outside their comfort zone. Individual attention and mentoring provided.

Up with People: A unique blend of travel, volunteering and music, this program empowers students to be positive agents of change for a more hopeful and peaceful world.

Workaway:  Travel differently, Connect Globally. Work in many capacities and countries in exchange for room and board. Workaway offers a comprehensive website with easy steps to plan for your adventure. Opportunities range from working for a chocolate factory to home maintenance to growing grapes. Excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture and earn while you learn.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms | WWOOF is a worldwide movement to link visitors (WWOOFers) with organic farmers to promote a cultural and educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming and sustainability practices. Work in exchange for room and board.      #Travel differently, connect globally

American Gap Association, Gap Year Association

Go Overseas, Discover Meaningful Programs Abroad | Read Reviews, Go Overseas

Go Abroad, Meaningful Travel Starts Here


Gap Year American Style and the Gap Year Advantage by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson

The Complete Guide to the Gap Year by Kristin White

Gap to Great by Andrea Wein