11 post-college gap year programs in 2021 |Full List for Grad students

Post-college gap year programs: Did you just graduate from college and you are looking for a way to spend your year after graduating college without immediately getting a job or going to grad school? Have you considered applying for post-college gap year programs?

If yes, then today is your lucky day. Learn more about the benefits of this growing trend.

That’s because we have compiled a list of the best post college gap year programs for you.

Just before we go on, let’s see what this is all about.

What are gap year programs and why should I care about them?

Continue to the end to find the answers you desire.

What are post-college gap year programs?

Post-college gap year programs are programs that you engage in for the purpose of taking a break after college, instead of getting a job immediately or going to grad school.

So, when you say you want to apply for post college gap year programs, what it means is that you purposely want to take a break or gap after college.

During this time, you are not working on a full-time job, neither are you continuing to grad school.

Instead, you’ll be busy pursuing activities to improve yourself personally, academically, or professionally.

You could be volunteering, learning a new language or improving your skills during the gap year.

Additionally, post college gap year programs give you the opportunity to gain work and life experiences in a global setting.

That is because some of the best post college grad year programs would require you to travel to new locations around the world. 

Can you do a gap year after university?

The obvious answer to this question is “Yes!”

You can choose to do any gap year program after your university and that is fine.

Most university graduates who go for gap year programs may already have a job waiting for them to resume, so they delay their start date.

For many others, it is mostly because they are yet to secure work and are biding their time. 

As a result, you will be wrong to conclude that those who don’t secure work straight out of university immediately go abroad to volunteer or travel.

Why should I take a post college gap year program?

Well, it is very easy for many people to view post-college gap year programs as a “waste of time.” 

For real, are post college gap year programs even necessary? 

Why take off a year before pursuing further education or even getting a job?

In fact, gap year programs are just a perfect excuse for “fooling around” for a year… blah blah blah.

These are just some of the criticisms that may come your way when you choose to go for post college gap year programs.

However, there is little truth in this argument. 

Without proper planning, a gap year can very well turn into unproductive “fooling around.” 

But a well-executed gap year offers many benefits.

Here are a few to consider:

#1. Opportunity to take a break from academic work:

After 4 years of college stress, assignments, tests and exams, post college gap year programs give you the opportunity to take a break from all that.

You can choose to travel for volunteering activities, learn a new language or even take up an internship.

#2. Helps to boost your job prospects:

Doing internships, learning a new skill or networking with experts in your field can open doors to job opportunities. 

This is one of the benefits that you enjoy when you sign up for post college gap year programs.

#3. You can have fun and make lasting friendships:

Having fun is not exempted during post college gap year programs.

You can travel to whatever country, make new friends and live foe the moment. 

The memories you will create will last for a very long time.

#4. Post college gap year gives your time to work on grad school applications:

Your quest for literacy and academic excellence does not stop after college.

You may still need to go to grad school.

As a result, you can make use of your post college gap year to prepare for grad school. 

#5. Opportunity to travel to new locations:

If you have never travelled out of your country before, then signing up for post college gap year programs can afford you that opportunity. 

You may have the opportunity to visit one or more countries during this time.

So, get ready to enjoy the fun.

#6. Post-college gap year is time to increase your academic credentials:

As I mentioned earlier, you can do an internship during your gap year. 

You could also learn a new language, improve your communication skills and boost your leadership skills.

All of these skills will help make your CV stand out during job applications.

How to identify the best post-college gap year programs

It’s easy to see a lot of advertisements about post college gap year programs but how do you identify the best?

The answer to this question will depend on what you want to do with your gap year.

The best post college gap year program will be the one that suits perfectly into your goals.

Set the goals that you’d want to achieve with this program and then look for one that meets your criteria.

So, whether your goal is to learn a new language, engage in volunteering, learn a new skill or do an internship, use these tips below to get through the best post college gap year programs. 

#1. Do your research:

The first and most important step for getting the best post college gap year program is for you to do proper research.

A proper research will include reading reviews online and hearing from those who have been there before.

If the program has an alumni body, you can find the contact of some alumni and speak with them.

This way, you will know the pros and cons of the program and be sure that it suits you.

#2. The best post college gap year programs do not conceal information:

All information you need is made available to you including cost and other requirements. 

You must know who is providing your accommodation, feeding, transportation and so on.

If there are any form of hidden charges, then be sure to dump that program and start hunting for another.

#3. The program must contribute positively to your future:

After the program, you should be able to use the knowledge gained to contribute to society, improve your finances and live a good life.

Also, the program should be one that will support you with resources that will help you to secure a job.

For instance, you could get a recommendation letter from them for future applications or get access to other alumni who are doing very well.

#4. Top gap year programs are run by professionals:

This is another good criteria for selecting a good post college gap year program.

When you are doing your research, be sure to check who the trainers are.

Who will be your guide, what’s their expertise and expert in your chosen field. 

With this information, you can make the decision whether to go on with the program or not.

What are the best gap year programs?

If you are looking for the best post-college gap year programs, here are a few that you can sign up for immediately. 

#1. High Desert Center:

This is an action packed gap year program for adventure seeking folks.

In this post college gap year program, you will experience new cultures, find your people and dive into yourself.

Only 14-18 participants between the ages of 17-23 are eligible for this program.

The location for this program is Colorado wilderness, Mexico, Guatemala, and options to travel to Australia, Thailand, Spain and more.

This program will begin on Sept 1, 2021 and run until April 27, 2022.

The cost of this program is $9,850.

This payment includes travel to and from Guatemala from Phoenix but it does not include optional winter travel.

Learn more here.

#2. Linguistic Horizons:

If what you want from a post college gap year program is an opportunity to intern in the beat country, then Linguistic Horizons has got you covered.

Linguistic Horizons offers a variety of gap year programs which you are to do for a duration of two weeks up to one year.

The programs include internship, study abroad, and foreign language immersion programs.

The locations for this gap year program varies as you can choose from South America, Europe and New Zealand, several options. 

See some of their programs below. 

South America: Peru!

Europe: SPAIN!

Europe: UK!

Oceania: New Zealand!

#3. Where There Be Dragons:

Dragons offer Gap Year programs for high school and college-aged students in India, China, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and more.

Their gap year programs will give you the opportunity to spend your gap year abroad. 

During the program, you will hear new stories, discover fresh perspectives, and engage with critical global issues.

All of these will be achieved through cultural immersion, wilderness exploration, language study, hands-on apprenticeships, and community engagement. 

In addition, you can even earn college-level language credit on select Gap Semesters, including China, India, Guatemala, Nepal, and South America.

To learn about this program including cost and eligibility criteria, click here.

#4. International Volunteer HQ:

Take your post college gap year experience to the next level by volunteering in Africa with International Volunteer HQ.

This experience is guaranteed to change your worldview, push you out of your comfort zone and give you a life changing experience.

Taking your gap year in Africa is both ans adventure and blissful fun that will stay with you forever.

You will be able to do some community development services such as building schools, conserving incredible wildlife, women’s education and medical internships.

Click here to learn more about this program.

#5. Putney Student Travel:

Putney’s gap year programs are mostly for college-age students who seek unrivaled, real-world experiences, authentic travel and cultural immersion. 

In addition, they provide opportunities for experiential learning beyond the classroom and so much fun.

The aim is Putney’s Gap programs extend is to provide educational travel opportunities that encourage cross-cultural engagement, foster global understanding, and promote social and intellectual growth.

This program will take you to incredible countries and destinations around the world, including Baja, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Denmark, Hawaii, Morocco and many others.

Learn more about Putney’s Gap year programs, here.

#6. EF Gap Year:

EF Gap Year programs are unique for post college students in that it combines language study, internship, and service experiences into one comprehensive program.

This program will equip you with global skills and professional experience

In addition, you can get college credits while working on hands-on projects with lifelong benefits.

Click here to see all the post college gap year programs offered by EF Gap Year.

#7. Gap at Glen Brook:

This gap year program focuses on personal development through practical skills, living in community, and engaging with the natural world. 

The program runs for 11 weeks based on the location and it is only available for 18-21 year olds.

In this program, you will experience community living, outdoor expeditions, farm work, working in a commercial kitchen, preparing all of your own food, and participating in an experiential curriculum that requires a high level of introspection and vulnerability.

If this sounds interesting, visit Gap at Glen Brook website to learn more.

#8. The Leap:

If you like to go beyond your comfort zone, then this post college gap year program is for you.

During this program, you get to travel and contribute to the world more than ever, despite these uncertain times.

Your job would be to support planet-protecting volunteering projects across South America, Africa and Asia.

It is definitely the perfect program for the gap year traveller, midlife adventurer or business looking for a dynamic responsible business solution.

Learn more here.

#9. Amigos International:

Here’s another mind blowing post grad gap year program.

And this one is coming from AMIGOS International.

In this program, you will learn about the world by living in it! 

AMIGOS provides volunteers age 14 to 22 the safest, most authentic service and immersion experiences in Latin America and the United States.

You will enjoy living and working in a new community that gives you the chance to improve your Spanish (Latin American and virtual programs), make an impact, gain confidence, and build leadership skills. 

You’ll get to see the world in a truly unique way!

Check out the AMIGOS gap year programs here.

#10. Carpe Diem Education

The Carpe Diem gap year program inspires growth and transformation through culturally immersive gap year experiences. 

This is the perfect opportunity to explore some of the most fascinating regions on Earth, each offering a unique culturally immersive experience. 

That is because the Carpe Diem educational curriculum is designed to challenge perspectives, enrich cross-cultural understanding, and inspire personal growth.

As a result, students reignite their passion for learning.

The Carpe Diem gap year programs include Experiential Education, Community Engagement as well as Intercultural Exchange.

Visit their website today to sign up for the Carpe Diem gap year programs.

#11. Outward Bound:

This is the ideal program for gap year students or students seeking a challenging and formative experience for their off-campus semester. 

You will travel as a group in remote, rugged settings that will broaden your view on the world while building your skills in teamwork and leadership.

This is the place to master technical outdoor skills, explore exotic places and learn alongside the best instructors in the industry. 

The focus of this gap year program is on hands-on leadership training and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Eligible students must be between the ages of 18-30 and must be ready for this once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. 

To learn more about the Outward Bound gap year programs, click here.


Post-college life is already full of challenges. Why not take a gap year to consider your options? It’s a great chance to focus on what you really want to do with your life. It doesn’t matter what you’re interested in: there are plenty of ways to spend your post-college gap year. Take the time to consider what you want and be careful not to rush into anything.

Your gap year adventure is going to be so much more than you could have imagined. Pick the one that speaks to you and go for it with all your heart!

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