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.
For most students, the transition from undergrad to graduate school can be overwhelming. Some students have a clear idea of the career path they want to take, while the majority are perplexed.
If you are one of these students, you have two options: go into business or take a year off after graduation to participate in a gap year program.
A gap year program abroad might be an excellent way to gain professional and personal experience in a global setting.
A gap year program abroad is more than you think, especially for recent college grads.
It allows you to do the same things you would have done at home (for example, an internship, further study, teaching, or entry-level employment), but in a much larger context.
So, if you have a preconceived view of gap year programs, prepare to be persuaded otherwise. Because a gap year provides an opportunity to broaden your skills and knowledge.
Continue reading to learn the true meaning of a gap year, as well as the benefits, types of programs available, and implications taking a year off after graduation will have on your career.
What exactly is a gap year?
A gap year is a year off after finishing each level of study.
A gap year can be any length of time; it does not have to be a complete year. It could be a semester or just a few months.
Gap years are periods of time when high school or college students have free time to work, volunteer, or study.
A Post-College Gap Year is a planned period of time between college and the following stage of a student’s life. It is often referred to as the Gap Year After College.
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, nor are you continuing with 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 traveled 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. A 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 criterion 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.
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How Much Does a Post-College Gap Year Cost?
One of the biggest reasons fresh graduates do not take a gap year is financial obligations. This is not the case (and should not be).
A gap year is one of the best ways to earn money while studying.
There are numerous methods to earn money on the fly, ranging from paid internships to working as an au pair to securing a part-time employment.
Depending on what you want to do during your gap year, you may be able to apply for grants, scholarships, or even crowdfunding.
Also, do some study to see which places of the world are ideal for your budget. Your money will go considerably further in Thailand, Cambodia, or Mexico than it will in France or England.
What Should You Do During Your Gap Year Before University?
A gap year after graduation is an excellent way to broaden your horizons.
You have a lot of possibilities. More so,You have the option of following the trend and spending a year abroad while updating your Instagram followers on how you visited every city in that country.
You can also spend it on something beneficial, such as working overseas, volunteering abroad, or learning a new language.
Not only that, but a gap year is open to anyone, including college graduates, whether you’re writing a paper at a corner booth or working your way up the corporate ladder.
There are several non-cliche gap year travel programs for gap year travelers, so think about taking a gap year after graduation.
If you are a recent college graduate looking to make a difference in the world, here are five transformative gap year programs to explore during your year off.
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, 2022, 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.
#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 vary as you can choose from South America, Europe, and New Zealand, several options.
See some of their programs below.
South America: Peru!
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 an 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.
#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.
#12. GoEco: Volunteer Abroad – Affordable & Trusted Programs
- Location: Multiple countries
- Duration: 1 to 12 Weeks
GoEco provides a variety of volunteer opportunities with various durations ranging from two to twelve weeks.
You can help with animal conservation and conservation efforts in Zimbabwe, Kenya, the United States, and other countries by volunteering at an animal rescue shelter in Ecuador, health and medical care in Costa Rica, or animal conservation and conservation efforts in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and the United States.
The focus on responsible and ecological travel connects these numerous options.
If you are unable to volunteer for the whole of your graduate gap year, select a program or contact GoEco to arrange multiple consecutive experiences.
Here are the various volunteer opportunities available to GoEco in 2022:
- Private Island marine Experience – Belize
- Wild Animal Rescue Shelter – Ecuador
- Health and Medical care in San Jose – Costa Rica
- Sea Turtle Conservation – Costa Rica
- African Wildlife Orphanage – Zimbabwe
- Maasai Mara Lion and Wildlife Conservation – Kenya
- Miami Environmental Conservation – United States
- Animal Rescue Conservation – Costa Rica
- Canary Islands Dolphin and Whale Research – Spain
- Sea Turtle Rescue and Recovery Hospitals – Ecuador
#13. Gap Year Volunteer Programs | International Volunteer HQ
- Location: 50 Countries
- Duration: Yearly
Thousands of people opt to participate in IVHQ gap year volunteer programs each year. Because:
In more than 50 countries, including Bali, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Peru, South Africa, and Kenya, International Volunteer HQ provides the world’s most cheap and dependable volunteer programs.
You can join programs for as little as a week and as long as six months, and many gap year volunteers combine various programs in different locations.
IVHQ has gap year volunteer opportunities in education, child care, medical, community development, building and remodeling, turtle protection, and wildlife conservation.
You won’t find a more cheap and dependable volunteer organization with volunteer program fees starting at $180.
#14. Learn Japanese in Tokyo, Japan with KCP International
- Location: Tokyo, Japan
- Duration: Yearly
All full-time university students, regardless of subject of study, graduate students, and adult professionals are welcome at KCP Japanese International Language School.
The program is open to American students as well as students from other countries with which Japan has a visa treaty.
To make the most of the KCP program, students must have completed at least one year of university Japanese. If you are not a native English speaker, you must demonstrate your English fluency.
In general, in order to be admitted into the program, you must:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- should be prepared to study for three to five hours per day outside of class
- You must have finished your secondary schooling.
- Students that are enrolled must have a GPA of at least 2.75. (on a 4.0 scale).
There is no transcript need for college graduates or persons over the age of 21 who are not students.
#15. TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad – International TEFL Academy
- Location: 80 countries worldwide
- Duration: Yearly
The International TEFL Academy (ITA) is a global leader in TEFL certification for teaching English overseas and online.
Essentially, ITA provides recognized TEFL certification lessons online and in 21 locations across the world, and it has garnered numerous honors and widespread acclaim as one of the greatest TEFL schools in the world.
In terms of their gap year programs, you can use your graduation gap year to become certified to teach English as a foreign language, after which you can land your first job in your new field.
The foreign programs at TEFL Academy provide you the option of earning your TEFL certification online or visiting one of their campuses to learn for four weeks overseas.
This includes Teaching English in:
- Latin America
- The Middle East
Once you have completed your training, the Academy will help you find your first placement and all others after with Lifetime Placement Assistance.
While this is more independent than many overseas graduate gap year programs, the agency also helps find accommodation and arrival assistance at each new placement location and facilitates meetings. Including networking opportunities among alumni of the program.
How to Select an Appropriate Gap Year Program
Gap year programs are huge business these days, with a slew of chic foreign agencies offering a seemingly limitless array of alternatives.
Keep in mind that the majority are for high school dropouts, while others are for college grads who are confused or in desperate need of a break.
In any case, choose a program that demands a college degree or expertise in your field. You will learn a lot of relevant and practical experience in the process this way.
Seek for intriguing activities that will add to your resume and choose a gap year program that corresponds to your chosen field.
Aspiring teachers, for example, will wish to work in education, environmental scientists in conservation, and medical graduates in medicine.
Although finding the proper software can be difficult, we have made it simple. The Best Post-College Gap Year Programs in 2022 may be found below.
All you have to do is click and sign up for one.
Isn’t it simple?
Here are a few more fantastic and top gap year agencies:
- Gap Year Association
- and Go Overseas
- Projects Abroad
These organizations provide a wide range of international immersion opportunities, from volunteering to internships, career placements, and everything in between.
Frequently Asked Questions About post college gap year
Yes it is ok—you can absolutely take a gap year after college before grad school
A gap year after college is also a chance to explore. You can follow the crowd and spend a year abroad racking up Instagram followers or getting a tan or you can spend it productively, traveling with meaning: working abroad, volunteering abroad, or learning a new language.
“Generally, employers view gap years very favorably as they are looking for more than just a degree from graduates”. Having additional skills is a huge plus for recruiters and if your gap year can help show these skills, that will be a huge bonus
88% of gap year students said that their time off added to their employability.
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!