20 International Gap Year Fellowships for Recent Graduates

Jun 29, 2021 • Views -

If you’re a recent graduate wanting to spend some time abroad before diving into the workforce or graduate school, have a look at these international gap year fellowships! You could teach English, complete research, study a language, or undertake professional development in over 140 countries. If one of these sounds like a fit for you, be sure to bookmark it to your ProFellow account!

Alfa Fellowship Program

Gain competitive skills for the global workplace plus experience in the business, policy, and cultural environments of Russia and the region. This unparalleled opportunity has enabled over 200 professionals from the U.S., U.K., and Germany to elevate their careers since 2004. Fully funded, the program includes language training, seminars, and an extended professional assignment for up to 18 fellows annually. Fellows receive a monthly stipend, program related-travel costs, accommodation, and insurance. Russian language proficiency is preferred but not required.

Akili Dada Fellowship Program

The Akili Dada Fellows program awards year-long fellowships to young women leaders who have a year-long social change project of their own design.  The entrepreneurial program serves as an incubator providing financial, intellectual, mentoring, and networking resources to young women as they grow their projects to scale and sustainability. The goal of the program is to build the capacity of some of the continent’s most innovative young women changemakers to drive solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing African society. The fellowship includes access to the Akilia Data network of funding partners and more.

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX)

A full-year, reciprocal work-study fellowship providing 75 Americans, age 18-24, with an understanding of everyday life, education, & professional training in Germany. Includes RT transatlantic flight, university tuition, language training, living stipend, & program-related travel costs in Germany: 2 months language training in Germany, 4 months of study at German university, and a 5-month internship in a German-speaking work environment. Also Accommodation in a German home/student residence, seminars, in-country support during the program & health & accident insurance.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETA)

The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place recent college graduates and young professionals from the U.S. in classrooms abroad for up to 1 year to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETA’s help teaches the English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. The age and academic level of the students vary by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. Applicants for English Teaching Assistant Programs can apply to only one country. Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application.

Fulbright/National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

The Fulbright/National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship is a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program that provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries on a globally significant social or environmental topic. In addition to receiving Fulbright benefits (for travel, stipend, health, etc.), Fellows will receive instruction in digital storytelling techniques and will be paired with one or more National Geographic editors. Applicants may submit proposals for grants to 1-3 foreign countries.

Fulbright Schuman Innovation Grants

The Innovation Grants are designed to support work that can create a better transatlantic understanding of issues at the heart of the U.S.-EU relationship, particularly at the intersection of policy and technology. The grants will give preference to proposals focused on EU or U.S.-EU approaches to the issues of data privacy and protection. Successful proposals should address the technological and policy aspects of data privacy and protection. Grants of 2K-3K Euro/month, plus travel allowances, are available for U.S. and EU students and scholars. Check the website for deadlines, some may vary by citizenship.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program for Study/Research

A U.S. Student Fulbright Grant allows for individually designed study/research projects that will take place during one academic year (9-12 months) in a country outside the U.S. Applicants design their own projects and will typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. The study/research awards are available in approximately 140 countries. For recent BA/BS graduates, graduate and doctoral students, and young professionals including artists, musicians, writers, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields. Undergraduate and graduate students must apply through their institution; professionals and former students can apply through their alma mater or At Large.

H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship

The H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship allows a recent graduate or emerging scholar of the built environment to study by travel for one year. The fellowship is not for the purpose of doing research for an advanced academic degree. Instead, Prof. Brooks intended the recipient to study by travel and contemplation while observing, reading, writing or sketching. The fellowship recipient receives a $50,000 grant and may travel to any country or country during the one-year period. The fellowship is open to a scholar who will have earned a Ph.D. or advanced terminal degree related to architecture.

HAEF Teaching Fellowship/Fulbright Greece

Up to 12 grants are available to recent graduates to serve as Teaching Fellows at the Hellenic American Educational Foundation (HAEF) and act as young ambassadors, strengthening the ties between the Foundation and the United States, and providing a cross-cultural educational experience. The Fellowship is open to recent U.S. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree holders with a record of academic excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The preferred age limit at the time of application is 26. Majors in Education and English literature and language (including TESOL/TEFL) are preferred, but not required.

Luce Scholars Program

The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program. It was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia. Candidates must be U.S. citizens up to age 30, and candidates must be nominated by one of 75 participating colleges and universities. Check with the university for internal deadlines.

MENAR Fellowship Program

The MENAR Fellowship Program is working to achieve this objective by offering one-year post-graduation fellowships for top graduates of American colleges at leading organizations in the Middle East and North Africa. The program offers these graduates an opportunity to engage with the people and institutions of the Middle East through high-impact, professional fellowships; provides service organizations with passionate young professionals who can forge a bridge between the U.S. and the region and aid in the region’s development; and fosters a new generation of U.S. leaders in service, politics, and policy who have experience with the challenges the region faces and the potential it holds.

NIF/Shatil Social Justice Fellowship

The NIF/Shatil Social Justice Fellowship is a 10-month immersive experience in Israel, where fellows work on cutting-edge social justice issues alongside veteran activists. Fellows spend four days per week working on the front lines of social change in Israel at a premiere Israeli social change organization. In addition to monthly seminars, fellows will learn about the coalition and movement building from experts. Living expenses are covered by a stipend. Fellows should have strong Hebrew language skills or proficiency in Arabic.

PEN American Gap Year Fellowship Program

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, offers a unique learning opportunity for individuals who are passionate about human rights, free speech, and creative expression, and interested in how the nonprofit sector works. This fellowship opportunity will require a commitment of nine months. It is ideal for a student seeking to take a “gap year” between studies or pausing undergraduate or graduate school. The fellowship provides an opportunity to work with one of the following PEN America departments.

Princeton in Africa Fellowships

Princeton in Africa helps future leaders develop lifelong connections to the people and nations of Africa. We offer highly selective yearlong fellowships to recent college graduates with organizations across the African continent; we enable our Fellows, through their work, to make significant contributions to Africa’s well-being; and we encourage our Fellows to cultivate meaningful relationships with communities in Africa and with one another. Fellows are provided with basic living stipends. Graduating seniors and young alumni from any college or university accredited in the U.S. are eligible to apply. Please note that prior Africa experience is NOT a requirement.

Princeton in Asia Fellowships

Princeton in Asia (PiA) is an independent, non-profit organization affiliated with Princeton University. Founded in 1898, the program has long been driven by a mission to foster mutual appreciation and cultural understanding by connecting service-minded graduates and partner organizations in Asia through immersive work experiences. PiA offers year-long, service-oriented fellowships in 22 countries and regions of Asia in the fields of education, public health, economic development, environmental sustainability, and peace, justice, and access to information. PiA fellowships are open to graduates or graduating seniors of any university.

Princeton in Latin America

Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) seeks to connect recent college graduates with one-year, service-oriented positions at NGOs and community-based service organizations in Latin America. For all positions, basic professional competency in Spanish or Portuguese is required. In addition to Spanish, French may be helpful for some placements in the Dominican Republic, for those projects serving the Haitian immigrant population. Application interviews are conducted partly in Spanish or Portuguese, and a language-competency evaluation is part of the application. Applications to PiLA are open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are recent graduates of U.S. and Canadian universities.

Samuel Huntington Public Service Award

The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a $15,000 stipend for a graduating college senior from a U.S. university to pursue one year of public service anywhere in the world. The award allows recipients to engage in a meaningful public service activity for one year before proceeding on to graduate school or a career. To apply, please develop a proposal for public service in this country or abroad. The proposal may encompass any activity that furthers the public good. It can be undertaken by yourself alone or by working through established charitable, religious, educational, governmental, or other public service organizations.

The Global Jewish Service Corps Fellowship

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is offering a year-long, fully-funded fellowship for young Jews (between 20 and 40) to engage with the organization’s global mission overseas. The JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps Fellowship (JSC) is internationally recognized to develop leadership with a Jewish perspective. Between 12 and 20 fellows are matched with field placements in communities that are looking for their particular skills and background experience. In addition to the field placement, there are three leadership retreats and monthly coaching for each fellow.

Thomas J. Watson Fellowship

The Thomas J. Watson Foundation provides fellowships to graduating seniors nominated by a participating college or university in the United States to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad following their graduation. The project must be one that can be pursued with independence and adaptability, and it cannot involve formal study at a foreign institution. It must involve travel to areas where the student has not previously lived or studied for a significant length of time. The fellowship offers a stipend of $30,000. Ask your campus advisor about internal deadlines. The national selection process begins in November.

VIA Global Community Fellowship

The Global Community Fellowship is a 13-15 month program for graduating seniors and young or established professionals. Fellows work at NGOs and schools across Asia to support community development and youth education programs. Candidates include starting and experienced professionals with a BA or BS degree. Although the fellowship is primarily aimed at US citizens, applications are accepted from international residents who have a previous connection to VIA or a substantial US connection. The fellowship provides a living and housing stipend, medical insurance, Intra-Asia travel, and language study grants. After the deadline application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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