How To Fund a Gap Year

May 02, 2016

How to fund a gap year

Malia Obama got widespread media attention not just for choosing Harvard University, but for choosing to take a gap year before beginning her undergraduate studies in 2017. The New York Times described the gap year as a year between high school and college when young adults “go on an adventure, do something meaningful and, if all goes to plan, arrive at campus a year later more mature, focused and attuned to their goals.” But as the media outlet duly notes, gap years can be expensive if self-funded. Here are several funded opportunities to do something meaningful and adventurous in the U.S. or abroad during the year between high school and college:

City Year is looking for individuals to commit to one year of service to work alongside teachers and their peers to support the students who need that extra attention, to work on a diverse team, and who are ready to make a difference through a challenging and fulfilling experience. To participate, you must have a high school diploma or GED, be able to dedicate 11 months to full-time service, between the ages of 18 and 25, and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident alien.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is 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 roundtrip transatlantic flight, university tuition, language training, living stipend, and program-related travel costs in Germany.

The Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund for Internships Abroad is an important source of financial aid for young Americans participating in unpaid internships abroad. The scholarship stipends help offset the costs of living abroad and often fund international travel, rent, or language courses that would otherwise not be possible. Recipients of the scholarship may participate in one of Cultural Vistas’ internship programs for Americans and Canadians age 18 and older in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, or Ireland.

Public Allies identifies talented young adults, 17 and older, who have a passion to make a difference, and helps them turn that passion into a career. The 10-month-long AmeriCorps program offers a full-time, paid apprenticeships at a nonprofit organization. Allies become leaders who can bring people together, lead projects and organizations, and commit to creating a more just society.

Interested in doing a gap year during or after college? Check out our fellowships database with more than 700+ fellowships for students and professionals.

© Victoria Johnson 2016, all rights reserved.