An EnRoute student once wrote in a feedback survey, “A gap year is the gift you give yourself.” The variety of opportunities available to students is incredible, but it’s hard to know where to start. Not to worry, there is something for everyone! Scroll down for some ideas of real-life gap year opportunities and get those wheels turning!
And what should you do next? Every potential client family is entitled to a free introductory conversation. This dialogue offers you an opportunity to get to know our process and brainstorm about the possibilities of your gap time.
To set up an introductory conversation, fill out our online questionnaire and we will be in touch to set it up.
Intern with an events marketing firm in Dublin. You’ll take in this hip city’s sights, culture and music while living with other interns in a centrally located apartment. On weekends you’ll have the opportunity to explore other gems of the Emerald Isle, like Galway, Cork and Kilkenny!
Spend three months living with other gap year students in County Donegal. You’ll gain leadership and practical skills while engaging with the community and outdoor opportunities of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Gain fluency in Spanish while living with a homestay family in Barcelona. You will have the opportunity to study Spanish at a world-renowned language school and practice your new skills while volunteering during your afternoons.
Strap on your hiking boots and grab your walking stick as you spend a month traversing the famed Camino de Santiago. This famous pilgrimage can be completed in its entirety in about a month or you can conquer a chosen section.
Au pair with a family in Paris while taking a French language course and exploring the city.
Learn how to milk goats for cheese and farm lavender for essential oils and soap on a family farm in the south of France.
Live and study art in Florence. In addition to taking a studio art course in your choice of drawing, painting, sculpture or photography, you will enjoy excursions to the city’s famous museums and landmarks.
Volunteer for a food distribution project in Lisbon that helps feed food insecure families by redirecting unused food from cafes and grocery stores.
Help with the olive harvest on an organic farm in seaside Peloponnese, Greece. In exchange for 4-6 hours of work a day, you will receive room and board as well as plenty of time to explore the surrounding area.
Assist Syrian, Iraqi and African refugees on Lesvos, one of the most famous Greek Isles. Depending on your foreign language proficiency, you may be able to work directly with families or on administrative and food distribution projects at the refugee camps on the island.
Work with archaeologists from Romania’s Museum of History as they investigate ruins around Transylvania and historic Dacia.
Take a ski improvement course in the Swiss Alps. Live with fellow winter enthusiasts from all over the world as you ski day in and day out!
Volunteer on a horse farm on Prince Edward Island, assisting in daily chores in return for free room and board.
Help rehabilitate and release injured Canadian wildlife in Langley, British Columbia.
Live in the Yukon with a family that breeds Husky sled dogs. Help care and train the dogs as well as assist with the upkeep of the farm.
Volunteer in Oaxaca leading workshops with community members aimed at increasing awareness about technology and its role in preserving native history.
Work seasonally as a sous chef at a rustic lodge in Denali National Park. In addition to gaining culinary skills, you will enjoy unparalleled access to endless outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking and golfing.
Help rebuild New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity as they continue their efforts to revitalize this historic city.
Take a filmmaking or fashion photography course in Los Angeles and dip your toe into these exciting LA-based industries.
Dedicate a year to serving with for City Year, an Americorps program. Volunteers in New York mentor underserved students, staff youth centers and lead life skills workshops.
Spend ten weeks with peers exploring several Hawaiian islands while learning about conservation, sustainable agriculture and Native Hawaiian culture.
Examine the nexus of food justice, sustainability and climate action while living on a permaculture farm with youth activists.
Volunteer with an Adaptive Ski Program helping children and adults with disabilities learn how to ski.
Scale high peaks, learn how to rock climb and sleep under the stars with an adventure leadership program.
Central & south america
Analyze and collect data on the nesting dynamics of sea turtles in addition to other tasks as a conservation volunteer in Playa Buenavista on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
Learn Spanish and intern in the thriving capital San Jose. Internship sectors include education, medicine, business, non-profit, sustainable agriculture and more!
Work as a microfinance volunteer, aiding local organizations in La Plata in providing training and economic opportunity to communities in need.
Volunteer at a wildlife rescue center that rehabilitates injured wildlife and rescues animals from the illegal wildlife trade.
Promote leadership skills in rural youth as a sports coach, facilitating extra curricular athletics as well as community sports leagues.
Intern with a non-profit while you tutor local children, facilitate a summer camp and assist with environmental development projects.
Counsel and provide care for street children in the urban area of Maceio, aiding children and teenagers in their rehabilitation and participation in society as productive citizens.
Take in the world-class city of Cape Town while interning at a tech startup in town. It won’t be uncommon for you to wake up early for a morning surf session like many of the locals do! On weekends you can go on safari, diving with sharks, glamping outside the city or take in the amazing food culture that has made this city so famous.
Gain your safari field guide certification while living in Kruger National Park, a world-class game reserve. An optional six-month extension allows certified guides to begin leading their own trips into the park.
Intern at a radio station in Ghana, helping produce news segments and monitor lively call-in shows.
Volunteer with a human-wildlife conflict prevention project in Tsavo West National Park, assisting in infrastructure and tourism development initiatives.
Assist local teachers in English language classes in a secondary school. You will also work on community development projects such as implementing sports leagues and organizing community festivals.
Empower young Berber women in the highlands of Morocco by working as a live-in tutor at the boarding school. Besides helping the students with their English, you can teach art, computer skills and lead field trips into the surrounding area.
Study Moroccan Arabic in Fez while living with a host family and finding your way through the maze-like streets of this UNESCO World Heritage city.
Backpack the countryside while working on various organic farms through the Willing Workers on Organic Farms consortium. Make your way from place to place with opportunities on vineyards, sheep farms, vegetable co-ops and more.
Volunteer outside Wellington on various habitat restoration and environmental conservation projects. Activities include replanting native flora, monitoring stream quality, reintroducing orphaned Kiwi birds, trail construction and educational field trips
Radio track bats, aid in forest regeneration and help construct station buildings as an intern at the Cape Tribulation Tropical Research station on the coast of the Great Barrier Reef.
Contribute to Aboriginal social and economic development by volunteering with a non-profit in the central Australian outback.
Spend a year teaching English on a remote tropical atoll in the Pacific Ocean. As a teacher you will also engage in community development projects like setting up libraries and leading after school programs.
Live in a traditional thatched hut while working on marine conservation projects in Leleuvia, Fiji. You will gain your PADI scuba certification and take a short course in marine science in order to assist field ecologists with important research and development projects.
Shadow a doctor as a medical intern in a rural Himalayan medical clinic. Duties include accompanying doctors/nurses on house calls to sick patients, assisting in certain medical procedures and administrative assistant work.
Teach English to eager students in a school outside Kathmandu. Get a taste for rural life while living with your homestay family in a traditional earthen house.
Help feed and monitor over 300 exotic inhabitants at a highly regarded wildlife sanctuary in the Thai jungle.
Teach novice monks middle school curriculum at a Buddhist monastery in the beautiful area of Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Gain technical climbing skills, practice survival tactics and backpack huge peaks during a semester outdoor training course in the Himalayan region of India.
Traverse across a huge swath of India with a service-learning semester focusing on cultural immersion, adventure travel and personal growth.
Volunteer on an eco-farm in the beautiful, bohemian region of Kerala in southern India.
Become TESOL certified then work as a high school English teacher in the mountainous Hebei Province, spending ten months immersing yourself in the colorful Chinese culture.
Develop your Jewish identity and immerse yourself in the culture of Israel by joining a volunteer, internship or academic program in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Experience a classic rite-of-passage by living and working on a traditional kibbutz, or communal farm settlement.
Study classical Arabic while living in the ancient city of Amman. In your free time see the famed “Rose City” of Petra.
United Arab Emirates
Plan a stopover to Dubai and spend a few days exploring the ultramodern architecture of this planned city.
Assist climate change scientists investigating global warming while aboard an ice breaker patrol vessel in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.