Postgraduate Gap Year Service Opportunities

“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Myers, Jr.

There are many ways to engage or serve communities domestically and globally after graduation. Often, recent graduates will take a "Gap Year" (or two!) to explore these opportunities.

What is a gap year and why is it beneficial to take?
A gap year is a period of time where students are able to take a break from formal education in order to travel, study, pursue internships, take time to apply to graduate schools, and best of all volunteer for organizations that make a positive impact on the world. By taking a gap year students are able to strengthen graduate school applications, gain confidence and independence, and positively affect fellow human beings around the world through service and civic engagement.  Please note that some programs last for less than a year, including AmeriCorps summer programs.  Equally important to note, HWS Colleges is one of only 100 institutions that (partially) matches the AmeriCorps Education Award. 

Please visit the following websites to see 10 reasons why a “gap year” can be a beneficial and rewarding post graduate opportunity. These sites allow you to watch video diaries, read written accounts of gap year experiences, and to hear directly from volunteers.

What are the opportunities available to pursue a postgraduate gap year?
The following resources are from colleges and universities with diverse postgraduate gap year opportunities, focused on service and global education. Opportunities offered all around the world along with application deadlines, informative links, and students’ accounts of their individual experiences are among these sources.


Below are a few links to well-established programs:

Domestic Options

International Options

Below are links to institutions of higher education where “gap year” resources are compiled:

Long popular in places like the United Kingdom and Australia, gap years have gained traction in America in recent years, with the recent news of first-daughter Malia Obama taking one before starting at Harvard University only heightening interest. So what is a gap year? These experiential breaks allow students to take time off between high school and college to broaden their worldviews, learn new skills, build lifelong memories, and refocus on the next chapter of their academic career. This guide delves into the questions surrounding how, when, and why to take a gap year and provides expert advice for those considering this option.

Service year search engine

Notre Dame University

  • Description of the various volunteer Organizations, mission statements, and the link to the application
  • Provides a variety of media sources to gain information pertaining to the program. (including letters, newspaper articles, YouTube videos, podcasts, pictures, and electronic brochures


Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning
Trinity Hall
Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-3825

facebook  Twitter  

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.