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How about a postgraduate year or a "gap year"? If a student intends to attend college but wants a little more time to transition than summer vacation provides, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of. Taking the year off to study abroad, volunteer, work, or even go sightseeing around the country are just some of the many things more and more high school graduates do before going to college.

Resources for Gap Year information:
American Gap Association - A well-respected list or organizations offering GAP expereinces

Association of American International Colleges and Universities

European Council of International Schools

Global Citizen Year - Each year, we recruit and train a diverse corps of high potential high school graduates and support them through a transformative “bridge year”* before college. Through intensive training and immersion in communities across Africa, Latin America (and eventually Asia and the Middle East) our Fellows contribute to local efforts in education, technology, health and the environment while developing the global competence, entrepreneurial savvy and self-awareness they need to be transformative leaders in college, careers and life.

The Center of Interim Programs is the first and longest-running independent gap-year counseling organization in the United States. Rather than going straight to college, students take a year off (in reality, a year very much "on") to immerse themselves in other cultures, explore specific interests, or volunteer to help others.

SERVEnet is a website on service and volunteering. Through SERVEnet, users can enter their zip code, city, skills, interests, and availability and be matched with organizations needing help. A program of Youth Service America (YSA).

A Clearinghouse for GAP Year information with lots of ideas for planning your year:

Spain Exchange

Free advice and info on overseas programs.

A similar site as the one above with extra information.

Thinking Beyond Borders takes 16 graduating high school seniors around the world for 8 months to study global development issues from social, political and economic perspectives.  While in each country, students live with local families, work with non-government organizations and study with local experts to create a broad perspective of the issue.

Time Out Associates.

Real Gap Experience -
Real Gap Experience is a leading gap year and student travel adventure specialist.  They offer hundreds of trips around the world including volunteer work, overseas work experience, teaching abroad and travel to satisfy your wanderlust.

Specific Programs - Volunteer and Service
AFS Intercultural Programs AFS is one of the world's largest community-based volunteer organizations. AFS is dedicated to building a more just and peaceful world through international student exchange. More than 10,000 students, young adults and teachers participate in AFS programs each year.

Americorps participants address community needs in in the areas of education, public safety, human services, and the environment. Participants recive a stipend, health insurance, and a financial award up to $4,725 to be used for further education. Members can choose from nearly 1,000 local and national groups with which to serve.

American Friends Service Committee AFSC is a Quaker organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and service. Through the Quaker Information Center, AFSC maintains extensive web-based listings of volunteer, internship, and job opportunities.

The Association of Boarding Schools web site. Search for boarding schools in the U.S. including those that offer a PG year.

AustraLearn - AustraLearn and Queenstown Resort College have created a unique 18-week GAP experience that allows students to develop the leadership characteristics, real world skills, and experience that employers and universities seek.

City Year operates in many cities around the country. As an Americorps member, it offers the benefits mentioned above in the Americorps section to its participants.

Council on International Educational Exchange- Gap Year. A Gap Year Abroad with CIEE offers college-bound graduates an opportunity to acquire a broader global perspective, foster independence and gain self-knowledge. Programs offered in China , Japan, Chile, the Domincan Republic, France, and Spain.

The Institute for International Cooperation and Development trains and sends volunteers for development aid work in Africa, Central and South America.

Corporation for National and Community Service

National Association of Service and Conservation Corps

Global Service Corps provides cross-cultural learning and community service adventures for adults in Costa Rica, Tanzania, and Thailand. Short-term, long-term, and student internship programs are available

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing organization that welcomes all people to join them in building simple, decent and affordable housing in partnership with those in need of adequate shelter. Established in 1976.

Association of Voluntary Service Organizations - AVSO is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. It emphasizes voluntary service in Europe and other parts of the world.

Student Conservation Association SCA offers volunteer, internship, and job opportunities. The work is in the outdoors, with environmental and conservation issues. Program opportunities can last for a month, a season, or up to a year.

Student Partnership Worldwide - Based in England, SPW annually recruits 500 young people between the ages of 18 and 28 from the developed and developing world to work in Africa and Asia in environmental and education programs.

Volunteer Capital Centre -   Through VCC you get a chance to go to the remotest parts of the World and get to see how the local people live. The volunteer programs benefit African communities and are partnered with area non-profit organizations whose purpose is to help the vulnerable groups in the societies.  You will work side-by-side with local people, immerse yourself in another culture, and live in a community that warmly welcomes you. Our unique programs will give you the opportunity to exchange ideas with people of another culture. It will open the door to new relationships with people who will change your life – as much as you change theirs.  Our volunteers are provided with safe, affordable and quality volunteer programs in different countries in Africa.

Volunteers for Peace - VFP is a member of the Coordinating Committee for Intentional Voluntary Service at UNESCO. Through VFP's searchable database you can identify 1800 short term intercultural service adventures in 70 countries.

Specific Programs - Tuition/Fees Required
Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education
(SIACH) Study Israel Academic Head Community Head and Heart - One year gap program in Jurasalem combining academic study, religious reflection, and community service.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Overseas Program - Courses in anthropology, archeology, Middle Eastern Studies, the environment, political science, Hebrew literature and Arabic language. (website is in Hewbrew)

Bar-Ilan University's Foreign Students Programs - About 70 foreign students live and study together at conservative bar-Ilan University. Students participate in a broad range of academic, cultural, religious, and volunteer activities.

Carmel University at the University of Haifa - A year-long program of "progressive learning and living in Israel".

A popular alternative year program in its 31st year.

GlobalQuest currently offers twelve-week semester programs in Thailand. They plan to add other countries.

Nativ, College Leadership Program - A nine month program that combines a serious dose of academic work with community service or work on a kibbutz or collective.

The National Outdoor Leadership School teaches outdoor skills and leadership. NOLS offers courses from 10 days to full semesters.

Outward Bound programs offer adventure/outdoor education programs throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

SeaMester programs are 40-day or 80-day credit-bearing semester programs focusing on college level academics, seamanship, and personal growth.

Study Year Abroad is a full-year academic program designed for high school juniors and seniors.  We accept applications from current 10th and 11th-grade students. Generous, need-based financial aid is available.

The Rimon Music Experience is designed for aspiring but skilled musicians seeking to broaden their creative range in composition and arranging, film scoring, song writing, jazz, vocal and instrumental performance, or musical production and engineering.   (website is in Hewbrew)

The Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem attracts students from over 40 nations who study Hebrew, Jewish studies and issues of war, peace and co-existence facing the countries of the Middle East.

Tel Aviv University - The Lowy School for Overseas Students learn hebre and take courses in Jewish studies, politics or other general courses taught in English.

Volunteer Abroad in Latin America - uVolunteer is an international volunteer travel organisation. We design volunteer vacations for individuals whose goal is volunteer in Latin America. We currently offer volunteer abroad placements in Bolivia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. We work with local: NGOs, governments, grass roots organisations and private partners to offer volunteer work abroad projects in fields such as Teaching English, Sports Coaching, Community Development, Eco-tourism, Conservation, Environment and Media & Technology

Where There Be Dragons offers students learning opportunities through small group expeditions to eight Asian and 3 Latin American countries.Windsor Mountain (formally Interlocken) known for experiential learning, has introduced half year and full year programs between high school and college. There is a choice of one sixteen week or two sixteen week programs that combine travel, volunteering, internships, and other options.

Young Judea's Year Course - Students learn Hebrew, participate in other academic activities, volunteer and travel around the country

Are you ready to take an active role in your own education? Whether you're looking for a summer learning experience, a gap year adventure, or a school year program for a single individual or a school group, you'll find it here.

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