Sample Programs

The following list of opportunities, separated into 11 categories, is just a fraction of the 6,500+ options that Interim has researched, vetted, visited, and referred students to since 1980. This sampling is shared here to whet your appetite. Together with one of our expert gap year counselors you will dive deeply into a thoughtful, engaging process of exploration, prioritization and strategy to come up with the placements or programs that best fit your unique ideas, goals and perimeters.

See some Sample Scenarios for examples of how Interim students have combined different experiences and interests during their gap time. Older gappers should visit our Mid and Post Career pages for more information.

ACADEMIC & STUDY ABROAD

Spanish language class
  • International relations and business semester in Italy
  • Field research and internship program in Costa Rica
  • Engineering or architecture study abroad in Ireland
  • Environmental study and travel in the U.S.
  • Global health semester in India
  • Political or medical biology studies in England
  • Language and culture semester in Spain or Chile

ANIMALS

Caring for injured sloth
  • Animal rescue center placements in Costa Rica
  • Shark conservation in South Africa
  • Penguin and monkey sanctuary volunteering in Chile
  • Sea turtle protection and research in Greece
  • Elephant care opportunities in Thailand
  • Dog rescue center in Peru
  • Animal conservation in New Zealand

ART, FILM, THEATRE & MUSIC

Studying tingatinga painting technique
  • Art and culture travel program in Italy
  • Film-making courses in New York, Los Angeles and London
  • Ceramics, drawing and photography classes in the US
  • Theatre programs in the U.S. and Italy
  • Fine art semester in Italy, Greece or Ireland
  • Music playing and recording courses in the US
  • Performing and fine arts volunteering worldwide

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Volunteering with children
  • Environmental and animal conservation in Peru
  • Medical shadowing in India, Tanzania or Mexico
  • Teaching English in Thailand or China
  • Human and women's rights volunteering in Africa
  • Disaster relief in the US and Caribbean
  • Sports coaching in South Africa
  • Volunteering with children worldwide

CONSERVATION & ENVIRONMENT

Sailing and marine biology program
  • Field research courses in the U.S. and abroad
  • Marine biology and sustainability in the Caribbean
  • Conservation crew in a national park in the U.S.
  • Sustainable building in Costa Rica and Guatemala
  • Wildlife conservation and research in South Africa
  • SCUBA certification and research in Belize and Madagascar
  • Nature reserve volunteering in Ecuador

CULTURAL IMMERSION

Student and homestay mother
  • Spanish, travel, and volunteer semester in Latin America
  • Cultural exchange with a family in France, Italy or Spain
  • Surfing and service semester in Ireland
  • Volunteer and travel program in East Africa
  • Service, trekking and meditation in Nepal
  • Teaching placement with homestay in Costa Rica
  • Culture, service and travel in the Pacific Islands

INTERNSHIPS

Medical internship
  • Gallery or museum assistant in Ireland
  • Journalism or media position in Australia
  • Political internship at a government watchdog in D.C.
  • Web design placement in Ireland
  • Business internship in Argentina
  • Environmental conservation internship in New Zealand
  • Health education outreach in South Africa

OUTDOOR & WILDERNESS

SCUBA certification
  • Outdoor leadership semester in Costa Rica
  • Environmental education with students in the US
  • Ski/ snowboard instructor courses in Canada and Europe
  • Outdoor adventure center internship in New Zealand
  • Backpacking and conservation in the US and Patagonia
  • Mountaineering and avalanche course in Alaska
  • Surf instructor certification in South Africa

SKILL DEVELOPMENT

Guitar building
  • Guitar-building program in Europe
  • SCUBA certification courses worldwide
  • Music and art intensive courses in the US and Italy
  • Natural building in Guatemala
  • TEFL training in Costa Rica, Thailand, or Spain
  • Cooking courses in France, Italy and England
  • Language schools worldwide

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATION

Practicing yoga
  • Semester religious studies group program in India
  • Silent meditation retreats in the US and Nepal
  • Israel program focused on Jewish studies 
  • Yoga and teacher training courses worldwide
  • Farm-to-table sustainable living in New England
  • Retreat center volunteering in New Zealand
  • Tibetan Buddhist studies center internship in France

WORK EXCHANGE

  • Yoga retreat center volunteer in New Zealand
  • Environmental and outdoor educator in the US
  • Natural disaster relief work in Puerto Rico
  • Organic farm and community center in Hawaii
  • Conservation in national parks in the US
  • English coach in Europe
  • Tibetan refugee support in India

An important note on volunteering:
Be it an opportunity to gain experience for future academic or career paths, a passion for working on a specific issue, an interest in trying something new, or a genuine desire to “give back”, volunteering can be a powerful opportunity to give, grow and make meaningful contributions and connections. However, the reality of volunteering, on short term volunteer placements in particular, is nuanced. There are important questions and conversations to be had when well-intentioned but unskilled individuals want to volunteer. Therefore, our team of counselors will work closely with you to understand and match your goals with ethical, sustainable placements that we have vetted. For any volunteer positions that include working with people or animals, we highly encourage you to make a minimum commitment of at least 1 month. Based on current research and discourse in the field, we discourage our clients from volunteering in locations that exploit vulnerable populations for the sake of volunteers (including orphanages and large cat sanctuaries) or engaging in any placements (including medical) without proper training.

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