Sample Programs

The following list of opportunities, separated into 10 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.


Spanish language class
  • Study abroad semester in Italy, France, Ireland or Scotland
  • Field research and internship semester in Costa Rica
  • Multi-country study abroad program on a ship
  • Three months in three countries global issues program
  • Language and cultural immersion in Asia
  • Self-designed academic semester with tutors in England
  • Spanish semester in Spain, Chile or Argentina


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
  • Panda reserve project in China
  • Koala care in Australia


Studying tingatinga painting technique
  • Art history travel program in Italy
  • Film-making courses in New York, Los Angeles and London
  • Ceramics, drawing and photography classes in the U.S.
  • Theatre programs in the U.S. and Italy
  • Fine art semester in Italy or Greece
  • Music playing and recording courses in the U.S.
  • Photography, fashion and gallery internships in Ireland


Volunteering with children
  • Environmental education placements in Chile
  • Medical shadowing in India, Tanzania or Mexico
  • Teaching in Thailand or China
  • Human and women's rights volunteering in Africa
  • Outdoor education center positions in the U.S.
  • Construction and teaching projects in Fiji
  • Reforestation & clean water projects in Latin America


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 and farming in Costa Rica
  • Wildlife conservation and research in South Africa
  • SCUBA certification and research in Belize and Madagascar
  • Nature reserve volunteering in Ecuador


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 rural 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


Medical internship
  • Gallery or museum internship in Ireland
  • Journalism or media internship in Australia
  • Political internship at a government watchdog in D.C.
  • Web design or IT internship in Spain or Ireland
  • Medical internship in Costa Rica
  • Animal welfare internship in New Zealand
  • Education and development internship in South Africa


SCUBA certification
  • Outdoor leadership semester in Costa Rica
  • Trail building in national parks 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


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


Practicing yoga
  • Semester religious studies group program in India
  • Silent meditation retreats in the U.S. 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

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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