Let’s see what Google has to say…

April 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

The internet can be overwhelming.  There is a lot of information out there….maybe even too much information.  This can be seen as a good or bad thing.  It is good to know when searching for “gap year” there will be a lot of results and helpful information.  A negative, however, is not knowing what information is valid or if it applies to you.  I must reiterate that gap year experiences vary and are unique to the individual, so there are endless opportunities out there.

In this post, I’m going to try to explain the difference between promotional gap year database sites and actual program sites.  This post will also give you a few starting points for your gap year searches.

Here are four database websites directing to other programs.  By the way, there are so many more out there.





Many of these programs promote gap year opportunities and programs, but are not the actual program you will be working with.  It is more like a compiled database of programs and the website is trying to help you choose.  Typically these websites link to actual programs.  Some of these database websites offer searches for specific countries, time spans, and price ranges.  The way the websites are laid out can help you develop an idea of what you want to do and where you want to go.  These are a starting point.  Make sure to double check everything when looking at these websites.  Go to the actual program websites and see what they’re really about instead of just accepting what the database website has told you.  Promotional gap year database sites offer additional FAQ to answer some questions you might have or help you generate new questions you want answered.

It is hard to determine a few things when looking at these database sites:

  1. Age restriction.  I’m trying to gear this blog toward people who have finished a 4-year undergraduate study (although I’m sure people from any walk of life will find valuable information on here).  Some programs have age restrictions, while others do not, but normally deep searching needs to be done to find this information.
  2. Country base.  The term gap year is not as common in the U.S. as it is in the UK or some other parts of the world.  Many websites and programs are based out of and geared toward students in the UK, but oftentimes students from other countries can participate, too.  I tried to find sites meant for students from the U.S. because I want to spread the idea of gap years for people in the states.
  3. Cost of programs.  It is inevitable that you will need money.  If not for travel expenses, rent, or food, then at least for other living expenses like toiletries or going out to have cool experiences once in a while—just like regular life!  Some programs give a stipend, some give pay checks, and others provide free housing and food.  To find out how much a program costs, if there is pay, and what sort of accommodations need to be made you need to research the program as much as possible.  Don’t worry, I have a post coming up about how to raise funds.

That is my attempt at explaining the database-type websites about gap year.  To contrast, here are actual program websites.  Again, there are plenty more out there:






Now, keep in mind the term “gap year” is not necessarily associated with the programs listed above.  However, the work or programs do follow the definition of what a gap year is: a planned period of time in your life doing something different from your everyday experience.  As you continue to follow this blog, I will go into more depth about specific programs that are available, such as WWOOF, City Year, etc.

My personal favorites that I have found so far and will probably use or apply to are Backdoojobs.com and BUNAC.  I will keep you updated when I apply and how it all works out.


If anyone reading this has had experience with any of these websites or programs, please feel free to comment about how it went.  I’d like to hear your input and enhance the validity of some programs and websites out there about gap year.



Entry filed under: Research, The Basics.

Allow me to welcome you to my capstone project. The Bureau for Labor Statistics is keeping an eye on us….

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