Tools & Tips

Pre-grad school gap year – Best Things To Do

Gap years are sometimes viewed as an excuse to be a couch potato for a year, but there are valuable learning opportunities. Some students work full-time in retail or restaurant businesses prior to graduate school. However, a year with few restraints, school responsibilities and loose city ties opens the door for endless adventures that will prepare you for graduate school.

Here are five practical ideas to accomplish during the gap year that you and your bank account won’t regret:

1. Travel.

A gap year spent trekking to the top five cities on your bucket list could open future residency and employment opportunities.

Sign up for back-to-back volunteer positions as you travel from place to place.

2. Volunteer.

There are opportunities to serve locally and globally; all you have to do is narrow down where you want to serve and the type of service jobs that appeal to your skills and interests. VolunteerMatch is a great online resource for matching students with volunteer organizations within the United States.

3. Do an odd job.

At first glance, “odd job” does not sound appealing, but once you complete graduate school and are set in your career field, you may realize there are many creative and innovative odd jobs you never had the chance to experience.

4. Become a fellow teacher.

Many college students apply to Teach for America without any prior teaching experience or studies in education. This type of program has been dubbed “service-learning” which is thought to provide a better educational learning experience than sitting in a classroom lecture on the subject.

Take a year and volunteer as a teacher, it will teach you about yourself and improve the lives of an entire classroom of students.

5. Become a sidekick.

Research the leading expert or professional in your field of study and find out how to shadow, volunteer or work alongside that individual. It will provide immense learning opportunities and will solidify that graduate school in your field of interest is the right decision.

Choosen excerpts by JMM from

via 5 things to accomplish during a pre-grad school gap year | USA TODAY College.



  1. Pingback: Gap-Year “eye-openers” for a variety of parents | - October 29, 2012

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