Lizzie Horne>Sophomore>Journalism>University of Maryland
College was the hardest but fastest four years of your life and you’re looking to avoid the real world for just a little bit longer. While graduate school seems like the easiest solution to escaping reality, you think you might want some time off after 17 years of school. College magazine is here to give you five alternatives to starting a career or going to grad school right after undergrad:
Join the Peace Corps
The Peace Corp works to promote world peace and friendship through sending volunteers to emerging societies. All volunteers commit to work for 27 months in a place that is completely foreign to them. Volunteers have a sense of adventure and a strong desire to help others.
· 200,000 volunteers to date
· Has sent volunteers to 139 countries
· Works in fields of business, health, education, environment, agriculture, youth development
· Recent college grads represent biggest group of volunteers
Check out more at http://www.peacecorps.gov/.
Teach English Abroad
The Center for Cultural Interchange supports a program called Greenheart Travel that provides young adults with the opportunity to experience other countries through teaching. Teaching overseas can be a great bridge between undergraduate studies and graduate school or career plans, and also acts as a great adventure.
· Offers three programs (Teach in Chile, Teach in Korea and Teach in Thailand)
· Requires no previous teaching experience
· Health insurance, monthly stipends and free housing
· Some program fees subsidized
Check out more at http://www.cci-exchange.com/teachabroad.aspx?location=334.
Backpack for a Year
“Gap-packing” has become one of the biggest alternatives to starting a career. This unusual form of education can be done just about anywhere—from Europe to Asia to just the United States. Aside from providing an amazing time, backpacking also allows for witnessing real life by staying involved with local people and nature.
· Internships for leading can be acquired
· Lots of planning necessary
· Can last from one month to one year
· Equipment needed at all times
Check out more at http://gapyearescape.com/tag/backpack/.
Volunteer for AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps works to address critical needs in communities all across America. The organization is made up of three main programs (AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps NCCC) that provide great opportunities. Its mission is to improve lives and foster civic engagement.
· Engages more than 2 million Americans
· Serves 1,000 communities
· Works in fields of education, illiteracy, health, housing, environment, community development
· Provides monetary benefits for education
Check out more at http://www.americorps.gov/.
Intern in a Foreign Country
Terra Intern Abroad is one of the largest internship companies in the world. Its mission is to empower students to become globally-minded professionals by enabling hands-on internships with organizations around the world. Most internships are based in non-profit organizations and sustainable businesses.
· Allows gap students more freedom
· In China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, India and Tanzania
· Works with grassroots organizations, hospitals, clinics, non-profits, NGOs, sustainable businesses
· Provides training, lodging, meals and local cell phone
Check out more at http://www.terrainternabroad.com/.
photo from http://praisetravelandtransportation.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/rl-backpacking.jpg