Gap Year in the USA

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Few countries are as ethnically and culturally diverse as the United States. Embracing a philosophy of individual liberty, the United States is known as a “melting pot,” or an immigrant nation, and citizens take pride in their independence. The landscape is equally diverse. From the Rocky Mountains in the Southwest to the Florida Everglades, the United States is tropical, arid, temperate, and humid all at once. Why do so many people move to the United States? It’s a land of dreamers, united but individual, proud but always questioning. So explore the wide-open ranges, the skyscraper lit cities, the heavenly peaks, and the rushing rapids of this diverse country. The United States offers every kind of experience, if you’re willing to go out and find them.


Volunteer in the USA! America has always been a melting pot, and volunteers come from all around the world. Volunteering in the U.S. is the perfect opportunity for both visitors and Americans to be part of an international community. Most volunteer projects last 2-3 weeks. This is perfect for the gap year traveler who wishes to have a variety of experiences. Volunteer projects in America include: building and fixing playgrounds, landscaping public areas, assisting at nursing homes, painting classrooms, reconstructing schools, and environmental restoration. Opportunities for working in professional areas are also available. Volunteers of any background are encouraged to share their skills.

Adventure Travel

Traveling throughout the United States is entirely variable. Each city differs. San Francisco and New York City have adequate public transportation, but are expensive. The Midwest lacks adequate public transit, but rental cars are always available. The United States offers thousands of national wonders and opportunities for exploration. If one state or city doesn't seem enjoyable to you, chances are, in this diverse and enormous country you can travel as little as 3 hours and be in a completely new environment. From Yosemite National Forest to the Mississippi River, the United States is a breath taking country with so much to offer.


Interning in the U.S. offers a great opportunity to gain experience in the Business fields. The U.S. is considered the economic hub of the world and it's business culture makes it the perfect place to find career building internships. Internships of every type are available throughout the country. They vary from state to state, but the United States, per capita, has more interns than any other country in the world. As a result, finding an internship is incredibly competitive, and you’ll need to be well organized and prepared.

Cost of Living in the USA

The U.S. is too diverse to simplify the cost of living. Products and housing vary from state to state and city to city. For example, a movie ticket in San Francisco can cost as much as $12 while a movie ticket in Indiana will cost around $7.50. Plan accordingly and save when possible if you plan on traveling throughout the country. Save when traveling to less expensive places so that visiting the cities is less of a financial burden.

Culture and Etiquette in the USA

When cultures collide, history happens. The United States is home to many cultures, varying from state to state, city to city, and neighborhood to neighborhood. The U.S. is a hodgepodge of multi-ethnic traditions, along with influence by European cultures. Today, the United States of America is an ethnically and racially diverse country as a result of large-scale immigration. American life incorporates traditions from many cultures. From their China cabinets to the impressionists paintings on their living room walls, the American households are as diverse as the country itself. America includes both conservative and liberal elements, including military and scientific competitiveness; it’s a country where risk taking and free expression are idealized.

When interacting with an American, whether on the street or in business situations, always make eye-contact, be polite, and give a firm and well placed handshake. There’s an old cliché in America, “You can tell a lot by a man by the strength of his handshake.” Be firm, be strong, and be an individual through and through!

Newly enacted healthcare codes offer healthcare coverage to the underprivileged. However, the United States does not have a large-scale socialized Health Care system. The US doesn't suffer from large-scale epidemics, but the inner cities do have a higher percentage of HIV victims and drug addicts. Health and safety should always be a top precaution, and you can never be too prepared. Always watch your luggage closely and avoid cheesy pick-up lines when at parties!

Showing 67 results

United States of America
Rustic Pathways
A gap year is not a one-kind-fits-all experience. That's why Rustic Pathways offers four unique types of gap semesters, rangi...
United States of America
Rustic Pathways
Rustic Pathways offers a variety of spring break and summer programs in the United States, showcasing the diversity of the co...
United States of America
Thinking Beyond Borders
A gap year should be more than just travel or service. This unparalleled adventure is TBB's signature program. You'll live, e...
Kivu Gap Year
Benefits: + 900 hours of internship experience + 150 hours of reflective leadership training + 9 hours of general college cre...
Winterline Global Education
How much time do you have? What are your interests? Whether you spend a year or a week on a Winterline program, you will visi...
United States of America
NOLS invented the outdoor semester, and this course is where it all began. A Rockies Semester will take you on a Wild West to...
United States of America
Your semester in Alaska includes everything from forested coastlines to the snow and ice of the high mountain peaks to the tu...
United States of America
Outward Bound
Embark on the adventure of a lifetime on this 72-day, multi-region, international semester course. Patagonia Phase: Students...
United States of America
Outward Bound
It takes a special kind of person to become an outdoor educator. They brave the elements, day in and day out. They devote a l...
United States of America
RIDGE Mountain Academy
RIDGE Mountain Academy is designed for male and female student athletes between the age of 16-20 who have a passion for the m...
United States of America
The Coding Space
The GirlCode Gap Semester is designed for a group of self-directed, independent women who want to learn to code and be immers...
Ocean Passages
Navigate the waters of change from Canada to Cuba aboard our 131-foot sailing schooner! No sailing experience is needed, but...
ISSOS International Summer Schools
ISSOS summer school programs offer high school students (aged 13-18) the opportunity to combine learning, creative enrichment...
United States of America
The UnCollege Gap Year Program is a 9-month program designed to equip young adults with the necessary skills to succeed in th...
United States of America
Tivnu: Building Justice
Explore Portland and the Pacific Northwest, discover new ways of seeing the world and your place in it, and work to make the...