Gap Year and Service Programs

Each year, up to 10% of St. Olaf graduates participate in service programs. These programs provide opportunities to explore career interests, develop leadership skills, travel and help strengthen communities as part of a one or two year commitment.  Positions can be found in social services, education, environmental sustainability, public health, public policy, and community development.

Attend a Gap Year & Service Programs Presentation

Interested in pursuing a gap year opportunity? Want to learn more about service programs? Have questions about timelines and next steps? Attend a presentation on exploring post-graduate service & other gap year opportunities!

Fall Semester: Thursday, November 10, 2022 @ 4 pm | Tomson Hall 212 | Register on Handshake Here

Spring Semester: Thursday, February 16, 2023 @ 4 pm | Tomson Hall 212 | Register on Handshake Here

Domestic Opportunities

AmeriCorps – Includes thousands of one-year service opportunities across the country. Application cycles and competitiveness varies by specific program. AmeriCorps Advanced Search (only includes positions that are actively seeking applicants).

Faith-based Programs (Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, etc.) – Programs typically require community living and encourage intentional reflection on values such as service, social justice, sustainability and spirituality.

Teach for America – Members are hired as full-time, first year teachers in under-resourced schools throughout the country, and receive full teacher’s salary.  Two-year teaching commitment. Most participants earn teacher certification.

Alternative Routes to Teaching Certification Programs — State-defined routes through which an individual who already has at least a bachelor’s degree can obtain certification to teach without necessarily having to participate in a campus-based certification program.

Organizing Training Programs/Jobs — paid, one or two-year full-immersion training programs in grassroots or community-based organizing. Includes programs such as Green CorpsChange CorpsDirect Action & Research Training Center (DART) and IMPACT.

International Opportunities

Peace Corps – Volunteers serve for two years (plus three months of training) in over 70 countries. St. Olaf has an outstanding record of preparing students for the Peace Corps. Recruiters visit campus usually once each semester.

Teaching English Abroad – Hundreds of opportunities to teach English in another country. Compensation ranges from full salary in developed countries to living expenses only in less developed countries.

Long-term International Volunteer Programs – Variety of programs, faith-based and secular, that provide partial or full funding for living expenses.


Reach out to Zoe Davis in the Piper Center at with questions. There are many exciting gap year opportunities, so it can be helpful to chat with a coach to help discern which programs are right for you.