101 Things to do during a COVID Gap Year

We are constantly asked “What does one do during a Gap Year with social distancing and limitations on international travel??” We decided to have some fun and compile a list of the many, many things that students can do during COVID, and after. A good number of the items on this list were in fact activities of Gap Year Solutions students since March 2020. Many of these are pre-COVID activities of our students. And – you guessed it – these are ALL great ideas for Gap time with or without a global pandemic. We hope you enjoy this list, and please send us your comments and other ideas!

  1. Participate in a sustainability program in Costa Rica
  2. Intern at a Washington DC think tank
  3. Teach tennis
  4. Earn Red Cross First Aid certification
  5. Learn woodworking skills
  6. Help get a real estate property ready to sell
  7. Participate in a leadership program in Ireland
  8. Explore culture through the food we eat
  9. Learn sign language
  10. Participate in an ecology program to understand local biodiversity
  11. Intern remotely with an organization supporting LGBTQ rights in Morocco
  12. Work at a local thrift store
  13. Complete the college application process started during high school
  14. Explore how to relate to different cultures through what we wear
  15. Intern with a financial services company
  16. Volunteer with NCCC or with another Americorps opportunity
  17. Intern with a research institute and write a paper for publication
  18. Make a list of books to read and finish at least two
  19. Train with your sports team
  20. Work at your local YMCA as a lifeguard
  21. Babysit for local families
  22. Work at a local farm stand
  23. Provide companionship and assistance with daily activities for elderly neighbors
  24. Focus on personal well-being and strengthening mental health
  25. Enroll in esthetician courses
  26. Work at a local ice cream shop
  27. Earn Wilderness First Responder certification
  28. Shadow a local business owner
  29. Create a smartphone app
  30. Become certified to teach yoga classes
  31. Plant and tend a vegetable garden
  32. Take care of a family member with special needs
  33. Earn PSIA Ski Instructor certification
  34. Intern with a non-profit focused on clean water in underdeveloped areas
  35. Volunteer with an afterschool sports program
  36. Start a dog walking business
  37. Intern at a neuropsychologist office
  38. Volunteer as an assistant coach for a school sports team
  39. Assist parents with learning needs of remote students
  40. Travel to Thailand to learn about history and local culture
  41. Earn Red Cross Lifeguard certification
  42. Take community college classes
  43. Pursue service-learning projects in the U.S. with a structured program
  44. Complete and submit college transfer applications
  45. Learn to make an Excel spreadsheet
  46. Teach dance classes
  47. Learn to cook including shopping for the food
  48. Work at a local hardware store
  49. Learn how to plan an extended wilderness backpacking trip
  50. Learn to play guitar
  51. Live and work on an organic farm in the U.S.
  52. Participate in an arts program in Ireland
  53. Overcome your fear of flying
  54. Work at a local auto body shop
  55. Practice rock climbing and surfing with a Hawaii-based program
  56. Intern for your U.S. Congress Representative or Senator
  57. Teach swimming lessons
  58. Help perform trail maintenance with local volunteer groups
  59. Spend time immersing in the history and diversity of the U.S.
  60. Learn to create an effective resume
  61. Explore landmarks, history and cultural attractions of your local city
  62. Teach cross-country skiing
  63. Volunteer to work with patients at a local physical rehabilitation facility
  64. Tutor students in a subject you know well
  65. Build a mini-motorcycle
  66. Make wine in your basement
  67. Earn an EMT certification
  68. Live away from home and work on a construction site
  69. Become an entrepreneur and start a new business
  70. Work with a local landscaping company
  71. Teach barre classes
  72. Dive into your drawing, painting or photography
  73. Move in with relatives or friends in a new location for period of time
  74. Learn how to cold email or cold call companies to find an internship
  75. Develop communal living skills with a U.S. place-based program
  76. Begin the college application process
  77. Volunteer as a mentor for young teens
  78. Become a social media influencer
  79. Volunteer at an archeological site in Israel
  80. Study a foreign language
  81. Sample the thousands of online courses offered by leading universities
  82. Learn to code
  83. Help a business with its social media
  84. Earn PADI scuba certification
  85. Road trip across the U.S.
  86. Organize a multi-day hike in a national or state park
  87. Learn about and practice furniture restoration
  88. Film a short documentary
  89. Write in your journal each day
  90. Volunteer with an organization that works on immigration issues
  91. Teach English as a Second Language
  92. Study fashion design
  93. Build up your art portfolio
  94. Intern as an online research assistant
  95. Work at a local coffee shop or bakery
  96. Train for a half marathon or triathlon
  97. Teach soccer to neighborhood kids
  98. Raise money for a cause that is important to you 
  99. Volunteer on a political campaign
  100. Take long walks in the woods, on the beach or wherever you can get close to nature
  101. Do anything to step outside of your comfort zone!

Note: countries mentioned here are generally now open to travelers on educational programs, with appropriate COVID testing and quarantine requirements. Please make sure to check current CDC travel guidelines and individual country requirements before planning any travel outside the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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