Bridge Year Programs refer to experiences that may last anywhere from 3 months to 2 years and occur between graduating college and before starting graduate school or a career in a specific industry.  These experiences are especially valuable for students pursuing medical, law, or other graduate programs who may want or need more experience in the field before applying to graduate school.  Additionally, some graduates pursue these opportunities because of a desire to spend time working on a service project alongside community members or in advocating on specific issues.

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Find Your Bridge Program

The UVA Career Center would welcome the chance to talk with you about Bridge Year options. Below are examples of Bridge Year programs. Service Year is a website where you can find a paid service opportunity that can be filtered by your interests, geographic location, and level of education. Once you create a profile, the website also has many resources explaining exactly what a service year is and how students can go about pursuing one. Make an appointment with a career counselor for information about other opportunities!

Schedule An Appointment

A Broader View Volunteers

Arranges volunteer experiences of weeks or months in duration in disadvantaged communities in many parts of the world. Costs vary by country and duration, and include room and board. Programs include health care, women's support, environment, teaching, community development, and others.

Find more information on the A Broader View Volunteers website. 

Location: Central America, South America, Asia, and Africa

Months of Service: Up to 3

Career Communities:

Creative Arts, Media & Design, Education, Counseling & Youth Development, Pre-Health (Clinical), Public Service & Government, Science & Sustainability

Ashoka Fellows

Ashoka, an international organization with American offices in Arlington, VA., offers fellowships lasting a maximum of three years for social entrepreneurs. These individuals have creative new ideas and wish to create or expand public service projects that will positively affect a social issue. The fellowships include stipends based on financial need (up to $55,000 per year) and access to pro bono management and leadership assistance. Ashoka also facilitates international collaborations among its fellows.

Find more information on the Ashoka Fellows website.

Location: Varies

Career Communities:

Business, Technology, & Entrepreneurship, Public Service & Government

Asian Cultural Council

Awards fellowships and grants to artists, scholars, graduate/post-graduate students, and arts professionals who wish to study, research, explore, and/or find inspiration through travel, as well as those who would like to conduct research projects to advance international understanding. Your proposal must include travel to one or more of the listed countries. Funding dependent upon the type of grant; varies from less than one month to one year.

Applications typically open each fall, but deadlines vary.

Find more information on the Asian Cultural Council website.

Location: Asia

Months of Service: Up to 12

Career Communities:

Creative Arts, Media & Design


AmeriCorps is an opportunity to make a big difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. It's a chance to apply your skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community. AmeriCorps offers several ways to get involved, from part-time local service programs to full-time residential programs.

Get a quick overview of the organization through the Americorps website.

Take this quiz to find out which program is right for you!

Location: United States

Months of Service: 3-12

Career Communities:

Education, Counseling & Youth Development, Pre-Health (Clinical), Public Service & Government, Science & Sustainability

Asia Pacific Leadership Program

Graduate-level four-month program composed of three modules, the first in Asia, the second online from your home location, and the third in Hawaii. The Asia Pacific Leadership Program combines regional expertise with the enhancement of individual leadership skills. Anyone with a Bachelor's degree and a minimum of five years of professional work experience is eligible.  

2019 Application Deadline: March 1st 

Find more information on the East-West Center website.

Location: Asia, Hawaii

Months of Service: 4

Career Communities:

Business, Technology, & Entrepreneurship, Public Service & Government

Boren Fellowship

Boren Fellowships provide funding opportunities for graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad. In exchange for being awarded the fellowship, recipients are required to work for the federal government for a minimum of one year post-graduation. Eligibility reliant upon status as a U.S. graduate student specifically seeking employment in the federal national security sector.

2019 Application deadline: January 30th

Find more information on the Boren Fellowship website.

Location: Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East

Months of Service: 12 weeks - 1 year

Career Communities:

Public Service & Government