USA Gap Year
The United States is one of the most popular gap year destinations in the world and you can find a range of programs for all interests. There are lots of gap year jobs in the USA for summer and year round which are a great way to live in the States and get paid. Our USA gap year programs are perfect for students, graduates, and anyone looking to learn, work or travel.
Gap Year Jobs, Trips & Programs in the United States
Plan a Gap Year to the USA
Researching ideas for the best things to do on your gap year in the USA? The following pages will help you book an experience:
Top Reasons to Take a Gap Year in the USA
With cheap flights to the States this is making traveling more affordable even if you are on a small budget, there are some great deals to be had on flights, packages deals and more. Need some more reasons, check out our list below:
- See new places which might have only ever previously been seen on television or in the movies, visiting in real life is a lot more exciting
- To do something new and exciting, traveling is a way of stepping into the unknown and waking up not knowing what you will see or do that day
- There are lots of opportunities to spend time away doing something amazing like volunteering or being more than just a tourist and working for a prolonged period
- Make new friends
- Get paid - there are lots of gap year work and travel programs available
Best USA Gap Year Programs
Here are some of the top rated things we recommend you consider:
- Camp Leaders offer summer camp jobs throughout the States
- If you are looking to see more in a small group G Adventures offer amazing overland tours to most destinations in North America
- Cultural Care offer au pair placements throughout the USA
- InterExchange offer a career experience in the United States
- You could work at a resort in North America with Smaller Earth
- Volunteer at a animal rescue center in Florida with Frontier
- If you would like to see the sights we have a selection of affordable tours in the USA where you can meet new people, visit new places and have a lot of fun.
Gap Year Jobs in the USA
Spending your gap year working in the United States will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. There are lots of jobs for internationals where you can live in amazing locations like LA, Chicago and New York just to name a few. Some companies offer flexible summer gap year jobs which are very popular with students.
USA Gap Year Travel Itinerary Ideas
For those of you who are considering taking a gap year, the good old US of A is a popular choice and for good reason. The thing about America is that although the country is huge, it is easy to get across. Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains offer deals and those on gap years can get by on little money by booking with a group travel operator. So, where to begin on your American gap year odyssey?
Think of places you want to visit, look at a map and plot it from one coast to another; it couldn’t be easier. Start off at the city that never sleeps - New York; there’s a multitude of things to do here. Head to Broadway, see the Statue of Liberty and be dazzled by the bright lights and bustling streets in Times Square. Then visit the site of Ground Zero before walking a few miles to the Empire State Building, tasting a giant slice of pepperoni pizza on the way.
Once you’ve munched your way through the Big Apple, head over to Washington DC, America’s capital and home of the White House. The architecture of the state is renowned, with Union Station remarkably elaborate. Next, make your way through Virginia to Memphis, Tennessee. Essential viewing is Graceland, where Elvis Presley lived and is now buried. There’s also Beale Street (the birthplace of the blues), and the National Civil Rights Museum, built on the site of the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated.
From there, you’re not far from Florida, where there’s a strong Latin influence blending with American culture. As well as the many theme parks (Disney World being the most famous) you can see alligators in the Everglades, taste some delicious Sunshine State oranges and look around NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre. If French culture interests you, head over to the French Quarter in New Orleans. Devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, people still flock to the Big Easy, famed for jazz and Creole dishes gumbo and jambalaya. Here, you can get drunk on Bourbon Street and get around on a mule-drawn carriage.
Once you’re finished there, it’s hard to miss Texas. Over twice the size of Great Britain, Texas is also famous for its cowboy ranches in Dallas, many of which make fantastic experiences for internationals. Other things Texas boasts are: being the birthplace of singer Beyonce Knowles; and, of course, the Alamo, a fort in San Antonio, which is considered to have provided the turning point in the Texan revolution.
Head from the second largest state to the largest, Alaska. With rugged beauty and lots of crude oil and gold, Alaska is home to the world’s biggest bears. It’s recommended you go here in June so you can see the midnight sun. Other activities include river rafting, whale watching and glacier trips. From icy scenes to mountains, welcome to Arizona. Of course, the most famous thing to see here is the Grand Canyon, which was carved by the Colorado River and is over a mile deep. The state of Arizona has vast deserts, which spread over into Nevada, where Las Vegas is located.
Spending time exploring the West Coast of the USA will be one of the best experience of your life. If you would like to see as much as possible you might want to hire a car. You could fly into LA which is connected to a lot of worldwide airports and then travel to see places a little further afield like San Diego, Las Vegas, Monument Valley and the Yosemite National Park. Backpackers come from all over the world to visit the casinos in Sin City. Another reason for visiting is the pyramid lifts in the Luxor Hotel. Nevada is right next to California, another must-see state.
Then mingle with the rich, famous and beautiful in LA, marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and explore the amazing Yosemite National Park. Plus, wouldn’t you like to visit the state in which Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as governor? After all this, you’ll probably feel you’ve earned a few days doing nothing, so spend some time relaxing and catching rays on Venice Beach, before taking your flight back home.
USA Gap Year Budget
The USA is quite an expensive country to visit so you will need some savings to travel here. There are ways to save money whilst traveling though, for example you could travel on public transport or buy food from supermarkets instead of eating out every day. To save money it's important to plan ahead too, make sure you book flights and accommodation well in advance so you can save money. Usually the later you leave it the higher prices are.
Food in the USA is very cheap but it isn't always that healthy. You can find cheap fast food throughout the country and meals usually cost around $4 - $8 so it is very cheap place to grab lunch or dinner. We highly recommend going to local supermarkets and buying fresh food, this will be a lot cheaper and healthier. Diners and restaurants have varying prices depending on where you are, you can expect to pay around $8 - $20 for dinner.
Past Gappers Testimonials, Feedback & Advice
“I worked at a summer camp in Maine which was the best time of my life." Scott, UK
“I decided to be an Au Pair as I felt that the job would be a very rewarding learning experience; the different culture and being away from home and family for a year, potentially two, is such a worthy way to spend time in your life.” - Emily, Wales, au pair in Minnesota with Cultural Care
“I worked at a summer camp in Maine which was the best time of my life." Alex, Australia
“The highlight of my gap year was riding Route 66'" Matt, UK
"New York is my favourite city in the world but finding somewhere to stay on the cheap is tough. Book way ahead to avoid getting ripped off". Liz, New Zealand