A Unique Experience

The Global Gap Year Fellowship offered at UNC is the only college-sponsored gap year program that allows students to design their own gap-year experience. Fellows are encouraged to create their service-based gap years with the full support and guidance of our staff and faculty. UNC has been offering its Global Gap Year Fellowship Program since 2009.

The ideal Global Gap Year Fellow is a student who is highly intelligent, independent, and motivated to spend time serving and learning about others. We welcome applications from admitted students with diverse backgrounds, especially under-represented students, first-generation college students or those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Global Gap Year Fellows are committed to integrating their experience into the Carolina community once they enroll. Click here for more criteria.

Fellows also have access to the support of a university-wide community of students who have completed gap years. Known as Gap Year People (GAPPL), these students provide our Fellows advice as they plan their gap years, as well as peer support and recreational activities for Fellows when they arrive at UNC. In addition, GAPPL actively promotes the value of the gap year by encouraging more colleges and universities in the US to offer gap-friendly programs of their own.

Global Gap Year Fellows have:

  • Taught English to middle school students in Jiuquan in Gansu, China.
  • Worked at a seed bank in Chiang Mai province, Thailand.
  • Built a greenhouse at a small indigenous Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
  • Led youth education program in Curitiba, Brazil.
  • Conducted biological research in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Volunteered in a remote village clinic in Madagascar.