A “Febmester” is your time to volunteer, travel, work, or try something new! Below are just a few of the many opportunities you can explore.
Each year, a handful of Febs decide to study abroad at another institution before arriving at Middlebury in February. This can be a rewarding and enriching experience for students wishing to spend time overseas. Please note that there are some factors to consider regarding the transfer of credit to your Middlebury transcript. Please consult our Feb Guide to Transfer Credit and Study Abroad for more specifics and resources.
Here are several organizations that our students have worked with during their Febmester.
Global Volunteers is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, nongovernmental organization engaging short-term volunteers on micro-economic and human development programs in close partnership with local people worldwide. Working at the invitation and under the direction of local leaders, volunteers help create a foundation for world peace through mutual international understanding. Our purpose is to maintain a genuine, sustained service partnership with the host community and provide volunteers a genuine opportunity to serve.
Foundation for Sustainable Development
FSD partners with more than 300 community-based organizations throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America to support sustainable change. Our development model relies on active community participation to mobilize lasting solutions. While respecting local value systems, we partner with local leaders to build networks and collaborate on community-driven approaches to development issues.
NGOabroad is a unique service that helps you enter or advance in international humanitarian work and provides frugal, customized international volunteer opportunities.
International and Cross-Cultural
ARCC Gap Semester Programs
ARCC Gap Semester programs take students on a journey of discovery of local peoples, places, cultures, and ideas. “Along the way we weave together these experiences with a curriculum comprising five important themes: Public Health, Literacy, and Education, Urbanization and the Movement of People, Environment and Conservation, and Microfinance and Economic Growth. ARCC Gap Programs focus on personal growth in a small group setting of no more than 12 students in an immersive goal-driven leadership focused environment.”
AMIGOS de las Américas
AMIGOS inspires and builds young leaders through collaborative community development and cross-cultural summer and gap year programs in Central and South America. Accredited by the Gap Year Association, the AMIGOS Gap Year Program provides immersion and leadership experiences. Students complete an internship with a local organization, live with a host family, implement a sustainable service project, and go on excursions to amazing local spots.
Art History Abroad
“The aim of AHA is to enjoy Italy and see a wealth of beautiful art while having fun. Our courses will truly expand your horizons. We draw connections between art history, philosophy, music, literature, and history, making our courses about European civilization.”
Cross-Cultural Solutions provides international volunteering programs worldwide. “Our global infrastructure supports thousands of international volunteers each year and over 250 sustainable community initiatives. More than 250 CCS in-country staff members are working year-round, ensuring that you are volunteering with a project that interests you and is contributing directly to the goals of each community.”
CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange)
A nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. Since 1947, CIEE has helped thousands of people gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available.
EF Gap Year gives students the opportunity to hone global skills and the experience to thrive in an ever-changing future. Students can choose 1, 3, or 6-month programs that align with their goals and combine elements of guided travel, language learning, service and sustainability projects, and international internships. With EF Gap Year, Middlebury students have worked on sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica, learned French at EF’s school in Nice, and been placed in an internship in Stockholm, Sweden. EF’s team works one-on-one with each student to design the right experience specific to their goals.
El Casal offers gap semester programs in Barcelona, Spain, combining travel, excursions, and day trips, Spanish language courses, cultural activities, community service, and cultural exchange opportunities.
Pacific Discovery offers semester educational travel programs abroad. “Our programs blend meaningful and challenging experiential travel, cultural immersion, personal and leadership development, outdoor and wilderness exploration, volunteer and community service projects, ethical travel and sustainability focus, and transferable academic credit options.”
Where There Be Dragons
“Dragons programs are authentic, rugged, and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences.”
Outdoors and the Environment
Earthwatch expeditions are ongoing research projects confronting critical, current issues, run by qualified and respected members of the scientific community. Topics span a wide range of scientific study, including climate change, endangered species, the history of civilizations, sustainable development, and the state of the oceans.
High Mountain Institute-HMI Gap
“HMI Gap semesters are designed to be a unique and refreshing break from our busy world; an uninterrupted journey of adventure, self-discovery, and growth. With rock climbing and wilderness travel focused programs in Patagonia and the American West, students spend three months traveling to some of the world’s wildest places, gain independence as outdoor adventurers, and give back by getting their hands dirty helping with real-world conservation projects. We emphasize building a strong, intentional community, where students make lasting friendships with people who encourage them to reach their full potential.” $1,000 scholarships are available for Middlebury students.
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
NOLS is a nonprofit educational organization teaching technical outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental ethics. Courses range from a few weeks to an academic year in locations from Wyoming to Mexico to India.
Middlebury School of the Environment
Middlebury College’s School of the Environment is a six-week summer environmental studies program, which combines traditional coursework, field studies, and leadership training to help students prepare for a life of meaning.The program combines one of the best environmental studies programs in the United States with our renowned intensive summer program methodology. Guided by national environmental leaders, students receive environmental leadership training and build a tool kit of career skills. Students collaborate in research teams to work on real world sustainability challenges.
SEA Semester at Woods Hole
SEA Semester offers field programs in marine and environmental studies for Boston University credit combining coursework in Woods Hole followed by a sailing research voyage on one of SEA’s tall ships in the Atlantic, Pacific, or Caribbean.
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
Through a partnership with AmeriCorps, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) has two to five month opportunities in our Farm and Conservation programs. Join a crew of young adults or lead a crew completing projects, such as trail building/maintenance, carpentry projects for the state parks, tree planting, invasive species removal, organic farming, and sustainable agricultural. Over 225 young people join VYCC every year to help change the world and create positive impact in our communities.
Worldwide Opportunities in Organic Farming (WWOOF)
Organic farms around the world receive WWOOF volunteers and offer training and lodging in exchange for work in the garden or on the farm.
Interim works one-on-one with individuals of all ages to design a combination of program options that match interests, needs, and goals. They guide people through the process of identifying reputable placements, securing those placements, and adjusting to the changes that inevitably take place as individuals take on new experiences.
Taylor the Gap
With over 30 years of social work expertise, Marion Taylor ’79 provides personalized advice to student “gappers” hoping to take a gap semester or year through Taylor the Gap. Gap year opportunities include the following: volunteer/community service, academic/postgraduate study, work/internships, travel/language immersion, environmental/conservation programs, and wilderness/adventure programs, all of which are available both overseas as well as nationally.
Gap Year Association
The Gap Year Association is an accreditation and standards-setting organization for gap years that is recognized as such by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
Books on Taking Time Off
Gap Year Guidebook 2010 Wendy Bosberry-Scott, 2010
Gap Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs Joseph O’Shea, 2013
Jobs in the Sun: Gap Year and Career-Break Opportunities Charles Davey, 2006
Lonely Planet The Gap Year Book Joe Bindloss, Charlotte Hindle, and Andrew Dean Nystrom, 2005
Lonely Planet The Big Trip 2015
Planning Your Gap Year: Hundreds of Opportunities for Employment, Study, Volunteer Work and Independent Travel Nick Vandome, 2005
The Complete Guide to the Gap Year: The Best Things to Do Between High School and College Kristin M. White, 2009
Your Gap Year: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Year Out the Adventure of a Lifetime Susan Griffith, 2010