Think Outside the Cubicle: Your Guide to Post-Graduation Travel and Teaching Gigs


One of the best things about being a recent grad is that the world opens up to you. You can move to a new city or country or spend time traveling—and there are even programs that’ll pay you to do so and help take care of some of the logistics of relocating. If you think you’re not quite ready to join the traditional working world, don’t worry: Today we look at some of the options for traveling and teaching after you graduate.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program – deadline 5 p.m. EST October 15, 2013

Design your own study or research project or participate in an English Teaching Assistantship with a Fulbright grant. Apply through your undergraduate institution. For a first-hand account from a Fulbright alum, check out our interview with Ramsay Leimenstoll.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship – deadline early November 2013 (varies by institution)

The Watson is a one-year grant for independent travel and study outside the US. Check the official site for more information. Please note that your college must be a participating institution and you must apply through your school. For a first-hand account from a Watson alum, check out our interview with Caitlin Shrigley.

JET Program – deadline early fall 2013

The JET Program is arranged through the Japanese government and allows Bachelor’s degree holders to work in Japan on a one-year contract. Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) positions are available to anyone with an interest in Japan, and Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) positions are available to applicants with advanced Japanese abilities. Apply through your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate. For more info, read our interview with former JET and current Japan scholar Aaron Miller.

Peace Corps – rolling deadline, generally takes 7 to 12 months

The Peace Corps offers a range of volunteer opportunities throughout 70 countries in the developing world. Volunteers get involved with projects related to education, youth and community development, health, agriculture, the environment, and more. Most Peace Corps assignments last 27 months. Find out more about the Peace Corps from former volunteer Katy Davis, who served in Namibia.

Teach For America – 5 deadlines throughout academic year

Teach For America Corps members teach in 46 urban and rural locations throughout the US. Assignments can be teaching pre-K through 12th grade and covering a variety of subjects, including math and science. To learn more about the TFA experience from past participants, check out our interviews with Amber Moore and Katie Mazer.

Teaching in Japan – Rolling deadlines, depending on which company you apply to

If you missed the deadline or didn’t get into JET but are still really into the idea of teaching English in Japan, there are plenty of options out there. Read about private English schools, teaching in junior highs and elementary schools, and more in this post, written by yours truly.

This is by no means an exhaustive list—there are plenty of other opportunities out there, but we just wanted to give you some ideas to get started. Are you planning on teaching, traveling, or volunteering after graduation? If so, what’s your next step to make sure you make it happen?


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