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Benefits of the AU Gap Program

SPExS AU Gap Cap Hill

American University's Gap Program offers you an immersive academic experience in Washington, D.C., both in the classroom and through an internship. AU Gap will allow you to begin building a foundation for academic and career success by focusing on skills that you will use later in your undergraduate studies and professional career.

Our Gap Program seminar classes are learning laboratories — taking full advantage of Washington, D.C. The classes are interactive sessions led by a professor who will introduce you to local, national, and global experts. You will participate in site visits to area nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and businesses.

The internship experience allows you to build your professional skillset, gain real-world experience, and start making professional contacts through the internship and mentored field practicum class. With over 3,000 internship contacts at your disposal, you can explore your interests, whether it is in politics, business, international affairs, or even with a sports team or news bureau.

American University has a strong background in guiding first-year and freshman level students going through internships and professional development. The AU Gap Program is modeled after the university's Washington Mentorship Program, thus bringing over 14 years experience to the Gap Program.

You will receive support creating your resume, cover letters, and conducting your internship search, developing skills that will be used for years to come. View a sample list of past internship sites. This file requires Adobe Acrobat.

No matter what program track you pursue, the experiences will impact your understanding of world issues and possibly guide your decision of what to study later at college. Throughout the program, AU professors will serve as mentors, and as a complement to your internship, you will read professional articles, write papers, keep a journal, and meet regularly with your professor to discuss your internship experience.

While in the program, you will be fully integrated into the AU community and have access to campus resources. You will live in the residence halls with other first year students and eat meals with friends in the dining facilities. You will have the ability to join student clubs and organizations, which will provide you first-hand insight into the college experience.


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Why did you choose to attend the AU Gap program?

"I wanted the first half of my gap year to feel productive and partially academic. The AU Gap Program allows me to feel like I'm growing academicially with classroom-based learning, but also gaining real world knowledge through my internship and the cosmopolitan environment and opportunities that surround me."

-Jemima Ford, Fall 2015