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What is a service year?

An opportunity to develop real-world skills through hands-on service. It’s an extraordinary year that transforms your life and your community. It’s not your typical path; it’s an experience for A Better You. A Greater Us.

No Two Service Years Are Alike

Whether you’re figuring out what’s next after high school or college, searching for an opportunity to find a new path, looking to gain skills and experience for a job, or wanting a career change — a service year may be just what you’re looking for.

There are over 65,000 opportunities in America, that offer varying lengths of commitment, issue areas and geographic locations. All service years share one thing in common: they provide a paid, life-changing experience.

Issue Areas

Education, environment, health, public safety, and more


Most are 10-12 months, but some may be shorter or longer


See other parts of the US, or serve in your own community

Team vs Individual

You can serve alongside others, or find a more individualized opportunity

How does a service year compare?

Service Year
Gap Year
Study Abroad
Duration No Cost to Participate Earn Money Independence Problem Solving Leadership Teamwork Academic Credit Health Insurance Student Loan Forbearance Earn Education Scholarship Award Stronger Citizenship New Ways of Seeing the World Positively Impact a Community
Usually 10-12 months
Usually a year
Semester/ Academic Year
Summer/ Semester

Ready to serve?

No matter when you decide to do your service year, the experience will transform your life and the community you serve. Join now or use the chat icon to get your questions answered by service year alums.