Carpe Diem Education
Participants in our Southeast Asia program get to travel to three exotic countries, namely Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. They get the chance to experience the warm hospitality...
From the rolling hills of Tanzania's Southern Highlands to the sparkling blue waters of Zanzibar, the shores of the Nile River in Uganda and the fast-pace city life of Rwanda,...
In Guatemala and Nicaragua, study Spanish, live with home stay families, and teach at local community schools with your new language skills. Then volunteer at a sustainable...
When you study abroad in India with us, you'll spend 3 months traversing the diverse ecological and spiritual landscape of the Himalayas, the Indus River Valley and the birthplace...
Study Spanish, participate in service learning projects, and live with host families. Explore Amazons cloud forest, surf the mighty Pacific, take an introductory course on...
Your journey starts with homestays and volunteering in a remote village situated in the Fijian highlands. Following two weeks spent immersing in the intriguing culture and...
It was the greatest three months of my life!
Submitted by Patrick Prom - Portland Community College | June 28, 2016
This was the first time I had ever left the United States. Being Cambodian I was really drawn to the South East Asia Program since my dad didn't really teach me very much about our heritage. I was very afraid at first but as it came closer to the day we would leave I was so excited. To partake in the Meditation retreat in Thailand, the ancient temples of Angkor Wat and the home stay in Sapa, Vietnam I can safely say that this was the most transforming experience I had ever had in my life. I learned more about myself, others, and the world in the three months abroad than the 20 years I had in Portland, Oregon. If you have any doubts or inclinations not to travel but you want to Carpe Diem will help you and you will learn along the way.
Adventure, friendships, language, and more
Submitted by Shayna - Brown University | June 14, 2016
We read often of the benefits of gap years, how they are life-changing, prepare young adults for college, and often termed "the best year ever." While these claims hold much legitimacy, few programs can unequivocally fulfill all of them; that is, except Carpe Diem Education.
I was lucky enough to find Carpe Diem for the year after my high school graduation, 2010-2011, and can to this day stand by them as indisputably the best gap year program internationally. I could never imagine how my life would appear today had I not participated in the Latitudes Program, spending one full semester in Central America on a group trip and another semester on an independent internship in Ecuador. I gained essential skills in organization, writing, budgeting, and leadership; I tackled fears head-on while cultivating an insatiable curiosity; I grew more confident in my abilities scholastically and personally; I became completely fluent in another language equivalent to the level of my mother tongue; I created life-long friendships with other participants and locals to this day.
Carpe Diem stood by me, answering my plethora of questions before the trip, appeasing my nervous mother during the trip, and accommodating me to practice my religious observances as a modern-orthodox Jew throughout the program. The coordinators supported me in arranging my internship placement, while simultaneously giving me enough space to be independent too. My trip leaders on the group trip were inspiring, confronting, and were the catalysts toward driving the personal developments of participants as we all pushed our comfort zone together with volunteer work that included arduous physical labor, language school, teaching English, and working with wildlife. My independent internship at an Inca ruin Hacienda gave me ample opportunity to dabble into a variety of fields, including farming, local cooking, horseback riding, translating, writing, and being a tour guide to hone my interests for my future career and quench my diverse interests. Carpe Diem pushed me emotionally and physically every day to find comfort through discomfort, to understand and be proactive in my surroundings, and to cultivate empathy.
I was also able to earn college credit through Portland State University (PSU), which was an incredible opportunity considering that at the time of my gap year, I was unsure where I would attend school.
Today, I have finished a degree from an ivy-league institution, consider myself a world traveler (whatever that really means), and am confident in following where the wind blows for my next steps. And for my accomplishments, strengths, attitude, determination, courage, and drive, I will forever be indebted to Carpe Diem. If you want a program that will open you up and allow you to carve out who you hope to be, to gain inspiration for your future, to truly make a difference, to build life-long relationships, and to push your comfort zone, look no further, because you’ve arrived at the best possible place.
Program: Carpe Diem Latitudes Program
A life changing experience
Submitted by Alondra - Portland State University | June 10, 2016
I didn't know what to expect from this experience, but when it happened it was a journey that changed my perspective in many ways. Carpe Diem education gave me an opportunity to travel and learn. I was challenged mentally and emotionally and was able to get out of my comfort zone which was something I never knew would be possible. I grew as a person. The Overseas educators were supportive and pushed us to get out of our comfort zones. The culture, the history, the food, and meeting new people was incredible. I surrounded myself with new adventures and through that I discovered myself.
I say "do it!"
Submitted by Colleen McGrath - Portland state University | May 26, 2016
My carpe diem gap year consisted of a group semester to India and a focused volunteer placement in Tanzania. To put it simply, I read a journal entry of mine that I wrote about a month before going on my trip and compared it to one I wrote just the other day. Carpe Diem is the reason there is such a significant difference between the two.
Program: Carpe Diem Latitudes Program
Simply life changing, cliché, I know
Submitted by Hannah Gibbons - Warren Wilson College | May 22, 2016
Carpe Diem was a last minute decision for me. I didn't know what to do with my semester free and out of the blue Carpe showed up. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I didn't look back.
The trip felt very real. A lot of these programs can be a lot of bullshit where you go to a "remote country" and live it your way when you should be living it their way, if that makes sense. Carpe Diem made it as real as possible. This included talking about how problematic it was that we were all there doing this and realizing our privilege and also respecting that their culture is their culture and not ours to take. Very well done.