We Believe

We believe in a global economy that uses business as a force for good. That’s why we’ve gone through the extensive certification process and received recognition as a certified B Corporation™.

We believe in the power of community to foster growth and learning. That’s why we emphasize reciprocal relationships with host communities around the world, and work to cultivate supportive group environments for our students.

We believe that everybody grows by having their comfort zones pushed in manageable amounts. Our leaders will at times push comfort zones with assignments and activities.

We believe that the international experience is far more culturally authentic and safer without the use of drugs and alcohol.

We believe in the empowerment of each student. Our leaders ask students to organize their own portion of the program, complete with managing committees, budgets, travel, food, accommodation, and activities. Everyone will work with the leaders to organize a portion of their own semester.

We believe in the potential of every student, and hope that every student returns home a changed individual and global citizen.


We place a great emphasis on community.

To us community is a group of people creating a positive, supportive and compassionate place in which to live and grow. In the context of our programs, community exists on multiple levels. There is a core community that is established among students and overseas educators while on semester, designed to create a safe environment for personal growth and connection. There are communities we live and work alongside while traveling, our in-country contacts, our communities at home, and ultimately, the global community that we all share. Within the Carpe Diem experience, we believe that it is important to support and engage with all of these layers of community.

Some of the ways in which we strive to cultivate and strengthen community include:

  • Traveling together as a small group, throughout the entire program
  • Community building exercises during orientation that focus on team-building and group dynamics
  • Our Overseas Educators facilitate regular group meetings throughout the semester, to create space for students to reflect, process and connect with each other
  • Immersing ourselves in the places we visit through home stays and service projects and working alongside local parnters

We consider everyone that we work and interact with a part of our community. We are proud to call our students, our Alumni, our office staff and our overseas educators a part of our Carpe Diem Family.


Our Family

It takes a village.


Our headquarters staff, based out of Portland, Oregon, ensure a smooth experience from your time as an applicant to an alumni. They are connected to the field by their past experiences leading our semester trips, committed to continuing their professional development, certified wilderness first responders, and genuinely compassionate people who strive to inspire growth and transformation through experiential education, community and intercultural exchange.



When it comes to selecting our Overseas Educators, we don’t mess around. Safety is our priority, but other attributes are essential in Overseas Educators including cultural competence, understanding group dynamics, mentoring, and strong problem solving/communication skills. All Overseas Educators have in country experience, wilderness first aid certifications and participate in an extensive in-house training prior to each semester. We’re amazed by our Overseas Educators, and are sure you will be too!



Our Local Friends and Partners


At Carpe Diem, we believe that all students, regardless of socioeconomic background, should have access to transformative education. In 2008 Carpe Diem Education founded Carpe Mundi an independent non-profit organization that supports Portland area low-income and first-generation college students. Each year, Carpe Mundi provides a cohort of students with on-going academic and personal support, cohort-based experiential and international learning opportunities, and access to local resources for completing college, gaining work skills, and becoming leaders in their communities. Through this partnership, Carpe Diem Education provides scholarships to each of the Carpe Mundi students to participate in a group semester program.


GYA Accredited Program

The Gap Year Association (GYA) is a nonprofit accreditation and standards-setting organization for Gap Years that is recognized as such by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. GYA objectively runs organizations through a rigorous set of 125 standards in order to ensure the highest caliber in safety, quality, and integrity. As one of the first organizations to be accredited by the GYA in 2014, Carpe Diem Education continues to spearhead industry-wide best practices in field leadership, safety standards, and organizational integrity.