Coronavirus Response

Spring '20 Programming & Our Response As the coronavirus escalated last week, Carpe Diem staff, students, and families faced many difficult and frequently changing realities. The safety and well-being of our students and Overseas Educators is always our number one priority, and determining what would best serve our students in the field was a challenge that required sifting through a deluge of information and constant adaptation. As the global socio-political… Read More

Unexpected Lessons of a Gap Year

By Carpe Diem Education Alumni Breezy Zins On my first night back in America after a three-month-long journey through East Africa, I opened up my closet doors, looked at all the clothes I had – so many they all wouldn’t fit on hangers and had to be folded on shelves – and I cried. I’d seen such incredible poverty it seemed so unfair, so confusing, to have so many… Read More

Reverse Culture Shock After a Gap Year: 10 Ways Parents Can Help

As our groups return this week, we know families are excited to welcome students home and proud of all of their hard work over the past months. Taking a gap year is a transformative journey and you may think the experience is over: the truth is, some of the hardest work has just begun. As students grapple with reverse culture shock, it is important that they feel supported so… Read More

The Importance of Reverse Culture Shock: An Alumni Perspective

Photos and article by Carpe Diem Alumni Evangeline Scazzero If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve already been poisoned. Poisoned by what your parents call “the travel bug,” what your friends call “you’re so lucky,” and what your college advisor will eventually call, “put down the study abroad pamphlets.” Full disclosure, I have also been poisoned. Yet here I am, still alive and well. I’ve survived it all.… Read More

Should I Take a Gap Year? : 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Transitioning to College

I was a high achiever in high school, I had a 4.0, IB diploma and I got into my first choice school in the Ivy League on the other side of the country. I didn’t think twice and I headed straight there without a doubt in my mind. Once I got there, however, I realized I had no idea what I wanted to major in, I wasn’t sure how to… Read More

Marley Suarez: From Carpe Student to Ohana Amani Intern

We checked in with alumna Marley Suarez, who took a gap semester on Carpe Diem’s East Africa program in Spring 2015. Learn where life has taken her post-Carpe Diem! What have you been doing since your Carpe Diem experience? Since finishing my Carpe Diem semester in 2015, I have continued to follow my wandering heart. Balancing a life of traveling—mostly back to East Africa with a stint around Southeast Asia—and… Read More

What I Learned From Traveling with Your Students

By Executive Director, Jenny Huq To the Parents of the Nkula Spring 2018 Students, I have had the pleasure of speaking with some of you before your students departed for East Africa three months ago. Most of you I do not know directly; although, I feel a connection to all of you because I had the incredible opportunity to spend three weeks in Tanzania with your students. I joined Carpe… Read More

Digital Detox Abroad: Why It Makes Sense and How to Survive

By Sarah Pike You’ve probably dreamt of taking a gap year for many years and now that it’s about to be your reality, it’s important that you focus on getting the most out of the experience. The first thought that might cross your mind is how awesome your Facebook page or Instagram account will be with all the updates and photos from your once-in-a-lifetime adventure. But before you consider uploading… Read More

Worth The Wait: Make the Most of Your Travel Anticipation

By Sarah Pike The more you’re looking forward to your long-awaited gap year experience, the less you want to wait, especially if you’re stuck in the middle of seemingly endless classes, dreaded exams, or just the drudgery of everyday work. But if you can change your thinking and take a few steps in the right direction, you can make the time spent waiting more productive and enjoyable. Here’s how to… Read More

Snapshot vs. Story: 5 Tips for Ethical Travel Photography

Storytelling Through Travel Photography I felt like a caged zoo animal. Traveling through India, I tried to blend into the environment by wearing traditional Indian clothing, a scarf to cover my curly hair, and a bindi between my eyebrows. I still stood out. I was stared at, pointed at and my photo was taken by countless strangers. All this left me feeling exploited. As a long-time photographer who has shot… Read More

Latitudes students safe in Nepal

After the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal this Saturday, here at Carpe Diem we are holding all of the people affected in our hearts and thoughts. Our three Latitudes students are safe, uninjured, and we are in communication with each of them.  We also have a semester group in Northern India who are unaffected by the earthquake. Two of our students were volunteering in Kathmandu at the time of the earthquake.… Read More

Be Here Now: Unplugging Abroad

On all of our Carpe Diem gap year programs, we politely ask that students leave their cell phones, computers, and any other wi-fi devices at home for the duration. “WHAT?!! 3 MONTHS WITHOUT AN iPHONE?!  OMG!  WTF!  LMFAO!” The above response, though imaginary, is not far removed from what we sometimes receive. In the environment of today, “unplugging” is often seen as a radical gesture, something for neo-Luddites or social… Read More

Sustainable Gap Years

What’s travel’s environmental impact? And how can you be a sustainable traveler? Congratulations! You’ve decided to travel internationally during your gap year.  You’re thinking about all the new people you’ll meet, the adventures you’ll have, the places you’ll go – but have you considered the environmental impact you’ll have? “Impact?” you ask.  “But I’ll be living out a backpack, maybe taking fewer showers, not driving a car….”  While that can… Read More

On What It Means to Be Alive: The Wisdom and Diversity of Humanity

What does it mean to be alive? All around this vast earth, every human and every culture asks this question. The diversity of languages, religions, traditions, stories, and artwork is an attempt at an answer. Whether traveling across the world or exploring our own backyards, tapping in to the collective wisdom is a vital part of our own journey.     Wade Davis defines the ethnosphere  as “the sum total… Read More

Feed Your Wanderlust with These 6 Inspirational Talks

Daydreaming about adventure? Restless with wanderlust? Wonder what it would be like to sail around the world or curious about indigenous peoples of the Amazon? Us too. Here at Carpe Diem we’re always looking for ways to fuel that desire to explore. That’s why we’d love to introduce you to these TED talks. Fair warning: you might need to clear out your schedule for the rest of the day because… Read More

On Retreat: Reflecting on Carpe Diem’s Vision

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." ~Gloria Steinem The Vision I work amongst dreamers. We believe in possibilities, in saying yes, and in all of the infinite potential of this world and of each other. We believe in the extraordinary, and we believe in the power of "what if…" We value growth and transformation, and Read More

Welcome to our Blog: Reflections from Portland Headquarters

“I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.” -Stephen Hawking For many years we have proudly hosted student blogs on our website, giving our students a platform to process and share their share their travel experiences with their friends and family back home.  Since our first Read More