How will you Carpe Diem?

Discover the sights, sounds, and smells that make East Africa a truly unique cultural experience: have close encounters with awe-inspiring wildlife on a multi-day safari in Tanzania, paddle a dugout canoe with a Bakiga guide through Uganda’s deepest lake, and investigate both the history of genocide and the future of hope in Rwanda.

Use your newly-acquired Swahili to chat with welcoming host families in Tanzania and earn your open-water SCUBA certificate in the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Adventure is calling; seize your journey in this remote corner of the world with Carpe Diem Education.

Travel to the “Spice Island” of Zanzibar and intern with local artisans. Explore human and wildlife interaction and learn how it improves human livelihoods and promotes the conservation of natural resources—particularly of elephants!

Collaborate with diverse organizations to assist local communities in education or building projects and families affected by HIV/AIDS.

Learn about the unique community-based projects of a local non-profit and serve at a rural school for children with special needs. Chat with welcoming host families in Tanzania with your newly-acquired Swahili.


Program Details

Accepting Applications For:
Fall 2019

FALL 2019
September 11 – December 4*
February 12 – May 4*

A maximum of 12 Students &
2 Overseas Educators

Ages 17 and Up


Learn more about:
College Credit
Financial Aid



Latitudes Year



While on my group semester with Carpe Diem, I finally found myself. I've seen an amazing part of the world, all while discovering what is important to me and how the world figures into my life. From the henna on my hands to my newfound appreciation for street food, I know there is so much more out there. Carpe Diem and my Overseas Educators have not only given me an opportunity to become more mindful of my own passions but to be a more mindful global citizen as well.

- Caitlin, East Africa Fall '15

Carpe Diem does an unparalleled job in the Gap Year world; they're educational, fun, and transforming. The East Africa trip completely changed me and my life. I'll never forget my experiences in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, and I'll never forget the memories I have with the friends I made on the trip.

- Nora, East Africa Fall '15

Spending three months in East Africa was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Every moment was an adventure. I got to do incredible things that I never dreamed of before.

- Nina, East Africa Spring '17


Your introduction to East Africa begins with three days in a backpacker’s hostel setting the stage for the semester ahead. You’ll spend time getting to know your fellow group members, exploring your intentions for the program, and learning to stay healthy and safe throughout your travels. As you’re learning about the finer details of the program, you’ll also begin your first adventures into East African markets, cuisines, and the local sights!
We will spend time studying Kiswahili with excellent teachers in small group settings. After morning class, you’ll get to practice your new language skills as you navigate markets, order food, and interact with homestay families.
Discuss human and wildlife interaction and learn how this can be more sustainable with a trusted partner contact that aims to improve human livelihoods and promote the conservation of natural resources, particularly of elephants.
Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Journey to Southern Tanzania to spend a week getting involved with one of two organizations. One is devoted to providing shelter, sustenance, education, and medical care for vulnerable children and people living with HIV-AIDS within the project area. You’ll visit home-based health care clinics at the Montessori preschool, conduct farm-to-table projects, and volunteer at the local sewing and handicrafts school. At the other, you’ll be helping to identify community development issues in the southern highlands.

Lake Bunyoni Region

Spend the majority of your time in this lush oasis working with children at one of the few schools supporting special needs students in all of Uganda. Help with craft projects, organize sports and games, or paint a mural to brighten the school.

This is a time for the group to choose their own adventure! Travel expeditions have included fishing with locals and exploring caves in Tanga, playing on the shores of Lake Malawi, and discovering Bagamoyo—a stone town of mainland Tanzania.

Over the course of the week, you’ll enjoy some well-earned rest in Stone Town or Matemwe while simultaneously working toward your PADI Open Water SCUBA certification. (Note: higher levels of certification are available for those with previous dive certification)

Canoeing and Trekking

Based in Southwest Uganda, we’ll spend time canoeing the deep waters of beautiful Lake Bunyonyi in traditional dugout canoes. There will also be plenty of time trekking through the hills of the surrounding land, so be prepared for some long days of walking through stunning scenery! You’ll camp overnight with locals who will invite you onto their land, and perhaps share a few traditional legends and ghost stories.

The Student Experience

Explore the following links to learn about the Carpe Diem East Africa student experience.