Taking a Gap Year was one of the best decisions I could have made. Before coming on this trip I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do in the future, but this trip has introduced newfound interests that I want to pursue. I have also learned so much about myself and it has made me such a stronger person; I would highly recommend a Carpe Diem semester to anyone thinking about doing a Gap Year.

- Kaitlyn, Southeast Asia Fall '16

This was a totally life-changing experience. I got everything that I sought out of this trip and more. I had some of the coolest experiences of my life and made very close friends. I learned so much about myself and about the world and have gained the inspiration that I craved to continue my education. I have learned how I can make an impact in the world and am determined to follow through. I have realized that the most important thing in life is happiness and finding what makes me happiest. I have gained such a great appreciation for my upbringing and being an American that has filled me with the utmost of gratitude. Leaving this trip, I am not the same person that walked in and am so much happier, more confident, and passionate.

- Katherine, Southeast Asia Fall '17

This program allows you to gain independence, a better perspective on life, and first-hand knowledge of the world. We are 18 years old and expected to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives, but what's the rush? My motto is yes, a higher education is very important, but it will always be there. But, being a traveler and not a tourist in a developing country will teach you life skills that school doesn't have the ability to.

- Kyla, Southeast Asia Fall '17

I learned more in the past three months than I have in 18 years of school. It is a new type of learning that most people just aren't accustomed to. We are used to sitting in classrooms and learning by memorizing, but nothing compares to going out into the field and experiencing it for yourself. I would highly recommend a Gap Year to anyone that is unsure of what they want to do, anyone who feels like they need a break from school or anyone who just wants to explore our beautiful world and create as many meaningful connections as possible.

- Anna, South Pacific Fall '16

I've learned more about myself and my personal values in the past three months than I had in my whole life. By being on my own and having to speak my mind, I reassured myself of everything I believed in. I stood up for what I believed in because people were asking. By saying what you want out of life and what you believe in to people who just met you, you are embedding your values. Being in a new country makes you feel invincible and as if all the possibilities you've imagined for yourself are obtainable realities.

- Katherine, South Pacific Fall '16

This is the best decision I could've made. Carpe Diem became part of my life at a time when I wasn't confident in my ability to achieve because I was tied to an outdated timeline for my education. Through Carpe Diem, I was able to grasp the true meaning of lifelong learning; everything is a process, and if the only objective is the end goal, what happens to the focus on the lifetime in between? Life should be lived moment to moment, each day as an individual goal, else we'd lose the little experiences that enhance us as people.

- Miranda, South Pacific Spring '17

My Carpe Diem trip in India was perhaps the most amazing three months of my life. I experienced things that I never thought were possible and learned more about myself and the world than I ever expected. India really blows expectations out of the water and challenged so much of what I thought I was sure of. I'm heading home with more questions than answers but that's a great thing and I feel so inspired by all the different ways I can choose to direct my life. In India anything is possible and I know now in life that's the case too.

- Zoe, India Fall '17

This trip has been such a life-changing and mind-opening experience for me. Definitely three of the most fun and exciting months of my life.

- Isabel, India Fall '17

Before Carpe Diem, I had a career path in mind but I still wasn't really sure who I was or what I loved to do. Taking a year off and experiencing so many things really helped me find myself.

- Emma C., India Fall '17

I would recommend Carpe Diem to everyone. There are a few lessons that can only really be learned through traveling, and Carpe Diem does an amazing job of providing a safe but challenging platform for self-expansion and discovery. I really believe that I am a stronger person than I was three months ago, and I honestly owe all of that to this program.

- Emma P., India Spring '17

What makes us unique.

A holistic and dynamic approach.


Our experiential learning programs keep students constantly engaged.
They move on average every two weeks, with no time for the normal complacency of habit to enter. Our no cell-phone/Wi-Fi, no-drug and alcohol policies keep students present, safe and involved.
Our students learn how to travel.
Traveling overseas is difficult, and our students walk away with the skills necessary for solo international travel.
Our students are able to earn college credit and access financial aid.
Through our partnership with Portland State University, students can elect to take up to 18 quarter credits for an additional fee of $1,700, and may be eligible to access financial aid.
We believe in every student’s inherent value and growth potential.
From group dynamics to wilderness medicine, our Overseas Educators are trained in a unique combination of soft and hard skills. They aren’t guides, they’re mentors. We do everything possible for all students to finish their program and return home with a broadened world horizon and enriched self-awareness.
We offer well-traveled experience.
Since 1998, we’ve been on the ground running innovative programs across the globe in South & Central America (Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil), Africa (Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania), Asia (India, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia) and the Pacific (The Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand).

We offer the most accessible programs to the widest diversity of students.
Our affordable programs and internal scholarships combined with our non-profit branch Carpe Mundi allow us to offer the most accessible programs in the industry.
Our Program Directors (PD’s) are amazing at what they do.
With years of experience living, working, and immersing themselves in their respective regions, having spent years working directly with students, and coming from Masters Degree backgrounds in International Education, Service, Leadership, and Tibetan Studies (to name a few) our PDs are truly amazing at what they do.  In addition, they regularly spend time on the ground, developing the rapport to ensure that our projects are done responsibly and driven by the communities themselves.
Our programs are culturally authentic.
We strive to make every program we offer as culturally authentic as possible. This means we travel to the more remote areas of our host countries, places that tourists usually don’t know about, and create contacts that can be of service to those communities. We take a reciprocal approach to resources.
Nothing is more important than our students welfare
With over nearly 20 years we’ve built a vast network of contacts in all areas of the world where our programs run.  All of our Overseas Educators are Wilderness First Aid-certified and extensively trained on risk management and emergency situation protocols.  Additionally, we are recognized as having the highest quality safety standards in the industry by the American Gap Association.

Our Approach


Our programs are based on the building blocks we believe provide students with intentional space for infinite opportunities to learn. Every student will: Learn how to be a safe and smart traveler – including how to budget, take local transport, book accommodation, and utilize time management. Gain a basic understanding of a region through language, politics, history, culture, and religion. Examine global interdependence through the lens of privilege, perspective, social justice, and responsibility. Strengthen the sense of self, build confidence, and explore passions. Learn and practice interpersonal communication skills through accountability and cooperation within a group. Demonstrate self-advocacy, personal care, and stress-management. Understand the concept of gratitude.

EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION

Experiential Education is learning through action and reflection.
Action: Students will be challenged to try many different types of activities, with the intention that they learn – either a new skill, a new perspective, or something new about themselves. We encourage students to actively be open to new experiences and find ways to appropriately push themselves and step outside of their comfort zones.
Reflection: Students are encouraged to reflect on their own and shared experiences, as well as begin to consider the impact that these experiences have on their lives. We accomplish this through one-on-one reflection, group reflection, and self-reflection.

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.

INTERCULTURAL EXCHANGE

By immersing our students into a culture different than their own, we strive to share and transfer customs, ideas, perspectives, and beliefs in order to bridge the cultural divide. Whether it is exchanging with local artists, students, workers, or even subcultures, we aim to share and learn with one another. Some of the ways we incorporate intercultural exchange into our programs is through volunteering side by side with locals in the communities we visit, staying with host families, traveling on public transportation, trying local foods, and learning local languages. Through this exchange we are able to promote a mutual understanding among different cultures.

Curriculum


 

Through a dynamic and holistic curriculum, Carpe Diem students are challenged to step outside of their comfort zone and learn about themselves and the world around them through hands-on learning process.  With an emphasis on experiential learning, each program is designed to actively engage students and challenge them to contextualize their experience through reflection.

For students that are looking to expand upon their in-country learning through a more formalize academic curriculum, we are proud to offer a wide range of college courses through our local partnership with Portland State University.  We believe that this integrative approach to learning engages the mind, body, and spirit of our students, while providing opportunities to cultivate their passions and strengths.

LEARN ABOUT OUR CURRICULUM  LEARN ABOUT COLLEGE CREDIT

COSTS

Regional Semesters (3 Months)

Tuition + Room and Board: $11,900-$14,900
Program fee includes all food, accommodations, scheduled program activities, and international health insurance for the duration of the program. Airfare not included

Latitudes Year (8 Months)

Tution + Room and Board: $20,900-$23,900
Airfare not included