Why Carpe Diem
A Journey of Discovery
Seize the Journey.
Why Carpe Diem
It was the best three months of my life. I have never learned so much about myself or the world in such a short time. I felt that I overcame some challenges and I see the world from a wider lens now. I am forever grateful for Carpe Diem.
The experience in the southwest changed my life forever. It was exactly what I needed and taught me so much about releasing my expectations. I learned an incredible amount from the beautiful people on the journey and can only be in deep gratitude to Carpe Diem for providing such an amazing and blessed experience.
The experience of living on the reservations and getting a firsthand education on traditional Indigenous cultures and modern issues the tribes are being forced to cope with or to resist is not something one can accurately learn about through a textbook or a classroom. Simply listening to a Native voice and hearing the inflections of pain, anger and resilience regarding certain topics is enough to give a student the chance to learn about what really matters to numerous peoples who have been forced to fight to protect their way of life for centuries and who remain strong in the face of all hardships which have been cast against them.
Possibilities seem more possible to me and my life feels like my own to lead. I never thought I would travel in Latin America and now I want to go to every country within it. This is not a phase in my life, Carpe has truly changed who I am, allowed me to encounter my essence and live more fully and truthfully.
I worked in the Amazon cutting down banana trees, ate Colombian street food, danced on rooftops with new (now lifetime) friends, learned Spanish well enough to be able to develop relationships entirely in another language, adopted the practice of Yoga into my daily life (and have never felt better...), participated in traditional, Amazonian medicine ceremonies and learned to cook incredible vegetarian food... and, in the process, I have gained more confidence and clarity than I could have ever imagined.
I am certain, anyone who does a Carpe Diem gap year will come out more mature, more humble, and with a better understanding of the world and the opportunities we take for granted every day. For the rest of my life I will Carpe Diem, and share it with those around me. -Tom, Latitudes
Carpe Diem was the most amazing time I have had in my life. This is where I really came to know myself as a person, I may have learned a lot about other countries and parts of the world, but in the end I learned about myself.
I have felt such deep, unconditional love in this family, this awesome community. Every moment and every crazy experience in India felt so meant to be and I am so grateful to have shared this with these friends I love. All of this will be in my heart as I travel on my own and go home.
This is such a beautiful chance to grow and learn with a traveling community while interacting and with the wide world around you. You will change, learn, laugh, and grow while experience some of the most beautiful places and people the world has to offer.
My experience brought me closer to the person I truly want to be and instilled in me a desire to travel and learn that could not have been gained through high school or college alone.
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 $1,300, 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Regional Semesters (3 Months)
Tuition + Room and Board: $9,900-$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: $19,700-$23,600
Airfare not included