Carpe Diem Education | South Pacific Semester: Environmental Conservation & Leadership

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Carpe Diem Education has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

Hiking in the Australian outback
Hiking in New Zealand
Fijian Homestay
Kayaking New Zealad
Kayaking New Zealad
Organic Farming
Organic Farming
Organic Farming
Organic Farming
Walkabout
Walkabout
Learn the Māori Haka
Learn the Māori Haka

About

Study environmental conservation and leadership all within the experiential wonderland of Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

In New Zealand, Students will experience indigenous Māori culture while living on a marae (community grounds). Learn about local environmental and social activism movements specific to indigenous rights, hiking the famed Abel Tasman, living on an organic farm, and learning about sustainability and regenerative practices.

In Fiji, get SCUBA certified in the colorful waters off the coast of Savusavu. Experience Fijian culture in a remote village homestay, working alongside locals on community projects.

In Australia, work alongside accomplished scientists in the largest continuous rainforest in Australia, learning about environmental conservation and habitat restoration. Spend a few days in a spiritual retreat, reflecting on what you have learned and preparing for your journey home.

Highlights
  • Study and volunteer with a Māori community in New Zealand
  • Engage in environmental conservation efforts
  • Learn about organic farming and sustainability
  • Experience authentic Fijian culture in a remote village homestay
  • Earn your SCUBA Certification off the coast of Savusavu

Expanded Refund Policy: Apply risk free until August 15th!

Now accepting applications for Fall 2020 semester programs and the 2020-2021 Latitudes Year.

If you apply for a Fall 2020 program, submit a deposit and decide on or before August 15th that you are not comfortable traveling for any reason, we will refund 100% of your deposit. There is no risk to you if you enroll in a program now and cancel by August 15th.

Questions & Answers

I would say so, I am finishing my college degree now in Film and Communications, and all of my friends in the program have also gone onto finishing their degrees! It's very easy to transfer to where you want to go.

Reviews

9.35 Rating
based on 20 reviews
  • Housing 8.7
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 20
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Shane
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

South Pacific Review

I am so happy I decided to go to the South Pacific with Carpe. Unfortunately, my trip got cut short due to COVID-19. The time I did have in New Zealand was amazing. Carpe Diem does an amazing job planning itinerary, connecting with locals, and supporting students. While abroad, students participate in a diverse set of activities and are given skills to use in country and at home. Not only did we have fun, we learned about the different environments we were in and the everyday issues they face. It is interesting to learn and compare these issues with my life at home. Everyone should consider this program, it was life changing!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pack light! The more you bring, the more you carry and the less space you have to buy things abroad.
Default avatar
Hunter
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hongi Fall 2019 ~ Fiji, New Zealand, & Australia

I come from a town in Colorado where taking a gap year has never really been heard of. I remember sitting through classes during my junior year of high school thinking about how much I didn't want to go to college but had no idea on how to justify that to my family. Then, I found Carpe Diem.
I cannot even begin to explain how profoundly this past semester has impacted my life. I have had some of the most impactful experiences this semester--like in our remote Fijian village, at our yoga/meditation retreat in Australia, and in the Great Barrier Reef. I went into this program with uncertainty, fear, and loss of direction; I have left Carpe as a completely changed individual. I have gained so many new values I now carry into my day-to-day life. I feel exceptionally confident in my abilities as a solo traveler. I have made friends on this program that I still talk to everyday. If you are looking for an exceptional gap year program that will seriously challenge the way you think about the world (and life, for that matter), Carpe Diem is it.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I personally didn't eat it--you know, being vegan and all--but on our last day at our Fijian village homestays, the nanas cooked us a manta ray curry. People who ate it said it felt kind of rubbery and tasted like chicken, haha!
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Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hongi 2019~ the most impactful 3 month journey of my life

My time with Carpe in the South Pacific was nothing short of magical and amazing! We had several placements, teaching us about sustainability and culture, each fueling my passion of environmental justice. My favorite placements were the Hart farm and Sheoak Ridge. The Hart farm taught me so much about sustainable agriculture, mindful eating, and the true power of love. Sheoak Ridge was a nature reserve in Australia, where I learned what it means to have a true allyship with the land you live on and the indigenous people who it was stolen from, while having the perk of hanging out with wallabies! My time with Carpe was deeply transformative and I feel like I have a much better grasp on what my future can be. I recommend this program for anyone with an open mind, an urge to learn and a willingness to grow.

What was your funniest moment?
When one of the wallabies came to our camp at Sheoak Ridge and started doing a mating dance toward one of my group members. This was hilarious and it amazed me that I was just living alongside wallabies.
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Caoimhe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

South Pacific Adventures

Woooow. A three month era I will truly treasure for the rest of my life! I met some truly inspiring people on this trip, both within the group and with our hosts, guides, newfound friends, and acquaintances throughout the semester. After sharing ups (the otherworldly Outback stars, scuba diving in the vibrant reefs of Fiji, hiking through the astounding hills of the Abel Tasman in New Zealand), downs (travel days), stories, and most prominently, laughs, our group became a family. Our leaders were fantastic, not only in guiding us through the semester, but in teaching us things to take with us for life. Sarah and Paff both made individual lasting impressions on me as people and as leaders. This trip taught me to see the world in a more positive light, taught me to engage with the world around me, and to value every moment spent with the people and in the places I love. This is a program I would recommend to absolutely anyone looking for an eye-opening gap year experience.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Student directed travel would definitely have been better planned given a second chance. Still made for great memories.
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Cooper
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

WOW

Hands down the most meaningful and powerful journey I’ve ever been on. Carpe does an incredible job of making the students experience as educational, inspirational and fun as possible. The contacts you meet with are all incredible people who teach you invaluable life skills as long as the skills to become a great traveller. I’ve been trying to decide which part of the journey was my favorite but each country and each city had its own uniquely beautiful qualities. The Carpe Overseas Educators were not only incredible educators, they were two of the most intelligent, wise and fun people I’ve ever met and the overall adventure was greatly improved by their leadership skills and genuine love of exploring. To anyone considering Carpe Diem for their gap year, it was the perfect choice for me and I feel incredibly I found a program like that. Seize the day!

What would you improve about this program?
The student directed travel section was a little rocky but all turned out well in the end.
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Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

"Oh the Place you'll go"

Oh the places you can go...
what an incredible time I had in the great South Pacific!! I can't thank Carpe Diem enough for giving the best people and the greatest leaders a girl could ask for. The things we did were absolutely incredible. I can't imagine going anywhere else with anyone else. I had the most amazing experience at the homestay and I would definitely by far say it was one of my favorite moments throughout our trip. However, the Outback was insane. Our tour guide, Guy, couldn't have been any more friendlier than he was and the places he took us were out of this world. If I were you I would go on one of these trips because you won't get to experience something like this. My leaders were maybe one of the two most incredible people you will ever meet. They taught me so much and I learned a lot from them. At first, its weird meeting new people for the first time but this group instantly became really close. Everyone at the airport was super friendly and willing to try new thins. No one was ever afraid of being themselves because you never know what someone else might be going through.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly this program was everything I thought it would be. It showed me how to be a stronger person both individually and within a group.
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Aislinn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It's an experience alright!

I've been globetrotting my whole life, but there comes a point where you gotta do something by yourself, and 13 others.

Before this trip I never did anything remotely outdoorsy, never camped, or hiked, or backpacked- nothing! But after these action packed 3 months, I feel pretty confident doing any of those things now, and I actually enjoy them! If you can believe it, I never did any group activities either! So the most challenging part for was learning to live with 13 total strangers. It was a bit daunting at times, especially when someone was feeling down, but we always managed to pull through. And those 13 strangers became like family, the more I got to know them. My group with Carpe helped me grow into a more self sufficient, and confident traveler over the past semester, and I can't thank everyone enough who helped put this program together!

What would you improve about this program?
I would've appreciated more of a balence in regards to the stay durations in countries.
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Tera
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Latitudes Adventure

I knew Carpe Diem was the perfect fit for me when I read how valuable education, new experiences, and community was to each of their programs. Carpe accepts students who can take optional online college credits, and expands the minds of each student in a way I didn't think was possible. Starting in Portland, Carpe gives a crash course on traveling to that semester's student community, before the leave with their leaders into parts unknown. Traveling with the leaders is entirely safe, because they already have a plethora of countries under their belt, but they also won't coddle you when traveling, which proved to encourage the most growth in my case. Traveling through the South Pacific, I learned more about myself in those three months than I had in almost all of high school. I made lifelong friends within my group, and got cultural experiences I never would have set up on my own. We learned the values of hard work and volunteering, of team building and how to maneuver around a place where you can't speak the language. Living in foreign countries prepared me to live on my own here in America, it made me feel like I could do anything. Next, I traveled alone to Thailand after coming home for Christmas. If you're in the Latitudes Program, you get to choose what country and which organization you want to volunteer for. The process was very easy, my councilor Simone, was a magic maker when it came to checking off every wish I had to experience Thailand. It was scary at first, traveling alone to a country like I did, having to make your own way. But now I am fiercely independent: I can mange money, find a place to stay, good food to eat, all the while never speaking a word of Thai other than thanks and hello (still hard to say though). If I could do it all again, I would. The seven months I spent traveling were the best months of my life. I learned to most, felt the most, and lived the most in those days, and I hold those invaluable memories close to me everyday.

What would you improve about this program?
More leniency on the Sacred Six rules for traveling, but they are definitely in place for a reason.