Travel, service, experiential learning, & adventure in India!
98% Rating
(5 Reviews)

Travel, service, experiential learning, & adventure in India!

Explore a multi-faceted culture and people as you spend three months traversing the diverse ecological and spiritual landscape of the Himalayas, the Indus River Valley, and the birthplace of three major world religions. Experience how these belief systems exist side by side in tolerance as you, too, live and work alongside them and their followers.

At every stop along the way, you’ll find new friendships and have exchanges with the incredibly diverse people of India. Volunteer with your group at the Mother Teresa Home for the Destitute in Calcutta. See the burning ghats of Varanasi up close and personal. Live in the hometown of the Dalai Lama. Trek through the majestic Himalayas. Choose from soul-inspiring internships in art, music, language, yoga, meditation, or whatever else interests you.

Our three-month India adventure will challenge and enrich you far beyond what you imagined was possible. You’ll return home feeling re-charged for the next leg of your amazing life.

As a Carpe Diem participant, you'll not only have access to our immersive, service-based programming and stellar staff -- but you can opt to also receive up to 18 college credits (an official transcript from Portland State University) and may be eligible for financial aid. We're one of the only Gap Year providers on the market that offers these options for a nominal fee.
Asia » India
Program Tags
Adventure Travel
Study Abroad
Volunteer Abroad
1-3 Months
6-12 Months
Host Family
Primary Language
Age Max
Starting Price
Price Details
$9,900 Program fee includes all food, accommodations, international health insurance, and scheduled program activities for the duration of the program. International airfare, spending money, and an Indian Visa are extra. International airfare we estimate will cost between $1400 - $1600.

Scholarships and tuition reductions are available on a case by case basis. All students can receive a full semester of college credit from Portland State University, credits are an additional $1100 (*note, you will not be in a classroom at all!).

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

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Program Reviews (5)




I have just returned from Carpe Diems India program and it was such a fulfilling experience. We traveled to so many places and in each place Carpe had set up wonderful programs to do and interesting people to meet. I felt very supported by the group and the overseas educators, and even when we faced challenges we were able to discuss and navigate them in a productive way. Also throughout the application process and then through the visa process the staff in Portland were very helpful and easy to reach.

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18 years old
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Queensland University of Technology

Very possibly the best three months of my life


My trip to India with Carpe Diem was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. India is the most wonderful, confronting, crazy, fascinating and beautiful country I have ever been to, and I've been home for a week but I'm already missing it so much. I'm so glad I got to experience it with Carpe Diem. I don't believe I would have been able to have the same amazing opportunities and experiences if I was travelling on my own or with a tour group. For me it was a perfect balance between a community and independent experience, and I felt much more like a traveller than I did a tourist. I couldn't have asked for a better group or leaders and they truly became like family to me. I was able to grow and push myself so much as a person while feeling completely supported and safe, and the things i have learnt about myself and about the world I hope I never forget. Whether it was learning about Buddhism, Sikhism or Hinduism directly from people who practised them, trekking in the incredible Himalayas, dancing and having broken Hindi/English conversations with locals, volunteering, just exploring and so much more, every experience was impactful and rewarding in its own way. If you are thinking about applying, I honestly can't recommend it enough.

How can this program be improved?

Everything was amazing and I don't have any complaints, but if I could say one thing it would be a little more time in places like Kolkata, Varanasi and Amritsar, in order to explore a bit more.


The Language of the World


As my group and I toured the grounds of the site where the Buddha attained enlightenment, I wandered off in search of something stimulating. Before I could get very far, a man grabbed me by the hand and started to pull me with him. In America, if a random man started pulling me with him, I'd probably freak out. But India is different. I had no concern for this man, but rather enjoyed his bold confrontation. He spoke no words to me as he led me to a bench and sat down. He gestured that I sit next to him. I did, and it became clear that he spoke no English and I spoke no Hindi. He calmly opened his book, started to read, and placed a croissant on my lap. I ate the croissant and sat next to him in silence. We sat there for maybe 20 minutes, saying and doing nothing. Every once in a while he would look at me a grin a toothless smile. I was having a blast. There was a mutual understanding between me and this man that could be felt and experienced without words. If you've ever read the alchemist, this is what I believe to be the language of the world. It's a feeling, an emotion, and an understanding in your soul. I have continued to carry on conversations in this language in my travels across India, to Tanzania, Europe, and even in the United States.
My gap year experience with Carpe Diem has solidified loose ends in my life. I am becoming the person I want to be from this experience. If you're looking for a sign to tell you to take a gap year then these words are for you; do it.

How can this program be improved?

I wouldn't change a things, flaws are never really flaws

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24 years old
Portland Oregon
Portland State University

Experience of a lifetime!


I learned so much from this program, my favorite parts were when we were close to Tibet where I learned all about Tibet and stayed with a wonderful host family. I also got blessed by the Dalai Lama and hiked the Himalayas. If you have the opportunity to do this program, why not? India is a beautiful place and a wonderful country where you get chances to take turns with responsibilities and learn what it is like to travel for future experience. This is not a normal study abroad where you go to class in France, Italy or the U.K. This is a program that will stretch you to the limits of what you thought was possible and leave you feeling confident. The leaders are great and very supportive and you get to bond with a group of people so closely its amazing. I urge anyone interested in this program to just do it, whats really holding you back?

How can this program be improved?

I think if I had to change one thing it would be to stay in one place just a little bit longer. We weren't in one place for more than a week and that's a ton of time just traveling from one place to the next. I would have liked to get to know people in one spot for longer. But this is personal preference and it was nice to be able to see so many places in just 3 short months.

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19 years old
Boulder, Colorado

If you're thinking India… GO.


I can't speak highly enough about my India experience with Carpe Diem Education. The program offered the perfect amount of independence and structure to where I felt completely supported at all times by my overseas educators and peers. The itinerary was incredible, allowing me to gain new perspectives and experience a lot of what India has to offer. From early morning temple visits with my host family in McLeod Ganj, to volunteering with disabled girls in Calcutta, my time in India was incredibly meaningful. The relationships I built with those in India as well as the members within my group are ones that will last a lifetime. Needless to say, I had so much fun as well. The energy was contagious and my OE's did a wonderful job of providing enough bonding initiatives to where we became family. India is beautiful, intense, overwhelming, exciting, thrilling, sad, inspiring, and everything in between. It is a phenomenal place that will push you outside your comfort zone, allowing you to develop and grow as an individual. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a challenging, engaging, and thrilling adventure.

About The Provider


Our programs are designed to safely challenge every student. Through service, travel, community and cultural exchange – our students receive a unique and personal insight into themselves and the cultures they live within. Our Overseas Educators are trained to facilitate personal growth and learning within