Location
Multiple Locations +14
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Ecuador
  • Costa Rica
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • United States of America
    • Hawaii
  • England
  • Netherlands
  • Cambodia
  • Thailand
  • Peru
Length
26 - 52 weeks
Need-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Activities
Farming Remote Exploring Swimming
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Apartment Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Hotel
Age Min.
17
Age Max
22

Pricing

Starting Price
24575
Price Details
Price varies depending on the region you select for your first and second semester. Latitudes Year can range from $24,575 - $29,275. Program tuition includes a virtual orientation prior to departure, 1-on-1 mentorship from the Latitudes Year Coordinator, a customized Focused Volunteer Placement, a $3100 FVP stipend towards your second-semester meals, accommodations, scheduled program activities, access to a full year of college credits, and international travel insurance for the duration of the program. International airfare and spending money are extra. International airfare is estimated at $3,400 - $5,600 for the year.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
May 30, 2024
Sep 20, 2019
23 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

An immersive gap year experience combining a group travel semester and an individual volunteer placement, Latitudes Year is the full year option for students who want to go deeper in their independent travel journey. As a Latitudes Year student, you’ll spend your first semester traveling on one of our group semesters. During your second semester, you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your educational experience with an independent volunteer placement.

You’ll work with a specific organization and community that reflects your unique interests and develop meaningful relationships with your host community. Along the way, you’ll develop confidence, independence, and enrich your world view. Previous placements have included scuba certification while protecting coral reefs in Southern Thailand, working with wildlife in Belize, or participating in conservation efforts in Central America. Carpe Diem’s experienced coordinator works with you to develop a unique program to match your goals.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We recognize that we are a long way from the diversity we aim for within our students, staff, and partners. We want and need more diversity to truly become the organization we would like to be. We recognize that this will not happen overnight or without dedicating time, attention, and resources. To that end, we have created a strategic plan to address our current shortfalls and to make significant improvements, which you can see on our Diversity & Inclusion page.

LGBTQIA+ Support

Neurodivergent Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. During the interview and application process, we have honest and direct conversations with students and families about the support that our staff is able to provide throughout the program experience. We are committed to creating a culture of acceptance and support. To that end, our Overseas Educators and local leaders are selected for their skill in group facilitation and promoting inclusive group dynamics.

Accessibility Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. We have honest and open conversations with applicants about our ability to support individual needs on each program, with the ultimate goal of a healthy and successful experience for all students. In the past, we have worked with students with severe allergies, diabetes, chronic injuries, and mental health diagnoses. We know each student's journey is individual and we work with families to support these individual needs where possible to help determine if the program is a good fit for their gap semester goals.

Impact

Sustainability

We are committed to maximizing the net positive impact while minimizing the carbon footprint of every program. In our office, on our programs, and through our carbon offset match, our programs are geared toward environmental education to empower future leaders to move their communities to take action. During our programs, students learn more about their impact as individuals and a travel community - then take a solution-oriented lens to tackling key issues. We also contribute to and amplify the voices of organizations and partners who focus on permaculture, natural building, and sustainable solutions.

Ethical Impact

Our programs are designed to connect to our local communities and provide reciprocal exchange and engagement. Through engaging in experiential education, community engagement, and intercultural exchange, our students develop enhanced perspectives, deeper cultural understanding, and a profound sense of self-discovery and personal growth. We work with vetted local providers to build their businesses as they provide value to our students and programming. With our homestay families, we ensure we minimize our footprint by regularly rotating the communities we work with and evaluating our social impact alongside their community leaders.

Program Highlights

  • 1st Semester: Join a group semester in Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, South America, Central America, Hawai'i, or India & Nepal
  • 2nd Semester: Work with our coordinator to craft a Focused Volunteer Placement (FVP) in a region of the world that reflects your goals and interests
  • Contribute wholeheartedly: Dive in deeper on a topic that interests you and learn by doing as you contribute to a new community in the field of your choice
  • Become an experienced traveler: Develop your travel skills during your first semester, guided by your peers and Overseas Educators
  • Uniquely crafted for you: As an independent traveler, build meaningful relationships with your host community, gain independence, and expand your cultural awareness through immersive experiences

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Default avatar
Emily
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

India Semester and FVP in Peru

My gap year with Carpe Diem changed my life in more ways than I thought possible. My semester in India was definitely my favorite part and it impacted me the most. India is an amazing place with so much to offer. The program for the India semester really pushes you outside of your comfort zone, makes you content with the world around you, yourself, and others that are very different from you, and changes your perspective on just about everything. The volunteer work we did there was incredible, each location we went to was amazing, and all the activities we did will forever be memories I cherish. I miss my trip there so much!
My volunteer placement in Ollantaytambo, Peru was good too. It was not the best fit for me in terms of the work I was doing, but that was not Carpe Diem's fault. While I would definitely recommend going through Carpe Diem Education, I do not think I would recommend volunteering with Awamaki in Peru unless you are looking for computer work. My experience in Peru was still amazing, however. I got to work with indigenous Andean women, hiked and live in the Andes, make amazing friends, gain a lot of independence and confidence in myself, take weekend trips to the Amazon, Cusco, and other locations, and do a ten day trek in the most beautiful place on Earth. I don't think I would repeat my time in Peru with Awamaki, but Peru is definitely a great place to go.
Carpe Diem's programs are set up in an amazing way to get you the most cultural immersion, exposure to different views and lives, work toward your own personal goals, and allow you to grow as an individual separate from societal pressures. Their organization is designed to make you more independent, responsible, brave, and open-minded. Choosing Carpe Diem was the best decision I have ever made.

146 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Shay
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Take a Year to Change Your Life

We read often of the benefits of gap years, how they are life-changing, prepare young adults for college, and often termed "the best year ever." While these claims hold much legitimacy, few programs can unequivocally fulfill all of them; that is, except Carpe Diem Education.

I was lucky enough to find Carpe Diem for the year after my high school graduation, 2010-2011, and can to this day stand by them as indisputably the best gap year program internationally. I could never imagine how my life would appear today had I not participated in the Latitudes Program, spending one full semester in Central America on a group trip and another semester on an independent internship in Ecuador. I gained essential skills in organization, writing, budgeting, and leadership; I tackled fears head-on while cultivating an insatiable curiosity; I grew more confident in my abilities scholastically and personally; I became completely fluent in another language equivalent to the level of my mother tongue; I created life-long friendships with other participants and locals to this day.

Carpe Diem stood by me, answering my plethora of questions before the trip, appeasing my nervous mother during the trip, and accommodating me to practice my religious observances as a modern-orthodox Jew throughout the program. The coordinators supported me in arranging my internship placement, while simultaneously giving me enough space to be independent too. My trip leaders on the group trip were inspiring, confronting, and were the catalysts toward driving the personal developments of participants as we all pushed our comfort zone together with volunteer work that included arduous physical labor, language school, teaching English, and working with wildlife. My independent internship at an Inca ruin Hacienda gave me ample opportunity to dabble into a variety of fields, including farming, local cooking, horseback riding, translating, writing, and being a tour guide to hone my interests for my future career and quench my diverse interests. Carpe Diem pushed me emotionally and physically every day to find comfort through discomfort, to understand and be proactive in my surroundings, and to cultivate empathy.

I was also able to earn college credit through Portland State University (PSU), which was an incredible opportunity considering that at the time of my gap year, I was unsure where I would attend school.

Today, I have finished a degree from an ivy-league institution, consider myself a world traveler (whatever that really means), and am confident in following where the wind blows for my next steps. And for my accomplishments, strengths, attitude, determination, courage, and drive, I will forever be indebted to Carpe Diem. If you want a program that will open you up and allow you to carve out who you hope to be, to gain inspiration for your future, to truly make a difference, to build life-long relationships, and to push your comfort zone, look no further, because you’ve arrived at the best possible place.

151 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jack
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Welcome to the jungle!!

Getting on the flight was one of the hardest and scariest things I have done. Finding yourself in a foreign place with no one but yourself is both terrifying and incredible experience, but one I will never forget. I found myself two months prior to leaving, not knowing where to go or what to do for the second semester of my gap year. I felt lost. I went to one my group leaders on my semester through Africa and asked him "What he thought?" It turned into a discussion about passion, spirituality, and adventure that I will never forget. Because of him I found myself arriving at one of the greatest places I have even been. Parque Ambue Ari. He told me many stories and prepared me for the lifestyle, the work, and the people there and I could not have been happier. I remember arriving to closest town, having everything written out in my journal and using all my skills I acquired through my first semester, it was getting dark and I had just grabbed the next bus out. I told the driver El Parque, and we were on our way. 45 min later I arrive, at the dead of night into this desolate looking camp located in the jungle. This place was my home for the next 4 months. My life comprised of me waking every morning at 6:30 in the morning and beginning work at 7. Every morning the volunteers would complete our daily and weekly task, which would consist of cleaning bathrooms to feeding Tapirs. At 8 we would all file into the comedor(dining hall), and have our breakfast of eggs and bread. Then it was off into the jungle for the morning. Each volunteer was assigned one or more cat to work with. I had Maggie, a Puma in the mornings, and Ru a Jaguar in the afternoons. Each day was a new and unbelievable experience with these animals, and everyday your bond with them would grow stronger and stronger. The work consisted of enriching there everyday lives, feeding, cleaning, clearing trails, etc. The conditions were not easy, and it was hard at times. But it was worth it, and the people you were with were there for the same reasons, you all loved and wanted to help these amazing animals! The people at the park were great, and I created so many great bonds with so many different people from around the world. Before arriving I was a shy kids, and many people at the camp commented on how much I had changed from my first 2-3 weeks at the park, to this outgoing, crazy, fun loving, weird kid. The change I saw in myself was great, and I have Carpe Diem to thank for that! Following my first three months at the park, I left and traveled around Bolivia a month meeting new people along the way, and making some new and great friends. I biked down death road, went swimming in Lake Titicaca, relaxed in hot spring under the stars in salar de uyuni, and so much more! The skills I had acquired on my first semester not only taught me about myself and the world around me, but how to live as nomad and have fun doing it! After traveling Bolivia for a month I decided to head back to the park for my last month, because It was the greatest place I went on my travels. Heading back to the park felt like I was heading home! Now I am home writing this review working as much as I can to save money for my next big adventure. I can't thank Carpe Diem enough for the time and effort the put into making this year the best I have had. Please if your reading this take a gap year through them, you wont regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to improve this program I would have more people back in the office doing research on the students seconds semester Focused volunteer program. Having more staff back home to student ratio, helping find the best fit for them would ensure a even better second semester abroad!
150 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sharon
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Go for the GAP!

Our daughter found Carpe Diem (offered through Portland State University) while searching for Gap year programs online. Initially my husband and I were skeptical about sending our 17 year old half way around the world. We really didn't know much about Gap programs at all. Turns out Carpe Diem has been running Gap year programs for a long time, and are very highly regarded. So Evin applied, went though the interview process, and was accepted for the South Pacific group. All of her financial aid applied to this program and she received college credit as well. I truly can't say enough good things about the Carpe staff in Portland--they are ALL simply excellent. We had fairly frequent calls to them prior to Evin's departure in September of 2013. Our questions were answered promptly and thoroughly. The group toured Fiji, New Zealand and Australia for 3 months. There were some challenges along the way....minor homesickness.....a bit more heat and cold than she was prepared for.....but Evin had the time of her life and formed lasting friendships with the entire group. She returned home in December for about 7 weeks and then began her Latitudes (volunteer) semester in far southern Thailand to complete a marine conservation internship. She flew there on her own, took the ferry to Koh Tao, and began her biggest adventure. We were relieved once she arrived safely, She has a daily job at New Heaven Dive, has rented an apartment, LOVES the food, and now has friends from all over the world. She is still in Thailand for another month, and has had lost luggage, her debit card compromised, had to get her visa extended, and suffered a bit of food poisoning. None of these things particularly fazed her has her first Carpe semester taught her to be patient, independent, and resourceful. She regards Carpe Diem as the "best decision I've ever made in my whole life". We feel exactly the same about it! If we had other children we would send them ALL to Carpe Diem!

What would you improve about this program?
I can't actually think of one thing I would change. Carpe and the staff are as close to perfect as it gets.
145 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers