Carpe Diem Education
96% Rating
(47 Reviews)

Carpe Diem Education

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 the structure of an academic semester. This combination has proven to be the best way to open the eyes of Carpe Diem students to the various perspectives of the people and environments across the world. We challenge our students by consciously teaching them how to be better group leaders and better self-leaders – and how to safely travel independently anywhere in the world.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Aislinn
Female
18 years old
Tokyo, Japan
Bennington College

It's an experience alright!

9/10

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!

How can this program be improved?

I would've appreciated more of a balence in regards to the stay durations in countries.

Willow
Female

India

10/10

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

Very possibly the best three months of my life

10/10

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.

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Nanci
Female
19 years old
Oregon
Portland State University

Best Experience of my life!

8/10

I had the best time of my life. I was challenged to get out of my comfort zone many times. We went trekking, canoeing, rafting, camping, snorkeling, and scuba diving. We also went on a two day safari! For our student directed travel we stayed four nights at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center. So if you love animals this is the trip for you!
We also participated in a few volunteer projects. We helped paint a kitchen and tutor students at the Mufindi Children's Village. In Uganda we volunteered at school called Special Needs Education Center (SNEC) and at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
We stayed with three homestays. We got to practice our Swahili skills with our homestay families and we learned more about the East African culture.

To be honest, I will never forget this amazing experience or the people.

-Nanci

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Jon

Carpe Diem Cuba

10/10

My daughter went on the Carpe Diem Cuba trip in the Spring of 2017. It was clearly a wonderful experience for her. There were 10 students on the trip with two overseas educators. The educators were very supportive and struck a good balance betweeen giving the students independence, responsibility and structure. The range of experiences they had was amazing - trekking, Spanish classes, dancing and music lessons, caving, snorkeling, service learning on farms and in classrooms. They met a huge variety of interesting people, from the Cuban families who ran the "casas" they stayed in to students at the dance school they studied at to a Santeria priest who made a prediction about each of their futures. My daughter told me that the trip was as much about personal development as it was about traveling and experiencing another culture, and that the personal development was facilitated by both the educators and the other students on the trip. The students and educators became very close over the course of the three month trip. I was surprised by how little friction there seems to have been among them given how much time they spent together, often in close quarters, and I suspect the skill of the educators in building a positive group dynamic played a significant role. The staff at Carpe Diem are great and I never felt as if the group didn't have the support it needed, despite the fact that it is still not trivial to communicate and organize travel in Cuba.

My daughter says she is extremely glad she did the trip and that she would strongly recommend Carpe Diem - and the Cuba Chango trip in particular - to anyone even remotely considering doing a gap program. (She plans to write her own review as well.) From a parent's perspective, I would definitely second her strongly positive recommendation. This was clearly an important learning and growing experience for her and something she will be able to draw on for the rest of her life. You will get to follow your child's adventures on the Carpe Diem blog - and by occasional email or chat messages - but as there is limited wifi access your child will also be unplugged for three months, something that my daughter confessed was another good part of the experience.

Carpe Diem is a wonderful organization!

Program Listings

New Zealand

Carpe Diem Education
Carpe Diem offers 3 month semesters combining service, cultural immersion, and adventure. Travel with a group of 12 other stu...

Uganda

Carpe Diem Education
From the rolling hills of Tanzania's Southern Highlands to the sparkling blue waters of Zanzibar, the shores of the Nile Rive...

Nicaragua

Carpe Diem Education
This semester intertwines personal growth with adventure, service, and a greater awareness of the global community as you tra...

India

Carpe Diem Education
Explore a multi-faceted culture and people as you spend three months traversing the diverse ecological and spiritual landscap...

Africa

Carpe Diem Education
The Latitudes program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and into the world at large. W...

Cuba

Carpe Diem Education
This is your chance to be one of the first to explore this "forbidden country" and see a side of Cuba that few have ever seen...

Vietnam

Carpe Diem Education
Carpe Diem offers 3 month semesters combining service, cultural immersion, and adventure. Travel with a group of 12 other stu...

Peru

Carpe Diem Education
Travel throughout Ecuador and Peru with 12 other students as you share meals, live among different peoples, and build meaning...