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Carpe Diem Education


Experiential education. Community. Intercultural exchange.

This is how we connect with and learn from the global communities we engage with—and how we are redefining what it means to embark on a meaningful gap year abroad. Learn a new language, live with a host family, and participate in a volunteer project—all while earning college credit—on a gap year or three-month semester around the world.

Currently offering semester programs in Spain & Morocco, India, Southeast Asia, East Africa, Ecuador & Peru, Central America, and the South Pacific.

Ready to extend your learning journey? Our year-long Latitudes program allows you to choose one of our group semesters in the fall, followed by a three-month focused volunteer placement in the spring.

College credit and financial aid (FAFSA) are available on both our semester and year-long programs.


1529 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217
United States

Accepting Applications Now for Fall 2019 Semesters and Latitudes Year!

How will you Carpe Diem? Explore our gap year and semester programs in eight global regions in 2019 - all while earning all while earning college credit!
Did you know we offer three different types of scholarships? Click the "Learn More" link below and discover how to make your gap year affordable.


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My three months in India with Carpe turned out to be one of the most impactful experiences of my life, in every positive aspect. The decision to embark in this journey proved to be the right one. When the trip started and as we traveled along this expansive country, the level of organization and preparation the Carpe Diem Team had in place was truly professional and most of all: creative. The wide range and diverse assortment of activities we went through made every single day a whole different experience.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to learn from two very experienced group leaders that had been through all corners of the world. Their wisdom guided me and all my team members through the wonderful country of India. Having these two teachers was beyond a blessing and their openness to share their knowledge of the world makes them to this day the best teachers I've ever had.

The reality is that traveling is not the easiest of tasks, and sometimes there will be moments where you will be tested and things could get difficult to manage, but it is in these moments that true growth happens. India was filled with character building experiences that allowed for the opportunity of growth. By the time our stay in this country finished I was very proud who me and my group members had become. What started out as a group of strangers quickly turned into a beautiful supportive family.

Carpe Diem did a wonderful job in teaching us students the ins and outs of traveling and how to make the most out of our travels. India taught us the beauty of spirituality and the extremes of life, from poverty to riches. All in all I couldn't of dreamed of a better experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come with an open heart ready to learn and be surprised. And most importantly take advantage of every moment, because good times like these pass by really fast.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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It's my guess that the recipe for self-growth consists of being pushed out of one's comfort zone plus being in an environment that causes one to critically think about the world and their place within it. With a jam-packed itinerary, support, and safety, Carpe delivers just that. Although the true value of a trip like this is created by what you, the student, puts in, Carpe provides an extraordinary opportunity to discover a new part of the world and get exposed to a multitude of diverse ideas and beliefs, an environment prime for also gaining a deeper understanding of your own values and sense of self.

The two months of the trip we spent in Morocco were unbeatable. It seemed like every organization, every homestay placement, every experience was enriching and eye-opening. After our week in Tetouan, the very first city we visited, I was left in awe by the connection and love I felt toward my homestay mother, something I wouldn't have believed was possible between two people who shared no common language. I was left speechless by the majesty of the High Atlas Mountain range we trekked through, and was even more blown away by the warmth of those in Berber villages who welcomed us into their homes with open arms and allowed us to take a closer look at their way of life. We worked with organizations that focused on everything from women's initiatives to innovative new ways to tackle environmental issues. And we ate so. much. tajine. Carpe created some incredible experiences for this program that I truly don't think I would have been able to find on my own.

That being said, the Spain portion of the trip, in my opinion, was a bit underwhelming. Our time on the Camino de Santiago alone made our month in the country worth it, but I'd say the majority of our time did not feel grounded in what was advertised as the true focus of this trip. However, my program was the first in this region; Carpe is all ears for feedback, and I have no doubt that the program will continue to be dialed in with each season. Although my experience in Spain paled in comparison to what I got out of our time in Morocco, the relationship between Spain and Morocco is truly unique and the opportunity to explore the issues and relationship between the two countries from both sides provided so much more insight than if the program was only set in one location.

A big positive of traveling with Carpe is that I found the structure of the program to be very empowering for the students. We are given responsibilities throughout the course of the entire trip that help us gain valuable travel skills that we then apply in a week of travel completely directed by the students. That final week was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me.

By the end of my program, I felt as though I had gained such an immense wealth of knowledge about Morocco. I can speak shwiya (a little) bit of Moroccan Arabic, I understand and have seen first hand the diversity of dialects and languages across the country, I experienced the varied environment, from the snowy mountain peaks to the sands of the Sahara, I learned about Islam, the government, environmental issues facing the country, and above all, I met amazing people and worked with incredible organizations that has created a connection with that country that will stay with me forever. Spending three months of my gap year traveling with Carpe was incredible, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to grow to understand another part of the world so deeply, and also grow to learn so much about myself at the same time.

What would you improve about this program?
This program can be improved by creating a stronger itinerary for the Spain portion, and also slowing down the pace a little. It often felt as though as soon as we set our packs down in one place it was off to the next, which can definitely wear on you over the course of three months. Granted, that quick pace also meant we saw and experienced so much, so it is just a matter of striking a better balance.
Yes, I recommend this program

Carpe Mundi gave me an opportunity to look deeper inside myself. I would have never thought I would be possible for me to travel, but Carpe Mundi made it possible. They don’t just give you a chance to travel they also teach you the skills you need to travel. Meeting the people in Southeast Asia made me want to start calling it my second home because they made me feel at home. Southeast Asia was filled with wonderful things to do like visiting temples. One reason I chose Southeast Asia was to learn more about the Buddhist culture of Asia. Live amongst the people of Southeast Asia I brought back home a deeper understanding of Buddhism. For those considering this program be prepared to learn something about yourself and the world. Carpe Mundi is your starting line.

What would you improve about this program?
They could have more options for countries to travel to.
Yes, I recommend this program
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While traveling with Carpe I had the opportunity to study abroad in a way that most people would never imagine. I learned through my experience rather than sitting in a classroom. I got college credit towards my degree while traveling to an all new country and having the time of my life. While traveling I took Swahili lessons, after my week of classes I was able to hold full on conversations with the Tanzanian and Zanzibari locals! I scuba dove while in Zanzibar, it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my entire life... but also one of the most terrifying.. I jumped into the ocean with tears in my eyes... I had three separate home stays, away from the rest of the group. When you stay in a homestay, you are completely immersed in the culture and you are forced to speak the local language. Traveling with Carpe Diem made me more aware of what is going on in the world and how every little thing that I do is also affecting someone else in a different part of the world.. be it, the way I present myself in a foreign country, the amount of plastic I use every day, the amount of fossil fuels I use, my water consumption... the list goes on!

Yes, I recommend this program


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