Carpe Diem Education

Program Reviews

Default avatar
Natali
8/10

This program is great, it gives people a lot of support when they are going through challenges. While I was in Central America, I stayed with two host families, attended Spanish school, did a lot of community service (including building a compost toilet), and immersed myself in the culture. I also explored the nature and wildlife there. I was in Nicaragua for two months, and it was my first time out of the country. Exploring Nicaragua was an experience I will never forget.

How can this program be improved?
It was perfect.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Madison
10/10

I went on the Carpe Diem Education South America trip in the fall 2016 semester and it was the best experience of my life. I met some of my closest friends from this trips who I still stay in close contact with and have had the opportunity to travel with them since the Carpe Diem semester ended. Through the South America semester, I was able to stay with host families and be truly immersed within the culture as well as get acquainted with the other students in my program and fellow travelers while staying in hostels or at community organizations. Since my gap experience, I have been at college and have seen how much I have truly grown from this program. I feel more confident in not only who I am as a person but also what I aspire to accomplish. I wish that everyone could be able to go on an extensive trip like I did that promoted growth in so many different aspects of my life. Not only was it a fun trip where I got to meet so many unique individuals but it also encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and do things I may never have if I stayed back home and jumped into college right away after high school. I am so glad I took advantage of this opportunity and I believe it is one of the best things that you possibly could do upon graduating high school. The staff at Carpe Diem Education were also extremely helpful throughout my entire year and were always willing to support me in whatever it was I needed - even after my gap year ended.

How can this program be improved?
Longer trips - 3 months was a great length but I would love for further opportunity to stay with the group to continue traveling.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Magdalena
10/10

All of Carpe Diem’s contacts were well established and fit perfectly together to form an altogether very well rounded, diverse, and unique travel experience. I loved getting to know the Carpe staff and hear about all of their previous trips. The program has some strict rules but they are all put in place for the safety of the students. Really loved my overseas educators, and met a lot of really great people. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to make some lifelong friends and experience some really special stuff.
Overall a really fantastic program!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
victoria
10/10

i had an amazing experience on my trip! i was very nervous at first but then towards the end realized how amazing it was and all the great people and memories i have and met over the course of 3 months. it was very eye opening and empowering! i recommend this trip or any other gap year program to everyone! I did wind up getting hurt on this trip and they brought me to every doctor i needed to understand my injury, then they sent me home and the leaders of the trip were able to let me come back on the trip and finish it out if i was cleared by a doctor! i went through many obsticles and through my trip i was able to face some fears and overcome some of th harder things in my life! Over all the greatest time of my life

How can this program be improved?
I honestly don’t believe this program could be improved at all it was everything i’ve ever looked for and wanted in a program!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Dylan
10/10

It was an amazing time traveling Central America, however some of the locations could have been more thoroughly vetted. There where a couple locations that felt either poorly planned or downright unsafe. And we where going to some of the places for the first time which didn’t help
It was an amazing time traveling Central America, however some of the locations could have been more thoroughly vetted. There where a couple locations that felt either poorly planned or downright unsafe. And we where going to some of the places for the first time which didn’t help

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jillian
10/10

An amazing program!! Incredible balance between service, education (Spanish, sustainability, local history/culture), and adventure. Great group dynamics and leaders make sure everyone bonds and had a variety of workshops for us throughout the semester. Got to participate in a variety of leadership roles, and learned a bunch of Spanish after barely knowing any going in. Always felt safe, but you still have to be smart. From scuba diving to camping next to an active volcano, everyday on carpe was an adventure.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Adele
10/10

In the past seven months I have swum to the depths of the ocean and climbed up amongst the clouds; I have gained many new friends, a lot of students, a couple of sisters and another Aunt and Uncle; I’ve found experiences to last a lifetime and and a new place to call home; I’ve spent countless hours in various airports and on many different planes and further hours lying in bed sick; I’ve shed countless tears of happiness and sadness and struggle; I’ve let my money flow freely buying gifts and souvenirs and I’ve eaten only dal baht or beans and ugali for the majority of my meals for days on end; I’ve stood in front of classes and hidden from rhinos; I’ve lived in a tiny room with thirteen people and in a five star hotel; I’ve been totally alone in a new place and I’ve been surrounded by loving and supporting friends; I’ve taken endless pictures, written hundreds of journal entries and gained an abundance of fond memories.
My gap year hasn’t been easy but the challenges have been what made it worth it. I sit here filling out college forms and all I can use for my answers are experiences I’ve had on my gap year. I’ve been able to gain a wide range of experience whether it be trekking or scuba diving or teaching or eating with my hands. I doubt anyone in my college has had to live with 12 other people, cook every meal without a fridge or an oven or any such appliance, use a hole in the ground as the one toilet while unconnected from any other place in the world. And you know what, I loved it!
I can say with confidence that my gap year has been the best year of my life. And all of it could not have been possible if it had not been for Carpe Diem Education. I signed up for the Latitudes program excited for the prospect of a whole year of travel and getting to know myself and other cultures but not really sure what I was getting myself into. I made my way through Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania with an AMAZING group of 13 people (with two awesome Overseas Educators) and, after stopping over at home, I put myself on a plane for Nepal where I taught English in the mountains with an organization called Trek to Teach. I learned how to have no personal space and also have a lot of personal space and time to myself. I learned how to effectively problem solve on my own. I learned how to cross the language and cultural boundaries. I learned how to remove myself from the world and focus on the moment and the place where I was. I learned to appreciate certain aspects of home (like food!). I learned how to deal with homesickness and I learned how to deal with coming home (when I didn’t necessarily want to leave). I learned how to make friends in only 4 days. I learned how work with others and work by myself. I learned so much about the world, about myself and about life.
And throughout all of this Carpe Diem was there by my side. My Overseas Educators on my East Africa semester were always there to talk and made it a point to check in often with all of us. They taught us how to independently travel and how to go about volunteering in an appropriate way. In the end I consider them amazing friends not just leaders.
On my Focused Volunteer Placement Carpe Diem made sure to check in with me and give me support if I needed it. They encouraged me to challenge myself and do a program that had a little more work than others and I am so grateful. They helped me find what I was looking for and were always there for questions.
I cannot express in words how thankful I am for Carpe Diem Education. They allowed me to expand my horizons and meet the most amazing people. I have loved my gap year and it is honestly thanks to them that it was so great. So for those considering a gap year I whole-heartedly suggest looking into Carpe Diem Education (and also to simply take the leap and take a gap year because it is so worth it). They have so many amazing options and have the most amazing employees.
Thanks Carpe Diem for everything!
Love,
Adele

How can this program be improved?
I can’t think of anything to be improve upon.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Haley
10/10

So my Carpe Diem experience was truly remarkable. To say that my leaders were supportive would be a huge understatement. I had a lot of emotions to work through between the culture shock and terribly missing my long term boyfriend and they were constantly there for me through it all. Along with that on our huge hike into the Himalayas I struggled quite a bit as I’m over weight and not much of a hiker. My leaders had no problem staying back with me as I stopped and rested and took my sweet time. Through all the tears and frustration they were always there for me with a small and the best of advice. On top of it all they gave us all the tips and tricks to be able to travel independetly, safely and on a budget. This program was absolutely life changing and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it :)

How can this program be improved?
I can’t think of anything. The only thing I didn’t like were a couple of my group members and in the end we all learned how to deal with one another
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Estelle
10/10

Carpe Diem had every aspect of a Gap Year I was looking for. The price is amazing. I was able to take up to 18 credits a semester that were able to be transferred to my university at almost half the cost of a semester in college. Carpe Diem takes their students experience very seriously and adjust the program based on our feedback. This past semester, my group rated one of our activities poorly, and adjusted the schedule accordingly. The basis of the program is that the first semester, students spend with a group of about 10-12 other students and two Overseas Educators, or OE’s. The OE’s were extremely supportive and clearly cared about every person in the group. They gave us freedom to explore cities and surrounding areas when we had time and made sure we were safe in doing so. They taught me so much about international travel and ways to do that safely and in a cost effective manner. They pushed me intellectually and opened my eyes to many perspectives I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. As for the group dynamic, it was great! My group was insanely lucky and we were all very close. I have seen 4 of my friends since then and still keep in close touch with them! The first semester is spent traveling around almost every week. I never felt bored or rushed when we left areas, and I was always excited for the next place we were going. We spent 4 weeks doing Spanish classes and homestays and I learned more in those 4 weeks than I ever did in 3 years of high school Spanish. It is easy to learn in that environment and you don’t have to have any Spanish language skills prior to the trip to go! The Central America trip does a great job tying in learning Spanish with learning about community development and environmental sustainability. The second semester is an independent semester spent volunteering with one organization. My placement was in Roatan, Honduras where I worked to get my divemaster. That experience taught me so much about myself and helped me with my confidence in ways I didn’t think it would. Overall, my year was amazing and worth every penny. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to take a semester or year abroad.

How can this program be improved?
It can’t be
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
April
7/10

Traveling throughout Nicaragua and Costa Rica for two months changed my life. I traveled with an all female cohort. It definitely was stressful a lot of the time because of all the hormones but it was one f the best experiences I’ve had. I stayed with host families. One family which I’m still in contact with. Ate soooo many new and amazing foods. Traveled to places I would have never been able to go to if it wasn’t for Carpe Diem. I learned a lot about the Nicaraguan and Costa Rican cultural as well. Being there during Easter was an experience to remember for a life time. I went to church and walked in a procession. Before this trip I had traveled a little before, both in and out of the country. I did have a great time, most of the time that is. There were plenty of ups but also there were some downs. I twisted my ankle pretty bad the second day I was in Nicaragua. And broke my toe about 3 weeks before we left the country. These injuries didn’t stop me from doing much though. I still had lots of fun wether a few things had to be altered or not. This trip though changed my views on many things; other travelers, traveling to Spanish speaking countries, trying new foods, how to communicate better, and change with in myself. Because of the experience I got traveling in Nicaragua and Costa Rica makes me want to go back that much more. I’m already planning out my next adventures there. Thanks Carpe Diem for all that you offer.

Yes, I recommend this program