Where Will You Carpe Diem?

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! y e n r ou j seize the “Carpe prepares a student for mindful, fulfilling, and immersive travel and living. I started my year hoping to get to know myself and my passions, my experiences delivered that and so much more than I could have ever anticipated. I have gained so much confidence, knowledge, drive, and resilience through this program as well as an amazing network of eager, passionate humans who want to change the world like me.”

— fall 2019 latitudes student

our program components

Community Engagement: Connect with others through shared goals and common purpose.

Cultural Immersion: Explore new ideas and unique perspectives.

Homestay: Build community and participate in local ways of living.

Service Learning: Collaborate with community partners to do meaningful hands-on work.

Reflection Retreat: Take time to integrate and contextualize all that you have experienced.

Language Study: Develop your language skills through instruction from native speakers.

Outdoor Adventure: Get off the beaten path and discover some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Student-Directed Travel: Practice your skills as you grow into a savvy international traveler.

Environmental Conservation: Engage in efforts to promote the well being of the local environment.

“Carpe Diem has provided me an opportunity for introspection and personal growth that I never felt I had during my entire previous academic career.”

— sophie, fall 2020 borderlands

why choose carpe diem? experiential education

diversity & inclusion

You’ll not only venture into some of the most stunning places on earth, you’ll discover the beauty and depth of local culture, and develop tangible skills.

We strive to make the gap year experience available to a diverse population. We offer scholarships, accept 529 plans and can arrange payment plans. We also partner with Carpe Mundi to provide gap year opportunities to low income, first generation students from the local Portland, Oregon community.

overseas educators (OEs) Our Overseas Educators are world travelers who will mentor and guide you in developing a deeper awareness of your interests, passions and sense of purpose through service learning, cultural immersion, and adventure.

latitudes year Our two semester program will help you develop a greater sense of independence and take a deeper dive into cultural immersion and community engagement.

college credit Through our partnership with Portland State University, you can earn up to 18 quarter credits on a semester program or up to 36 quarter credits on the Latitudes Year.

climate commitment We offer carbon offsetting and are a Certified B Corporation® demonstrating our commitment to people and the planet over profits. We are carefully examining our programs to lessen our environmental impact.


where will you carpe diem?



Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

Guatemala, Costa Rica & Roatan





Ecuador and Peru



Fiji, Australia & New Zealan


compare our programs PROGRAM








Latitudes Year

Fall semester location + spring semester in country of your choice

Group semester + independent semester

Fall: ✓ Spring: optional


Up to You!


United States

Mountains to Sea: Environmental Connection & Adventure

No language program

Rainforest Trek & Surfing

US Borderlands

United States

Conservation & Border Studies

No language program

Explore the Grand Canyon

Italy & Greece

Italy & Greece

Climate Change: Resilience & Regeneration

Intro to Italian & Greek

Wilderness Wildlife Trek

Spain & Morocco

Spain & Morocco

Human Migration & Language Study

3 weeks Arabic Instruction

Hike the Camino

South Pacific

Australia, New Zealand & Fiji

Environmental Conservation & Leadership

No language program

Scuba & Outdoor Leadership School

Southeast Asia

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

Human Rights & Cultural Exchange

Intro to Thai

Hiking & Scuba Diving

Central America

Guatemala, Costa Rica & Roatan

Sustainability & Spanish Immersion

3-4 weeks Spanish instruction

Hiking & Scuba Diving

South America

Ecuador & Peru

Spanish Immersion & Conservation

3-4 weeks Spanish instruction

Machu Picchu Trek



Spirituality & Climate Change

Intro to Hindi

Backpack the Himalayas

download our workbook to plan your gap year, research programs, and find the best opportunity for you

ad o l n w o D ow! N

latitudes year program

You’ll spend Fall semester traveling with inspired peers on one of our group semester programs. During spring semester you’ll participate in a Focused Volunteer Placement (FVP) in the country of your choice.

“Each morning we go to the beach to either build, move, or deploy reef structures into the ocean in front of where I have been living. On Thursdays, weather permitting, we get to scuba dive in order to put these structures in place…”

— sydney, latitudes year 2020, indonesia click here to read more on the carpe diem blog



Live and work on a regenerative farm/permaculture site.

Learn to surf from local experts. Trek and camp in the lush Hawai’ian wilderness.

Participate in a mindfulness retreat and reflect on your journey.

“My horizons and perspectives were expanded in ways I never expected, and I am so glad I had this opportunity to look more into myself as a person and look out into the world as a whole.”

click here to download a sample itinerary

Enjoy a 5-6 day hike through the beautiful desert and mountains of southern Arizona.

Experience daily life on an organic farm and permaculture site in Patagonia, Arizona.

Discuss US-Mexico border issues with local activists and authors.

“It is our last day of work before prepping for our backpacking trek. We went back to the native plant nursery with Francesca...”

click here to read more on the carpe diem blog

us borderlands


italy & greece

CLIMATE CHANGE: RESILIENCE AND REGENERATION Travel to Matera and partner with a local NGO focusing on social issues related to climate change.

Go on a five-day, fully guided wildlife safari in stunning Abruzzo National Park.

Spend a week in Athens living with local families and studying Greek.

“I feel I learned so much more about myself, other people, and the world around me after traveling this year than I ever would have in a year of college.”

— fall 2019 latitudes student

Study Moroccan Arabic and practice the language while living with a host family.

Discover the joy and simplicity of a walking pilgrimage on the famed Camino de Santiago.

Engage with local NGOs that advocate for women’s empowerment, youth mobilization, and migrant populations.

“We made the commute up a hill to the Spanish Mosque, where we watched the sun set over the blue city…”

click here to read more on the carpe diem blog

spain & morocco


south pacific

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND LEADERSHIP Explore the mountains, forests, and beaches of the Abel Tasman region of New Zealand while learning about the local environment. Explore life in a remote Fijiian village, living with homestay families and learning about the intricacies of village social structure. Work with farmers and scientists who are actively addressing climate change through regenerative agriculture, wildland conservation, and sustainable design.

“It’s Mia and Lucas here to let you all know what we’ve been up to during the past week here in Rotoura…”

click here to read more on the carpe diem blog

Dive into topics of human rights while working with an NGO that supports refugees, migrant workers, and local youth. Discover Thai culture through immersive village homestays and learn about local traditions of food, religion, and culture. Trek in the vibrant mountainous jungles of Northern Thailand and discover the complex social fabric of indigenous hill tribe communities.

“We just returned from our scavenger hunts filled with stories. Here are a few of the highlights…”

click here to read more on the carpe diem blog

southeast asia


central america

SUSTAINABILITY AND SPANISH IMMERSION Learn about sustainability, organic agriculture, and community living while working alongside indigenous Mayan coffee farmers.

Trek through forests, coffee plantations, and corn fields to Lake Atitlan.

Engage in service learning by supporting sea turtle conservation efforts in Costa Rica.

“Our week was jam packed with exciting and informative daily activities like trying our hand at making tortillas for our special Thursday night pupasas and...”

click here to read more on the carpe diem blog

Trek to ancient Incan ruins at Machu Picchu in the breath-taking Peruvian Andes.

Gain insight into traditional life through homestays with indigenous families in the cloud forest of Ecuador. Spend a week in the Amazon region engaging in hands-on service projects helping to prevent riverbank erosion.

“This past week was our student directed travel week. After spending the day in Cusco we…”

click here to read more on the carpe diem blog

south america



SPIRITUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE Develop a deeper awareness of spirituality through service at the Golden Temple (holy site of the Sikh religion). Trek through remote Himalayan villages, sleep under starry skies, and revel in the beauty of Earth’s largest mountain range.

Engage in local communities that are actively addressing climate change.

“Here in Fort Kochi we have been taking classes that have been equally exciting as the homestays, as we have had the opportunity to…”

click here to read more on the carpe diem blog

custom programs

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CUSTOM PROGRAMS We partner with university faculty to create unique itineraries that bridge the worlds of academic and experiential learning. Carpe Diem will work with faculty to create a dynamic, immersive experience that compliments curriculum and learning outcomes while enhancing global perspectives.

“I can’t recommend Carpe Diem enough for partnership in the creation of transformative student learning experiences!” — dr. dave houglum, university of portland

“Because of the way the program is set up, I came in looking to grow and change, and the program 100% helped me get to where I want to be. I’m so excited to go home and into the world and share what I’ve learned.”

— leila, fall 2020 borderlands

health, safety & risk management emergency response

risk management

extensive training

We use a comprehensive emergency response system to effectively address in-field issues, including Carpe Diem HQ staff that are available 24 hours a day when programs are in the field. Each student is provided with an international travel insurance policy, which allows access to medical care and expertise as needed.

Program Directors regularly conduct safety reviews to best understand current regional issues. We utilize the U.S. State Department, OSAC, news reports, and local partners to assess and, if needed, adjust program itineraries.

Our Overseas Educators participate in an in-depth, scenario-based training that focuses on risk management, conflict resolution, and the health and well-being of students. We require that each OE is Wilderness First Responder certified; a requirement that exceeds industry standards.

student orientation

medical and mental health expertise

Each program begins with an intensive, multi-day orientation conducted by the Overseas Educators. Through experiential activities and group discussions, students learn about risk management, health and safety, cultural awareness, setting goals and intentions, and begin building a positive, cohesive community.

Carpe Diem retains both a medical doctor and a mental health specialist in the case that consultation is needed. These specialists provide expert perspective for Overseas Educators, and support for students who may need additional resources in their learning journey.

GYA accreditation We are accredited by the Gap Year Association, an independent nonprofit membership association focusing on risk management, pedagogy, and responsibility in travel.

Certified B Corporation® We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good™. Carpe Diem scored a remarkable 107 impact rating as a B-Corp™: highlighting our independently verified commitment to humanity through social justice, environmental issues, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

our COVID-19 response Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Carpe Diem Education prioritized the health and wellbeing of our students, leaders, local partners, and broader communities. We intentionally chose to run one regional program in Fall 2020 (Borderlands). This allowed us to implement risk management protocols specific to COVID-19 on a small, manageable scale. As we expand our program offerings for 2021, we will continue to place priority on people over profit, maintaining our organizational values while offering our students the high quality immersive programs that we are known for.

Specific measures we took include: • • • • •

One cohort traveling in two counties of Arizona to avoid wide-spread community exposure and potential transmission. Maintaining a daily COVID-19 symptom tracker for all students and staff two weeks prior to leaving home and throughout the duration of the program. Modified orientation with masking, social distancing, and ending with a COVID-19 test to ensure the health of our students. Learning and traveling in remote areas and staying in rural properties. All students had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departing for home.

“We would like to commend the Carpe Diem staff for an amazing job done to get our daughter and all of the other students home as the world changed moment by moment. We looked for a long time to find a gap year program we felt really good about. We have no regrets about our choice.”

— parent of a spring 2020 student

“I gained confidence, focused on enriching life experiences, and got to explore amazing parts of the world. I feel more prepared than ever for my future.”

— fall 2019 latitudes student

tuition, scholarships, & college credit tuition

college credit

Please visit our website for current tuition costs. Program tuition includes all food, accommodations, scheduled program activities, and international travel insurance for the duration of the program. Airfare, visas, and personal spending money are not included.

College Credit available on international programs only. If you are interested in receiving college credit on the Hawai’i or US Borderlands program, please contact us.

scholarships Students can apply for our Inclusion and Access scholarships and receive up to $5,000 toward program costs. We aim to support diversity in our student groups. Check out the scholarship page on our website for additional information.

use your 529 plan You can use your 529 Educational Plan to pay for your program. Contact us to learn more about this option.

“I recommend that every student who has even the slightest inclination to take a gap year to do it and do it with Carpe. Parents can feel confident about the Carpe leaders and staff — they are experienced and professional. For my student, the experience was educational, personally transformational, and of course, loads of fun.”

— parent of a fall 2019 latitudes student

! d e t r a t s t e G Download our Gap Year Planner

Follow us on Instagram @carpegapyear

Reserve your spot & Apply Now! INFO@CARPEDIEMEDUCATION.ORG (503) 285-1800