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    Reviews (13)

    • Hawaii Spring 2022 - An Authentic, Valuable Experience
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      Reviewed on 08/06/2022 by lukeghawkins703

      At first, I was hesitant to spend ten weeks away from home with a group of people I have not met before, but I completed this program and left with no regrets. These ten weeks were probably the best weeks of my life. I got to experience what it feels like to live and bond with people in a genuine, human way, which was especially beneficial during the pandemic. A huge part of my life has been dominated by the use of technology and screens, and this program allowed for me to connect with people in a wholesome, face-to-face manner (in one of the most beautiful places on earth!). I made such great friends from this program, and learned so much from it, too. I now feel much more confident traveling, and I have a greater appreciation for different cultures and ways of living as well. I have learned several very important lessons about myself from this experience that I will take with me through the rest of my life. I would strongly recommend this program to any gap year student.

    • Awesome Experience!
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      Reviewed on 07/06/2022 by mwmini

      I went on the Carpe Diem Central America semester and loved it. Throughout this program, I grew so much as a person. My group felt like a second family, and everyone we met along the way was so accommodating and knowledgable.

      I highly recommend this program if you're looking for Spanish immersion and are interested in sustainability and hiking. Although prior Spanish knowledge is not required, it is definitely more difficult to jump into homestays having barely spoken Spanish before. We learned a lot about the culture and about different ways to live and travel sustainably. At our volunteer sites we did green building, reforestation, and permaculture work, with fun activities mixed in so it wasn't all work all the time. The 3 day trek to Lake Atitlan is a big challenge if you're not a big hiker, but doable. It is a very rewarding experience once you do finish, ending with the prettiest sunrise over the lake. The accommodations vary a lot, so be prepared for periods of rugged living and bucket showers. Our homestay families were all very happy to have us, so if that's a worry for you just know that you'll be in good hands. The food was a BIG highlight of the trip. We had amazing food for almost every meal, and learned how to cook authentic Guatemalan/Costa Rican dishes. And if you're vegetarian or vegan, there will be options for you. In terms of tech, we had very limited access to internet, even after the first 3 weeks of no wifi, so be prepared for limited contact to home. Most people didn't mind it though, as it helps you stay present with each other. We had a good balance of independence and group stability. During free time, we could do whatever we wanted (within reason) but we also had a good amount of structure with group activities. The end of the trip was also awesome: scuba diving, seeing cool wildlife, and staying in a hostel that was a 5minute walk from the beach! It felt like each week we did something completely different, which is such a unique opportunity.

      I was not 100% wanting to do this program initially, which made the first month especially hard. I ended up loving my experience and being so happy I went, but it took some time to adjust. My best advice would be to take some time and think about what you really want to get out of your semester, and you should only do this program if you truly want to push yourself and experience a whole new way of living. If you go into this program open to whatever comes your way, you will thrive and have the time of your life!

    • Hawaii Spring 2022 - An Authentic, Valuable Experience
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 05/06/2022 by lukeghawkins703

      At first, I was hesitant to spend ten weeks away from home with a group of people I have not met before, but I completed this program and left with no regrets. These ten weeks were probably the best weeks of my life. I got to experience what it feels like to live and bond with people in a genuine, human way, which was especially beneficial during the pandemic. A huge part of my life has been dominated by the use of technology and screens, and this program allowed for me to connect with people in a wholesome, face-to-face manner (in one of the most beautiful places on earth!). I made such great friends from this program, and learned so much from it, too. I now feel much more confident traveling, and I have a greater appreciation for different cultures and ways of living as well. I have learned several very important lessons about myself from this experience that I will take with me through the rest of my life. I would strongly recommend this program to any gap year student.

    • Seize this Opportunity!
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      Reviewed on 23/02/2022 by parkerclawson517

      My time with Carpe was one of the most formative and eye opening experiences of my life. I was challenged to grow into a person that I am so proud to be. My group became my family and I have formed lifelong friendships. I hope to remain involved with the Carpe community for the rest of my life. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my experience with Carpe will always be one of my favorite memories.

    • The Best Three Months Of My Life!
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      Reviewed on 28/06/2016 by Komodo

      On the Carpe Diem Program was my first time leaving the United States. Since my dad is Cambodian I was really drawn to the South East Asia Program to learn about my family's heritage and history. I learn more than just that. I learned more in the three months abroad about myself, other people, and the world in those three months than I did my whole life living in Portland, Oregon. I can honestly say that in this program I developed the skills to tap within myself for a deeper power to overcome the challenges I face. I loved every single moment abroad and after 3 years I still have vivid memories and think about the awesome experiences. It changed my life for the better and I will always will be a traveler in my heart.

    • Beautiful Southeast Asia
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      Reviewed on 10/06/2016 by Alondra

      I never thought it would be possible for me to travel, but Carpe Diem Education gave me that opportunity. I traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Physically being there was life changing with that I was challenged emotionally and mentally. Taking part of a new culture was a new adventure, the locals are kind, the food is delicious, the history is eye opening. I traveled with a group of strangers at the beginning, but at the end we made close bonds with each other. The overseas educators challenged us everyday to get out of our comfort zones and we're there to supportive us. I am thankful for this opportunity because I learned a lot about myself, others, and new cultures.

    • India! Not what it seems
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      Reviewed on 07/06/2016 by Travon

      I grew up a relatively poor kid in a household where my mom would work all day and night leaving my brother and I home alone. I never had anyone around that was building my confidence that much and I grew up not thinking many opportunities were for me. Only until recently in my life have I started thinking I am deserving of opportunities that I would not have thought were for me. Carpe Diem Education gave me an experience of a lifetime by allowing me to travel India and find the confidence within myself that was always there but not encouraged to shine. India was not on my top 3 choices of places to travel to but with my group, I had experiences that I will never again have and I thank Carpe for being the blessed origination that it is.

    • Within India
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      Reviewed on 26/05/2016 by Blanca

      Within India I learned things I never even had the questions to. I learned things about myself and the country I was in and who I was within this country. Carpe Diem education does an amazing job making you feel secure and safe and learn how to trust yourself to manage your way around this country for three months. Because of this program I am confident enough to say I can travel anywhere on my own now! They were great teachers and I'm really grateful.

    • A trip of a lifetime!
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      Reviewed on 22/05/2016 by Emma

      Carpe diem is so amazing. I spent a year traveling through southeast Asia and northern Africa with carpe and I learned a ton. I did my group semester in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia and then I traveled throughout Malaysia with one of my groupmates after. Carpe prepared me to be able to travel throughout a country I've never been to without fear. I then went and interned in Morocco for my second semester and grew professionally and personally.

    • A Year Full Enough for a Lifetime
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      Reviewed on 14/06/2016 by Shayna

      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.

    • GO TO INDIA!
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      Reviewed on 26/05/2016 by Kenya

      Carpe Diem Education has literally changed my life. i was already enrolled in college when i had applied. i was very hesitant but then something in me just told me to take a risk. best risk i could have ever taken. going to India was the first time that i have ever left my home. Being in India for 3 month made me feel at home there too. Carpe gave me the opportunity to see a world other than my own. i had the time of my life in India, which by the way is a phenomenal place. i had gotten the opportunity to learn about myself, others and an entirely new culture and new people and see so much beauty. if you are reading this, stop reading it and go sign up already! you will make a group of lifelong friends, and have a better understanding of who you really are. sounds magical right? seriously, go sign up! and tell your friends!

    • East Africa
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      Reviewed on 20/05/2016 by Elijah

      I took part in the Spring 2012 East Africa Semester and not only do I not regret that decision but my appreciation for that trip continues to grow. I was uninterested in school from the start and barely made it through high school, did not even apply to any colleges, and did not plan on continuing my education. Then I heard about Carpe Diem Education and I decided to take part and it was worth it. I learned to love learning, the rewards of giving back, the freedoms of responsibility and independence, and the wonders of travel. I made friends and memories I will have for the rest of my life, found passion that has led me through school, and developed values that are central to my life.
      Carpe Diem is a well run organization with skillful passionate leaders and I am sure all of their trips are just as amazing as East Africa and I strongly suggest everyone who has the opportunity to partake in the trip that calls them.

    • Best three months of my life
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      Reviewed on 19/05/2016 by Rebecca NH

      My Walkabout South Pacific semester was by far the greatest three months of my life. Our leaders were not just knowledgable and responsible, they were adventurous and caring and they loved to help us all push our personal comfort levels, physically emotionally and mentally. Ryan and Cheridyn were a huge part of our Carpe family. And we were a family. Our little group of 12 strangers grew, with definite ups and downs, into the closest group of friends I've ever had. We talk daily, and had a reunion planned after a month apart. I feel close to my Carpe friends in aside way than friends from school and camp. Our connection grew out of trials and joys so different from anything we had experienced before. Maybe the greatest thing unique to Carpe Diem are the contacts we spent each week with, cultivated over years by Carpe staff. These relationships feel so personal and real, I can't believe I only had been with each group of people for one week. I'm so eternally grateful I chose Carpe for my gap year, and I love every person, skill, and memory I had after the three months were up.