Carpe Diem International Education To Seize Student Vote Leading Gap Year Organization and U.S. State Department Help Students Cast Ballots Overseas

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Carpe Diem International, a leading global education organization specializing in gap year programs, announces new initiative to help students vote in the November presidential election while abroad. Carpe Diem has worked closely with the United States State Department to make the process accessible and effective for all students interested in casting ballots while overseas. Carpe Diem International is the first gap year program to implement such an initiative.

It's important for our students to remain citizens of the United States while they are becoming citizens of the world

Carpe Diem International, a leading global education organization specializing in gap year programs, today announced a plan to help all enrolled students vote in the November presidential election while abroad. Carpe Diem has worked closely with the United States State Department to make the process accessible and effective for all students who are studying abroad during the election period. Carpe Diem International is the first gap year program to implement such an initiative.

"It's important for our students to remain citizens of the United States while they are becoming citizens of the world," said Ethan Knight, Founder and Executive Director at Carpe Diem International. "There is a lot at stake in this year's presidential election and we want to make sure our students can participate in the election process, even if they are in remote areas of the world."

According to the U.S. State Department, 250,000 students participated in overseas programs last year. As many as 150,000 students are expected to participate in overseas programs during the 2008 Fall school term.    

Carpe Diem anticipates at least 90 students will be participating in programs located throughout the world including Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, India and the South Pacific. For many of these students this will be their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election.

State Department Support
Recognizing an important need, the U.S. State Department recently launched a website dedicated to providing resource information for students traveling abroad studentsabroad.gov. The website offers guidance on topics such as healthcare, embassy locations and travel documentation requirements. A section of the site provides detailed information for students who wish to vote while overseas. In the first week after launch, the website received 33,000 hits.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for students who wish to vote while they are overseas," noted Michele Bond, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Overseas Citizens Services

Growing Popularity of Gap Year Programs
Carpe Diem International Education is an experiential education organization focused on promoting global awareness, self-sufficiency and personal growth through its semester and yearlong programs for high school graduates and college age students. Curriculum is developed to foster authentic real world education while simultaneously satisfying course requirements for college credit. Students are encouraged to break out of their comfort zones by integrating into their host cultures and learning self-responsibility while in a group setting. Program destinations include Africa, Central & South America, India, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. Typical activities include: immersion language study, volunteering with AIDS orphans and street children, introductory Buddhist studies, rafting the headwaters of the Nile, and SCUBA on the Great Barrier Reef.

Carpe Diem staff is highly experienced in facilitating optimal group and personal development in young adults while serving as mentors and experts in safe, engaged international travel. All are wilderness medicine certified, with many holding advanced certification as well as training in Non-Violent Communication and teachings of the Hendricks Institute. Carpe Diem programs enjoy one of the lowest student-leader ratios in the industry (no more than 6:1) in order to facilitate a safe and high quality experience for every student. Carpe Diem relies on well established in-country relationships with local community leaders, families and reputable NGO's. These alliances benefit both the local community by providing volunteer resources, and the student group experience. These relationships are fundamental towards bridging the cultural divide in a conscious and structured manner.

About Carpe Diem International Education:
Carpe Diem International http://www.carpediemeducation.org is one of the leading international academic organizations offering overseas study programs specifically designed for college students, gap year students and high school seniors. Intended to provide an environment for experiential learning, programs are structured around service, travel, community development and cultural exchange. Leading semester and yearlong programs since 2007, Carpe Diem instructors have mentored a total of 200 students during tours to Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and the South Pacific.

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