Carpe Diem International Education Offers Head Start On College Credit

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Carpe Diem International Education, a Portland, OR-based gap year program provider now offers students the opportunity to earn up to 36 university-level college credits. Carpe Diem students are also eligible for FAFSA funding support. Eligibility for university-level credit at a reasonable price is a rare opportunity for the majority of students seeking gap year experience.

"Carpe Diem’s credentials make them a relevant partner for Portland State University. This unique program offers a way for PSU to connect with recent high-school graduates." - Ron Witczak, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of International Affairs, PSU.

Carpe Diem Education, a leading global education organization specializing in gap year, today announced approximately 75% of their students take advantage of the opportunity to earn college credit as part of their gap year experience. In the past year, more than 50 students have successfully transferred credits earned while traveling and volunteering abroad to major universities such as University of California, Santa Barbara, Middlebury College, and Saint Mary's College of California. Additionally, students can fund program tuition through FAFSA Federal Student Aid awards. Carpe Diem is one of the first gap year program providers to offer university-level credit and FAFSA support to students.

"Our programs offer the structured, experiential learning that result in expanded minds, personal growth and maturity," said Ethan Knight, President and Founder of Carpe Diem International. "These are traits that give our students an edge socially as they enter college. Now our students also have the opportunity of gaining an academic edge by earning credits in advance."

Carpe Diem International Education (CDI) runs international academic programs that provide college students, recent high school graduates and high school seniors with the opportunity to start on a path of global citizenship. Students can choose from six semester-long study abroad programs in South America, Southeast Asia, Central America, India, Africa or Australia. Each program integrates volunteering, rich cultural experiences, language study, travel and adventure. For students seeking longer term experiences Carpe Diem's seven-month Latitudes program integrates three-month group travel with a three-month solo internship of the student's choosing. Most recently, Carpe Diem has added two summer programs- one to Japan (open to high school sophomores) and an arts-oriented program in The Dominican Republic.

Since 1998, more than one thousand students have completed Carpe Diem programs. Many opt for back-to-back programs providing the opportunity to earn as many as 36 university-level credits which is the equivalent of one full year of education. Few gap year programs support students interested in earning credits--of those that do, the majority offer only community-college level credit which does not qualify for FAFSA funding opportunities.

Cost of Carpe Diem's semester-long programs, ranging between $7,900 and $9,900, are generally comparable to the average cost of one year of in-state tuition. The seven-month Latitudes program fee is $17,900. Both parents and students recognize the cost/benefit advantage of the Carpe Diem experience.    

"Spending three months in Africa with Carpe Diem after my freshman year had a huge impact on my academic career," said Kevin Yandle. "Upon return I was much more directed and it helped that I was able to earn 18 credits while overseas."

Partnership with Portland State University
Recognizing the academic benefits of gap year program study, the State of Oregon and Portland State University have entered into a formal agreement with Carpe Diem International that enables CDI students to earn university-level credit.

"Carpe Diem's credentials make them a relevant partner for Portland State University," noted Ron Witczak, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of International Affairs at Portland State University. "This unique program offers a way for PSU to connect with recent high-school graduates as they ponder their future career path."

About Carpe Diem International Education
Carpe Diem International 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 1998, Carpe Diem instructors have mentored more than 1,000 students during travels to Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and the South Pacific.

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