My Carpe Diem Testimonial
by Dannielle, 21
I took a semester off from college in February 2008 and went to Central America for three months. I traveled in a group of 8 students and two leaders. We studied Spanish at two Spanish schools, volunteered within the communities that we lived in, and spent time discovering more about ourselves. I was coming into my second year at College, and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I felt lost and confused about my future and about who I was. I wanted to go to another country and not only learn about a new culture, but learn more about myself, and how fortunate I was living in Canada.
News channel WABC from New York City recently interviewed a student from Princeton who deferred college for a year to work with school children in Thailand, and completed an internship at the world famous auctioneers Christies.
So me and my team (Water 3) are on day 25 of disaster. The first three weeks we spent working with the Red Cross Headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after Hurricane Gustav. Our team was split up and was working with different departments in the Headquarters. I had the chance to work with several different departments. I worked with Sheltering, Feeding, Client Services, Disaster Assessment and Bulk Distribution. My favorite things to do was going out on the ERVs (Emergency Response Vehicles) and distributing hot meals and water to the areas that were without power. We would go out around lunch and dinner and distribute 100-200 meals.
Ethan Knight, executive director of Carpe Diem International will discuss the benefits of a gap year between high school and college at the upcoming Pacific Northwest Homeschool College Fair in Bothell, Washington. Portland-based Carpe Diem offers three-month group semesters abroad to gap year students.
Demand for Student Gap Year Programs Growing
During July, Planet Gap Year was contacted by a German journalist working for the German Press Agency in Washington, DC. The journalist was interested in writing a report about the increasing trend among US-students taking a gap year, and discovered PlanetGapYear.com by researching gap year sites on line. The journalist also discovered Lauren Rhode, a student who deferred entrance to Princeton University, and took a gap year in Morocco.
Lauren's gap year story is published on our site. Lauren volunteered, learned Arabic, and traveled as a participant with the Global LABS program, during part of her gap year.
So, I had a bit of culture shock in when we arrived in our 2nd Mexican City. Cabo San Lucas. I was with my first host family that didn't speak a word of English and being that I don't speak much Spanish, communication was difficult. Also, there were quite a few people coming in and out of the house due to my host mom's open door policy and I'm not really sure who actually lived in my home. Haha. It was kind of awkward, but a total learning and growth experience. I'm learning how to communicate without words. I took an hour to show my host mom a book about Nebraska and I also showed her some pictures of home and friends. I wanted to feel as though she knew me a bit more.
We are about a week into our fourth round projects… I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! It has been so awesome for me because all of my projects have been very different. Each project we work on is about 2 months long, give or take a little.
First round my team was in Covington, Louisiana working with Habitat for Humanity. Basically we learned how to do everything from framing to roofing.
Sandy is taking a gap year between high school and college to serve with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). Her adventure has involved traveling to New Orleans to refurbish buildings devastated by Hurricane Katrina and working as a teacher’s assistant at a middle school in Denver. The last three months of her volunteer service will be spent working with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans.
Hola friends! I’m currently in La Paz, Mexico preparing to leave for Cabo San Lucas tomorrow morning!!! I will take some time time to wrap up Breckenridge and the first week in Mexico!
Hi Everyone! My name is Margaret. I am an AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) member in Class 14 at the Central Region Campus in Denver, CO. I am 20 and I am originally from Illinois. Before joining AmeriCorps I was a full-time student pursuing a Social Work degree. After three semesters, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I felt like I wanted to do something hands on. I have always been a busy person and in college I was a full-time student, actively involved in several clubs, and I was a nanny. I loved everything I was doing but I wanted to take a break from spreading myself thin and put my time and effort into one thing. I was looking to do a few months of service in the summer and then continue going to school but when I found AmeriCorps I knew it was a perfect fit for me!