Carpe Mundi Spotlight
The founders of Carpe Mundi believe every student can benefit from the experience of traveling and studying in other countries—regardless of their socioeconomic status. But access to those programs and relating those experiences to their everyday lives once returning proved to be a real challenge. So, founders made it their mission to help refine that process for any students that wanted to participate.
Carpe Mundi was founded in 2009, two years after its partner organization, Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem is a Portland-based operator of international experiential education programs for students. Carpe Mundi was formed to help students apply for scholarships, attend travel programs, and reintegrate after participating in Carpe Diem’s programs.
“Carpe Mundi was formed to help student apply for scholarships, attend travel programs, and reintegrate after participating in Carpe Diem’s programs.”
Carpe Mundi’s mission became clear after program managers noticed that students were having a hard time navigating the scholarship application process, preparing to travel for an extended period of time, then reintegrating their experiences into their home lives.
To address this challenge, Carpe Mundi advisors help students apply for grants and scholarship programs. They help students navigate confusing travel logistics, and help them manage their school life before their journey abroad even begins.
Carpe Mundi then helps students integrate their travel experience back into their lives in Portland.
According to Rachel Anderholder, Executive Director of Carpe Mundi, this introductory and reintegration program is such a large focus of the program because “it’s so easy when you’re in a different place to be different, to change your habits and to be really inspired by what you are learning. At the same time it’s really easy when you get back home to just get back into the same old patterns.”
Once back in Portland—after sometimes life changing trips abroad—students are paired with volunteer writing mentors to help write required essays (Carpe Mundi requires each student to write a paper per class on their experience). Mentors are also there to have one-on-one conversations about their sometimes-disorienting experience of returning home after being gone for extended periods of time.
This structure has been very successful for many students. And, after 20 years, the program is thriving. Program managers hope, however, that more students take that first step and contact them. A phone call or email could translate into a life-changing experience abroad.
Here are what some current and former PCC students had to say about their experiences:
“Carpe Mundi gave me an opportunity to look deeper inside myself. And meeting the people in Southeast Asia made my want to start calling it my second home.”
“My Carpe Mundi experience was none other than thrilling, remarkable, and life changing! I would do it all over again if given the chance. My experience bettered me as a person and gave me a perspective of our world that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.”
Carpe Mundi gave me the opportunity to experience a new way of learning, and while experiencing the world through new lenses. My study abroad experience helped me be more open to new ideas, I learned how to create a safe space, I increased my self-confidence, and I learned how to open up and share my feelings with others.
-Arisbeth Garcia Delgado
Carpe Mundi applications are now available!