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What is PDXchange?

PDXchange is our newest program that launched in Spring, 2015. With the same components of the Carpe College Program, PDXchange is available to all low-income college students who want to travel.  Unlike Carpe College, the entire cohort will travel to the same destination as one group.   

Scholarship recipients will participate in: 1) extensive of pre-travel support starting in August. 2) 8 weeks traveling overseas on a custom built trip based on student interest. 3) 5 weeks of travel debrief in Portland from 9-5 twice a week, including day long service-learning experiences and academic support. Students will finish their experience with a capstone project that the cohort chooses, designed to benefit the local Portland community. 

During this experience, students will receive 24 college credits from PSU. 

The view from Ometepe Island, in the middle of Lake Nicaragua

The view from Ometepe Island, in the middle of Lake Nicaragua

Why Nicaragua/Costa Rica?

Known as the "Land of Lakes and Volcanoes" Nicaragua is one of the most diverse and majestic places in the Western Hemisphere.  It is also the favorite destination of our students who travel to Central America. Costa Rica is amazing too, but really, we go there for the baby turtles (they are so very cute and they need our help!).  During your trip you will take one-on-one Spanish classes, work on a permaculture farm, attend a yoga retreat, learn how to make tortillas, trek a volcano (or two), help baby turtles hatch and learn to surf, among many other adventures.   


Carpe Mundi Students in Nicaragua Spring 2015

Carpe Mundi Students in Nicaragua Spring 2015

Who is eligible for the PDXchange program?

To be eligible, students must demonstrate the following: 

  • Residence in the Portland Metro area 
  • A student of Portland Community College, Mount Hood Community College, Clark Community College, Clackamas Community College or PSU as of Fall 2016
  • Eligible for entrance into Portland State University (ask us if you are uncertain)
  • Eligibility for the Pell Grant (applied for through FAFSA - the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid) or the Oregon Opportunity Grant. 

When is the application deadline? 

Applications for PDXchange Program are accepted on a rolling basis.  Priority consideration given to students who apply before February 1, 2018.  

2016 PDXchange cohort 

2016 PDXchange cohort 

What is the Program timeline? 

Application, Acceptance and Preparation:  (The SOONER you can meet these deadlines BETTER) 

November 7th, 2017: Applications Available

April 15th, 2018: Application Due

April-May, 2017: Student Interviews

May-June, 2017: Admissions Decisions Made

Phase 1: Orientation and Preparation

June 2018, Co-enrollment to PSU for Community College Students

August, 2018: Carpe Mundi Orientation 

August 31, 2018: Last day to apply for your passport (if you haven’t already!) 

October, 2018: Gilman Applications are Due (we will help you with this!)-it's FREE $$$

January, 2019: Meet with your cohort twice a week to prepare for travel, take care of final travel logistics, and start preparing for your PSU course work.  

Phase 2: International Travel

Approx. early February - early April, 2019

Phase 3-Re-Entry

Mid-April - Mid-May, 2019: Post-travel programming. The cohort will meet for 5 weeks from 9-5 twice a week. We will talk about re-entry, do local community service projects, and provide academic support for PSU papers.

May and June, 2019: Meet with your cohort once a week to finish up papers and put together your capstone project. 

June 20th: Final PSU papers due

June - July, 2019: Capstone Presentation (exact date TBD)

How much does the program cost?

Typically the cost of an 8-12 week Semester Abroad Course is between $15-$17,000.  Because we are a non-profit with outside funding and an incredible partnership with Carpe Diem Education, we can offer this program at a substantially reduced price. Historically, the cost for the program is $5,000 plus an additional $250 commitment fee due in August. You'll also need up to $2000  in individual costs including PSU fees, airfare, immunizations, visas, and passports. Stay tuned for updated 2017-2018 rates and locations. DON'T WORRY! We can show you how easy it is to use your Pell, Oregon Opportunity Grant and other scholarships to cover these expenses.  This may seem like a lot of money, but remember this covers tuition for 24 credits, travel (including room and board while traveling) and the experience of a life time.  

What are the program expectations?

Acceptance into the program involves the expectation that you will complete several critical items. These are designed to demonstrate a lasting commitment to the betterment (and demonstrated support) of and by your local community:

  • Complete 24 credits (five courses) at PSU during Winter and Spring 2018 terms. Courses could include: Spanish 199 (or 299), Geography, 199 (or 399), Sociology 199, History 199, Women's Studies 101, International Development 199 (or 399), Environmental Studies 199 (or 399), Philosophy 199 (or 399), and more!  
  • Participation in all cohort meetings starting with Orientation in August, 2018. A commitment fee of $250 will be due at this orientation. 
  • Maintain communication with the office once accepted to make sure you get all the logistics done that you need to be able to travel.  
  • Pay the Program fee of $5,000.  We will work with each of you to establish a timeline for those payments.  You may (and are encouraged) to use your financial aid to cover the cost.  As a result, you may not have that money until Spring term.  That is OK!  We will work with you to make this possible.  
  • Additional program costs are yours to cover, including passport, PSU travel fee, airfare, immunizations and travel gear.  We expect this to cost no more than $2000, depending on region of travel.  
  • At the program’s completion, submit a comprehensive Capstone Project designed by your cohort to benefit the Portland community. 
  • While traveling, Carpe Mundi and Carpe Diem Education have a No Alcohol/Drug Policy as well as a No Wifi Policy.  If you do not think you can abide by these policies for eight weeks, this may not be the program for you.