What position do you hold at CET Academic Programs? What has been your career path so far?
Lauren: I work as CET intern, and my position can range from many tasks with several different teams within the office. Mostly I work with the operations team that assists students about to study abroad with pre-departure materials, as well as receive numerous materials from students.
If I’m interested in any sort of department in the office, I can ask to work on special projects for them to further pursue my career interests. I recently graduated from Colorado College, and I’m looking to get my foot in the door in academic travel businesses. My internship really helps me see the ins and outs of different departments within CET.
Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Lauren: Yes, I actually studied abroad with CET in spring 2013 on the Chinese Studies and Internship program in Beijing. I always knew I wanted to study abroad, and my friend from China who I had met in school really pushed me to explore her home country. Before CET, I had no experience with Chinese language besides a few, brief lessons from friends who spoke the language.
CET offered programs that had no language requirement so I jumped at the chance to start learning in China. Besides the language classes, the program allowed me to explore many places in Beijing I might not have seen without CET. All in all, I had a great experience and would recommend the program to anyone who’s interested in studying abroad in China.
What unique qualities does your company possess?
Lauren: I recently graduated from college, and I knew I wanted to work in Washington, DC with a company that deals with academic travel. Studying abroad cemented my interest in working with American companies who aimed to build good relationships with foreign countries by helping students build those relationships as well.
What makes CET unique from other study abroad companies is its unique opportunity for students to live with local roommates from the host country. The CET team realizes how unique this element is for students and does their best to provide programs that are lasting and memorable.
Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?
Lauren: Without the chance for both language learning and cultural immersion while studying abroad, I could not have developed the kinds of relationships I had with people I met in China. For any student going abroad, I recommend entering a country with no expectations because every individual and story is unique.
However, to truly embrace these relationships while abroad, I had to keep pursuing the language, as well as immersing myself into different atmospheres outside of my comfort zone. There are always opportunities to understand a country not as an outsider, and these are two of the most important aspects to keep in mind.