CET Academic Programs


CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and delivering innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. Originally “China Educational Tours,” CET began operations in Beijing, and today offers a varied portfolio of semester, summer, and short-term customized programs for college, high school, pre-college, and gap year students around the world. Known for strong academics, professional program management, and supportive student services, CET strives to integrate students into their host communities, adopt environmentally conscientious practices, and promote diversity and inclusion across all programs.


CET Academic Programs Scholarships

CET is a study abroad provider with locations in Brazil, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Jordan, and Taiwan.

CET offers scholarships and financial assistance for their high school abroad, gap year abroad, and college study abroad programs. Financial assistance and scholarships are need and merit based.

Upon applying to any CET program, you'll gain access to CET's scholarships application.

$500 - $2,000


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Yes, I recommend this program
CET Italy

CET Florence

Before coming to Florence, I had only been to Europe once, to visit my brother when he was studying in Prague. I had a hazy expectation of what a semester abroad would entail -- likely getting familiar with a new city and people, lots of travel, new friends. All I can say is that CET Florence has exceeded every expectation, and truly clarified for me what it means when people say that study abroad changed their lives. While taking long weekends to travel throughout Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, at the end of every travel experience, I am beyond excited to return to Florence, a place that I consider both a dream vacation destination and my home away from home. The food here is outrageously good, and I always get my steps in -- it is so easy to forget just how much walking you're doing when you're excited to turn every corner and explore a new street. CET has enabled me to make lifelong memories and friends in the most incredible place on earth.

  • City size: Small enough to be walkable and knowable, but big enough that there is always more to see
  • Incredible proximity by train to other stunning Italian cities, from Venice to Amalfi
  • Perfect combination of modernity and history
  • Airport access not fantastic. Generally we take a train to Bologna, Pisa, Milan, or Rome for easier airport access.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program
CET Jordan

Phenomonal Program to Learn Arabic

If you want to learn Arabic, this is the place to be! Despite having studied four years of university-level Arabic prior to the program, the biggest improvement in my language skills was definitely during my two months in Jordan. Not only are the teachers and staff are absolutely phenomenal (incredibly sweet, supportive, and understanding) but the curriculum is incredibly challenging and engaging.

The setting is also perfect. Not only are you set in Amman, but the program is also held within the Univerist of Jordan campus, meaning you have a wonderful opportunity to get to know other Jordanian students your age. One of the students even offered to arrange for me to become a regular at a lecture/class while I was there! Being at the University of Jordan also means that you have the wonderful opportunity of participating in campus extracurriculars and events, an opportunity that you should definitely not pass up! Being assigned a language partner from the university (still a close friend of mine!) means that your skills just keep improving.

The program also actively tries to include you into Amman's social scene. Your language partner will take you out to different locations (often to visit their families as well) and your Jordanian roommate will work hard to introduce you to his/her friends. As long as you stay open to new experiences and actively try to explore, you will make lifelong memories and friends.

The housing situation is also incredibly safe and comfortable. That being said, it is definitely different from the type of comfort you might find at a European or American study abroad program but despite some minor hiccups, we were very happy with the situation. Being assigned a local roommate only makes it that much friendlier.

That being said, there are some tips to share:
- Do your own studying and research about Jordan and the Middle East before arriving. You will learn a LOT about Jordan and Arab culture while in Amman but, as most of the teachers have grown up in Jordan and never lived in the West, they will be teaching you curriculum based on their perceptions of how the West looks at the Middle East. Sometimes these (though completely well-meaning) intentions end up re-inforcing stereotypes that are untrue.
- Although the housing situation is wonderful, make sure to BRING WARM CLOTHES! Water shortages in Amman means that central heating is not a common amenity and it gets incredibly cold in the winter!
- Evaluate what you want to get out of your study abroad experience. If you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and excited at the idea of adventure, this is the program for you! This will not be like a program in Europe - to meet people and have exciting experience, you have to be actively trying to take risks and meet new people! Once you do that though, you're gold.

All in all, this was an absolutely heartwarming experience and, hands down, I would definitely do it again. I met some incredibly wonderful people and people who I will be friends with for a long time (both American and Jordanian). If you have the opportunity to go to this program, don't pass it up.

What was your funniest moment?
There was a stray cat that somehow made it into our apartment building while my roommates and I were hanging out at another classmate's apartment! For some reason, the cat wouldn't leave the hall and was right outside the door of the appartment - when it came time to leave, we couldn't get out. It was especially hilarious because 3/4 of the girls with me were terrified of cats and the cat kept trying to get into the appartment (it almost did once!). Making it back home was definitely a (hilarious) struggle. For the next four nights, we'd hear the cat meowing at our door until we finally fed it some chicken.
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Yes, I recommend this program
CET Jordan

CET Jordan: Virtual Summer Intensive Language

After completing all levels of Arabic at my university, I participated in the CET Virtual Summer program for the intensive study of Arabic to sharpen my skills in hopes of developing a more advanced understanding of the language. This program was much more challenging than any Arabic class I took prior. One of the key assignments that we worked on throughout the entire program was a research paper on a topic of our choice. Although it seemed a difficult task in the beginning, with the very fast-paced nature of the classes and the big focus on learning new and more advanced vocabulary, writing the research paper became quite simple and even enjoyable.

Apart from that, the entire staff was very eager to help, whether it was to answer questions or do some oral language practice. Although the program was virtual, the staff and teachers succeeded in creating a very welcoming, authentically Jordanian environment (in terms of culture).

Although the academic aspect was very fast-paced, it was also very well-designed and I felt as if I really understood everything we were taught and that I was learning at a comfortable pace. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to advance their Arabic language skills, whether it's modern standard Arabic or colloquial.

What would you improve about this program?
I would advise them not to rush through the curriculum so fast, maybe by covering fewer topics.
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Yes, I recommend this program
CET Japan

Osaka is like home!

This is a great program for those who want to acquire Japanese language, as well as experience Japanese culture while also getting to learn about it in a class setting. Due to the language pledge that all CET students take at the beginning of the program, students are more likely to acquire the Japanese language. And I loved living with Japanese roommates. It was a great way to practice the language and learn the customs. And they really help you feel at home in Osaka. I had to leave early due to the COVID-19 situation, but I can't wait to go back!

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was hanging out with my housemates in our kitchen. We colored my hair and just joked around and laughed ourselves silly.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program
CET Japan

Autumn, Season of Plenty

Going to Japan really helped me learn more about what kind of person I am and how countries are fascinatingly similar despite outwardly completely different.There are parts of it that I love that I can only find here. I loved the sleepy Hayao Miyazaki-esque neighborhoods with their winding roads that could lead to unexpected sights, like an unexpected cafe or a small park.
Seeing all these different places helped me feel less conscientious. At times it felt very lonely being one of a few Americans and when I first came here, I felt helpless and nothing really made sense to me. Now that I have left Japan, nothing is quite the same. I’ve learned from embarrassing and difficult times and become a more confident person. The world has become a much wider and more vibrant place, and I find myself eager to explore it.

Academics: There is no doubt you will improve your Japanese. They take their academics very seriously in this program. In addition to the immersion, there is a language pledge to discourage English speaking, and they also require one-on-one teaching in addition to the regular curriculum and excursions, but a schedule is given every week so it is not hard to know what to prepare for.

Support: The staff and roommates were always very kind and happy to help. If you had a problem or concern, they were happy to set aside some time to talk it over and offer advice if you wanted it.

Fun: Karaoke nights, eating out, and excursions were really fun times for me! Even if you cannot speak that much Japanese, it's not hard to participate and get swept up into the fun. It was a good time to relax from studying, try new food and bond with others.

Housing: As long as you keep it clean, the room I had at Lavianne was pleasant to stay in, though the bathroom leaked a bit. You cannot open the screens of the windows but the room had a functional kitchen and refrigerator. The sister apartment, Arabesque, was not the same quality, I heard. One of the students living there had to clean up after a previous messy tenant and had gotten ill from a filthy AC unit, and the units are much smaller in comparison to Lavianne.

Safety: I felt it was much safer to wander in Japan than it is here in the US, particularly after dark. I often saw children unaccompanied by adults playing by themselves in parks as the sun sets and it was not unusual for my roommates to be out very late. In addition, CET takes their safety very seriously and reports via LINE chat if something changes or is amiss, and are available if you are in serious trouble.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Anglerfish liver sushi. I wanted to try everything unusual, and this certainly served, unexpectedly found in a kaitenzushi restaurant. It's a little hard to describe, except a little strange, like ricotta cheese with an oceanic flavor topping sushi rice, but the flavor was rich if you want something much heavier than otoro sushi.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Isabel McLaughlin

Isabel McLaughlin

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the CET Brazil study abroad program because I was intrigued by the radical art movements and street art in São Paulo.

I am drawn to big cities, and São Paulo seemed to offer a wide variety of opportunities and activities. Additionally, every aspect of the program supported an immersive and authentic experience. The most important for me was living in an apartment with other Brazilian students my age. I was extremely excited about meeting new people and building lasting relationships.

I was also intrigued by the Volunteering and Social Justice opportunities that were advertised in this program.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Kalamazoo College assisted me throughout the application process, both inside the University and the process with CET. Obtaining the Student Visa was long and complicated, but all of my questions were answered by CET.

I was in the first group of students to participate in the program. This meant I did not receive information from past participants.

When arriving in São Paulo, the CET team was amazing at assisting students. However, we also had the freedom to make our own decisions and find new opportunities.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I believe that everybody needs to shape and accept their own study abroad experience. Although we all have expectations about future travels, I think it is important to acknowledge these expectations before, during, and after your trip.

Don't compare your travels to others! Social media and stories don't fully communicate the everyday reality of studying abroad, so don't use social media to compare and criticize.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I participated in 5 classes during my semester in São Paulo. My Portuguese class met 3 times a week in the morning and the other classes occurred once a week in the afternoons.

Half of my classes were located at the CET office (2 blocks from my apartment) and the others were at Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (6 blocks from my apartment).

Reading assignments were common, but homework and projects were not overwhelming. This allowed me to use my nights and 3 day weekends to go to museums, adventure to new neighborhoods, experience night-life, and explore parks.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was incredibly afraid that I would not feel welcomed and accepted by friends, colleagues, and professors in São Paulo. I did not speak Portuguese before arriving in Brazil, and I was afraid this language barrier would inhibit others from understanding my intentions and actions.

Overcoming this barrier was a long process.

My friends and professors always encouraged me to speak confidently. Their support helped significantly; however, it wasn't until I accepted my abilities and took pride in my growth that I lost my fear.

What did you learn on your program that will stay with you?

I learned how to incorporate attitudes of community and sharing into all aspects of my life. Most of my experiences in Brazil showed how eating, cleaning, talking, studying, exploring, drinking, and dancing are meant to be enjoyed with others.

Before studying abroad, I had a mindset of independent strength and productivity. This mindset changed dramatically and I now find more joy in relaxation, conversation, and collaborative work.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Nova Shao

Job Title
Resident Director, CET Shanghai
Nova started to work for US-based study abroad programs in Shanghai in 2007 and joined CET Shanghai in 2013. Nova holds a BA in Sociology from East China Normal University and a MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Bergen in Norway. As a native Shanghainese, Nova leads walking tours in Shanghai herself. She loves introducing her native city of many faces to students, and enjoys helping students get most out of their Shanghai experience and proudly being a responsible global citizen.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I am most interested in experiencing and exploring a culture that is very different from mine. I have traveled to many places in Europe and also within China, but my favorite travel memory goes back to the first year of my college life.

I traveled to Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province in North China, with a few friends. It was right before the Chinese New year when almost all the Chinese people working outside were heading back to their hometown to celebrate the New Year with families, and we could only get a ticket for a hard seat on the train.

The painful 23-hour ride on the train was paid off by extraordinary experience in Harbin. The nature shaped by the freezing weather, the way the local people prepared and sold food, the fun of playing in thick snow and ice, and the interaction between north China and Russia are all deeply rooted in my memory.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I had been working for other study abroad programs in Shanghai before I joined CET Shanghai in early 2013. The biggest change for me is to grow from a “baby-sitter” to an educator.

An educator’s responsibility is to guide and train students to get the most out of the study abroad experience instead of taking away the challenges (especially the cultural aspect) from students.

It is certainly harder but much more meaningful than being a “baby-sitter”. Effective communication skills, good judgment, from experience, understanding of student’s background and patience are all needed to make it happen.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Students often say that the Shanghai experience has been a life-changing experience for them. It has an impact on student’s life choices in different ways.

I know a student who planned to establish a student club to promote Chinese language and culture creatively after she returned; a student who changed her mind to study public health instead of molecular biology after she was inspired by the person she met in China; a student who got his dream internship in New York City which owes a lot to the internship experience he had in Shanghai; and more and more students who fell in love with Shanghai and China and couldn’t wait to come back to start a career.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

As a Shanghai local employee, I am proud of my company and my supervisor who trusts local employees and offers many opportunities for local employees to grow.

CET is an organization which actively supports academically qualified students of all races, religions, origins, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. I proudly found such diversity and inclusiveness in our office in Shanghai too.

It is just amazing that every staff member in our office is trusted to be a “manager” of certain job divisions and we are all indeed committed to CET’s mission of equipping students with new skills, broader perspectives, and an appreciation of difference.

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