CET Academic Programs
91% Rating
(171 Reviews)

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, and pre-college students in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. 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.

Most Recent Program Reviews

female selfie in mountains
Samantha
Female

CET Development Studies: An Unforgettable Experience!

10/10

CET Vietnam is a great program if you want to gain hands-on experience and totally immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture. The two best aspects of the program are the local roommates and the excursions. The local roommates and CET staff are such wonderful people and they really care about the students. When I was sick or faced challenges at my internship, my roommate and the CET staff supported me and helped me to figure out a solution.

My roommate, Quỳnh, helped me with my Vietnamese and showed me all of the best food stalls and cool cafes. We talked about everything and hung out together every day. Having a local roommate gave me unparalleled opportunities to learn about Vietnamese culture and explore new things. We discussed the public health and development issues I learned about in class, as well as the international relations issues she learned about in her classes. All in all, we became very close friends and we have stayed in touch using Viber and Facebook.

The language teachers at VLS are all fantastic. I went to Vietnam without having studied Vietnamese before and I was able to order food and have basic conversations by the end of the semester. The small class sizes and effective teaching methods ensure that students can learn Vietnamese at their own pace.

The excursions are very fun and educational. Some of my favorite experiences from the traveling excursions include making banh xeo and banh trang in the Mekong Delta, visiting the floating crocodile farms at Tonle Sap Lake, walking through the night market in Hanoi, visiting the Tinh Truc Gia living community in Hue, and seeing the Phare Circus in Siemp Reap. It was wonderful to learn about so many different regions in Vietnam and observe their distinct cultures. The excursion to Cambodia was also a great opportunity to learn about public health and development issues across Southeast Asia.

I definitely experienced culture shock and struggled with challenges such as the heat, bugs, and food poisoning. However, I knew that I could rely on my roommate and the CET staff so I always felt safe. Furthermore, those challenges enabled me to become a more flexible, open-minded person and to develop strong problem-solving skills. If you are looking for an adventurous, rewarding experience, CET Vietnam is the perfect program for you! I truly appreciate all of the great experiences I had in Vietnam and I will treasure my memories of eating banh mi op la with Quỳnh and teaching English at the May 15 School.

Tips:
1) Wear long pants! Long pants will protect you from mosquitoes and you can buy some inexpensive elephant pants that aren't too hot.
2) Explore "hidden alley gems." Alleys in Vietnam have amazing food stalls and relaxing cafes that are great to study and hang out in. Check out saigoneer.com for more information on Saigon's best restaurants and cafes.
3) Take pictures of menus at local restaurants and study them in order to learn food vocabulary. This will enable you to explore Vietnamese cuisine independently and learn how to say all of your favorite foods in Vietnamese. Be sure to ask your roommate for food recommendations too!
4) Be open-minded! Try as many new things as you can and talk to the people in your host community. It can be very challenging to explore when you can't speak Vietnamese well, but people are very friendly and there are new adventures down every alley.
5) Be respectful! Think critically about your various privileges and how they influence your interactions with others. You are a guest in another country and respect, not entitlement, is the best way to approach another culture.

Top 20 Foods to Try:
1) Bun cha
2) Banh cuon
3) Hu tieu
4) Banh mi op la
5) Canh chua
6) Banh xeo
7) Bun Thit Nuong
8) Bun bo Hue
9) Bo ne
10) Banh beo
11) Pho dac biet
12) Dau hu sot ca chua
13) Banh pho mai chanh day
14) Sinh to mang cut dau
15) Banh khot
16) Goi cuon
17) Bo bia
18) Mi quang
19) Com tam thit nuong
20) Chuoi boc nep nuong

How can this program be improved?

I wish there were more opportunities to meet local students from nearby universities.

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HaoYu
Female
21 years old
Allendale MI
Grand Valley State University

CET Beijing Summer Internship: Do it or you'll miss out!!

10/10

Going to Beijing was amazing and being able to do it with CET was even better. The people at CET are amazing and they are always willing to help if you have problems. CET allows you the comfort of exploring China independently, but you will always have a great support network with the CET people, the local roommates and your fellow students.
This program is a great way to explore Beijing and its culture because the internship allows you to see first hand how different the international work place is and it allows you to interact with different aspects of the Chinese culture like for example the working environment. Another great thing is the chance to explore the many sites of Beijing and you can get to most by subway or other types of public transportation. The best part was all the amazing food. You can never go wrong with their snacks especially the many different flavors of chips such as cucumber or honey butter. This program definitely makes you want to go back to China one day.
P.S: When you go pack to your own first aid kit with any type of medicine you will need especially stomach medicine. Going into any country that has a different type water and food will cause some sort of stomach issue. That is the truth.

Default avatar
Ben
Male
23 years old
Boston
Brandeis University

Friendships that will last a lifetime!

10/10

The biggest thing I gained was so many friends that I am really close to. I also hugely improved my Japanese skills. This experience has opened my mind to the world (met so many people from all over the world while I was in Japan) and also made me decide to live in Japan in the future.

The program was very rigorous and we studied so much within a short time. Everyday we had quizzes and a large amount of homework (in my opinion it was a little excessive but it was in order to finish the workbook in time). We learned so much each week. It was also great how we were not allowed to be speaking English with other participants of the program. This forced us to practice all the time.

The staff members for CET were very nice and always willing to offer their support. The teachers were also encouraging and tried their best to make learning the language easy.
I lived 5 minutes away from school by train, and my place was 2 minutes away from the station (though I skateboarded most places). My roommate when I was there is one of my best friends to this day. I really miss my life in Japan!

How can this program be improved?

Homework can be useful, but I feel the best way to learn the language is hang out with locals! That is what I did all day until late at night when I started my homework. Usually got very little sleep! Just being in a totally different culture, immersed in the language, you will learn fast! So I feel that the program can be improved by making the work load a little easier.

Default avatar
Dallon
Male
21 years old
Claremont, California
Pomona College

Spring semester in Varanasi

10/10

Living in Varanasi for four months was an incredible experience and sharing a room with a local college student made it all the more impactful. The local contacts and resources from CET were huge - between the program director and the friendly staff, I could be put in touch with almost anyone in Varanasi to explore my evolving interests. My favorite course was Urban Geography, we learned in depth about the history of this ancient city and then had weekly walking tours of different sections of the city. The experience I gained working on my research project was invaluable and I've continued to be in touch with the contacts I made while there. This was an awesome opportunity for both academic exploration and living in a distinctly different culture.

How can this program be improved?

I wish our 'spring break' had been timed better to include a weekend. I remember it was in the middle of a week. I think that if it had included some days of the weekend, I would have had more time to explore another part of India.

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Aditya
Male
20 years old
Singapore
Other

My Summer in Beijing

8/10

I had a great time in Beijing academically. I learned a lot from my teachers, who were extremely patient and caring. It was only after returning home that I realised how useful the program was to improving my language skills and how versatile my skills had become after spending time immersed there.

The university's location is also great for hanging out with locals, and the roommate component of the program is a great way to have a friend that can support your Chinese study. I think some roommates are not as interested in you as others, and this is unfortunate. Hopefully CET can do a better job checking the roommates to make sure they are participating in the program for the right reasons.

How can this program be improved?

I think the program's students can often be very relaxed with the language pledge and will choose to speak English during their spare time. This is very difficult to change because students will find ways to break the pledge if they are against speaking Chinese. Here, it is important for passionate students to make the effort to immerse themselves with Chinese friends and look outside the program's participants for friendship, as these participants can be very distracting towards language growth. I don't believe this is CET's fault as the organisers try their best to enforce the pledge.

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