CET Academic Programs

Why choose 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 Taiwan

CET Taiwan was truly a great experience, although be warned that, while it is a study abroad program, it is much more academic intensive than many other programs. Students take three hours of Chinese classes per day, 5 days per week. The classes themselves do not feel like they take that much time, but the amount of daily homework often meant sacrificing time that could otherwise be used to explore Taipei, the rest of Taiwan, or engage in cultural activities. CET also requires either an internship or elective; I chose the elective. There are not many options to choose from, and while these only meet once per week for three hours, you can only miss one class because CET has such strict academic policies, and the amount of homework per week is not insignificant.

CET does provide a number of cultural activities for students which is especially great at the beginning of the semester when you don't yet know many people or feel comfortable exploring new places on your own. What really made the program great was that CET provided cultural reimbursements; while what qualified as a 'cultural activity' was sometimes a bit strict, it overall made it so that students on a budget could still explore the island.

The location of the program is amazing. Located right in Taipei, it is very convenient to take public transportation to classes or to go explore the rest of Taiwan. CET provided housing for all students, although even with public transportation, my provided apartment was still 45 minutes away from the classroom building. Taiwan has lots of things to do, whether you like exploring nature and going on hikes, swimming in the ocean, or finding museums and trying new foods.

  • Easy exploration both in Taipei and in the rest of Taiwan
  • Cultural reimbursements
  • Local roommates
  • Strict academic policies
  • Too much schoolwork meant no time to engage in cultural activities or explore
  • Apartment locations
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Yes, I recommend this program
CET Italy

CET Florence Review

I would highly recommend CET Florence. The program staff are very kind and take time to organize fun excursions for the students such as pizza making and gelato tours. The classes offered are interesting and engaging, and the city itself is beautiful. Although Florence isn’t a huge city, there is still so much to do. Keep in mind that since you won’t be attending an Italian University directly, it will take extra effort to interact with local Italians your age. There are also many American study abroad students in Florence which is something to take into consideration depending on your preference. Overall, I highly recommend the program and had an amazing semester with CET Florence.

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Yes, I recommend this program

CET Taiwan

CET Taiwan was a very fun and memorable program. On the program, you undergo an intensive Chinese program, where you are learning and practicing Mandarin on a day-to-day basis. The classes are fun, and CET prepares many resources for students, such as off-campus living arrangements, local roommates, an internship option, elective course, and optional cultural activities and field trips sprinkled throughout the semester. Taipei is a very big, fun, and convenient city, and it's great for students to both learn and experience. However, the semester is condensed into three semesters, so having a CET elective course on top of the Chinese course can feel a little overwhelming. However, if you're looking for internship experience, then CET is a great opportunity.

  • Intensive
  • Lots of things to do
  • Convenient
  • Studies can take up a lot of time
  • Quality of living arrangements vary
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Li Chen,

Thank you for your review about the CET Taiwan program! It's great to hear that you enjoyed your semester abroad with us.

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Yes, I recommend this program
CET Italy

Academically and Culturally Stimulating Experience

The CET Program offered me a wonderful experience that was both academically and culturally stimulating. I was able to successfully continue my undergraduate academics while simultaneously absorbing Italian culture. The program offers various trips & excursions to help students meet their peers and immerse themselves in the Florentine environment. Not to mention, the staff is extremely supportive and helpful. I personally suffered an injury at the beginning of the program and was thoroughly supported by the CET staff throughout the entire semester. I am extremely appreciative of their willingness to care for their students.

  • Academically stimulating classes
  • Various fun trips & excursions sponsored by the CET program
  • Welcoming toward weekend traveling
  • Housing can get quite cold, although maintenance is responsive
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for leaving us a review, and despite suffering from an injury, we are glad you felt supported and cared for by the CET Florence staff!

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Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with CET FAMU

If you are a filmmaking student looking for a program to develop your knowledge and skills, this program would be a strong choice. The variety of classes along with the opportunity to work with 16mm film has allowed me to learn so many new skills in such a short time. However, this program is quite different than your traditional study abroad. I would highly encourage any student to consider what they want to prioritize with their study abroad experience. Keep in mind that this program is by nature very intensive with a demanding schedule that does not allow much time for extracurricular travel and activities. So, if you are looking for a program with a light course load and lots of free time, this is likely not the one for you. However, I do feel that the intensity of this program has allowed me to grow exponentially as a person and helped prepared me for the film industry. One of the most valuable things I have learned at FAMU is the ability to integrate feedback from multiple mentors into my work. This aspect is something that I will take into my future courses and life beyond school.
Outside of the program, I believe that Prague is one of the best cities to study abroad in. I have never felt unsafe anywhere in the city, and there is a wide variety of food, nightlife, and other attractions to enjoy. Taking the Film Czech course quickly prepared me for being able to speak and understand the language in stores, restaurants, etc. However, I also found it rare to meet a Czech person who does not speak any English. Once you find the courage to try the traditional food, culture, and transportation, the city can quickly feel like home!
Overall, I am very grateful that I was able to participate in this program and that it has allowed me to grow so much as a person and a filmmaker.

  • Getting to work with professional film equipment
  • Learning from mentors who have industry experience
  • Housing accommodations are nice and in a very convenient location
  • Long class hours can be draining
  • Very little free time for travel
  • You're on your own for buying food/groceries
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Christian,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some great photos from the program!


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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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