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 Colombia

CET Colombia: The Best Place To Go

Going abroad with CET Colombia really opened my eyes to the intersectionality within the Afro-Diaspora.I about race ethnicity and land territories as it applies to Afro and Indigenous Colombians. I was able to travel to different parts of the Colombian Pacific and Caribbean Coast and have meaningful conversations with Local Afro-Colombians in Spanish! I was learning Spanish before I went abroad but after those three months my Spanish improved dramatically and I am able to have conversations with different types of Spanish speakers. Everything that I learned in the classroom was translated into field experiences. It was indeed an immersive cultural experience.

  • Immersive Language
  • Learn a lot about Afro-Colombians
  • Travel to different parts of the country
  • No direct-enroll courses
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Yes, I recommend this program
CET Colombia

Go to Colombia!!

My time in Colombia was amazing! I learned so much about Afro-Colombian culture, Colombian history, and society as a whole. My program not only allowed me to learn about new places and cultures but also forced me to be introspective and learn new things about my own identity. It caused me to reevaluate the way that I perceive myself in different spaces, and analyze the way that culture influences identity. Overall, I feel that this was an amazing opportunity and has heavily influenced the way that I learn about and analyze different topics and the way that I see myself and the world around me.

  • Immersion experience, courses in Spanish and about Colombian culture.
  • Learn about topics that aren't often explored in American curriculum.
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Yes, I recommend this program

CET Taiwan Summer is the place to be!

I genuinely had one of the best summers with CET in Taiwan and would highly recommend CET Taiwan to dedicated Chinese learners! I came to this summer with no idea what to expect— I had never been to Taiwan/studied abroad before— but I fell in love with Taiwan so fast this summer.

In terms of CET: CET was so helpful with getting us amazing & convenient apartments, planning weekend trips, etc. One of the best parts of CET was that their office was super accessible (walk-in, M-F), so I went there whenever I had any questions. When I got hurt and needed to go to the hospital, Geoblue (the insurance that CET provides) paid for all my expenses and the CET helped me through the process so that I would not have to pay out of pocket.

In terms of Taiwan/Taipei: FOOD is amazing, cost of living is so cheap, and people are so nice and friendly. I had the chance to make some Taiwanese friends too through language partners and mutual friends! I also think that Taipei is such a fun place to live since you can experience the city but also nature (go hiking, to the beach, etc) within a 1 hr commute. If you love fresh tropical fruit (mangoes/dragonfruit/papaya/pineapples), Taipei is the place for you.

In terms of academics: our classroom had about 7 people and I would say that was the average amount of students per class. My professor was so sweet! It was a bit of an adjustment to learn how to read in traditional chinese, but it got easier over time and I'm glad I did. I had class from 8am-11am everyday which meant that I had the whole day to explore the rest of Taiwan. I spent about 30 minutes-1 hour on homework everyday, and the workload was light. Our vocab units ranged from women's rights (ie abortions, sexism, etc) to romantic relationships (dating, marriage, love), covering a lot of useful topics. The one thing was that we didn't really cover chengyu or abstract concepts since the class was more oriented on practical vocabulary.

Another thing that's helpful is to read the CET blogs— Along with many other students, I’ve shared some of my specific experiences on it.

  • SUCH GOOD FOOD - Taiwanese food is so cheap, delicious, healthy (plus amazing desserts)
  • Small class size, great profs!
  • Low cost of living, Easy/Cheap Transportation, Free Healthcare with Geoblue Insurance (which CET pays for too)
  • curriculum is not oriented for essay writing/abtstract language
  • Taipei summer weather is very very hot & humid
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Yes, I recommend this program

Pick Prague!

I picked Prague after previously visiting the city and falling in love with the buildings and parks that created a desire for me to go back and keep exploring what the city had to offer. I have no regrets in picking CET Prague. The program helped me understand the amazing history and deepen my cultural understanding of the city and Central Europe. The program requires you to take a beginning Czech language class which seemed daunting at first but helped me feel more connected to the city and show respect to its people (who overall really appreciated when we would try to speak Czech with them). Some of my other favorite classes were "Central European Film" and "Kafka and other Central European Literature". Both classes added in my cultural understanding and proved to be great conversation starters when we met with other lecturers on traveling seminars. Czech food also seemed like it wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I have developed a love for goulash and garlic soup. However, even if you decide that food isn't for you, there are so many different restaurants with a variety of different cuisines to try across the city. I also loved being with people from all across the US, not just from my home institution. This aspect helped me make life long friends that I most likely would have never met if I didn't do the program (and now I have more connections/places to visit in the US). The staff was also extremely supportive and felt like family. They really took the time to get to know you and spend time with you which is not something I have always experienced in previous programs. This was my favorite semester for so many reasons and I owe it all to CET Prague!

  • All different types of architecture which make the city even more beautiful
  • So much history that helps you gain an understanding of the politics of the past and present
  • Traveling seminars and events with the program that allow you to explore Prague and Central Europe while strengthening the program environment/friendships
  • May be hard to do if your major/minor/area of interest isn't one of the program's focuses, but that just depends on your school and their requirements
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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.


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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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