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 Jordan

Great for Language Aquisition

CET Jordan is an incredible program for language aquisition. The teachers are incredible, class sizes are small, and there are a plethora of opportunities to customize learning to how you like and need. We had 2 hours a week of 1-on-1 office hours, which was a great way to get to know my teacher and to improve on my personal language struggles. The elective classes were interesting, although the directed research class was very very independent, especially if your research interest didn't fall under the professors realm of experience. The administration was great and supportive. If you are focused on Arabic aquisition this program is for you. I will say I think host families would help with that, but that of course comes with its own difficulties. The location is in a nice area in Amman, although a little disconnected from public transportation if that is a priority of yours. CET is good because you can chose how connected to the program/cohort you want to be.

  • language intensity
  • supportive academics
  • neighborhood
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Leah,

It sounds like you had solid support within the program from staff and professors! Thank you for taking the time to write this review about CET Jordan and your experience studying in Amman.

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Yes, I recommend this program

CET Taiwan Fall Semester

I loved CET Taiwan mostly for the reason that it was in Taiwan. Classes were overall fine, and I made a couple really close friends, but the island's food, activities, and different cities all were the most memorable.

You only take a Chinese language course and an elective course, so the academic course load isn't that heavy. I really enjoyed the Chinese course because I had an understanding and capable teacher and my classmates were all fun to be around. My professor for this class made an effort to get to know each of us on a personal level. I love to sew and so did she, so we would talk about this during break times, and she even gave me a Qipao sewing pattern that I could take back with me to the states. The class moves very quickly, but this wasn't a huge deal to me because the language placement test was pretty accurate. I took the internship class for my elective course, and if you're planning on doing this program, this is the course I'd recommend. The internship class itself felt like mostly busy work, and I don't think I gained a whole lot from it. However, the internship placement was a lot of fun and really hands on. I interned at a news station, and was out in the field shadowing reporters every shift, so I gained a lot from that experience.

Even when I wasn't in class or internship, I still found that I was busy all the time. Honestly, I was exhausted and sleep deprived most of the semester, but because I filled my whole schedule, I got to experience a lot of Taiwan. I went on day trips or overnight trips on the weekend (most of which are pretty affordable), and during the week, I would go to new places in Taipei. My all time favorite trip was a weekend trip with my roommate to an island in the south called Xiaoliuqiu and a city called Taizhong. Travel was a bit stressful, but the train system is pretty convenient. We spent about half a day at Xiaoliuqiu, which had perfect warm weather for snorkeling and some good street snacks. Then at night, we traveled back up to Taizhong where we spent the whole next day touring. The Gaomei wetlands were super cool though a little rainy. We also went on a two hour bike ride in the pouring rain to get to a subway station to take us into the city, which in theory does not sound fun, but looking back it is my favorite part of the semester.

Its really hard to manage time while abroad, especially since everyone back home was on a complete opposite time zone, so phone calls always ran really late into the night. Time went by fast, so I felt a pressure to do as much as possible, which has it's upsides and downsides. I could have balanced my time better, but I know I would have regretted not doing some activities, so I wouldn't change anything even if I could.

My favorite part about being in Taiwan was the food. It is really yummy, affordable, has lots of options, and usually pretty quick and convenient. If I ever found myself doing nothing in my apartment, I would go out with a friend to a new place to eat. There are so many boba shops around Taipei, I had it so many times I got sick of it (did not think that was possible).

CET also gave us reimbursements for daily public transportation, meeting with language partners, and doing cultural activities. All of these motivated me to try things that normally I wouldn't because I didn't have to worry about the cost of it. I loved going to tea houses, but they tend to be on the pricier side, so the cultural reimbursement made it possible for me to go more than just one time.

  • Great food
  • Manageable course load
  • Internship program
  • Really hot weather
  • Busy schedule
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Isabel,

Though time went by quickly in Taiwan, the memories you created will last! CET works hard to provide quality programs and improve the student experience, so thank you for your thorough feedback.

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Yes, I recommend this program
CET Jordan

A Complete Cultural Immersion

To begin, I'd like to emphasize that this curriculum takes intense Arabic studies but is extremely rewarding. I had only taken one semester of Arabic during my first year of university prior to this program. When I first moved to Jordan, I knew very little Arabic. But only after two weeks of classes. I was able to express my wants, grasp and comprehend simple phrases, and hold basic conversations. My favorite quality of this program is how much Jordanian culture is woven into our studies and daily life. We went on multiple field trips throughout our time in Amman, also had Jordanian neighbors, Language partners. Which played a huge role into our cultural immerse.

My primary goal was to learn Ammiya (Jordanian dialect) Arabic, which is spoken by the locals. So, when I expressed an interest in developing my conversational abilities, my teacher was very supportive, and we scheduled one-on-one sessions throughout the week to practice conversing. Which led to the accomplishment of my goal and my ultimate personal success in this program.

  • We are offered language partners who are essentially Jordanian friends. I got to practice my Arabic, meet her family and friends, and visit all of her favorite local spots, which became mine as well.
  • There is a lot to do in Amman from exploring new coffee shops and restaurants, taking pottery classes with friends or attending concerts
  • Extremely supportive and lovely teachers and the general management is wonderful
  • Time goes by too fast, one day I was moving in and learning to say "Hi, how are you" and what feels like a week later the program is over. But now I can have meaningful conversation with locals which is a pro
  • Colder than expected, so pack some winter clothes
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Annisa,

We appreciate your review on the CET Jordan program and we're glad to hear that your classes and cultural immersion helped you meet your goal to learn Ammiya!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Taiwan in the Fall

I loved my semester studying Chinese in Taiwan. The classes were small and intensive but also super fun, and there are plenty of opportunities to practice your language skills when you’re out and about. The switch to traditional characters wasn’t as challenging as I expected, you’ll get used to it via exposure. I did an internship along with my language classes which meant that I had less free time, but I’m glad that I got to experience the work culture there. There’s a LOT to see and do in Taipei — museums, nightlife, hiking, eating, etc. — and public transport to other parts of the country is pretty reliable, especially if you take the High Speed Rail. Would super recommend you to take a train out to the south in the weekend!

Taiwan is a special place! My study abroad wasn’t all perfect but I really loved it there.

  • Great intensive classes
  • Good and cheap food — I didn’t cook for the whole semester because eating out was that easy
  • Beautiful nature
  • Might need to adjust to traditional characters
  • Housing/roommate issues
  • Buses can be unreliable especially when it rains
Response from CET Academic Programs

It sounds like you got to accomplish so much, like practicing Chinese, participating in the internship program, and exploring a new environment. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and for choosing to study abroad with CET!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program
CET Italy

CET Florence

This program is great if you want to see a lot of Florence. The classes take you to so many locations--I really feel like I saw all of the important Florence sites and was able to learn a lot about them from my professors. The program also had a lot of included extra activities like gelato tasting, a cooking class, a soccer game, and a pool day at a Tuscan villa.

Florence is a really great city as a study abroad students. There are so many students from US schools and it is really fun to meet them all. Traveling from the train station is so easy, too--pretty quick train ride to Rome, Milan, Pisa, and a lot of other great places, and easy to get to the airport. The week long fall break is great for seeing a lot of Europe.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Definitely sign up for the classes that have field trips--you will get to see all of the city this way. The Renaissance Art, Sketchbook Florence, and Food and Culture courses take you to a variety of museums, gardens, markets, and location around the city and you are able to learn a lot from the professors.
  • Activities
  • Housing location
  • Field trips in class


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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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