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CET Academic Programs

About

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.

Founded
1982
Headquarters

1155 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Ellen
8/10
Program:
CET Shanghai

My overall experience with CET Shanghai was extremely positive. The program provides a variety of opportunities to engage with Chinese language and culture and the staff is very supportive and helpful to student needs. Jeremy and Nova are always able and willing to lend their help and support. The program is academically rigorous compared to some other study abroad programs, so it's important to be prepared to put in the work. Daily Chinese classes are especially time consuming and require a good deal of preparation outside the classroom, but if you put in the effort you will be able to significantly improve your Chinese language skills. The professors are all extremely knowledgable and personable. Weekend trips and excursions provide ample opportunity for students to experience Chinese culture. There are also two breaks (one 5 days and another 10 days) where students can do independent travel.

How can this program be improved?
1) More time travel
2) Chinese class is too early
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Eric
7/10

It's tough to describe this experience on a 1-10 scale. While there were many aspects of this program that I really loved, there were many parts of the program that were very frustrating. Overall, I'm glad that I chose this program and I hope that one day I can return to Prague. I also think that the program has a lot of room for improvement, but compared to other study abroad programs I think that they are the best option for those interested in practical film production.

FAMU is a very unique film school and the professors are very talented filmmakers. I don't think the general core classes were the most productive way to learn with these professors, but I felt that they all made time to meet with us individually several times throughout the semester and those meetings were when I learned the most. I enjoyed my FAMU electives a lot and the general arts community in Prague. I also really enjoyed the optional Kutna Hora trip, and found some personal time to explore Cesky Raj (which I really recommend!).

I wouldn't recommend this program to everybody, but I am glad that I did it and I think that some people could really enjoy what this program has to offer. I also think it was a very valuable character-building experience that I don't think I would've gotten anywhere else. I personally chose to study abroad not just for the cultural experience but also because I wanted to learn film production. While there are many other programs that offer a much more consistent experience (particularly with academics and scheduling) this is the only program I know that provides an accurate experience of what film school and the filmmaking process can look like.

How can this program be improved?
Abi's GoOverseas review of this program from 2016 really does a good job of summing up how I felt about this program's scheduling and communication. While we were warned by staff that FAMU scheduling can be difficult as it is run by filmmakers, not teachers, I felt that the program didn't do much to make it any easier. Beyond classes just being rescheduled or cancelled last minute, at no point did I feel that me or my peers had a good idea of what was going on in general with the program's schedule. This made it really difficult to experience Prague in my free time. Choosing electives was also a much too mysterious process, and several of my peers weren't able to take electives that they wanted due to miscommunication about the process. Hearing that these scheduling problems have consistently been an issue each semester is disappointing, and I hope that CET finds a way to deal with this as soon as possible.

Additionally, while I personally loved my assigned Czech buddy, many of them hadn't lived in Prague before and were just as new to the city as we were. I think that pairing up the CET FAMU students with Czech FAMU students would be a good idea to consider.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jeffrey
9/10
Program:
CET Japan

If you are looking for a challenging and immersive study abroad experience please consider CET Japan.

One of the most beneficial things about CET Japan is the language pledge: which forces you to speak Japanese inside and outside of the classroom. This can seem quite intimidating, but it was so helpful for my Japanese. In addition, it strengthens camaraderie with the other CET students who also took the pledge.

The CET program staff were also very supportive and always available to help. They pick you up at the airport, help you fill out important documents, and even take you to the hospital if need be. I always felt extremely comforted knowing that I could talk to them if I had a problem.

The CET academics were very high quality. Class sizes ranged from 2-5 students, which really helped me to participate in class and develop a strong relationship with my teachers. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and skilled.

There were many social opportunities and it was easy to take advantage of them to fit your own lifestyle.

My building was somewhat old and things occasionally broke. That being said, the landlord always responded promptly. You should be advised that you may have to pay extra for utility cost.

Studying abroad with CET Japan was one of the best experiences in my life and I am extremely glad I chose it. I highly recommend CET Japan!

How can this program be improved?
CET should be more clear about housing costs and allow for more utility use without charging extra. On their website it says that housing is included; however, many people ending up paying a significant amount for extra heating/electricity/gas costs. The amount of utility that CET covers is especially low compared to US standards.

We were given utility bills every month with a very small amount of covered utility cost. Everyone in my building went over my more than $10 every month. Some students went as high as $80 per month. In November, I used no air conditioning and was very conservative about my energy use, and still ended up going $10 over.

At the end of the semester, CET issued a partial refund to students to cover some utility costs. However, many people still had to pay extra. Additionally, students were not told about this refund at all. According to program staff, CET is not expected to issue this refund, and it is dependent on how much program budget CET has remaining at the end of the year.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Seraphina
10/10

CET really understands the value of cultural and linguistic immersion, and I felt that the program tried to immerse students as much as possible into the Jordanian community. Each student has a Jordanian roommate, and my roommate became one of my lifelong friends very quickly, taking me to visit her family every weekend outside of Amman - they were all welcoming, and didn't speak English, so it was a wonderful way to begin practicing Arabic rather quickly. Additionally, it is very easy to make friends with other roommates living in the building - I found that almost all roommates were happy to spend time with CET students, for tea, to help with homework, or just to talk. I entered the program with a fairly low level of Arabic, but the learning curve was very steep thanks to constant practice.

CET provides many other opportunities for conversational practice: students meet with language partners regularly, and there are also teacher's assistants in every class. There are often days when students are paired up with assistants to practice speaking on a certain topic. The class sizes are small, so the student-teacher ratio is very good, and the student-teacher's assistant ratio was almost 1:1 in my class. Furthermore, teacher's assistants are usually students at the University of Jordan, so it is a great way to make friends and learn more about the community. The classes themselves were interactive, and used a diverse range of methods to develop listening, speaking, and reading skills.

Most of the blocks for linguistic progress and cultural immersion came from CET students themselves. Often, they didn't stick to the language pledge, and stuck together rather than branching out to get to know Jordanians. CET's summer program was an incredibly meaningful experience for me, and after just two months I felt completely comfortable and able to take a taxi in Arabic, talk about myself/my life, talk about culture and women's rights, and banter in the fun and sassy Arab way : ) However, I rarely spent time with other students on the program - most of my time was spent with my roommate, her family, other CET roommates, language partners, or teacher's assistants. While this takes a lot of energy (and a fair amount of courage in the beginning, depending on your Arabic level), it made my experience so worthwhile, and I am still in touch with many of the friends I made during my time abroad.

If I were to return to study with CET again, I would study under the intensive language program rather than the internship program. While the internships may provide a good introduction to a specific field, it can be a gamble, because you won't necessarily be placed into the field you want to explore, and not all internships have a lot of work for internship students to do. Meanwhile, my classes were intensive and fast-paced, and my Arabic level probably would have sky-rocketed even more if I would have had an extra two days of classes per. week. That being said, I entered the program with more excitement for the language aspect than the internship aspect - I chose the internship program, only because my university provides funding for internships and it would have been impossible for me to enroll in the program without it. Some people had really meaningful experiences in their internships, one student even conducting their own research in hospitals, etc.

How can this program be improved?
While CET really strives and excels to push students towards immersion, some of their rules impeded meaningful conversations between students and roommates, student teachers, and language partners. For example, students were discouraged from talking to their roommates about "politics, religion, and sex," while roommates, assistants, and language partners were expressly forbidden. While it is important to realize that cultural differences may make these topics sensitive, I feel like I got the richest possible cultural experience by having honest conversations with roommates and language partners, sometimes about the aforementioned topics. It's hard to form meaningful friendships when there are obligatory boundaries set, and there was also a lack of transparency, because students were not told by CET staff that these topics are "forbidden" to roommates and language partners. I also wish there would have been organized opportunities to meet the other roommates early on in the semester, because everyone was warm and friendly, and once I did meet the other roommates on the CET-organized trips, it was very easy to visit them and practice speaking, or just spend time and have tea.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Gabriel
10/10
Program:
CET Beijing

CET Beijing was great. I went into the program hoping to improve my Chinese language ability, make new friends, and learn more about Chinese culture. However, I believe I accomplished all of this, and much more.

The program was very challenging at first, but as the weeks passed I got more acclimated to the work load and culture, and they became easier to manage and understand. The workload was heavy, but the hardest part was the language pledge. The students in my program had different backgrounds with Chinese study - some had studied it for years, and others not at all - and after knowing each other for only a few days we were left with very sparse conversational tools. However, this created a perfect environment for not only drastically improving my Chinese language ability, but also for forming incredible friendships with my classmates, who were facing the new challenges with me. Additionally, thanks to the subjects we learned in class, the trips we took with CET, and living in the capital city, I gained incredible knowledge and perspective on Chinese culture.

Finally, the program led to immense personal growth. Being thrown into a completely culturally and linguistically foreign environment allowed me to learn better how to care for myself and live in the real world.

After completing CET, I feel confident I can tackle whatever new challenges come my way, and I can't wait to continue my Chinese language learning, and hopefully gain complete fluency in the future.

How can this program be improved?
I think this program could be improved by giving students some materials to continue our study after leaving the program, because I am worried that after returning to America I will not retain all that I have learned throughout the course of the program.
Yes, I recommend this program

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