CET Academic Programs

Program Reviews

Default avatar
Nina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Vietnam

I don't know where to begin to describe how wonderful and fun this summer program was! I didn't know anyone else going on this program, but I actually preferred it that way. I met such kind people, classes were really engaging (not too tough), and the internship component tailored to each person's interest, which was really nice. I had the chance to explore different parts of Vietnam as well as try all types of food, such as Pho in Ha Noi. Trust me when I say this: the food in Vietnam is PHENOMENAL. My favorite dish was Bún Thịt Nướng, you gotta try it. Overall, this program presented me the opportunity to explore my heritage in the best ways possible. I was also really fortunate to have a super supportive and dedicated staff as well as peers who are now lifelong friends.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You'll definitely want to take a lot of pictures, but don't spend all your time trying to capture every moment you have. Be present and immerse yourself.
Default avatar
Gabriela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Shanghai

Before this program, I had never been to China and spoke no Chinese. I was the only student on my program from the University of Florida because UF does not directly transfer over credits from CET programs. I chose this program because of the internship opportunities, the location and the living situation (and I am so glad that I did!) I really enjoyed the courses I took at Donghua and my internship was a very unique experience that I believe led to my success in securing another internship when I returned. The staff on this program are so so helpful and the program is structured in a way that really allows all of the students and local roommates to meet and get to know each other. I made such great connections and felt that I grew so much personally, academically and professionally through all of the opportunities that this program allowed me.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have done a Fall or Spring semester to spend more time there!
Default avatar
Eric
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Japan

CET Summer Japan was an invaluable experience for me. I had always had in interest in Japanese language and culture, and so I thought that CET was the perfect program for me in order to increase my Japanese language proficiency. I was apprehensive at first and a little worried my preconceptions and exceptions about Japan, but CET's staff (on and off-site) were all really great and helpful! They were always available to help in any situation and I felt safe knowing they looked out so much for the students.

The academics were challenging, but definitely doable. Having class for 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week can be exhausting, but thanks to this, I learned so much. I'm glad that we were taught "survival Japanese" because we were able to use so much of the material we learned in class in real-life situations. People may be apprehensive of their language proficiency going up, but I think no matter what level of Japanese you're at, I think you'll gain something from participating in CET. I was able to enjoy my time outside of class and go explore the sights of Osaka, even on days I had class. If I could give one piece of advice to prospective students, I would say to plan out what you want from the program. How do you want to spend your time? 70% studying/30% playing? 60%/40? Having this in mind definitely helps to manage your time and ensure you get everything you can while on the program. Of course being in another country is exciting, but schoolwork is also important. It's up to you to decide how you want to spend your time there and I think finding a balance that's right for YOU will ensure the best possible experience for you. Looking back, I definitely would have liked to spend a little more time on homework, but I was also was able to meet some of the greatest people and become great friends with them from spending time with them.

My favorite thing about the program was the people I met and the friends I made. I never once felt scared of messing up in class or outside because I didn't know how to say something in Japanese because everyone was so kind, understanding, and willing to help! I would definitely participate again if I could and would recommend this program to anyone looking to meet new people, improve their Japanese language proficiency, and to anyone interested in Japanese culture.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I think the most nerve-wracking moment was walking out of the doors after signing the language pledge. Having to only speak Japanese all the time was stressful at first, especially when I felt the need to convey something important. Over time though, chatting with my roommates, in class, and with other students on the program eventually helped me to feel more comfortable speaking Japanese everyday and it felt a lot more natural after getting adjusted. By using Japanese so much in everyday life, I was able to make friends and connect with Japanese people on a level I didn't think was possible, and am glad to have participated in a program with a language pledge. It may be intimidating at first, but as long as you make an effort, you'll do great!
Default avatar
Amelia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Taiwan

I had an amazing summer in Taiwan. I appreciate that the academics was challenging and I could definitely see improvement in my Chinese listening and speaking. I had the best resident directors and things all went smoothly. They provided us a trip to Hualien, which was one of the best experiences I had in Taiwan. In addition to housing, tuition, books, and transportation all calculated into one sum, I also had an internship at The China Post. The internship aspect challenged me in some ways, but also became a memorable part of the program. Taiwan is also a very safe country and transportation is very easy to navigate. Housing was super nice. My roommates and Taiwanese roommates were easy to get along with and like family. Food is good and cheap. Especially BOBA!

Default avatar
jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Florence

So a lot of people ask me why I chose to study abroad in Italy and honestly its a very boring answer... I just picked whatever program gave me what I needed in terms of credits. Which is super awesome that I can easily transfer my credits from CET to my current school but also I had no idea what to expect. I didn't speak a single word of Italian and knew absolutely nothing about the Italian culture. And now looking back, I feel so incredibly grateful to have been able to have this experience.

CET was the best choice for me because of my academic credits I was able to receive and also because of all the resources they provided for me. I took two classes there. One was an Italian Food and Culture class where we took field trips every week to a chocolate tasting, cooking class, wine tasting, olive oil vineyard, etc. It was just an amazing experience being able to do those things because it allowed me to further immerse myself in the Italian culture. And also, I probably would not have done those things on my own. I learned so much about the Italian culture and it was so great being able to live in their country and truly understand everything because of what I was learning in my class. The other class I took was a beginner Italian class and my teacher was one of the best people I met on my trip! She was like my second mom abroad.

The whole of CET staff while I was there was just so considerate and accommodating. They were there for you for anything! They truly understand the mindset of someone who is going abroad in a foreign country and won't hesitate to help you out with whatever you needed from restaurant recommendations, safety tips, and travel tips as well. They wanted me to make the most of everything there and I truly feel like I did because of their help.

The best part of my trip was the my apartment. It was so nice not having to deal with finding an apartment on my own. They worked out all those details and I also decided to go with random roommates within the program because I didn't know anyone else going abroad. The apartment was in a great location and very close to everything I needed. The best part about the apartment was how lucky I was to have met three other incredibly great friends! We travelled together every weekend, ate every meal together, and honestly just spent every second together.

I had no idea that when I went abroad I would get back such a rewarding experience. I honestly don't think it would have been the same if I had done a different program because they everyone at CET in Florence was so helpful and understanding. I think that's really important when you're deciding to do something you've never done before.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do it all over again, I would have chosen the spring semester instead of summer. It was too short!!!
Default avatar
Li Li
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Harbin

When I first arrived, it was in early February. CET Harbin's campus was beautiful but the weather is known to be cold. It was a lot different than what I was expecting. I would say that this program definitely brought my Chinese to the next level. In my whole lifetime, I've only taken Econ 101 at school and this was my only "business" knowledge until CET Harbin, I registered for a business class and was placed in the highest language proficiency with no business background. I would say that this was one of the most challenging time of my life with school, but after 6 to 7 weeks, without realizing it, I have already been accustomed and was on a roll with classes. Other classes I took were Newspaper Reading, 一对二, and my 一对一class was on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I wanted to learn about TCM for the longest time of my life, and coming to this program really helped me accomplished my goal. All the 老师s were amazing at what they do and the activities that CET coordinated were really helpful in integrating students with the culture. I've made so many friends that I would definitely consider them my lifelong friends, and I've learned so so much through this language intensive program. If you are serious about improving your Chinese, CET Harbin is the way to go if you really followed the language pledge. It may be tiring speaking and thinking everything in Chinese, but at the end or before you know it, your Chinese is already on the next level. (I forgot but on the side note, breakfast foods are amazing, so were the caf's foods. There are 7 different cafeterias for you to choose from).

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Study, but also use your time to explore, ask your roommate and eat your heart out because there are so many places with good food in Harbin. It's unique and delicious! The perks of living in Dongbei is for you to explore/eat Dongbei's food! Last but not least, have fun!!!
Oscar
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Shanghai

I always knew I wanted to study abroad in China. Being from a major city, Shanghai was the obvious choice. The city is famed for its modernity, architectural beauty, and international/metropolitan vibe.

I was immediately drawn to the CET Program. Most study abroad programs involve either coursework or an internship. The CET program combines both. Unlike most programs, CET specializes in finding an internship that is both educational and interesting. This summer I had the unique honor of interning at the Propaganda Poster Art Center, and if it were not for CET I would have not had the ability to intern at such an interesting location.

Classes at CET are difficult, but rewarding. The faculty are the best in their respective fields, and all are great professors. They are both intelligent and engaging. As far as learning Mandarin goes, every day is an adventure and the Chinese professors are all special and loving in their own way. Professor Rottman, the academic advisor is an incredible resource and mentor.

CET also has a unique reimbursement policy. They will reimburse up to 350 RMB a day (70 RMB per excursion) for cultural activities within Shanghai. This reimbursement policy encourages students to explore and engage with Shanghai.

Overall, what makes CET special is the people. The faculty, staff, and students are all excited about learning both in and out of the classroom. I highly recommend CET to any student looking for a holistic study abroad experience.

I myself will be applying for Summer 2020!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I had no idea that Shanghai had such a vibrant salsa scene!
Default avatar
Rachel
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Shanghai

This program presents a lot of challenges, academically, socially, personally, and professionally. However, depending on how you work through and look at challenges, this program can either be discouraging or deeply gratifying. Personally, I dealt differently with each category of challenges. In each obstacle there was hidden a lesson, an opportunity, or a chance for growth, and in each gift there was a difficulty, a misunderstanding, or something wholly unexpected. I found this true across my academic, personal, and professional experiences.
No matter how you deal with challenges, your Chinese will greatly improve being abroad. Even if you don't work very hard at it, or go out of your way to use it (though i recommend you do) it will improve consistently and drastically. I was really pushed to improve and constantly practice my language skills. The class met daily and often had a lot of homework. I spent hours everyday working on reading, writing, speaking, and listening solely for my course work. However, the positive side of that was that my Chinese language ability improved drastically throughout my time abroad. I found every day that something I was learning in class was applicable to my daily life in Shanghai. I could immediately put to use what I was learning, which felt deeply gratifying. Additionally, living in China pushed me to use Chinese daily – whether with my roommate, other students, store-clerks, or strangers – and it was often both rewarding and difficult to navigate social situations with my limited linguistic ability. I was frequently frustrated and disappointed in myself for being unable to express ideas or intentions effectively, but this ultimately motivated me to learn and engage with the language even more.
Personally, I had to act more self-sufficiently and independently and really have faith and trust in my abilities. Daily I encountered difficulties adapting to a new culture and environment, even up to my last day. It was difficult to think positively about this. It was great having a Chinese roommate, and the other American students were all very supportive, but really creating a space that felt like home was a definite challenge, and one I never fully solved. That said, I still loved the city and was always excited to explore, but I never fully settled into life in Shanghai.
However, through all my time abroad, the most valuable thing I learned is that anything is possible if I trust myself and take the leap. The hardest and scariest thing about going abroad for me was getting on the plane. That isn't to say I didn't have difficulties, because there is a lot that felt or seemed impossible about being abroad: little things like buying clean supplies or ordering food in a restaurant. For several weeks I felt like everything was just out of reach, and there were times I wanted to come home. There were also amazing moments, great friends, wonderful strangers, and a unique beauty in deeply realizing that every second, across the world, everyone is really just doing their best.
The same can be said of life in general – good days and bad days – and, in a very literal way, being abroad was my life, every day, and with that came all manner of sorrow and satisfaction. But the hardest thing by far was the fear and uncertainty as I was leaving and transitioning from one home to another. In that liminal suspended space, I felt listless and lonelier than ever, my mind thinking over every worst-case scenario. But once I landed, none of those horrible things came true. I was met welcomingly and warmly, and in the end, I realized that all I had to do was get on the plane and after that, I just had to deal with things as they came. Going abroad has made me feel like I can do anything, no matter how difficult, as long as I can find the courage to get on the plane.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I think if I did this program again, I would have put less focus on my academics and tried to enjoy myself more. Shanghai is a vast and beautiful city with so much to offer, and I never felt like I explored or experienced it as much as I would have liked. This program is very academically rigorous, and I found it easy to get lost in assignments and studying, almost as a way of avoiding everything that scared me about the city. But in retrospect, that was that wrong approach, and I really regret no embracing and facing more difficulties and differences, and going out my way to find them. I think generally making time to explore and enjoy yourself makes for a very valuable and memorable abroad experience.
Default avatar
Dia
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The CET Pre-College program did an impressive job of exposing me to the potent unique culture and history of Cuba while also keeping a firm focus on study of the complex yet wonderfully effective healthcare system of Cuba. All of this knowledge did however come at the cost of an awfully packed schedule, leaving weekends as the sole free time outside of occasional designated work periods after lunch or before and after dinner. However, with the trusting supervision of the CET program mentors I was able to have freedom to explore Cuba independently in the relatively tourist-friendly and safe city of Havana.

One thing I am grateful for that the CET Program provided me was a multitude of social engagement opportunities with both the locals and the medical professionals we met during the scheduled visits of healthcare centers such a children's hospitals, elderly care homes, pre-maternity care, polyclinics and much more. That’s what great about learning about Cuba’s healthcare system through this program, as our knowledge was prefaced with informative reading, supplemented with lecture from an experienced professor of the medical systems, and topped off with meaningful engagement with the very facilities we had learned of. This process of learning really helped cement my learning and just like anything, If you truly want to understand something, you should see it for yourself! The program gives us designated time periods for visits, and lectures daily, and we are invited to ask questions to the healthcare professionals who are eager to explain the processes of what makes the Cuban healthcare system rival and nearly surpass the healthcare efficiency of America and many other first world-countries.

The work accompanying this Cuban healthcare system teaching is fairly easy at best, and annoying at worst, the work consisting solely of reflection-based essay writings about what you had learned during your visits. I was required to keep a daily journal of my experience in a certain field to meet the course minimum of 10 personal reflections at the end of the period. Atop of this are 3 weekly questions to answer which are a bit more lengthy, requiring a 500 word response minimum. This workload throughout the course is largely done in preparation for the final subject paper which is independently focused upon one chosen aspect of the healthcare system. My paper on this subject was smoking and lung cancer, which I alike to many of my peers relied on additional information through pamphlets, additional help from the professor and various online academic journals.

Overall, with a good work ethic and responsible time management I was able to have a spectacularly enjoyable trip and academic experience while handling my coursework with minimal amounts of stress.

Through daily Spanish classes, a regimen of language practice assisted in giving me experience talking to people who share a similar dialect and speed of talking, which had greatly overwhelmed my admittedly less than average Spanish language comprehension and speech. The class is straightforward and discussion based, instructed by teachers who have taught Spanish to speakers of all sorts of different languages. As long as you understand some semblance of Spanish, it will be comfortably assisted process of learning at either the advanced language class or standard class. Homework for Spanish is easily completed and the sole two exams within the course do not distract from achievement within the healthcare system course. The Spanish course within the CET PRe-College program is a good addition.

Another important portion of the CET program experience is the relationship you share with the peers that you share housing, and perhaps even rooming with as there are two people to a room (there was an odd number in the group and I had a room alone it was awesome). I cannot stress how vital the enjoyment I had from my trip revolved around having amicable relations with the peers and mentors of my group was. For a month, we essentially became a family and they shared many of what will undoubtedly become one of my most vivid memories abroad. Whether it was trekking through the mountains during the weekend Las Terrazas trip surrounded by jungle or boating through naturally forming partially submerged caves, almost all of our activities were done as a group. This program is definitely an experience enrichment by communication with others so I highly recommend that you have the will to put yourself out there and socialize with everyone else. That goes for both peers and Cuban citizens.

For me, life in Cuba was a thoroughly relaxing experience. Outside of academics, there was plenty of fun to be had, and every weekend we had free time and scheduled events such as going to the beach, salsa dancing lessons, and our visits to areas outside of Havan such as Las Terrazas and Las Vinales. A fantastic benefit of this program was the trust given to us to travel in Havana within designated areas provided we did so in groups of three with a phone to communicate, and overtime these boundaries was extended as we continued to abide by the rules. Because of this freedom, on a daily and nightly basis my peers and I were able to visit various cafes, desert chops, and gift shops. In my free time I was able to access the (extremely) limited wifi that requires you to purchase wifi for a duration of wither 1 or 5 hours for a single CUC. Therefore, don’t expect to be on your phone too much, because besides the connection restraints there are so many other captivating things in Cuba that will surely be interesting most things on your phone. I seen passionate salsa dancing and singing, saw the giant leafy mountain tops on the mountain town of Las Vinales and had plenty of ice cream everywhere i went. I truly enjoyed the academic and recreational aspects of this program, and I was able to further define the medical career I want in the future with conviction.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
When looking for souvenirs, you should always peruse around different sellers to find something truly unique. Because Havana has a large international tourist industry, there is a large amount of tourist-tailored souvenirs. Be warned, they all look like they are hand crafted and are often woodworks or vibrant and colorful paintings but these are just mass produced and sold at almost every vendor. I urge anyone who wants to get a unique and truly special souvenir for friends or family to make sure to go to art centers where painters sell their works or markets that have sellers with items that deviate outside of the generic mass-produced stuff.
Default avatar
William
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program
Program:
CET Taiwan

I loved my study abroad with CET. First, CET did an amazing job organizing enriching activities for all the students to do. We got to do a broad range of things, from hiking Taroko Gorge to going to a traditional Chinese opera. But my favorite thing was definitely traveling to the Mazu Festival in central Tawian, which is put on every year for one of Taiwan's many deities, Mazu. Andrew and Chunling did all the organizing, and the trips were all included in the program fee. Additionally, I liked my classes at ICLP, especially the 1-on-1 class that met for an hour every day. If there were a few things I could change, they would probably be my internship experience and adding a language pledge, but both of these were more applicable to me because my Chinese was at a slightly higher level than most.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Easily the monkey that ran across my trail while I was hiking in one of the national parks. Or maybe dogs in full outfits. Or people dancing in fireworks during the Mazu festival. Hard to say.