CET Academic Programs

Program Reviews

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Michelle
9/10
Program:
CET Shanghai

CET Shanghai was truly a remarkable experience. The city itself, with traces of a colonial past and proof of top-notch city planning and execution, is vibrant and modern. And despite Shanghai’s progressiveness in recent years, the city still retains some of its old Chinese heritage. With its eclectic mix of tradition and modern, east and west, Shanghai is dynamic and a rather alluring location to study abroad.

With regards to the study abroad program, it really kept me on my toes. Being a full-time student with classes Mondays through Fridays, a part-time intern, and a full-time tourist, there’s always something to do and never a dull moment. The CET staff are all superstars and works hard to ensure that everyone is well-adjusted to their new living situation. The teachers are caring and extremely understanding when it comes to assignments, quizzes, and exams. Not to say that the classes aren’t intensive or challenging because they were (especially the Mandarin-language class) but in a relaxed and supportive kind of way. Moreover, my local roommate was wonderful and always took time out of her busy schedule to help with homework, show me around the city, and engage in endless hours of conversation.

What appealed to me most about CET Shanghai was the internship component. On top of having international work experience that adds significant value on any resume, the internship really forces you to explore and get a taste of work and daily life in Shanghai. At my internship I got to know some of the locals and ex-pats working there full-time, and they were so welcoming and wonderful as they would invite me to professional workshops, meals, and even some authentic Chinese fun at a KTV club afterwork. In other words, the internship really enriches the study abroad experience because it diversifies the types of social interactions and experiences you’ll have outside those of your American classmates and the local Chinese roommates who you dorm with.

Overall, CET Shanghai is a well-rounded program. It allowed me to maximize for what I felt like a brief period of time I was abroad, and it was genuinely an unforgettable and transformative experience where I learned so much about myself. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about studying abroad in China.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Fanny
9/10
Program:
CET Prague

CET offers each student a lot of freedom in their abroad experience. There is a healthy variety of topics in the courses offered. The housing they provide is pretty unique for an abroad program: apartments in great locations. And they don't hold class on Fridays, leaving weekends open for travel. On top of all of this, the program takes you on a few prepaid travel seminars which include sightseeing, lectures, meeting interesting people, and free time to explore on your own. Being in Prague is amazing in it of itself. The city is beautiful, the people are reserved but kind, and the history is fascinating. I had a wonderful experience with CET. I will cherish the memories and friendships for a long time.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Nikole
10/10
Program:
CET Taiwan

CET Taiwan was my very first experience traveling abroad. I've never really been away from home for an extended period of time; even at university, I visit home quite often, and my summer work also allows me to work at home. But for the duration of my time in the CET Taiwan program, I never had even one homesick day. Actually, for me, the saddest thing about this program is that it ended and that I had to go home.

I would recommend this program to the following...

...students who have never traveled abroad or to Asia. Taiwan is a friendly and beautiful city. If you think Taiwan's too "westernized", you need to do some self introspection regarding why you think that (hint: you have some existing prejudices that should be addressed with lots of research). Taiwan is a beautiful island with a diverse history. The city you live in--Taipei--is large, eventful, and incredibly convenient with regards to shopping and transportation. The metro system is clean and punctual. The convenience stores are always stocked with cheap food, snacks, and daily necessities. A good restaurant is always within walking distance of a short ride on the metro or the bus. No matter how late it is, you can walk home in the streets without any fear. It is the best city for any first time traveler simply based on its convenience and safety.

Not only this, but our resident and internship directors were the most amazing and receptive people to ever oversee our program. Anytime we had an issue, they were always there to help us resolve it. They also organize amazing extracurricular activities and trips! The two of them really made our program worth every minute.

...students who are double majoring in Chinese and something else. CET Taiwan has a mandatory internship component. The internship component allowed me to keep up with my Computer Science major (I worked as a junior Rails developer for a marketing company), so when I returned to my home university, I wasn't any step behind my CS peers as far as coding experience was concerned. I not only improved my Chinese, but my coding abilities just as well. However, because CET Taiwan is a new program, some internship opportunities are hit or miss; some, like mine, were a wonderful addition to my Chinese learning, but I had some classmates who didn't have the same experience. If you have a second major or a strong extracurricular interest and express this clearly to the internship director, then you may improve your chances of landing an incredible internship.

...students who want to improve their Chinese as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. Students in CET Taiwan are enrolled in the ICLP at National Taiwan University. This translates to the first (and the best) International Chinese Language Program at the top university in Taiwan. ICLP was the first of its kind before any program in the mainland, and every teacher at ICLP is incredibly esteemed, usually having taught at top Chinese language programs in America. Class sizes are between one to four (five is usually considered too much), so individual attention is a given. There are many students at ICLP and many courses, ranging from introductory to intermediate and high-level culture (contemporary Taiwanese culture and society, studying radio plays, newspaper reading, ancient Chinese fables, short stories). There are one-on-one classes as well, where you spend a whole hour every single day with just yourself and your teacher! The classes are rigorous and have a strong emphasis on speaking over writing. Leaving CET Taiwan, your Chinese abilities will definitely be much stronger than when you came in.

It goes without saying, however, that CET Taiwan is incredibly rigorous! You take three hours of courses that may begin at around 8 AM and end at 12 with a break somewhere in between, then attend your internship, and then have to do a large amount of homework and preparation when you get home. Excelling in this program is definitely all about time management!

How can this program be improved?
I had a lot of difficulty with becoming accustomed to the extracurricular internship course that was a mandatory component of the program. For one, it was taught in English! I wish that some of the material we covered could have been covered in Chinese. I think that even if it meant that some of the topics we covered would have to be simplified in order to get all students to be able to participate, being able to speak more Chinese would have made the course more enjoyable. Instead of doing mostly English readings on culture, having an English-language discussion, and then turning in English-language written work, if all of this were in Chinese, it would be a much stronger program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emma
10/10

I studied abroad in Jordan last semester (Spring 2018) and had a spectacular experience. In fact, the challenges of living in a new place, speaking a foreign language, and acclimating to a new culture made me appreciate the experience even more. I met amazing people (Americans and Jordanians alike), learned a ton, and pushed myself in ways I didn’t think possible. The 4-month intensive immersion program improved my Arabic skills in tremendous ways and provided me with a greater insight into the culture. You will work hard, but it’s all worth it. Highly, highly recommend!

How can this program be improved?
It would be great if CET provided us with more information about places to visit and events happening in Amman. There is always more to explore!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alec
10/10
Program:
CET Prague

My experience in Prague was incredible! Not only did everyone who visited me tell me that it was easily one of their favorite cities in Europe, Prague's central location made it easy and cheap to travel to and experience almost anywhere in Europe. A specific benefit of the CET program was that our required traveling seminars gave us the perfect opportunity to explore places in Central and Eastern Europe that I probably would have never thought to travel to. The biggest challenges I faced while living in Prague were the linguistic and cultural barriers. Things we take for granted everyday such as shopping for groceries or asking for directions became a much more complex ordeal. The CET buddies that we lived with became fantastic resources for tackling these challenges. Besides traveling, Prague was great because it was one of the few cities in Europe to not be leveled during WWII. This means that almost all of the cities rich cultural, historical, and artistic treasures have been preserved.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I can think of for an improvement is not so much of a way the program can be improved, as something to keep in mind if you decide to study in Prague: the living situation. While the apartments are not the most up to date places in the city, the location that I lived in could not have been better. I was located right on the edge of Prague 1, which provided me with easy access to all of the cities attractions, as well as a short walk to class.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alexandra
10/10
Program:
CET Siena

CET Siena has all the basics you might be looking for: a supportive and incredibly kind teaching and administrative staff, immersive language learning, amazing homestay opportunities, etc. What really made my semester incredible was how everyone in the program went above and beyond what was required to make me feel comfortable and also to help me explore Siena and Europe! The environment was incredibly supportive, and I made amazing friends and learned so much about Italian culture and the language!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Irena
8/10

The city of Prague is breathtaking and magical--if nothing else, I would have lived there simply for the city. In addition to the city, the transportation and low cost of living made the living experience spectacular. Though cold in the winter, there are a mindblowing amount of cafes around the city that are cozy and trendy.
The professors at FAMU are incredibly talented; they plan for cool trips and workshops with renowned photographers and there are many ways to make the most of all the resources in FAMU--from the high-end scanners and printers to the dark rooms and studios.
The administration is sometimes a little disorganized, particularly with communication to CET and us, but eventually it all works out. The support from the CET side is particularly helpful!
I came back with so much more photo knowledge, especially film photography, and am excited to continue my photographic journey!

How can this program be improved?
Communication with FAMU! It took weeks for classes to get properly established, for a general understanding of classes and syllabi and schedules to be given, and for and understanding of the expectations they had for us as only semester-long students. It became increasingly frustrating, particularly because they were not structure oriented at all and made it difficult to communicate with our home universities about evaluating courses for credit.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Albert
9/10

CET Beijing Intensive Language program provided me with a wonderful learning experience. The program was certainly intensive. I spent 3-4 hours a day studying, and sometimes the workload was a bit daunting for me. The academic rigor, while intense, was really valuable and was central to my progress. Aside from the academics, CET housed me with a student from Beijing. He was a fundamental part of my experience in Beijing and I have come to know him as a friend. In tandem with academic study, during your time in Beijing it's imperative that you also practice, A LOT. I feel great now and have seen real progress (completed the equivalent of at least one year of study in the span of two months). I now feel comfortable engaging in a number of day to day activities: buying food, navigating public transportation, going clubbing, making friends, and many more. I had a great time in Beijing, and I'm sure you will too.

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints, although the program's curriculum was quite rigorous. That being said, I think this kind of rigor is to be expected from a program like this.
Yes, I recommend this program
Albert
9/10

The CET Intensive Language Program in Beijing Provided me with a wonderful experience. The curriculum certainly felt demanding at times, but the workload facilitated real progress in my fluency of the language. Aside from the academic experience, living in Beijing without restriction was a transformative experience. My roommate was a fundamental part of my time in Beijing. Living and studying with him was great, and he was and is still a valuable friend that I can practice Mandarin with. When I come back to Beijing, It'll be nice to have a friend there. I learned how to navigate public transportation, buy food, make friends, go clubbing, and many other day to day activities all in Chinese! Overall, my experience was an amazing and memorable one. Sure it was daunting and even a little scary at first, but ultimately one of the best times of my life. I can't wait to go back.

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints, although the academic is quite a bit. That being said, academic pressure is to be expected from a program such as this.
Yes, I recommend this program
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David
10/10
Program:
CET Shanghai

Before I left for Shanghai, CET promises the stars, they promised a summer study program at a rigorous university, Chinese language and elective classes taught by highly skilled proffesors, as well as a job internship in the heart of finincial capital of China. As the old saying goes, if something sound too good to be true, it probably is. But just 2 months after the experience, I can safely say that, if anything, CET was underselling the experience. This trip was a tranformative experience for me, as not only did my language skills improve , but I also gained the confidence and affirmation that I could actually use them to live, work , and in China, as well as gaining a global perspective on how a vastly different culture views and engages Work and education related mores and traditions. Studying abroad, and this program in particular, is something I cannot recommend hard enough to anyone/

Yes, I recommend this program