CET Beijing: Internship

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About

If you're considering a China-related career, there's no better place to start developing your network than on the CET Beijing: Internship program. Internship placements range from a pediatric clinic to an app startup company. Your Chinese classes complement your work experience--practice legal vocabulary with your one-on-one teacher, then use it at your internship. You'll develop insider's knowledge of Beijing through electives that show you the city: visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic, tour the US Embassy, interview merchants at a farmers' market. You'll live in a dormitory at a top-tier university with a Chinese roommate. A highlight of the program is an overnight trip to a new city--visit the Muslim Quarter in Xi'an, or the Dragon Tea Garden in Hangzhou. This program is open to all students, from beginners to heritage learners.

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Reviews

90%
based on 13 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
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Donovan
10/10

A Review of CET Beijing: Internship

My two months that I spent in China changed my life. After studying Mandarin Chinese for around five years in high school and college total, I decided that I wanted to actually study abroad in China and put my Chinese language skills to the test in an environment where there is little to no English. Although there was no language pledge in this specific program, I did my best to speak Chinese with those around me. I was enrolled in a Chinese language class, an elective course pertaining to Chinese history, an internship course, and an actual internship.

All of the CET staff truly cared about the students, especially the director of the program, Zuo Cui. She is an amazing woman who I hope to see again in the future. Whenever I had any issue at all, I would go to her and she would help me to resolve it. My Chinese language teacher was fantastic as well. Although she did not speak much English, I was able to understanding much of what she was saying in Chinese and practice my Chinese as well. Class sizes were small, actually ranging from 1-9 students depending on what level Chinese you have placed in. This is great because it allowed for much active participation and direct teacher and student communication.

Apart from classes, most of us participated in excursions on weekends. CET did an excellent job organizing the trips and I learned so much from each trip. One trip we took was a weekend trip to Qingdao, the beer and seafood capital of China. I absolutely loved the atmosphere in Qingdao. In addition, some of us also went to Shanghai the following weekend without any faculty or staff. It was amazing to see different Chinese cities and notice the difference as you go from city to city. I learned so much from travel within China.

My internship was great. Although I, along with a couple other students, did not have an internship placement until about two to three weeks into the program due to scheduling conflicts and lack of communication between some of us and the internship class teacher, this did not rain on all of our parades. I met some amazing people at my internship and I was able to work in a traditional Chinese courtyard home which is an experience that I will never forget.

The housing at Capital Normal University was absolutely awesome. Every two days, housing workers would come in and take out our trash for us and mop the floors. Every week, they would come and replace our bed sheets. You also get paired with a Chinese roommate. I loved my Chinese roommate so much. He was able to teach me so much Chinese and help me out with my Chinese homework whenever I had questions. CET really does an amazing job when pairing you up with your roommates. There were no problems between anyone in our group and the Chinese roommates. Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone who has any interest in Chinese and China.

How can this program be improved?
The internship class that was only two hours a week seemed very unnecessary. It was said that this class would help us get the most out of our internship experience. However, this class did the exact opposite; the only thing we actually did was talk about the negatives of China. It was completely unrelated to our individual internships. In addition, I was actually unaware what my other classmates' internships were until the day of our internship presentation which was close to the end of the program. This seemed really odd to me. Furthermore, an assignment for this class was a 10-15 page research paper that was also unrelated to our internship. There were no actual guidelines for this paper and all of us thought it was a bit ridiculous to have to attempt to write a research paper for a class that is a mere two hours a week that is unrelated to our internships. Overall, if this class was to be restructured or removed, I think that it would make the CET Beijing: Internship program practically flawless.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Catherine
9/10

CET Internship in Beijing

Overall, I think that the program was very spiffy.

As an absolute beginner to the language, I was nervous about the program and how it would be especially since there was the internship component; however, after touching down in China and meeting everyone, it was not as bad as I thought it would have been. The staff of CET, the teachers, the staff of CNU, and everyone in the program were all nice and very helpful. Without their help, I would have been lost and confused in my first couple of weeks in China but because everyone was so willing and kind to help a poor soul out, I was able to adjust to being in China quickly.

I do think that having a Chinese roommate for everyone in the program was very beneficial and all of the Chinese roommates were great people. Having them there was great as they would help us with getting around China as well as becoming our long lasting friends.

The trips planned by the program were very nice and we did have weekends free for the most part so we would go out and see different places on our own. The classes themselves in addition to the internship were definitely challenging and homework was daily. I would confidently say that the program was similar to a work-study in the States. Though, the daily Chinese language class did help a lot and I was able to learn a great deal of Chinese and improve what I learned as well.

The program did require a lot of work and somewhat little sleep at times but in the end, it was definitely worth it. The experience of both studying abroad in China as well as the internship component were very valuable in terms of academics as well as making new friends.

How can this program be improved?
For me, the internship class was not what I was initially expecting going into the program. I thought it was more or less a check-in kind of class rather than an actual class where we learned different things about China; however, the class was interesting and informative nevertheless.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Justin
9/10

Summer in Beijing 2018-- exhausting in the best way possible

Overall, this program was exceptional.

A few highlights:
1) The CET staff, from the resident director to the teachers, were fantastic and second to none. They truly cared about each student and made every attempt to be accommodating of all of our individual needs. Due to small class sizes (2-9 people per class), there were plenty of opportunities to participate, ask questions, and connect with professors one on one. Professors and teachers are patient and very qualified, bringing valuable experiences to the classroom.
2) The historical weekend trip, day trips to cultural sites, and class field trips for the most part were valuable, well organized, and fun. On all of the trips, the CET staff did a great job organizing the excursions and I learned a lot from each of them (they also planned a lot of them, which was great!)
3) My internship placement was awesome! I learned a lot about working in China and I got to meet a lot of new people that I wouldn't have gotten to meet if I had only taken classes. This made this specific program unique to others and was why I picked this program!
4) My roommate and housing situation was also great. Initially before coming to China I was worried about living with a local Chinese student (I feared our cultures would be too contrasting and language would be an issue). However, CET does a great job of picking the best roommates and making the most suitable pairings. My roommate was always there for me and was my greatest resource and friend in China. He really showed me a local perspective to China, while helping me out throughout the way. Also, the rooms are very nice and spacious which is a plus (better than my home university dorms).
5) While many may be concerned by the small program size (my term only had 13 students), I felt it was a great asset. Not only were class sizes small, but I got to connect with all 12 of my classmates and I feel like we became a little family in China as we always had each other’s backs. I think this community would not have developed if the program was a lot larger.
6) My Chinese improved a lot!

Some difficulties:
1) The program is exhausting. There are some days where your schedule is packed from 8:30am-9:30pm (plus homework after). This should be understandable and expected as there are 10 credits (3 classes) and 10-12 hours of internship per week. I enjoyed this because I felt like I had a productive summer and learned a lot. However, students should be aware that this program is no joke. Be prepared to have late nights, academic stress, and lots of work (daily Chinese homework and quizzes, term papers, readings, etc.). Sometimes I wished that we had more free time to explore Beijing and China, but this just motivated me to take full advantage of weekends.
2) At times, I felt the Internship course (not the placement) lacked structure. I thought some of the focus topics were not relevant, classes were not structured well, and there was a lot of work that does not equal the two credits we receive. Sometimes, I felt that the class was an unnecessary addition to our already packed schedule/program (between Chinese class, elective class, internship) and the time could have been better used to focus on other classes, relieving student stress, and exploring Beijing. However, the teacher is very passionate about China, cares about the students, and did try her best to accommodate everyone’s needs, which I appreciated.

Overall, the pros far outweighed the cons, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Beijing. Beijing is a great city for culture, history, and food. It is quickly growing and bustling, and it is a great city to explore and meet new people. After coming to Beijing, I now see China in my future and can picture myself returning some day. CET does a great job cramming a lot into one short summer and truly cares about their students. I would definitely recommend this program to others considering it.

How can this program be improved?
See above, not much to change. However, I would restructure the internship course and take other measures to relieve student stress. Also, the more excursions the better!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Benny
9/10

A Memorable Summer in Beijing

During my time with the CET Beijing: Internship program, there was undoubtedly a sufficient amount of growth in my overall progress in learning the Chinese language. In addition, my understanding of Chinese culture was broaden due to my exposure to the people of China and my ability to discuss cultural differences with them. Although there is no pledge to speak Chinese with a few exceptions in this program, the combination of CET's Chinese classes, elective classes, and an internship was often quite rigorous and consuming of time.

I have seen much improvement in my language ability by the end of the program, mostly due to excellent instruction from Chinese teachers. Class sizes in general were significantly smaller than the traditional classroom, allowing for a much greater amount of participation. Having two weekly one-on-one Chinese sessions was also highly beneficial as I was able to talk to a teacher about material outside of the curriculum to supplement my learning. Although there was no strict language pledge put into place, I would sometimes push myself to use Chinese when I spoke others who could also speak English at a proficient level such as the local Chinese roommates who lived with us study abroad students.

The housing accommodation on campus was superior to the dorms I am accustomed to at my home university. The dorm rooms we lived in were regularly cleaned and well-maintained by the staff. It was very convenient to have a private bathroom within my own room rather than a communal one. The rooms were also equipped with air conditioning and any necessary furniture. Living with a Chinese roommate to practice my Chinese with and ask questions about Chinese culture definitely helped me learn so much. The program reimbursed me and my roommate for up to 70 RMB per week for cultural activities that we did together such as visiting a historical site.

The staff was always very dependable ever since the beginning during orientation when the students were first settling into life in China. Whether it was visiting a doctor or planning a trip to another city, the resident director was always willing to help the students with the challenges that they have encountered. In addition, CET also organized fun weekend excursions for the students such as to the Great Wall and Qingdao while allowing time for independently planned activities throughout the course of the summer.

Above all, I genuinely enjoyed my time in Beijing, China and would recommend this program to anyone interested in improving their Chinese language ability, living in and learning about China, and meeting great people in the process!

How can this program be improved?
In addition to the internship itself, there was a mandatory internship seminar that went along with it; however, did not provide too much educational value and the work completed for this class was not very purposeful. There were also some problems concerning internship placements for some individuals during the beginning of the program.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Benny! We're glad you had such a positive experience in Beijing! -Shelley Jessee, Director of Marketing, CET

Yes, I recommend this program
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Emmalene
9/10

CET Beijing: Internship

This program provided structure and facilitated opportunities that I could of never done for myself. In China, building connections is culturally a key part of both daily and business life which I wasn't used to; however, the staff at CET works hard to not only provide you with meaningful connections, but also teach you how to create your own.
Before studying abroad it is important to consider what your priorities are, especially if you want to participate in a summer program. I did the summer internship program, which upon later realization didn't adequately fulfill the priorities that I originally had in mind. For example, I wanted my internship to really give me a glimpse of what non-profits are like in China. However, because of the brevity of the program I didn't feel I had enough time to accomplish this. Also, if language learning is a huge priority for you, I would recommend the Intensive Language program because without a language pledge it is up to you individually to speak Mandarin with the other people in the program- and often that kind of self-discipline can be difficult. Nevertheless, I believe not having the language pledge helped me foster relationships with other people on the program that I might of not been able to foster otherwise.
Ultimately, CET is a well-developed program with superb staff that helps you create meaningful long-lasting relationships with both the Chinese roommates and other participants.

How can this program be improved?
Many other students and I felt that the internship course was a waste of time, especially considering our busy schedule. I would recommend making the class more relevant to our internships, or cutting it out entirely.
Yes, I recommend this program
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HaoYu
10/10

CET Beijing Summer Internship: Do it or you'll miss out!!

Going to Beijing was amazing and being able to do it with CET was even better. The people at CET are amazing and they are always willing to help if you have problems. CET allows you the comfort of exploring China independently, but you will always have a great support network with the CET people, the local roommates and your fellow students.
This program is a great way to explore Beijing and its culture because the internship allows you to see first hand how different the international work place is and it allows you to interact with different aspects of the Chinese culture like for example the working environment. Another great thing is the chance to explore the many sites of Beijing and you can get to most by subway or other types of public transportation. The best part was all the amazing food. You can never go wrong with their snacks especially the many different flavors of chips such as cucumber or honey butter. This program definitely makes you want to go back to China one day.
P.S: When you go pack to your own first aid kit with any type of medicine you will need especially stomach medicine. Going into any country that has a different type water and food will cause some sort of stomach issue. That is the truth.

Yes, I recommend this program
Peter
9/10

Spring 2017 in Beijing

I actually came to be admitted into the Beijing quite last minute. I'd originally planned to spend the 2016-2017 Academic year in Amman, Jordan. Midway through the year my school decided to pull me due to a U.S. State Department travel warning on Jordan. So instead of returning to campus I hurriedly applied for CET Beijing. From the beginning they were extremely helpful in my odd application process. They even managed to have my internship setup on an extremely short timeframe.
Beijing as a city is massive an can be overwhelming at first. Getting to places will take time and patience. Things were easier for me as a Chinese American so I blended in with the ethnically homogenous society better than other students. There's a good amount of history and culture (Hutongs, Tiananmen) to see in Beijing and modern architecture(Birds Nest, National Theater). Even though you aren't in a 'language pledge' intensive Chinese environment the Chinese classes are still quite rigorous. In addition to this, I know the others in my program and myself gained immense Chinese technical/business jargon while on-site at our respective internships. The semester was fun and challenging and I would recommend this program to any students who are thinking about potentially working in China in the future, this will be a great litmus test for you.

How can this program be improved?
Modify the internship course.
Yes, I recommend this program
Annie
10/10

Academically challenging, langauge intensive, but freedom to travel!

CET Academic Programs is a great program for study abroad. The most unique aspect of CET is the local roommate feature. No other program I found had this feature, and it was one I was specifically looking for. My roommate was the best resource for me to practice my Chinese, as well as a lovely person. She helped me every step of the way. My Chinese would not be half of what it is without her. In terms of academics, the English-taught courses are taught by professors that are top-notch experts in their fields. The Chinese courses are taught by experienced teachers with a wide knowledge base. My internship placement was identical to my career goals and interests. I got to learn more about the foreign environmental NGO sector in China as well as network with Chinese and other international coworkers. Although the program was extremely academically rigorous and kept us busy every minute of the day, there was one week in April where we had the freedom to travel wherever we wanted in or out of the country. The program also includes one trip outside of Beijing with the whole program that is a ton of fun. Lastly, I made great, long lasting friendships during my time abroad with CET which I expect to last the rest of my life. If you want a program that is academically rigorous, language intensive, career focused, and also gives you the freedom to travel and meet great people, choose CET!

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by having more opportunities to get to know the other Chinese roommates of the program. I knew the roommates of my closest friends very well, but the others I never got the chance to get to know. Other than that, nothing!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ty
9/10

Beijing Spring 2016

There are so many great things to say about CET's Beijing programs. The Chinese classwork is demanding yet rewarding, the social life in the city is fulfilling, and the classmates you are surrounded with share your passions and open your eyes to new opportunities at the same time. Something that some other reviewers have not yet highlighted in depth is the helpfulness of the staff. I experienced a rather significant personal event while abroad, and the Resident Director (Zuo Cui) was right by my side through every step of the way. I honestly do not know what I would have done without her. When CET is recruiting future RD's, they should use Zuo Cui as a model, because she truly demonstrates the utmost care about each and every student through her actions.

How can this program be improved?
I feel that the internship class could use some improvement. Many of the other electives are quite useful, but many of my other classmates shared my sentiment that the class portion of the internship program was a waste of our time at some moments.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Amanda
10/10

A place to meet friends for a lifetime!

When coming to China for study abroad I knew that I would be challenged in my language study and hoped to learn more about Chinese history and culture, but I didn't anticipate to meet the wonderful people that I did. CET Chinese Studies and Internship in Beijing seems to attract people genuinely interested and passionate about China and Chinese, but the people that attend all share similar levels of language. Through shared experiences, such as travel, we built relationships that will last us long into our careers. Students held a range of issues related to China, such as Chinese Traditional Medicine, Chinese Military, Chinese Music, Chinese Economics, etc. All of these passions allowed for us to learn from each other and enhance each other's experience abroad. CET really is an amazing program, and if you allow yourself, you will meet some of the most amazing friends!

How can this program be improved?
The English classes of this program (Working in China, Chinese Traditional Medicine, Understanding Modern China, and Chinese Politics) could use a little love and attention. They do present some interesting topics, but lack academic rigor and structure.
Yes, I recommend this program
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William
10/10

A Balanced Program (Plus find love!)

CET is neither easy nor hard academically, neither over-the-top nor unremarkable socially, neither too serious nor too blasé programatically. It's simply a well-balanced program, full of students from diverse backgrounds. I was a gap year student in Beijing in 2009 and felt welcomed and supported by staff and classmates, many of whom were years older than me. I look back on CET fondly as a program that fostered connections among roommates and peers.

As an aside, two of the couples in a 30-odd-person program got engaged five years later. It can and does happen!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Deborah
4/10

Travels in Beijing

I decided to study abroad CET at the spur of the moment during last spring, as a 2nd-year student in Chinese. There were many good things about CET - I had many amazing experiences in Beijing, including facilitated trips to the Great Wall, as well as my own ventures to different places such as the Summer Palace and Lama Temple (all of which I highly recommend!). Most of the staff was incredibly kind and competent.

However, I will say there were many parts of CET I was frustrated or dissatisfied with - people in our program found that internships were often lacking in some way (or didn't have them until late in the program); trips were sometimes a bit unorganized; often, people had serious problems with their Chinese roommates. In general, it seemed like the program was over-capacity with the 25 students we had this summer. For the amount paid, I feel like the program should have gone a lot smoother than it did.

That being said, I had a wonderful relationship with my roommate, and good or bad, I took away a lot from the program. Just do your research before applying - I would also suggest perhaps finding an internship on your own before coming :)

Response from CET Academic Programs

Thank you for your feedback on your experience with CET in Beijing. Both positive and constructive feedback is always welcome. We are glad to know that you enjoyed the planned activities, interactions with your roommate and overall academic gains. As you noted, the program continues to grow and we appreciate knowing ways our staff can make improvements in the future.
– Sarah Dixon, Director of Institutional Relations

No, I don't recommend this program
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欧阳Mega
9/10

Blown Away by Beijing

With no connection to the sandstorms that sometimes o cut in Beijing, I can truly say that I was blown away by Beijing. When assumptions met reality,my preconceptions were cast out day-by-day as I explored the city and learned more about the people. The CET staff in Beijing is second to none! They were my family away from home and still are. I experience great improvements in my Chinese language abilities while still being able to explore the city, do service work, and have an internship. I cannot wait to return!

How can this program be improved?
It is very difficult to say what I would change about the program itself. I think that more strict adherence to the language pledge would enhance all students experience and help them improve more quickly in Chinese.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About 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...