CET Beijing

Video and Photos

CET students ready to speak at a Green Finance Summit
CET students ready to speak at a Green Finance Summit
Hiking in Anyang
Hiking in Anyang
CET Classroom
CET Classroom
Wonderful friendships
Wonderful friendships
中文桌子 Friday lunches with my class!
中文桌子 Friday lunches with my class!
Friends and roommate at local park
Friends and roommate at local park
Buddhist grotto in Luoyang
HuaShan in XiAn

About

Want an intensive academic environment where Chinese is the the top priority? CET Beijing students sign a full-time language pledge and live with a Chinese roommate. All classes are centered around language learning, and the goal is to use your Chinese out in the city, where it counts. Practice ordering at a restaurant, share stories at a local high school, take a week to research and interview locals on the Chinese hukou system. Your one-on-one class is designed to target your particular strengths and weaknesses. Your teachers are some of the best in the field. A highlight of the program is an overnight trip to a new city--Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors, or Hangzhou to hike around beautiful West Lake. You'll live in a dorm with new furnishings, private bathrooms, and wifi access. This program is for students of all levels, from beginners to heritage learners. The January Term is open to students with at least 3 semesters of Chinese language instruction.

Highlights
  • 20+ hours/week of Chinese language classes
  • One-on-one sessions for targeted learning
  • Full-time language pledge
  • Local roommates
  • Out-of-classroom assignments & learning

Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 54 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.2
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 9.4
  • Housing 9.2
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 54
Default avatar
Jessica
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer 2019 CET Beijing Language Immersion

The program definitely focused on language immersion and getting your level of Chinese up; even though I came in with only studying one year of Chinese before the program, by the end I felt more confident in my speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing skills. The program is set up to raise all aspects of your Chinese and it definitely delivered. I would just warn that it may be more work than you're used to, and than you might think it will be; that was the case for me. Besides the academic portion they offer weekend activities and places to go which gives you opportunities to see a lot of sides of Beijing. The city has a ton to offer and I think everyone would find something they like; exploring on my own with friends was exciting too, it's just that there wasn't as much time as I would like to have to explore Beijing without having to sacrifice academics. Pairing every person in the program with a Chinese roommate was also beneficial because it was like having a companion and guide at the same time. The teachers and staff are all very caring, hardworking, and deliver well too. My experience with this program was overall very positive and I am glad I was a part of it. Two months pass by faster than you might think but packed with unforgettable memories and stories.

What would you improve about this program?
I think students before they are committed to the program and get to Beijing should know the workload and the structure of the classes. I didn't find out until I was there and I think it would've been more helpful to know.
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Donovan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Beijing: One of the Best Experiences of My Life

While I thought participating in a study abroad program that enforced a language pledge would be rather difficult, I am more than happy to say that I am extremely pleased with what I gained. I was placed into 500 level Chinese, and while I believe once you are at a higher language level, language progress becomes more slow and gradual; however, the language pledge positively enhanced all students' outcomes. I had so much fun in and out of class, whether it be prepping for my oral test topic or going to see historical attractions like the Temple of Heaven with my roommate. I met amazing people and the staff was truly amazing, especially our director, Zuo Cui, who was also my director for the CET Beijing: Internship program that I participated in during the summer of 2018. CET really goes above and beyond to ensure that students feel comfortable with their lives abroad and I am truly thankful for that.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing that I ate was pig brain and hooves. Both were surprisingly interesting but I have to say that I was not a big fan of the pig brain. I will definitely eat pig hooves again though!
Read my full story
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Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Beijing Fall

My handful of months in Beijing allowed me both depth and breadth of insight into Chinese culture, language, and society. Although my time was limited, the coursework and contact time with small class sizes allowed for me to improve my Chinese at a very expedited pace compared to learning in my American classroom. Classes were taught with student's engagement and participation in mind, ensuring that we were able to improve our language skills as effectively as possible. All of my teachers were very invested in our learning. The curriculum incorporated Chinese culture and interaction with Chinese people with language learning. Outside of the classroom CET also provided weekly activities so that we could explore Beijing together. The program is a great balance of learning inside the classroom and time to experience all that Beijing has to offer.

Living with a Chinese roommate is also a unique trait of the program and is especially beneficial for making close connections to Chinese locals. I became very close with my roommate, which had the added benefit of helping me practice my Chinese with a native speaker all of the time. I loved the program and thought that the lessons, activities, and organization of the program were thoughtful and made our time in Beijing smooth and meaningful.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come to Beijing with an open mind. Engage locals in conversation and listen without any presumptions. You will learn so much! Also, get a Chinese bank account so you can pay on your phone. It will make everything so much easier.
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Karla
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Go on a Cultural Adventure to the Unknown

In high school, I took a year of Chinese as a total beginner. The teacher was a native Chinese who had never left China before coming to the United States for a year. She was very supportive but also very strict. I always wandered why she seemed to be so strict with the students and, whenever scolding a student, she would relate our mistakes to how they could affect our future if they became a habit. I was able to solve my inquiry when I cane to Beijing. The teachers where supportive but strict about getting homework done correctly, arriving to class early, accepting natural consequences for mistakes and upholding the language pledge at all times. Living in such daily environment did not only improve my Chinese drastically, but also allowed me to make lifelong friendships, increase my resilience to cultural shock and improved my understanding of cultural diversity. These skills and abilities are eternal tools to foster personal and academic success.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Chinese culture is very unique, so go entirely open-minded and seek to understand rather than to be understood.
Default avatar
Paige
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living in China for a Year!

It is hard to "summarize" or even pick out a few experiences that represent the year I spent immersed in Chinese language and culture.
Culture shock hit me pretty hard when I arrived in Beijing. I couldn't sleep because the beds were so hard, the water was too hot, the food had too much oil, the air was polluted, I didn't feel comfortable speaking Chinese. The list goes on, but the people that made up my program are the reason I was able to continue, my roommate especially. She spoke to me when my Chinese was terrible; she introduced me to new foods, family, and friends. We were born in opposite geographical locations, education systems, and cultures, yet slowly discovered how similar we are. From her, I learned Chinese food, culture, and language, but also gained an indescribable and lifelong friendship.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go abroad for a year! It was the best decision I have made. It allowed me to make solid friendships and truly feel comfortable with the language and culture
Read my full story
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Braden
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Beijing - Intensive Chinese

The two months I spent in Beijing with the CET Intensive Chinese program have proven to be incredibly impactful, both with regard to my Chinese language ability and my life more broadly.
It's certainly an academically challenging program, with four hours of class plus a half an hour one-on-one session with a teacher every Monday through Friday (not to mention the homework) but you'll find that there's no better motivation than being in China and seeing immediate real-world benefits of your studies, such as being able to more effortlessly communicate with Chinese students, choose dishes at nearby nearby restaurants, or just get around Beijing.
I could not recommend this program highly enough to someone who's looking to improve their Chinese and who's also interested in getting to know China and its people.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
On a group trip to Datong, several students and I ordered rabbit heads.
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Angela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Beijing Summer 2019

Studying Chinese with CET in Beijing was greatly helpful in improving my Chinese language skills. Through CET, I had the opportunity to learn Chinese in authentic contexts, which focused on helping us develop communicative competencies and to improve in our speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills. I enjoyed the class structure, which involved a lot of repetition and practice using new grammar structures every day in a large class, small class, and one on one session with the teacher. The teachers were all not only very knowledgable about the material and able to effectively teach us, but also very friendly and relational.
The CET office staff are very supportive in case problems arise and in helping students to adjust to life in China. CET also organizes many trips for students to explore Beijing and understand more of its culture and history, such as trips to the Great Wall and to museums. Furthermore, CET houses students with a Chinese roommate, who are often valuable friends to students, helping them to navigate life in Beijing, serving as a conversational partner to practice Chinese with.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with CET Beijing and am much more confident in my Chinese abilities now. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to grow in their Chinese abilities and in their understanding of a culture and of people different from what they may be familiar with.

What would you improve about this program?
Although CET provided contact information for other students prior to the start of the program, which was very helpful, I think it would be helpful if students were also provided some sort of contact information for their roommates prior to the start of the program.
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Colby
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Beijing Summer 2019

I had a very enriching time this summer at the CET Beijing program.
Language wise, I significantly improved my Mandarin ability. They made all students follow a Mandarin-only language pledge, which was very intense. On the same note, we had to do four and a half hours of class every weekday, not to mention daily homework and essay compositions on the weekends. I found it difficult to simultaneously keep up my physical health, social life, and results in class. Many nights, I was only able to sleep for 6 hours and struggled to stay awake in class, which started at 8 AM every weekday. As challenging as the academic load was, I would say it definitely paid off, as the constant repetition led to the expansion of my vocabulary and my Mandarin becoming more and more fluent.
On many weekends, we had sightseeing events organized by CET. I thought these were a great way to both see the beautiful sights near Beijing, learn more about Chinese history, and get closer to the other CET students. My favorite trip was to Da Tong, where we got to stay in a four star hotel and see over four cultural sites over one weekend.
CET was also great for my own development, as I got the opportunity to connect and get to know students from colleges all over the US. This, in combination with exposure to Chinese culture, really opened my eyes to the different perspectives in this world.
I really enjoyed my time at CET and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is willing to challenge themselves on multiple fronts.

What would you improve about this program?
I would make fitness routines more available to the students. With the limited nutritional choices available and time-intensive workload, I found it quite difficult to maintain my physical health.
Default avatar
Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Keep An Open Mind

Before going to China and attending the CET Beijing program, I had no idea what to expect. I had attended two previous summer Chinese learning programs, but both were only for three weeks and both were in the United States. The CET Beijing program gave me the full immersion into Chinese culture and the experience of using language in the everyday interactions of daily life. In short, it was completely different than any previous experience I had. After going to China, I became so much more willing to try new things, whether that be food, activities or just the experience of living abroad, meeting people and speaking a different language. I came to believe during my time in Beijing that you need to be willing to try new things in order to have a fulfilling experience. If I had not tried even half of the things I did, I am certain that my summer would have been not only completely different, but not even as half as incredible as it was. What made my time in Beijing unique was the people I got to meet. New friends, teachers, program alumni and native Chinese speakers like my roommate, all made a huge positive impact on my experience. Making an effort to connect with these people on a daily basis, as well as trying to make as much an impact on their lives as they made on mine, was very important in building and maintaining those relationships and giving me more opportunities to connect in the future, as well as enriching my experience abroad.

CET learning was not similar to high school learning. I was one of the youngest people in the 2019 summer CET Beijing program, and, as a result, all of my friends were at least a year older than me, already had a year or more of university experience under their belt, and were overall more adjusted in the art of adulthood, while I had just graduated high school. However, this turned out to be a good thing, especially in planning weekend activities, trips and dealing with daily navigation struggles. I was able to learn so much from these older people and gained so much more self confidence, ability and maturity in the process. I would tell future participants that going in with an open mind is the most beneficial way of getting everything out of the CET program that they can.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
During one of the weekly class meals, I tried donkey meat and quail eggs, but when I was eating the donkey I thought it was beef.
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Clara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My CET Beijng Summer Experience

CET Beijing was the most interesting and impactful Chinese learning experience I’ve had the opportunity to experience so far. Throughout high school, I had an untraditional way of learning Chinese, as most of it was during the summers at shorter, but similar, immersive language programs. Because I learned Chinese out of the classroom most of the time, I had short, intensive bursts of language learning that completely contrasted the duration, immersion and intensity of CET Beijing. As a result, I was more successful at this program due to being surrounded by the city, participating in the language pledge and constantly experiencing the target culture. I was slightly nervous before the program started because I had been enrolled in an online Chinese course for the last two years of high school, and had only attended two other 3-week summer immersion programs. I wasn’t sure how my Chinese skills would translate from online to in-life. However, almost immediately within the first two weeks, I noticed a significant difference in my ability to hold conversations and speak full sentences with my teachers and other students, ones that would actually make sense and allow me to communicate what I wanted to say. Being able to use Chinese everyday really made a difference in my confidence, which I think was the aspect that allowed me to really dive into the experience and not be afraid to make mistakes. My confidence in speaking the language was facilitated by my teachers and peers, as they created and were part of a safe community that made me feel confident enough to mess up and learn from it.

I would say that the one-to-one sessions were probably the most crucial aspect of my progress, as I was by myself during the sessions and had to think quickly in order to use the new grammar and vocabulary I learned as I was speaking, which emulated live interactions. Not quite as impactful to my progress, but just as important, was the repetition of the class material. Given that we would learn one week’s worth of Chinese in a day, it was hugely beneficial that the material would first be repeated in the small classes that followed the big class, and then again in the one-to-one sessions. Although it was a lot of work, it didn’t feel like a lot while doing it. Instead of trying to fit the rest of my life around my Chinese, I was easily able to fit Chinese into my daily life while going to authentic restaurants, exploring the city with friends, or talking with my roommate and teachers.

As a gap year student, I was nervous going into the program, as I was the youngest and least-experienced student there. However, I realized I didn’t need to worry because every student was under the same Chinese-learning umbrella, which united everyone despite age, school or Chinese level. Being able to participate in this program, especially since it was in a Chinese city, not only allowed me to improve my Chinese, but also allowed me to learn so much about culture, social norms and a completely different way of life, which I think are aspects that are equally as, if not more, important as being able to speak the language. This program was beyond helpful to my language skills, personal growth and increasing my sense of responsibility, all of which have been and will continue to be essential in my journey to college.

I definitely recommend this program to everyone! My biggest recommendation is to make the most out of your time in Beijing to learn Chinese everywhere you go from anyone you meet, and also make the most out of the new culture, the beautiful city and the lifelong friends you’ll make, because the time flies by and it isn’t an experience you’ll want to waste.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
One of the most nerve-wracking moments at CET Beijing was my first speaking test. Every week, I had to prepare a prompt and speak about it in front of my small class. Not knowing what to expect from the first one, I was very nervous, especially because I had been up late the night before reviewing for the written exam the same day and felt very underprepared. Like with many of my other nerve-wracking experiences regarding using Chinese, I went into the oral test knowing that as long as I knew what I wanted to talk about, I could use the Chinese skills I already had and learn from the experience for the next test. I also spent a lot of time reviewing vocabulary from the unit for the written part of the test, which helped in the speaking part, as I could use the vocabulary that I needed to speak about my topic.
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Hankyu
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience at CET Beijing

This year, I started learning Chinese. I really wanted to improve my language skill. So, I decided to study Chinese over the summer vacation. I did some research and it seemed like CET is the best program in Beijing to learn Chinese for beginners.
To put it simply, I made a right choice. During this summer, I learned more Chinese than what I would have learned for three semesters in my university. Also, CET offered many interesting trips to Beijing’s historical places such as The Great Wall. The Chinese Instructors are amazing as well. They are not only superb at teaching the materials, but also extremely friendly and nice. Finally, the program assigns one roommate for you, and they are generally really nice and very helpful when it comes to adjusting to the new life in Beijing. If i ever want to study abroad in China to learn Chinese, I would come to CET Beijing again to learn.

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Jason
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Beijing

CET Beijing and CET Beijing Janterm were experiences I did not know I needed until after I experienced them. CET Beijing Intensive Language Program could not be a more appropriate name for this program. From 8:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. I was challenged in the classroom, and the challenges continued beyond class hours as the language pledge really pushed me out of my comfort zone.

As I mention above, CET Beijing has a language pledge which made the first few weeks extremely challenging as we pledged to speak no language other than Chinese throughout our time in Beijing. It was challenging at first, because it was hard to communicate with each other as a lot of us did not have the Chinese speaking skills to have a full conversation. As time went by, it became easier to communicate with teachers, classmates, and even local people as our Chinese improved every single day (I am not being sarcastic here). At first, I thought the language pledge would prohibit me from making new friends, but in reality it brought us all closer together. The struggle that we were all going through, regardless of Chinese speaking level, made the bond even stronger.

I participated in both the semester long program in the Fall and the Janterm program (1 month). In terms of academics, they focused on different things. The Fall semester focused more on improving your reading and writing skills, while the Janterm focused more on your speaking skills. I recommend students interested in studying abroad in Beijing to participate in both the semester program and Janterm.

Overall, CET pushed me to become more independent. It helped me reach a lot of my goals, and I hope in can do the same or even more for others in the future.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the thing that this program can improve on is updating students throughout the summer about the upcoming program. For example, I was not able to reach out to my roommate before the program start date. It would have been nice to text a week or so prior to meeting so that we can have a clue of what the other likes, set room rules, etc.
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Gabriel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this 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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Nicole
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Beijing Intensive Language

CET Beijing Intensive Language is truly the program for you if you are looking to make serious progress in your Chinese ability across all spheres -- speaking, writing, listening, etc. Without a doubt, CET pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but in a way that I am extremely grateful for. I have gained a confidence in speaking Chinese that did not before exist. The teachers all are extremely hardworking and do not hesitate to help students in any capacity possible, whether that be language help or simply adjusting to the Chinese lifestyle. Additionally, the program directors do everything in their power to make your semester smooth and successful. While abroad with CET, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the Chinese culture by visiting several different cities and various historical sites -- some of which was with (and paid for) by CET, whereas other times it was own my individual trips. I would highly recommend looking at CET if you are looking for a program that focuses on language learning while also emphasizing the other various aspects that comes with living abroad, such as culture, history, etc .

Default avatar
Albert
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Beijing

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.

Location

Location:
Beijing
Currency:
Chinese Yuan
Weather:
Jan-Mar
54 F / 18 F
Apr-Jun
86 F / 46 F
Jul-Sep
88 F / 59 F
Oct-Dec
66 F / 21 F
Airports:
Beijing Capital International Airport
( PEK )

Beijing is the capital of the people's republic of China, the most populated country in the world. It is the second largest city in the country behind Shanghai, and the country's capital. When traveling in Beijing, you will notice the astounding flatness of the city, as there are exactly three hills in all of Beijing.

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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...