CET Shanghai

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Explore Shanghai and learn about Chinese culture in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia. CET Shanghai students are able to pursue a diverse selection of English-taught electives, including the opportunity to experience a career abroad with a custom internship placement. This is a great option for beginners as well as those who are already well-versed with the Chinese language. By living with a local roommate, you'll experience what it's like to truly immerse yourself in the culture and study abroad in China.

  • Earn up to 15 academic credits
  • English-taught electives at Donghua University
  • Experiential learning outside the classroom
  • Custom internship placement
  • Live with a local roommate

Questions & Answers


8.85 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 65.38%
  • 7-8 rating 30.77%
  • 5-6 rating 3.85%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 9.6
  • Housing 7.3
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 26
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Yes, I recommend this program

CET in 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!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

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!
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Challenge

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.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Experience

I spent the summer of 2019 participating in the CET: Shanghai program and it has been one of my best decisions. It was an incredible experience, allowing me to further my personal and professional goals.

As a Chinese heritage student I wanted to learn more about my own culture and language and CET’s Chinese course delivered. Having the language placement exam at the very beginning allows for students of every level in Chinese to be placed in their appropriate level class. This allows for students to be challenged in their language study but not be too overwhelmed. Having language class everyday may be more than what you’re used to in your home university but everyone leaves the program with significantly better Mandarin skills. Something I’d recommend is that if you don’t think your placement results were accurate to speak with the teachers and the director of the department. I switched my Chinese class two times before finding the right fit.
To build cultural understanding, CET also reimburses up to 70 yuan/day for students to explore Shanghai and participate in different cultural activities. This allowed for my friends and I to watch a lot of Chinese movies and visit museums throughout the program.

In terms of professional development, the internship component of the program is great for gaining international work experience. You can learn a lot about how different industries operate in China and what kind of opportunity exists there. The internship search process is hectic but eventually everyone finds their internship. Speaking from my own experience, I think the quality of the internship placement of the program is its largest weakness. I did not have a great experience working at my first placement because of the lack of professionalism and respect from my supervisor. My second internship placement was better in comparison but I wasn’t given very meaningful work. I would recommend future students to really think about what kind of internships they want and to remain firm. It’s okay to say no to companies that offer you a position.

Despite some challenges, I had an incredible summer in Shanghai. It's such a fun city to live in and there is always something to do! The connections I made with other U.S. and local students continue to carry on and made participating in the program so meaningful.

What would you improve about this program?
I would strengthen the quality of the internship placements of the program. Myself, and many of my friends all agree that a lot of the work given to us interns were busywork and not very meaningful. From my own experience, I don't think CET should continue their partnership with my first internship placement site in the future. The sheer lack of respect and professionalism from the supervisor should not be accepted. The company did not fulfill what was previously agreed upon during the interview process and the supervisor had no interest in mentoring its interns.
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Yes, I recommend this program

You Won't Regret Going

I did the CET Summer in Shanghai program at Donghua University, and it's safe to say my experience started out pretty rough. My first connecting flight was delayed, so I was forced to change flights. Rather than arriving on time, a day before the first day of orientation, I arrived at the Shanghai airport at 4 am in the morning on the day of the first day of orientation. To make matters worse, my suitcase - which had literally all of my clothes in it - never arrived. Luckily several people on my flight, who spoke english, experienced the same problem, and we were able to meet each other and find help at the baggage claim help desk. The rest of the first day was just as rough. I completely bombed the placement exam, as I was super jet lagged, and I had no fresh clothes to change into. Anyway, I was able to buy clothes at the mall, and my suitcase was eventually found and shipped to Donghua University 4 days later, and CET was super helpful in getting it to me. Outside of this, my experience with the CET Summer Shanghai program was fantastic. This is a great program, and it is your best chance to test if you are capable of living in a major city in China.

Whether you are going in with no Mandarin skills, or you are an advanced speaker, you will finish the program impressed with how much you learned or improved. Having language class everyday can be tiring, but the professors are amazing and make class fun. There is also a wide range of interesting electives to take. I took the Chinese cinema course, and it was one of the most interesting classes I've taken. The internship experience is also one of a kind, and is something you could not obtain without going through CET. You will be very busy during the summer program, but it is a great way to test and improve your organizational skills.

CET also has several great opportunities almost every weekend to explore famous areas in Shanghai, but you can always do things on your own. My favorite activity was going to the movies every weekend with my roommate and playing basketball. CET also has an overnight trip to the countryside. I had my reservations at first, but it is great way to make friends. You will spend most of the time riding on a bus, but the creek crawl and white water rafting are still fun.

Another thing is that the roommates are all amazing and very helpful. I was nervous at first because my roommate could not understand me at times, but you will get over these language barriers. At the end your roommates English will be better and your Chinese will be better. I can't emphasize how important it is to practice speaking Mandarin with your roommate. I was embarrassed at first, and I regret not trying it more at the beginning of the program.

One complaint is the weather is unbearable at times. Highs of 118 and extremely humid, so bring very light and breathable clothes (as much linen stuff as possible). It can also rain for weeks without stopping. There was a typhoon at the end of my program, which prevent everyone from flying home for a few days.

My only other complaint is that Dorm Building 3 is a little rough. The rooms aren't the cleanest and the power in your room can occasionally turn off. I once woke up drenched in sweat at 5 am because I lost power in the night, so my AC stopped working. But there is usually someone at the front desk in the lobby who can help you. Also there is a woman who will do your laundry for you on the first floor of the building. You will have to use a card that CET will give you to use hot water in your shower. It comes with 150 yuan on it, and a 6 minute shower will use about 4 yuan. Some people never had money taken off their card, but I ran out of money by the end of the program. Taking ice cold showers sucks, so conserve your shower money and take fast showers. Also the sink water is not purified, so you should get used to brushing your teeth with bottled water. It is recommended for you, but your roommate will just use the sink water. You can pay to have your sheets and room cleaned as well. Dorm building 2 is much nicer, and you are lucky if you stay in the hotel, but I heard the wifi wasn't very reliable there. I had no problems using wifi or VPN in my room for the most part.

Dining Halls:
The dinning hall food was decent, but there are plenty of restaurants near the school. Cafeteria 1 has two floors, but the best food is on the second floor of Cafeteria 2. I recommend getting breakfast from 1 and eating lunch and dinner at 2. Cafe 1 is much cheaper. Breakfast there is around 1-5 yuan and lunch and dinner will be like 12. Cafe 2 is more expensive. A plate of dumplings is around 15 yuan. I recommend bringing as much money as possible because you likely need 100-200 yuan every week for food on campus and towards the end of the program, you can only add money to your meal card 2 days out of the week from 10:30 to 1. You will also need around another 200 every week for commuting and eating at work. Donghua also has a basketball court and track, but not really a gym. If you want to exercise you'll have to get a membership at a gym nearby .

Overall, I think this program is 100% worth going on. By the end, you won't feel like a tourist, instead, you will feel like an actual citizen of Shanghai.

What would you improve about this program?
There's nothing about this program that needs improving.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Choose Shanghai

When I was first deciding what study abroad I wanted to go on, I made a checklist of everything that I was looking for. CET: Shanghai was one of the only programs that fulfilled all the requirements that I was looking for, and in short, I was not let down. The main reason that I chose this program was because I believed that I would be able to get the most immersive experience in going abroad with having a local roommate, taking classes on campus, and interning in the international city. With all of these opportunities I was able to really get a feel for what exactly Shanghai was - besides the pearl tower. My favorite aspect of this program, and the reason why it made my study abroad experience different was because it was a program that was not directly associated with my school, and while I went to Shanghai to experience another culture and gain global experience, I was not expecting to learn more about the States as well. Being a meeting point between meeting people across the globe, but also across the United States is really what I enjoyed the most. Being abroad and making the memories that I did are experiences that I wish could last a lifetime, but for now I am saying see you later. I hope that others are able to seize this opportunity like I was and realize how great Shanghai is.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
While in my internship for this program, I was assigned a project that I was not happy with, and after gritting my teeth and doing my best I eventually talking to my supervisor. I spent the whole week building up the courage to confront the problem and voice my concerns - because as a foreign part-time intern I did not want to exhibit that I was ungrateful for the experience. However, once I did, my attitude towards the project that I was working on improved 100% and I became more motivated to execute at the highest level.
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Yes, I recommend this program

CET Shanghai: Success is offered, it's up to you to pursue it.

CET Shanghai was an incredible program where I improved my language, advanced my career, and explored Chinese history and culture. CET in particular made this possible by providing reimbursements for cultural experiences, support for all living necessities (and more), coordinated events such as movie nights and tours, strong courses with great professors, and a Chinese roommate to learn from locals. One specific note is the strength of Chinese class with CET. They provide courses in every level. Most beneficial to me was the weekly one-on-one class we have with our professor. This gave me a time to ask questions about everything from the textbook material to my life in China. As well, the professors have great methods to teach language effectively such as repeating useful vocabulary and skipping words that aren't as common. This helped me spend time where would be most useful as I studied.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
This program offers you the ability to succeed and truly gain immeasurable experience, but it is up to you to take this challenge on.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Perfect Way to Take Your First Step Into China

I spent the summer of 2019 in Shanghai participating in CET's study abroad plus internship program. While I was there I not only had the incredible opportunity to study Chinese culture, but CET also helped me find an internship site that allowed me to really experience China first-hand and helped me improve my resume. The CET staff in Shanghai supported me through every step of the process and were available 24/7 to give me and my classmates detailed instructions and advice. Going to a foreign country for any length of time is challenging and going to a foreign country to study or work for months can be very scary, but CET never failed to make me feel safe and secure while I was in Shanghai. My overall opinion of the CET Shanghai program is that it perfectly blended education, career training, and fun to provide me a summer I'll never forget.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The pollution can be very bad and by the end of my trip, I was really starting to feel the effects of the poor air quality. I would recommend that travels talk to their doctor before going so that they can know how to best take care of their health while abroad.
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