• Colombia
Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
Anthropology Economics Geography Latin American Studies Political Science Sociology
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, LGBTQIA+ funding, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level


What's Included
Accommodation Activities Visa Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

Local roommates

What's Not Included
Mar 27, 2024
May 03, 2024
3 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

In this program, you’ll study race and identity through the Afro-Colombian lens. The program’s curriculum allows you to examine representations of race and ethnicity in Colombia, improve your Spanish, and live with Colombian roommates! You’ll use the Cali's rich backdrop of diversity as your springboard from which to examine the sociopolitical, economic, artistic, and historical representations of race in all of Afro-Colombia.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

CET believes in making study abroad accessible to students of all races, religions, origins, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. We’ve gathered experiences from BIPOC students to share as resources such as the Identity Abroad pages, Perspective Pieces, and Identity Abroad Support Networks. We are also dedicated to becoming a more anti-racist organization by transforming our workplace, programs, and industry with our Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) Action Plan.

LGBTQIA+ Support

CET supports and welcomes students of all identities on our programs. We provide program-specific information under the cultural climate section of our Identity Abroad webpages for LGBTQ individuals in each of our program locations.

Neurodivergent Support

CET makes every effort to offer accommodations comparable to that of the students’ home institution. Disclosing early helps us to make proper preparations. The accommodations offered at each program can be found on each program location's Identity Abroad page. These pages can provide a good idea about what classes are like in terms of workload and class time. Initiating one-on-one conversations with Student Service Coordinators can also help inform students' decisions and determine if a program will be a good fit.

Accessibility Support

CET makes every effort to offer accommodations comparable to that of the students’ home institution. The levels of accessibility, from wheelchair accessibility to extra time on exams, are under each program location’s Identity Abroad page. Initiating one-on-one conversations with Student Service Coordinators can help inform students' decisions and determine if a program will be a good fit.



CET is an environmentally conscientious organization at our headquarters in DC and programs all around the world. In each of our centers, we adopt local measures to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to sustainable practices. As part of our ongoing efforts towards sustainability, we’ve partnered with Cool Effect, a nonprofit focused on reducing carbon emissions through scientifically-proven, hand-selected carbon projects worldwide. For each trip taken by one of our staff members, travelers, or students, we donate to support three carbon projects chosen by staff volunteers every year.

Ethical Impact

When we set up a program overseas, we become a part of that local community. And as a community member, we are responsible for contributing to local initiatives in meaningful ways. Our website lists some local philanthropic organizations that help us fulfill this responsibility—they host our students, and we support their missions.

Program Highlights

  • Traveling Seminar to Palenque and Cartagena to examine core concepts from different locals
  • English-taught core courses
  • No language prerequisite
  • Live with local Colombian roommates
  • Spanish language classes for all levels

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.75
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.75
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Colombia: A Hidden Gem

Previous to studying abroad in Colombia, I had no history of learning Spanish, no Latin family background, let alone any real idea of what I was getting into. Still, what attracted me to this program was its extremely unique and interdisciplinary curriculum developed around race, ethnicity, and identity from the Afro-Colombian context. I doubt I will find another study abroad program that truly aims to center blackness and create a positive, communal space for black minds to flourish. As a black female international affairs major attending an HBCU, I just knew that this was an experience to jump into with open arms that would open my eyes to introspection and the expanding international conversations around race, sociopolitics, culture, and language.

Upon arrival to Colombia, I was a bundle of anxious excitement, but for a semester that was set to be 5+ months long, I was intent on making it an experience that I could survive and thrive in. I figured that there would be many seemingly insurmountable challenges to overcome, considering the language and culture barrier as well as balancing academic and personal life while abroad, of course. Yet for each new obstacle I faced, I would verbally and mentally reframe them as "humbling moments". In this way, I was able to manage the scale of the issues to mere moments that would be just a few of many good moments and great memories that were on the horizon. Studying abroad is a mental exercise of endurance, accepting your vulnerability, and finding a way through it all. You have to put the mental work in, and you need a community to support you.

Finding a community is vital and 100% essential to a student's transitions and overall experience while abroad. You're in a new country, with a new language, and you have to adapt to a new culture. It's abrupt, and even in terms of language, some describe the change as suddenly living as though you are deaf and mute. But you're not alone. For me, I was in a cohort of 16, each of whom I respect and had space to open up and connect with. And with CET Colombia's race-related academics, there were several Black Americans who were attracted to this program in the same way I was. We were all there for similar reasons, similar ambitions, going through similar emotions. Soon enough after going to classes together, grocery shopping together, living together, even clubbing together, it was crazy how quickly we paralleled a family dynamic. The friends I was able to make within CET attributed to what I would credit as my core community in Colombia. The CET staff were an extension of this, without a doubt. Being at the CET office house so often definitely helps, but they are truly a text or phone call away and are there to support you if you let them. On top of this, at the Colombian university, UAO, where we had a central class to the program, I would highly recommend joining clubs or getting involved on campus. I joined the university volleyball team, a sport I was already familiar with, and practices acted as a grounding point for me to learn Spanish. My teammates were also some of the most patient and kind people that I had ever met. They were extremely welcoming of an American learning Spanish, a stark contrast to the existing xenophobia within the US. Whether it was on or off the court, they were teaching me Spanish and instilling me with confidence to keep practicing little by little. Even beyond volleyball, they would take me to lunch, make plans to travel and recommendations for places to go in Cali, and take me to meet their friends and family back home, too. Quickly and surely, my team cemented their place as part of my community. With a community, those seemingly insurmountable challenges that come with the idea of studying abroad, have barriers that continuously lower with glass gates you can see the other side to.

Mental adaptability and community. Those were the categories of my major takeaways, outside of academics. (I could write whole think-pieces on what we learned in class, but I highly suggest taking electives taught by Professor Diego and Spanish class with Professor Andrés.) I know there is so much more, so please reach out and chat about any questions, comments, or concerns you may have about studying abroad with CET alumni and staff who are truly just 1 phone call away. Regardless, before CET in Cali, Colombia, I only spoke English, struggled with anxiety, and had a desire to learn more about international affairs and the opportunities that may yield. And studying abroad is what you make of it, so because of my efforts in CET Colombia, I came out of the whole experience with conversational proficiency in Spanish, the confidence to do anything I put my mind to, platforms to share my experiences, opportunities to facilitate dialogues with Black Expats, and the space to spread the word about the good of studying abroad. Overall, as cliche as it sounds, studying abroad is a rollercoaster. You jump into it excited and anxious, and once the ride starts it may throw you for a loop, dip you low only to bring you up high, but you get off the ride smiling and laughing asking when you can do it all over again.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go out as much as you can, and have fun in all the places you can find it! Be safe!
  • Excursions
  • Academics
  • Supportive students & staff
  • No A/C in the apartments (but you get used to it)
  • Limited direct-enroll options
11 people found this review helpful.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Maya,

It's evident how much you've grown, not just academically and in your Spanish-skills but personally too. Your reflections on the importance of mental adaptability and significance of community resonate in maximizing the potential of the study abroad experience. Thank you for choosing CET and for taking the time to share your experience/insights with us!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Colombia: The Best Place To Go

Going abroad with CET Colombia really opened my eyes to the intersectionality within the Afro-Diaspora.I about race ethnicity and land territories as it applies to Afro and Indigenous Colombians. I was able to travel to different parts of the Colombian Pacific and Caribbean Coast and have meaningful conversations with Local Afro-Colombians in Spanish! I was learning Spanish before I went abroad but after those three months my Spanish improved dramatically and I am able to have conversations with different types of Spanish speakers. Everything that I learned in the classroom was translated into field experiences. It was indeed an immersive cultural experience.

  • Immersive Language
  • Learn a lot about Afro-Colombians
  • Travel to different parts of the country
  • No direct-enroll courses
71 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to Colombia!!

My time in Colombia was amazing! I learned so much about Afro-Colombian culture, Colombian history, and society as a whole. My program not only allowed me to learn about new places and cultures but also forced me to be introspective and learn new things about my own identity. It caused me to reevaluate the way that I perceive myself in different spaces, and analyze the way that culture influences identity. Overall, I feel that this was an amazing opportunity and has heavily influenced the way that I learn about and analyze different topics and the way that I see myself and the world around me.

  • Immersion experience, courses in Spanish and about Colombian culture.
  • Learn about topics that aren't often explored in American curriculum.
70 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


CET Colombia is definitely a semester that I will NEVER forget and that has changed me for the better. I learned so much about my host country, the world, and even myself while on this program. I was challenged in new ways which was tough at times but it was 100% worth it and made my program so much more worthwhile. All of my professors were clearly educated in their fields and did a phenomenal job teaching the coursework. It was also super cool to be able to see what I was learning in the classroom about Colombian and Afro Colombian culture in real life when I would go out on program excursions or personal trips. 10/10 recommend!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could change anything about my program it would be how often I went out and explored by myself! I feel like I could've had so many more memories and adventures if I had ventured out more and made more Colombian friends on my own outside of the program and just explored the city more on my own.
111 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers