CET Japan

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Video and Photos

Friends trip to Kochi-ken
Friends trip to Kochi-ken
At my Japanese dance teacher's house having a barbeque.
Made dolls out of chirashizushi ingredients during my stay with my host family.
My classmates and teacher at a cooking class.


Ready for Japanese learning in everything? Enroll in an intensive language class. Live in a furnished Japanese share house with local roommates. Take on out-of-class projects and interview locals. The CET Japan program is designed to maximize language improvement and covers at least a full year of university-level Japanese each term. The flexible curriculum includes options for electives in Japanese or in English. The cozy campus is just 15 minutes from downtown Osaka. Weekend trips and group excursions take you off the tourist map, to hot springs, a re-created ninja village, or a ropes course in the mountains. Japanese language learners of all levels and majors are welcome to attend the fall and spring programs. The summer program has a full-time language pledge and is open to students with at least 2 previous semesters of Japanese language. Ideal for Study Abroad and Gap Year students.

  • Small, intensive language classes
  • Cover a year's worth of Japanese each semester
  • Out-of-classroom projects & learning
  • Dedicated class segment to help you adjust to daily life in Japan
  • Electives in Japanese or English

Questions & Answers

I participated in CET Japan's Summer term which ended in early-mind August, so I was able to return to my home institution for the Fall Semester and continue like normal right after. My university has a credit checklist for study abroad students which will show what programs and classes are approved for credit at the home institution. So, after making sure that the courses I was in were on the...


8.61 Rating
based on 33 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8.2
  • Housing 7.4
  • Safety 9.3
  • Housing 9
  • Support 7
  • Fun 9
  • Value 7
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 33
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Yes, I recommend this program

In Depth Review of CET Japan

Academics: 10/10
I came into the course having studied only one year of beginner's Japanese. The first day you begin, you take a CET evaluation exam (note: not practice JLPT; that comes later). I want to note for future students that it is very important that you emphasis to the academic advisor what level you want. Originally I was placed into the level 1 course, but after talking with the academic advisor I was placed into the level 2 intermediate class. Level 1 was a bit ridiculous since I know for certain I scored quite well on the initial evaluation which was why on the second day when it came down to taking the Practice JLPT (which is CET created and only an hour), I was offered to take the N4 practice with the level 2 and not the N5 with the level 1.

Maybe it was due to our program only having 8 people total, my class only consisted of myself and one other person. Other classes were also similar: the most people in a class was the level 3 with 3 ppl and the fewest was with the level 1, only 1. Class schedule was usually 2 hours a day with a 3 hour day and then a 1 on 1 once per week. I studied from Genki II and we usually finished one chapter a week. For those interested in the textbook used for level 3 and 4, level 3 used Tobira, and level 4 I have no clue although I heard they did use a lot of raw text.

You also have to do a poster presentation: honestly not even that bad, just really annoying. But I will say presenting in a different language to the president of the school really puts into perspective a knew meaning of confidence. I had some friends who absolutely hated the poster presentation, to me I will admit I kind of liked it.

Language Pledge: 6/10
I think one of the biggest reasons people choose CET Japan is mainly for its language pledge. While no doubt the language pledge was one of the reasons why I chose CET, it did become a little ridiculous. Little background of myself: I'd done a language intensive program with a language pledge before in Beijing with Duke in Beijing the summer before so I think I am a little bit qualified to give my opinion about this matter.

Although staff did uphold the language pledge to a very strict standard, I felt it was sometimes too strict. Maybe because our program consisted of only 8 people, in order for any of to really be able to interact with each other, it sometimes became necessary to use English. I think the biggest challenge was especially talking to the level 1 students. Because they had never studied Japanese before (including Hiragana and Katakana) if we wanted to talk to them, English became necessary. Also, since I'd only studied Japanese for one year before coming, I also rarely spoke with the higher level students, and they with me. But since the program was so small I ended up speaking some English just to feel somewhat sane. I'm not sure what the program can do on their part, maybe by increasing the number of people (but that is beyond their control) or maybe even eliminating the level 1 class entirely? I know in my Duke in Beijing program, they did not have any level 1 class just to avoid this problem entirely.

Housing: 3/10
I think for all of us, the biggest strife was with the housing. CET used two buildings during my stay: Lavianne and Arabesque. Lavianne is more of an apartment setting, meaning you literally leave with your Japanese roommate. There is a bathroom, washing machine, kitchen, and a tatami room. It is also about 2 train stations away from the school. Arabesque is more of a share house meaning you kind of have your own bed and tiny stove/sink with (depending on the room) a curtain separating you and your Japanese roommate. You can walk to school from Arabesque

I lived in Lavianne, and the main problem was that it was very old and very tiny. The bathroom sink constantly leaked and the toilet barely flushed. Also, the ventilation in the bathroom was very poor. When it comes down to bedding, I slept in the tatami room in a futon literally 6 inches away from my Japanese roommate's futon. Sometimes I thought that the room was really only for one person, and that the program only chose that apartment to save money. I've included some pictures below.

Arabesque, I think it can be fair to say that everyone living in Lavianne was always immensely jealous of the people living in Arabesque. The rooms were more private and more modern. However, Arabesque had their own problems. I had one friend come down with a quite serious illness due to molding in the AC unit that had failed to be cleaned for years. In the words of the AC unit cleaner according to my friend, he had never seen an AC unit that dirty in his line of work before. Also, the program provides a 5000 yen stipend each month for each individual roommate in Arabesque (it was 7500 for each roommate pair in Lavianne). Somehow, every individual in Arabesque manage to exceed this stipend in quite large excess (this was never the case for us in Lavianne and in the end I heard that a lot of the excess Lavianne stipend was used to cover the Arabesque people). I had a friend who swore this was due to the inefficiency of the heating unit and after he stopped using the heat entirely in the whole month of November, was he finally able to go below the stipend. He was the only one I know who managed to do it in Arabesque. However, since I did not live in Arabesque, I don't think I can judge too much since I wasn't there.

Roommate: 9/10
So, as a preface, Japanese people generally do not live with roommates. As I previously mentioned in Housing, people in Lavianne lived with their Japanese roommates as opposed to Arabesque where some people had their own rooms, and some people had one huge room separated by a curtain. To tell you the truth, I think the people in Lavianne had better relationships with their Japanese roommates than the Arabesque people. Maybe it is because you are literally so close to your roommate, you and him/her are forced to kind of work it out together. However, on the Arabesque side, I heard that often times roommates would really ignore the students and kind of do their own things. This became kind of a problem because you are paying for your roommates rent (they get "free housing" through you) and when your roommate who is supposed to help you get better at Japanese is not there, it becomes an unequal trade off.

To put it quite bluntly, I think this roommate problem is partly due to the ranking of the school. I had a friend search up the rank of Osaka Gakuin University OGU (the college affiliated with CET) and it ranked something like in the 500s in Japan. Thus, the Japanese students there were not really of a high studious caliber to put it bluntly. Just to put some perspective on the roommate situation in Arabesque, we had one Japanese roommate kicked out 3 months into the program due to excessive partying in the house, and another who was seemed way more interested in his Korean studies and took to speaking and interacting more with the Korean international students (CET is just one of the international programs at OGU, there is another exchange program happening at the same time) and in short neglecting his responsibilities to his American counterpart.

However, I will say that if you have a good roommate, it can really be the difference in improving your Japanese. My roommate and I always got along well, and we often spoke. He was studying English and was pretty good at it, probably the best amongst all the Japanese roommates. Thus, if I ever had a question, I could ask him anytime and he could respond in English if I did not understand. I know that some other roommates literally knew zero English and I wonder if that was a criteria CET wanted when considering Japanese roommate applications. This is where I mean that the Language pledge being not helpful: sometimes it really is necessary to use English to explain some more complex Japanese material. Also, CET's has a policy of resolving roommate conflicts by allowing roommates to resolve problems within themselves with CET acting as an intermediary. Whilst I won't say this is a bad system, it does certainly elevate the status of the roommate above us when we also consider the Language pledge in effect. For us American students, if we had a problem we will generally avoid dealing with it until when it really got bad because 1. we don't want to offend our roommate by saying something mistakingly with our bad Japanese and stressing an already tense relationship with them (remember, they have never had a roommate experience before!), and 2. even if it got really bad to the point where we have to confront our roommates, we would still be unable to say anything since our roommate did not understand English!

To be quite honest, I believe CET should be looking for more higher English ability roommates. I know it sounds counterintuitive to the Language Pledge, but I think it is a necessary evil and something that is like one step back, two steps forward: whilst it goes against the pledge, on the other hand it allows roommates to become closer and then through that allow for more interaction and then more Japanese. I think I am a clear example of this benefit: of all the students there I believe I improved the most-- and this is not just my opinion but on my final practice JLPT test score as well-- and that was because I actually interacted with my Japanese roommate.

Hearing all this, you might think, why do I give it 9/10 if I have so many opinions on the matter? Well at the end of the day this is my experience, and my experience was quite good. Sadly, I believe my roommate is a little busy next semester so he is not doing it to the best of my knowledge, but big shout out to Yukihiro!

Safety: 8/10
Honestly, I think Japan is probably the safest country in the world and I would often even leave my door unlocked at night because of how safe it is. However, the reason why I did not give it a 10 is because I did have female friends who were harassed by Japanese men randomly on the streets. However, I don't have much to say about it since I believe the program did everything they could to protect us and sometimes things are just out of your control. I will say however that at night people do walk alone by themselves and you will often see grade schoolers (1st graders) go to and from school by themselves. Take it as you will, but I still think that for a girl, Japan is still probably the safest country in the world.

Fun: 7/10
I think a lot of people go into the program thinking that there will be a lot of work (I did!). But really, homework is really manageable, maybe 2 hours a day. However, I know that the 3rd year and 4th year classes had pretty decent chunks of homework, how much I do not know. The program does have an overnight trip and a few scattered one day weekend trips and about once a month your class will go on a field trip for some hands-on experience. Also, Kyoto is literally 20 miles away or like 30 minutes by train so I suppose you can go have fun every weekend if you want. However, for me, I just thought Osaka was a little bit boring and Kyoto, whilst interesting, got boring after a while too. Personally, I went to Tokyo for a three day weekend, and if I were to chose again between a program in Osaka and Tokyo, I would have chosen Tokyo.

Food: Meh
Found it a little too late that I am not that big of a Japanese cuisine kind of guy. I don't cook so this was obviously a problem. However, I will say that I did eat Indian Curry almost every day in Osaka, for those interested it is called "Seema Curry" located in Ibaraki, near Lavianne. I kind of do want to flex a little and say that I became a regular there and I would often get free ice cream or nan or soup if I so desired (I was that good!). Otherwise I picked up my meals at the Aeon Mall (two minutes from Lavianne); there is a KFC and a McDonalds but I would say the KFC is really meh whilst the Mc D is awesome. Also, there is a fourth floor of restaurants on Aeon Mall which you should look into, and a supermarket for all those Gordon Ramsays out there.

Gym: 9/10
For all you trying to get swole, you're in luck. You can use the school gym for free and it is actually quite impressive. However, why I did not give it a 10/10 is because you will need to buy new shoes specifically for indoor use only. Also, you may at times have to fight over equipment with the high schoolers who are always either there in packs, or not there at all. However, I would really stay away from the trainers, I don't think they know what they are talking about, but that is my opinion only.

Also, if you live near Lavianne, if you run around the entire Reitsumeken University Campus behind Aoen mall, 1 lap= 1.1 miles exactly. So that's pretty convenient.

Bottom Line: 7/10
If you asked me "would I do this again", probably not. The housing was just way to substandard, and the overall cost of the program a little bit too expensive for me to afford it again. However, if you ask me "would I recommend this program", then yes, I would. I think at the end of the day, an experience is what you make out of it, and for me I think for those who are really interested in studying Japanese would really serve to benefit out of it. Furthermore, there is really something spectacular about studying in Japan, specifically in the suburbs of Osaka. You will use Japanese constantly because most people in that area do not speak very good English.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I think I would have made my Japanese goals even more clear to the academic advisors. I came in with the purpose of only improving my Japanese, disregarding anything else. However, like I said, homework was only 2 hours each night. I think I could have done much more and improve even more but maybe due to past feedback, the teachers tend to shy away from giving too much work. However, if you are like me and are interested only in Japanese, I would highly recommend you in letting the Academic Director know and literally telling her straight up where you want to end, maybe even specifically stating the textbook you want ie. "I want to finish Genki II as well as half of Tobira". Remember, the program is for you.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Summer of Friends, Learning, and Fun

CET Summer Japan was an invaluable experience for me. I had always had in interest in Japanese language and culture, and so I thought that CET was the perfect program for me in order to increase my Japanese language proficiency. I was apprehensive at first and a little worried my preconceptions and exceptions about Japan, but CET's staff (on and off-site) were all really great and helpful! They were always available to help in any situation and I felt safe knowing they looked out so much for the students.

The academics were challenging, but definitely doable. Having class for 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week can be exhausting, but thanks to this, I learned so much. I'm glad that we were taught "survival Japanese" because we were able to use so much of the material we learned in class in real-life situations. People may be apprehensive of their language proficiency going up, but I think no matter what level of Japanese you're at, I think you'll gain something from participating in CET. I was able to enjoy my time outside of class and go explore the sights of Osaka, even on days I had class. If I could give one piece of advice to prospective students, I would say to plan out what you want from the program. How do you want to spend your time? 70% studying/30% playing? 60%/40? Having this in mind definitely helps to manage your time and ensure you get everything you can while on the program. Of course being in another country is exciting, but schoolwork is also important. It's up to you to decide how you want to spend your time there and I think finding a balance that's right for YOU will ensure the best possible experience for you. Looking back, I definitely would have liked to spend a little more time on homework, but I was also was able to meet some of the greatest people and become great friends with them from spending time with them.

My favorite thing about the program was the people I met and the friends I made. I never once felt scared of messing up in class or outside because I didn't know how to say something in Japanese because everyone was so kind, understanding, and willing to help! I would definitely participate again if I could and would recommend this program to anyone looking to meet new people, improve their Japanese language proficiency, and to anyone interested in Japanese culture.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I think the most nerve-wracking moment was walking out of the doors after signing the language pledge. Having to only speak Japanese all the time was stressful at first, especially when I felt the need to convey something important. Over time though, chatting with my roommates, in class, and with other students on the program eventually helped me to feel more comfortable speaking Japanese everyday and it felt a lot more natural after getting adjusted. By using Japanese so much in everyday life, I was able to make friends and connect with Japanese people on a level I didn't think was possible, and am glad to have participated in a program with a language pledge. It may be intimidating at first, but as long as you make an effort, you'll do great!
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Yes, I recommend this program


I couldn't stay long enough. I absolutely loved my time in Osaka, from the people I met to the places I went I loved it all. Starting with academics, and like most other reviews, CET does not hold back in the intensity of their programs. The Language Pledge, staff, and students all pushed me to improve beyond just the language and into my life skills. I personally struggled with managing work vs. play, especially balancing basic needs and knowing when to take a break. But, when I look back at the end of the semester I can see that I did a pretty good job overall. And although the heart of the CET programs is their language pledge and host staff/D.C. staff, it is truly the language partners/ roommates who influence your experience. They are the core people who will help you grow and be with you throughout your semester abroad. I can never express how grateful I am to all the people I met during my time in Osaka!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I needed to go out more. I got too wrapped up in the grades and surviving that I did not take the time to be a crazy, wild, free college student and to live. I was always jealous of my classmates who seemed to go out every day and still have time to do homework, meanwhile I would spend my weekends "relaxing" when I should have pushed myself out of my comfort bubble to go explore more of Osaka. As a result I missed so many opportunities for growth, adventure, and bonding with everyone. This is my biggest regret from my time abroad.
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Yes, I recommend this program

What I Learned from Immersion

I knew signing up that the program would be work-heavy and very intensive--and it was! We were at OGU for five hours a day, four of which were dedicated to class time. On top of that I did homework for 3 - 4 hours a day. Of course, depending on what you want to get out of the program, this can vary. If your intentions are to learn as much as you can and really take advantage of the resource of academia, then you will be doing lots of homework and pushing yourself mentally. If your goal is to explore Japan while getting a little learning on the side, then perhaps you will do less homework and more adventuring. Personally, I really wanted to improve my language skills, so I spent more time on homework and studying than other students. I would advise incoming students to know exactly what they want to get out of the program before going into it. In studying abroad, you are going to want to do everything--try all the foods, visit every cool shop, make lots of new friends, get straight A's, and still be able to sleep. Well that's tough. Prioritize your time with what you most want to do; figure out what is most important. Maybe making a lot of local friends is more important than spending time exploring the country. Keep that in mind when you plan, because it's impossible to do everything. The summer session was 9 weeks, which might sound like a lot of time, but for an entire country, it's miniscule.

What was your funniest moment?
I went into the city to do some homework--I often found a new cafe to study, because it gave me a chance to explore a little everyday. At that cafe, I was planning on ordering a fruit smoothie. The word for fruit in Japanese is 果物 (kudamono). Unfortunately, the stress of ordering in Japanese caused me to mix up my words. So instead of "kudamono" I said "kodomo" (子供)....which means child. So I literally said, "may I have a child smoothie." I immediately realized my mistake and corrected myself, apologizing to the confused worker. We both laughed about it, and, while it was an embarrassing moment at the time, makes for a funny story now.
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Yes, I recommend this program

New Experiences

My time in Japan was one of the greatest times of my life. I got to meet many new people, hang out with them, and make new experiences. The program also really helped me improve my Japanese. The teachers and staff were very helpful the whole time and helped you with any problems that you had. Your roommate will also be there to help you with your homework. He/She will be with you the whole time and will help you explore around the city and on your Japanese on your times of need. You get to use Japanese the whole time, and by the end of the program, you will feel like your Japanese has improved drastically. You also get to learn the local dialect. By the end of the program, it will be hard to let go since you don't want to leave everything that you have experienced during your time there. You will have so much fun during your time in Japan.

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Yes, I recommend this program

CET Osaka 2019

The program is well set-up for students who wish to have close interactions with Japanese peers without living with a homestay family. The housing is very comfortable, and there is a lot of opportunity for interaction with Japanese students and fellow international students. The course load is heavy, with lots of homework, but the instruction is excellent, with a wide variety of learning opportunities. Though there were some opportunities for more "cultural" experiences, they were more limited than expected, though the few group excursions that were held were quite enjoyable. The living accommodations are very conveniently located near public transportation and close to the campus, as well as being in a quiet and safe neighborhood. The housing itself was excellent for someone with dietary restrictions as a personal fridge and stovetop unit were included in the room.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Although the course load is heavy, the most valuable opportunities are found outside of the classroom, so I strongly recommend making sure to spend as much time as possible interacting with Japanese students and residents.
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No, I don't recommend this program

Summer Program has potential to be amazing, but currently is only a work fest with no student support

I'm going to leave a review because reviews for this program were hard to find before I went abroad, and the ones I found were all positive. I went in summer 2018 and while I overall enjoyed it and had a good time, some very concerning things happened while I was abroad and I want everyone to have a realistic review before they commit to this program. This review is for the short term Summer Program, I can't speak for the semester long program as it has a different structure.

It's going by a different name following a rebranding this year, but I attended the Summer Intensive Japanese Study abroad in Osaka in 2018. I'll start this in depth review by saying this program really has the potential to be an amazing, life changing program, but as it is now I cannot in good faith recommend it unless you are already at an extremely high level of Japanese proficiency. The issues I bring up in this review has been brought up in past years, but still have not been addressed. Basically, staff and administration were so focused on only the academic rigor of the program that student concerns and mental health were ignored. The language pledge was focused on to the extent that student well being and communication between student and staff was ignored, and students were left without a good support network in a foreign country. Overall I had an excellent time outside of the classes, but my experience was the exception rather than the norm. For housing, there were issues with the roommates, especially the Japanese male roommates. The Japanese roommates seem to receive little vetting for joining the program.

During my time at the program I recorded any issues the study abroad participants had, and I've summarized them below.
A summary of some of the issues students have encountered during the program:

Sexual harassment. -A student was harassed outside of her dorm in Osaka, and when she called to report it in staff criticized her actions after the event occurred, seemed bothered they'd have to file paperwork over the incident, and never informed other students about the event or to be safe.

When one student was in the hospital over a severe allergic reaction he was encouraged to take the next day off for his health, but informed the missed time wouldn't be excused, despite being in the hospital for three hours

When students tried to explain serious roommate and housing issues staff members informed students they would be reported for breaking the language pledge when they explained their issues in English, despite students being unable to describe their problems in Japanese. Nothing was done about reported issues. Further, many Japanese roommates chosen for the program behaved in an inappropriate way including smoking and sleeping with other people while roommates were around, but staff had little power to address this issue and always sided with Japanese roommates when issues were reported.

A student was not given time off to help with an emergency medical situation at home despite the possibility a family member might be seriously ill. Individual teachers have no power to excuse coursework, senior staff has all the decision power and rarely sides with students. A student's medical information was also discussed by a teacher in front of the rest of the class in a direct violation of her privacy.

Students experiencing mental health issues received little support, and in order for any class time to be excused had to have a note from a professional, none of whom live nearby making students travel to other locations to receive help. Students with issues only have one English speaking staff they can speak to at length, and that person is not certified as a counselor. Further, staff often speaks down to students as if they are children, but then expects them to navigate Japan that first week independently. Reassuring words were often said to students but then nothing was ever done to address issues. There was little support during our arrival to Japan and the first week. When students expressed frustration over policies and events they were often told that was just the way it was, or were quoted policies that were not found in the handbook or on the CET website.

I went during the summer an earthquake occurred in Japan. During the earthquake one of the student housing's doors became jammed, trapping students inside during the time where aftershocks were a risk. As there was only one door and all the windows were covered students had to wait while other students from neighboring housing pried the window coverings off so they could escape. Afterwords when a trapped student talked with CET staff she received verbal confirmation that there is only one escape route for many houses, and in the case it is blocked housing becomes very dangerous. Nothing was ever done about this issue.

During the heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred that summer students were told to come to school for their project presentations despite the risk that trains might stop. We were told we would need to walk thirty minutes to school in flood rain if trains did stop. During the poster presentations an evacuation order for the area was issued which staffed ignored so students could complete their presentations.

A hazing event between Japanese roommates occurred and CET staff dismissed the event after speaking with students involved, since students assured them it was not hazing. After seeing the videos and listening to CET students that lived there it definitely appears to be hazing, and that CET simply doesn't want to have to report and do paperwork on the occurrence. I understand that power dynamics and social stigmas are different between America and Japan, but this program is in partnership with many American Universities and these issues need to be treated seriously and not dismissed as just an aspect of Japanese culture.

On the subject of policies some information was not released to students until the week before the program began, much too late a time to change plans and receive a refund, with little time to plan and prepare. This included the need for $200 in a housing deposit, and the knowledge that we would have four hours of hw a day. ALL information about the program needs to be available up front when students are considering applying.

CET is unsympathetic towards medical issues despite claiming they are there in support. Students that are experiencing a medical issue often have to go through many steps to get any missed time excused (which affects their grade otherwise) and no special concessions are given to students with medical issues that might struggle with extreme temperatures for example.

A student was hospitalized for a week due to a life threatening allergy and had to attend class because he was told it wouldn't be excused otherwise. Staff did not provide ways to relieve students allergy or make accommodations.
CET was aware of the severity of the allergy before the student came to Japan and student was reassured CET was prepared to handle the situation, but staff clearly was not prepared or ready to accommodate the student.
In addition, the student was told to come to class after telling staff he felt was going to suffer an allergy attack because missed class time can't be excused.

Whether students had a good experience during this program seemed to be luck of the draw, as the teachers and roommates often determined whether the experience was good, as well as not experiencing any health issues during the two months. Some teachers were verbally abusive towards students, repeatably, and nothing was done about this. Some Japanese roommates regularly violated CET policies and nothing was done.

There were a lot of negatives during this program, but there were a lot of good experiences and times as well. But ultimately I'll end this review by saying the final night after the exams were over and we were celebrating at the end of the year party many Japanese students came up to me crying because they would miss us so much. They had grown so close to us in the summer, but I felt like I hardly had the chance to get to know them because of the extreme amount of homework and classwork expected of us. I still cherish these bonds, but imagine if we'd had more time to focus on the social and cultural aspects of the program. Instead, I sat in my room doing Japanese homework five days a week. There were days I was so frustrated and stressed I cried and regretted coming to Japan, something I've always wanted to do.

In summary, if you want to go to Japan and only do school work for eight hours a day, don't have any medical issues, and don't mind having no support in a foreign country, this might be the program for you. I do believe this program has excellent bones and can be amazing, but they need to actually stop and listen to students and adjust the program. These complaints I've learned are nothing new yet they are never addressed year to year.

What would you improve about this program?
Stop focusing on only completing major amounts of textbook work, and focus on the social and cultural aspects more. Let students spend more time with their Japanese housemates! They're going to remember the people and places they saw in Japan years from now, now the hours they spend doing homework in their room.
Response from CET Academic Programs


Please know that we read these evaluations very carefully, and we wanted to take the time to respond to your review of CET Japan.

We know that last summer presented a number of unique and difficult challenges in Osaka. In just 2 months, there were earthquakes, typhoons, dangerous heatwaves, and flooding. We realize this created a backdrop of stress for an already academically rigorous summer. This was unlike anything we’ve seen in Japan, and we regret that it was stressful for everyone involved.

We recognize that many students were overwhelmed by the pace of the courses and frustrated by academic policies on the ground. Know that this feedback was heard, and CET has made adjustments accordingly. Specifically, we have a new Academic Director in Osaka, a refreshed and transparent attendance policy, revamped homework assignments, re-imagined excursions, and more on-going teacher training.

We would like to respond to a few specific points in your review and will do so below. However, many of the issues you raise did not happen to you directly but rather to other students on the program. Out of respect for their privacy, we cannot respond to some of these issues directly. We do stand by the support offered to these students and hope you recognize that we are not able to share detailed information on each situation with all program attendees in an effort to protect student privacy.

Please know that CET takes issues of health and safety very seriously, so we wanted to directly address four of the issues mentioned in your review:

1. CET staff are carefully trained to respond to reports of sexual harassment, and they specifically know that best practice would never involve victim blaming or breaking confidentiality. We are required to maintain detailed records in an effort to support the students involved and their sending institutions, and onsite staff always remind students of our Title IX reporting obligations in these situations. We apologize if that was perceived as complaining about the paperwork involved. That is never our intention. Whenever a case of sexual harassment is reported, staff not only file internal reports, but other actions are taken to support students that not everyone on the program might see. For example, depending on the case, we might issue reports to local authorities, connect the student to counselors in Kansai and at home, and remind the larger student group about general safety concerns. Rest assured that we never ignore incidents of sexual harassment.

2. CET does not tolerate hazing or bullying in any form. We can assure you that onsite staff were deeply involved in the situation and with the students impacted, and in fact, a student was dismissed from the program as a result of these reports.

3. All housing in Japan was inspected after the earthquake. In fact, student housing was inspected by a certified architect following the earthquake and deemed safe. Minor damages were attended to, with some repairs taking longer than normal given the major damage that occurred throughout the region.

4. Finally, CET would, of course, evacuate students if recommended by local authorities. In summer 2018, the Japanese government issued a statement that the elderly or those under medical care be prepared to evacuate. This warning did not apply to students and was actually cancelled once the weather forecast was revised.

We are more than happy to talk with you directly about your experience if you would like to speak with us directly. Please feel free to contact me to set up a time to talk.

Sarah Dixon
CET Director of Institutional Relations

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Yes, I recommend this program

My Experiences with CET Japan

If you are looking for a challenging and immersive study abroad experience please consider CET Japan.

One of the most beneficial things about CET Japan is the language pledge: which forces you to speak Japanese inside and outside of the classroom. This can seem quite intimidating, but it was so helpful for my Japanese. In addition, it strengthens camaraderie with the other CET students who also took the pledge.

The CET program staff were also very supportive and always available to help. They pick you up at the airport, help you fill out important documents, and even take you to the hospital if need be. I always felt extremely comforted knowing that I could talk to them if I had a problem.

The CET academics were very high quality. Class sizes ranged from 2-5 students, which really helped me to participate in class and develop a strong relationship with my teachers. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and skilled.

There were many social opportunities and it was easy to take advantage of them to fit your own lifestyle.

My building was somewhat old and things occasionally broke. That being said, the landlord always responded promptly. You should be advised that you may have to pay extra for utility cost.

Studying abroad with CET Japan was one of the best experiences in my life and I am extremely glad I chose it. I highly recommend CET Japan!

What would you improve about this program?
CET should be more clear about housing costs and allow for more utility use without charging extra. On their website it says that housing is included; however, many people ending up paying a significant amount for extra heating/electricity/gas costs. The amount of utility that CET covers is especially low compared to US standards.

We were given utility bills every month with a very small amount of covered utility cost. Everyone in my building went over my more than $10 every month. Some students went as high as $80 per month. In November, I used no air conditioning and was very conservative about my energy use, and still ended up going $10 over.

At the end of the semester, CET issued a partial refund to students to cover some utility costs. However, many people still had to pay extra. Additionally, students were not told about this refund at all. According to program staff, CET is not expected to issue this refund, and it is dependent on how much program budget CET has remaining at the end of the year.