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Choosing My Program: CET Chinese Studies & Internship in Shanghai

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Written by Ellen Kim, (Smith College) Student Correspondent
CET Chinese Studies & Internship in Shanghai, Summer 2014

Dearest people of the Internet,

Hello, and congratulations on clicking on what is going to be the best blog post you ever read. No, I’m absolutely kidding. What I really want to say is thank you for choosing to read my blog post. I may not be the most eloquent, but I hope you will be patient as I attempt to do justice to the experience that is Shanghai.

Shanghai – one of the biggest cities in the world that boasts a fusion of modern day success and China’s long history. It is a unique mix of Western and Asian society as the city is seen as a beacon of commercial and cultural opportunity. *

I mean, how cool that does that sound? Isn’t that statement enough to convince you to hop on a plane and jet on over to Shanghai right now?

yesBut in all seriousness, Shanghai and what the city offers is one of the reasons why I decided to attend the CET program. While I have declared my major and am working towards completing it, I still am unclear on what I want to do in the future. CET’s internship program is going to help me bring some clarity onto my dilemma, as I will be able to work at an institute that does what I may want to do in the future.

I have studied Chinese for two years in college and spent the summer before my sophomore year doing Middlebury’s summer language program. I felt that after experiencing immersion of the Chinese language in the States, it seemed natural to want to study the language in the country where the language is predominantly spoken. Considering that there are a lot of study abroad programs available, I decided to ask a mentor of mine who has much information and expertise in the area of learning Chinese. The professor whom I went to guidance for immediately recommended me to apply to CET. He noted that the language courses were extremely rigorous and strong –a quality that we’re both fond of– and that my Chinese skills would immensely improve if I attended this program. I trusted his judgment and applied.

Overall, I hope that the internship program and language courses will help me grow mentally and academically. I am aware of the fact that studying abroad and living in a foreign country is difficult, especially as culture shock is often a common factor. I think being in China and challenging myself to understand and talk with the locals while absorbing everything I learn at my internship will do wonders for me. While I am nervous, excitement is pumping through my blood as I type this. I cannot wait to get officially start the program. And thank goodness I did.

high five

But keep in mind that studying and my internship are not the only things I plan to do. After exploring what Shanghai has to offer, I really want to do a lot of traveling to both touristy and more “authentic” places inside and outside of this city. I don’t know when the next time I’ll be in China again will be, so I want to take advantage of this opportunity and really dive deeply into what China has to offer.

I originally planned on vlogging, but my video camera bailed on me last minute, therefore I am presenting my thoughts through a blog format today. However, I’ll probably revert to my original plan in the future. I’m also an avid photographer, so hopefully my next blog post will have more photos.

(For example: Here’s a photo that I took when a bunch of the CET students and our roommates went to The Bund, one of Shanghai’s tourist hotspots. I hope I will be able to provide you with more photos like such.]


2014 summer- shanghai skyline_ellen kimThanks for reading!

*That entire statement is actually a part of the personal statement I wrote as part of my CET application. Yes, I really did quote my own personal statement.

CET Photo Contest

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Send us your best photos from abroad for the chance to win a prize from CET’s headquarters in Washington, DC!

2014 spring- student and grafitti_mark_brochure


All contestants must have completed a CET program in Summer 2013, Fall 2013, JanTerm 2014 or Spring 2014.


Each contestant may submit no more than two photos to each of the following categories:

  1. People and roommates– This can be candid shots of locals, a photo with you and your roommate or you and your study abroad friends exploring the city. Remember that a great photo tells a story. Candid shots that draw you in to figure out what’s occurring in the scene are highly encouraged.
  1. City life– You lived there for several months, so by now you’re a pro at knowing what places around the city are the most beautiful! A great city scene photo is usually one that was captured from a cool angle, shows a less-traveled spot and gives the viewer a new perspective of the city.

Kunming Alternate CD 312JordanCET052

How to Enter

Email no more than four high resolution photos to Danielle Ortiz-Geis at cetacademicprogramstv@gmail.com.

  • Subject: “CET Photo Contest”
  • Body: Your name, home university, program title, program semester and a caption for each photo.


June 30, 2014


Please note that CET reserves the right to keep any/all photos entered in the photo contest for promotional use. Promotional use includes, but is not limited to print, video and digital media. All photos will be credited when used. CET has the sole right to determine future use of all photos.


2014 Summer Scholarship Recipients

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Congratulations Scholarship Winners!

This just in…These students have received external study abroad scholarships to attend a CET summer 2014 program. Find out more about the many scholarship opportunities for CET students.

Boren Awards

  • Isabel Shaw, American University, CET Jordan – Language
  • Michael Sutherland, Nebraska Wesleyan University, C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in China in Kunming
  • Elena Wicker, Cornell University, CET Jordan –  Internship

Diversity Abroad Awards

  • Dyan Castro, University of Michigan, CET Japan

Gilman Scholars

  • Chase Anderson, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Minnesota in Beijing
  • Katia Cardoza, University of Texas at Austin, CET Chinese Studies
  • Andrea Grace, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, University of Minnesota in Beijing
  • Tiffany Harvey, University of Michigan, CET Chinese Studies
  • Shuan Karim, University of Texas at Austin, CET Japan
  • Vinh Nguyen, Brandeis University, CET Vietnam
  • Joshua Payne, Washington State University, C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in China in Kunming
  • Justin Wright, University of Texas at Austin, CET Beijing
  • Jungeun Yoon, Wellesley College, CET Shanghai


  • Erin Collins, University of Michigan, CET Tunisia

Important Notice for Students Planning To Intern in Shanghai

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CET has recently learned of changes to visa policies in Shanghai, changes that have been reported as hindering students from engaging in certain internships. CET has been closely monitoring these developments, and based on information from on-site staff and consultations with our host organizations and university, we do not believe these changes will affect CET students. We are confident that students attending CET Shanghai will continue to have the option to participate in unpaid internships, as they have in the past.

If new information or developments lead us to believe that CET student internships will be affected by these visa policies, CET students, parents and partners should rest assured that we will notify them immediately. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Meagan Seitz-Smith, 202-349-7342
Jason Wang, 202-349-7341
Adam Jones, 202-349-7344