Meet the 2017 Summer Student Correspondents!

Ayesha Abid, CET Japan

Georgia State University ’19

Major: Journalism

Minor: Japanese

I chose the CET Intensive Summer Program in Osaka because I wanted to make the most of my last summer semester, and I felt like I wasn’t learning enough Japanese at my univeristy for it to really be useful in the real world. I am hoping that I can learn enough to live in Japan on my own.

I am most looking forward to an お祭り!(A festival) And of course all the delicious food!


Jessica Chen, CET Taiwan             

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ’19

Majors: Public Policy and Peace, War, and Defense

I chose my CET program because I knew that it would allow me to greatly improve my fluency in Mandarin while also gaining valuable work experience through a part-time internship.  From a more personal standpoint, as someone who was born in Taiwan, I’ve always wanted to return to my birthplace and experience daily life there for an extended period of time as an independent adult. The CET Taiwan program allows me to do exactly that!

As far as what I’m most looking forward to, I would be lying if I didn’t say the street food. Taipei has an incredibly vibrant food scene, and I’m excited to be living in the heart of it!


Nathanael Cheng, CET Beijing: Intensive Language

Hillsdale College ’19

Major: Political Science

I chose CET’s Beijing Intensive Language program for the opportunity to learn Chinese outside the classroom. I wanted to focus on improving my language ability and was impressed by CET’s commitment to academic rigor through their language pledge.

I can’t wait to venture out into the city’s unique blend of traditional culture and vibrant modernization, meet new friends, and try the city’s delicious cuisine.


Jewel Drigo, CET Beijing: Internship

University of Michigan ’19

Majors: Political Science & History

I chose the CET Beijing: Internship in China because it allowed me the opportunity to learn the Mandarin language, a language that has intrigued me for many years, in the cultural setting that would foster my interest in the Chinese traditions and ways of life. Also, an internship in the legal field is something to look forward to as an aspiring law student.

In the Caribbean, we eat a lot of dumplings and I am eager to taste the difference. However, I am most looking forward to speaking with the locals and spending time in the market places, welcoming the sights and smells there; that is such a topic of speculation in the Western world about China. It will be a speculation no more upon my arrival and participation.


Keightley Dudgeon, CET Jordan: Internship

Western Kentucky University ’19

Majors: Arabic and Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)

I chose the CET Summer Internship and Middle Eastern Studies program because of the intensive Arabic language component, in addition to the experience that I will gain working abroad.

I am most looking forward to the excursions! I’m so excited to see Petra and the Wadi Rum desert.


Kathryn Dyer, UW in India

Virginia Tech ’18

Majors: Meteorology and Geography

I chose the CET program to broaden my world view.  I want to experience as many different cultures as I can during my lifetime.

I am looking forward to taking part in everyday life in India and being able to really appreciate their culture and language.


Ian Edwards, CET Jordan: Internship

Gonzaga University ’18

Major: International Relations

I thought that this program would provide an unrivaled opportunity to study and work in a foreign country with a culture much different than any other to which I have been exposed before.

I’m most looking forward to getting to know Amman, improving my Arabic, and meeting new people in a new environment.


Sahar Gowani, CET Vietnam

University of Michigan ’18

Major: Global Health and Environment

Minors: Biochemistry and Entrepreneurship

The public health in Vietnam program seemed like a great fit for me because it included both a classroom and experiential component. I loved the idea of learning about public health in a classroom setting and being able to apply it at my internship. Also, this program seemed to prioritize the cultural immersion aspect of study abroad, which was really important to me. Having a Vietnamese roommate will be a great way to learn more about daily life, student life and social life in Vietnam.

I’m looking forward to stepping outside my comfort zone in a country where I don’t speak the language. I’m excited to learn about a beautiful culture that has a rich history, amazing food and wonderful people!


HaoYu Guo, CET Beijing: Internship

Grand Valley State University ’18

Major: Biomedical Science

Minor: Chinese Language

Hmmm. The thing I’m most excited about on this trip is probably the chance to learn to how to survive in China by myself. I’ve been to China before, but it has always been with my parents which means we did what they needed to do and we never traveled around. Because I am studying abroad, I’ll get the chance to plan my own trips and make my own arrangements, but the most important thing of all is that I get to explore and learn about various aspects of China!! I look forward to exploring the street markets, the landmarks and the local culture when I am there. Of course these exciting adventures to come will have obstacles, but that is what makes these experiences memorable.

If I had to pick a reason why I chose CET out of the multiple other study abroad programs, it would be the possibilities that CET offers to its students. As a STEM major, it took a lot of research to find a program that offered opportunities to learn skills that translate into a possible future career and fulfill graduating requirements. I looked at many programs, but it was only through CET that I was offered the chance to learn about traditional Chinese medicine. This field has always been something that I found interesting, and the fact I get to learn about it made CET stand out the most to me.


Miranda Hermes, CET Harbin

The University of Georgia ’20

Majors: Mathematics and Math Education

Tallying up the years I spent learning Chinese and coming one year short of a decade with little to no results is quite discouraging. It was the invasive whisper in my mind when I began taking Chinese at the University of Georgia. That is also when I first met an alum from the CET program in Harbin. She was a TA with fiery red hair and freckles that played across her face. I also met a second alum, Bobby, a tall all-American young man. Before leaving for Harbin, one student had only taken Chinese for only two years, and the other for only two semesters. Both of them spoke fluently after their experiences in China. They give me hope that I can also become as fluent as they now are. I chose to study with CET in Harbin because bookwork hasn’t worked, but what students have done through 24/7 immersion and study has. I hope that, through the challenge and adventure of studying in Harbin this summer, the same will be true for me.

This summer, I am looking forward to many exciting experiences! After reading the Student Voices entries from past years, I’m awaiting that moment when all English talking ceases and the stumbling around with Chinese begins: that moment when the CET students will give each other our last English farewells, imagining that our friendships are all about to die and then watch as life continues–or doesn’t. Of course, Harbin is a new place to me. I’m excited to explore all that the city and its surrounding areas have to enjoy. However, what I’m excited for most is the new friends that I’ll make. I look forward to meeting the ambitious and fun people who came with me to test their abilities at 100% Chinese immersion. I can’t wait to spend nights awake singing karaoke or cramming for an upcoming test with other American students and their Chinese roommates. These are the adventures and memories I look forward to sharing this summer.


Suji Kim, CET Japan

Emory University ’20

Majors: Business and East Asian Studies

I chose the CET Program because I really wanted to learn Japanese intensively during my summer and explore Osaka as well as the rest of Japan during this time.

I am looking forward to utilizing what I’ve learned in the classroom with the locals and my housemates! Definitely looking forward to exploring the cities, trying many different foods and sightseeing!


Avia Kraft, CET Kunming

University of Texas at Austin ’19

Majors: Corporate Communications/Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship

I chose to study abroad in China through the CET Kunming program to broaden my horizons and meet others who share a passion for languages. At my home institution I love focusing on academics and trying to gain an in-depth understanding of the material my classes have to offer. I feel that by studying in an immersive program abroad I’ll be able to truly experience every aspect of what learning a language entails and improve my skills in the most effective way possible.

During my time abroad I’m most looking forward to learning the nuances of Chinese language—specifically in how it relates to culture and daily interaction that I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to experience outside of an immersive environment. I’m excited to meet other students who also are looking to share in this experience, and I can’t wait to improve my speaking capabilities while also making some amazing friends!


Joanna Linderman, CET Beijing: Intensive Language

The Ohio State University ’19

Majors: Chinese Literature and Language, Business, and International studies and Diplomacy

I chose CET Beijing because it will give me a chance to improve my Chinese, experience life as a Chinese student, encourage interaction with Chinese universities, and allow me to meet others who have a passion for China and the language. Lastly, having the opportunity to meet new friends while being able to be reacquainted old ones.

I’m most looking forward to being immersed in the language and being able to view China from a national’s standpoint. Additionally, I am excited to experience and learn about the many nuances of the Chinese culture and its people. CET Beijing allows me to return to my home country where I’ll be able to view it from a more mature perspective while learning more about China’s challenges and victories.


Tiana Neuerburg, CET Kunming

University of Washington, Seattle ’18

Majors: French and Chinese

I chose CET Kunming because of its challenging language program and dedication to the acquisition of the Chinese language. As a Chinese adoptee, the opportunity to study abroad in China also allows me to revisit the country I was born in and explore my heritage.

Although I will certainly be venturing out of my comfort zone, I look forward to fully immersing myself in Southern Chinese culture and developing a deeper understanding of China’s modernity and antiquity alike. I am also quite excited about sharing my experiences and passion through photography.


Ryan O’Dea, CET Taiwan

Washington State University ’19

Majors : French, Chinese, International Business

I chose CET because it was heavily recommended by a language instructor to be the golden standard for language learning in Asia. More specifically I chose CET Taiwan because I won’t just be learning Chinese in the classroom; I will have a real life internship in a Taiwanese company, working alongside natives and learning their culture. Not just from a textbook, but in a business scenario.

What’s not to be excited about? The housing that I was given is a mixed bag of nationalities. I will get to meet more people from France ( and hopefully build onto my French-Chinese translation skills) Taiwan, and Japan. My classes are small which offers a more personalized connection with professors; I even have a one-on-one lecture where the professor will help me with what I need to be studying!


Kim Rooney, CET Shanghai

University of Pittsburgh ’19

Majors: English Writing (Fiction) and Communication

I was born in China and adopted when I was a baby. I haven’t been back to China since, and I always told myself that I would return eventually. When I saw that my school offered a program to study and intern in Shanghai, I realized that the only reason I was putting it off was because I was scared of failing–to learn the language, to learn about the culture, to be Chinese. And fear didn’t seem like a good enough reason not to go, so I took a chance and applied.

While I’m still nervous, I’m looking forward to going home for the first time, improving my language skills, and getting to be in Shanghai for two months. It’s an incredible city, and I can’t wait to explore what it has to offer.


Liberty Shockley, UW in India

University of Cincinnati ’19

Major: Aerospace Engineering

I chose this CET program because I had recently visited Nepal to teach English. I made the best of friends there with hopes to return. The Nepali language is beautiful, and I had so much fun trading teaching time with my students. If they had to learn all the colors in English, well, I had to learn them in Nepali. The opportunity came for this CET trip and I jumped on it, Hindi and Nepali were similar enough, and I could return to my favorite mountain range. I’m looking forward to returning to Nepal after this experience to become a better teacher, and connecting with my friends in their language, as well as my own.

I am most looking forward to learning to making dal, chai, rotis, pooris, lassis, and curries during my time abroad. I believe time spent in the kitchen when alone, is like meditation. With friends, it’s the best social hour. Learning to speak the language on the street is as important to speaking the language of the kitchen. Let’s not forget that Indian food is some of the tastiest in the world, who wouldn’t be excited for that?


Margaret Stoner, CET Jordan: Intensive Language

Franklin & Marshall College ’19

Major: Government

I chose CET because I didn’t just want to learn Arabic; I wanted to live it. The language pledge and intensive classes will prepare me for research after CET ends.

Looking ahead to arriving in Amman, I am most excited for building friendships with my language partner and roommates and exploring Amman and Jordanian culture with them.


Brenna Sullivan, CET Siena

University of Virginia ’17

Major: English Major

Minor: Anthropology

I wanted to continue my study of Italian as it began, learning in a place where it is the local language.  Through travel, I have seen a powerful link between language, way of life, and sense of place, which can hardly be captured in a classroom.  The goals of CET seemed to reflected my desire for connection, and Siena seemed rich with culture, without being overwhelming.

While living and studying abroad makes some days a struggle, I am eternally grateful for the relationships I have made through travel; so more than anything, I am eager to meet my roommates, classmates, and professors.  There is nothing like finding a friend or mentor half-way across the world! Also, food. Delicious food, new friends, and fantastic stories–I can’t wait!


Stevia Tedjawiguna, CET Shanghai

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ’19

Major: Information Science

I chose CET Shanghai because of the opportunity to intern in a metropolitan and diverse city like Shanghai. The friendly and ready-to-help staff from CET is also one of the reasons why I chose CET.

I am most looking forward to meeting new friends, learning new skills throughout my internship, and exploring the beautiful city of Shanghai and other cities in China. Oh! and of course, the food!


Codte Tiparos, CET Harbin

Connecticut College ’19

Majors: East Asian Studies (China Concentration), History (Global History Concentration)

I chose CET Harbin for its challenging intensive language study. The rigorous classes and language pledge make for a tough program that will be sure to drive in new language and help me retain all the Chinese I’ve already learned.

I’m looking forward to seeing more fluency in my Chinese language skills, all the food, and the new friends I’ll meet on the program and in the country!