Social and Environmental Sustainability

Eco-Friendly Practices at CET


Conservation is always on our mind. Our application and pre-departure materials are virtually paperless. And staff around the world use public transportation whenever they can (and encourage students to do the same).


Around the world, we reuse office and kitchen supplies—from chopsticks to napkins—whenever possible. Most of our sites provide students access to potable water taps, too. Goodbye one-use plastic bottles!


Recycling isn’t available everywhere, but we still try to do our part. Wherever possible, we not only recycle, we purchase recycled and eco-friendly products. At our headquarters in DC, we compost and use 100% recycled paper.


The more of the world you see, the more responsibility for the world you share. We impart to students ways to be not only green minded, but locally minded—conscious of regional conservation challenges and respectful of host society heritage and practices.


We’ve always considered ourselves to be an environmentally and socially conscientious organization, so earning an official eco-certification badge in 2010 was a natural next step. In 2016, we updated our eco-certification with EarthCheck, a benchmarking group that measures the economic, social, and environmental impact of travel and tourism providers. Our EarthCheck Evaluate Program score? Five earths! The highest rating they offer. But we’re not resting on our laurels. We still regularly track our energy use, and set long-term goals for reduction. 

Fund for Education Abroad

In 2010, Academic Travel Abroad and CET leaders David Parry, Kate Simpson, and Mark Lenhart founded the Fund for Education Abroad with a vision to dramatically increase the number of underrepresented students studying abroad. An independent 501(c)(3), FEA’s mission is to support minority, first-generation, and community college students in their study abroad journeys. This is primarily done by the awarding of scholarships ranging from $2,500 – $10,000. 

In 2018, CET joined a group of study abroad organizations dedicated to diversifying study abroad as an FEA Access Partner and received its first FEA scholar on a CET program since FEA’s establishment in 2010. Eight students have since studied abroad with CET through an FEA scholarship. Learn more about FEA and how to apply for an FEA scholarship on their website. 

Giving Back

When we set up a program overseas, we become a part of that local community. And as a community member, it is our responsibility to contribute to local initiatives in meaningful ways. This is a list of just some of the local philanthropic organizations that help us fulfill this responsibility—they host our students and we support their missions.

“Long before sustainability became a buzz word, Academic Travel Abroad, CET’s parent organization, embraced the principles this term embodies. Since our inception in 1950, we have believed in the power of education, the importance of cultural respect, the vitality of our planet’s diversity, and the invaluable exchange of ideas between human beings. These principles are reflected in everything we do, and every day, we strive to do more, do better, and make a difference.”

— Kate Simpson,
President & CEO, Academic Travel Abroad

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