CET and Howard University Partner on New Program in Colombia Focused on the Afro-Colombian Experience

CET Colombia, a study abroad program developed by CET Academic Programs in partnership with Howard University, is based in Cali, Colombia and focuses on the Afro-Colombian experience

Cali, Colombia and Washington, D.C. – CET Academic Programs, a study abroad program provider based in Washington, D.C., launches its newest program, CET Colombia, in Cali, Colombia this week with a pilot group of seven U.S. undergraduate students, all of whom identify as Black or African-American, or Hispanic or Latino. The program, developed in partnership with Howard University, examines race, ethnicity, and identity through an Afro-Colombian lens. The program is designed to appeal to not only African-American students, but any other student looking for an alternative perspective while abroad.


Tonija Hope Navas, Director of the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University notes, “This program represents a break from the standard semester-long study abroad program and will provide our students, and other students who participate, with a unique experience to see Colombia through the eyes of people of African descent. Since African-Americans represent only 6.2% of U.S. students studying abroad, it is our hope that this type of programming will pique the interest of more students of color in the U.S. and allow them to see, live, and learn about our interconnectedness firsthand.”


The CET Colombia program is based in Cali, a city chosen not only for its educational resources but for its notably high Afro-Colombian population. Cali boasts the largest Afro-descendant population in South America after Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. The program uses a roommate model wherein each student is housed with a local roommate and the cohort of local roommates participates in program activities. All roommates are Afro-Colombian students who attend the program’s host university, Universidad del Valle. Most of the program’s faculty are also Afro-Colombian.


Mark Lenhart, Executive Director at CET, mentioned how excited he is about the CET collaboration with Howard. “We are committed to sending more underrepresented students abroad, so we’re thrilled that this program helps us achieve this goal.”


The seven U.S. students attending CET Colombia in the pilot semester come from Amherst College (3), Howard University (2) Princeton University (1) and Yale University (1). The program operates during the spring and fall semesters.