Custom Programs

What are Custom Programs?

Custom programs are study abroad programs tailored specifically for university partners. We work meticulously with university faculty and study abroad offices to create each program—at any time throughout the year, and in locations around the world.

While these types of programs offer great educational value, they also require tremendous time and energy to organize. Let us help. With our extensive staffing resources and longstanding experience administering programs, you can offer your students an exceptional study abroad experience without overburdening your workload. You provide the vision. We do the legwork.

The CET Approach

We pride ourselves on academic excellence and the highest standards of program management. This is no different for the custom programs we operate in partnership with colleges and universities. We are excited to work with faculty and study abroad offices who align with the CET mission to develop academically rigorous and culturally eye-opening experiences for students. While logistic-only program support requests will be considered, CET prefers to develop partnerships that utilize our existing academic and cultural networks.

students at arts district in Beijing

Where can custom programs go?

Between CET’s established presence all over the world and Academic Travel Abroad’s global resources, your custom program could go practically anywhere. Interested in Cuba? Seeking a focus on Central Europe? We’ve got the resources to make it happen. Looking for some inspiration? CET has established centers and full-time, on-site staff in these locations:

students and local drummer in Brazil

When do custom programs happen?

Custom programs can be as short as seven days and as long as a full semester or academic year:

Tailor Your Program

Pick and choose from a long list of services to build a custom program that fits your needs.

With our access to highly-qualified, top-notch practitioners and faculty, we can complement your course with guest lecturers, or take academics entirely off your plate.

Tell us the activity you have in mind, or choose from our long list of past successes, many of which include insider’s entree to special events. We take care of all arrangements, from the booking to the final payment and gratuity. 

We can arrange housing in apartments, dormitories, hotels, homestays, or guesthouses.

We can arrange any number of group meals you’d like, at a formal restaurant or a casual café. We can also arrange meal stipends for participants to find their own favorite local spots.

Let us pick your group up from the airport, take you on excursions, or arrange for group travel from city to city.

Depending on the location, we can either process visas for your group or provide the documentation and information you and your students need to do it on your own.

Our full-time, bilingual staff can handle logistics and manage emergencies, so that you don’t have to.

We can arrange local buddies to join in on activities or language exchange partnerships. And with enough notice, we might even be able to arrange for your students to live with local roommates.

We can arrange group service projects or individual internship placements. And we work with our hosts to make sure that all work done is relevant and sustainable.

We can connect you with our international airline partner, Travel Leaders, to arrange individual or group flights. 

We provide pre-departure  materials and resources to ensure your group is fully prepared for the program and international living.

We have managed student health and safety for over 35 years and have the resources, plans, and staff in place to weather almost any crisis. 

We enroll all custom program students and faculty leaders in our comprehensive insurance plan, GeoBlue. 

When your group arrives, our staff plan an orientation to help everyone acclimate to the city, culture, and program expectations. At the end of the program, we can also host re-entry workshops to help students prepare for the journey home.

Explore Our Custom Programs Portfolio

How do these services translate into a custom program? Check out just a few of our past programs to see how we translate vision to reality.


Brandeis Midyear
in Florence

Read More

Fall Quarter

St. Olaf Global Semester

Read More

Winter Term

Business and Culture in Vietnam, Elon University

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Although I mostly sketched out the itinerary in terms of site visits when I put this course concept together more than three years ago, I simply could not have undertaken the course without the help of everyone at CET. This has been an excellent experience, at every stage.
- Jason Kirk, Associate Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies, Elon University

Plan Your Program


Let's Get Started

Set up an initial call with our Custom Programs Manager to discuss your vision for the program and how we can collaborate to make it a reality. Ideally, this initial consultation would occur at least 9 to 12 months before the program departs, but get in touch! We might be able to work with you on a shorter timeline.


Crafting a Proposal

After your initial consult, we will work to create a proposal for your program bringing together  your ideas and our resources. Keeping your ideal budget in mind, we will recommend housing options, site visits, supplementary lectures, activities, and local transportation. You’ll have a chance to review this draft and work with us to get it just right.


Bringing It All to Life

While you’re working to recruit students to the program, we’ll be working to plan, finalize, and confirm all of the arrangements agreed upon in the proposal. Your Program Manager will keep you up-to-date on how arrangements are coming together and will check in with you periodically to ensure you have the support you need. When the time comes, we’ll be sure you have access to the necessary pre-departure materials so that your students are fully prepared as the program approaches.


The Main Event

We’ll connect you with your assigned on-site staff member just before you depart, so that when you arrive, you are ready to hit the ground running. Your on-site staff assist with on-site orientation, manage logistics throughout the program, and may even lead a re-entry workshop to help your students prepare for their return home.


Wrap Up, Reflect, & Repeat

After your return, we’ll schedule a call with you to reflect on the program. We want to receive your feedback on how we did this year and how we can better support you and your students in the future. Ready to start the process over again? Give us a call! We love working with the same programs year-to-year.

Get Started

Ready to take the first step? Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch to set up an initial call.

Lauren Kardos

Questions? Get in touch!

Lauren Kardos

Custom Programs Manager
[email protected]

Brandeis MidYear in Florence

A fall semester program integrated with CET Florence—giving Brandeis Midyear students the opportunity to earn Brandeis credits, fulfill core requirements, and gain real-world experience before starting on campus in the spring semester. 

CET-Provided Support Services

St. Olaf Global Semester

A one-month, Beijing-based program that covers the China portion of St. Olaf’s Global Semester in the fall.

CET-Provided Support Services

Business and Culture in Vietnam, ELON University

A three-week, travel-intensive program that surveys Vietnamese culture and history as it relates to business and entrepreneurship. This program runs in January and travels to more than a dozen cities and cultural sites. 

CET-Provided Support Services

Learn More about our Programs!