Custom Study Abroad Programs

Go global with CET Custom Programs

Ready to build a custom or faculty-led program to achieve your institutional goals? We’re here to help. Whether you want to run an academic year program or a two-week, faculty-led program, we have the experience and resources to make your vision a reality. 

The CET Approach

Partnership like it should be

From choosing the right location to ensuring your safety on the ground, we’ve got your back. Plus, each program is assigned its own program manager, so you always have a primary CET point of contact.

Tap into local insider resources & knowledge

We’ve proudly invested a lot of time into building our local communities over the years. When you partner with us, you benefit from the access. experience, and knowledge of our local experts.

Attention that your program deserves

Operating programs off campus is challenging—from observing foreign laws, dealing with regional crises, or even navigating different languages. From design to implementation, we’re responsive and committed.

Dedicated full-time custom programs staff

We have staff entirely dedicated to developing and managing custom programs. This includes a US-based team, as well as a growing number of on-site colleagues at various CET centers around the world. 

It's not always a yes—and that's a good thing

You bring the ideas and we work with you to make your program a reality—most of the time. For example, if we know that something isn’t logistically sound, we’ll work together to find an alternative that meets your needs.

Access our 40+ years of experience abroad

With decades of on-the-ground experience, robust local knowledge and networks, and staff that are carefully trained in crisis prevention and management, you can trust us with your custom endeavors.

Building a Program 101

Your custom program opportunities span a wide range of program types, services, and internationalization solutions. We work with you to craft a strategy–and programs and services that deliver on it—that meet your unique needs, and we welcome the creative offerings that our partners bring to our own portfolio. Helping you to grow and expand helps us to do the same.

What kinds of custom programs do we run?

When can custom programs operate?

Custom programs might be as short as seven days and as long as a full semester or academic year. CET supports custom programs year-round, though they most often occur at these points in the academic year:

Where can CET run programs?

Between CET’s established presence all over the world and Academic Travel Abroad’s global resources, your custom program could go practically anywhere. Seeking a focus on Central Europe? We’ve got the resources to make it happen. Looking for some inspiration? Here’s where we operate programs most often:

*Has an established CET Center with full-time, on-site staff

Add mileage to your program with CET customization

Depending on what the goal of your program is, you can pick and choose from a long list of services to build a custom program that fits your institution’s needs.

Academic Courses & Lectures

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.

Activities & Excursions

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

Community-engaged Learning & Internships

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.

Local Buddies or Roommates

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 housing in apartments, dormitories, hotels, homestays, or guesthouses.

Local Transport

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


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.

Crisis & Risk Management

We have managed student health and safety for over 40 years and have the resources, plans, and staff in place to weather almost any crisis.

Medical Insurance

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


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.

Pre-departure Resources

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

On-site Staff Support

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

On-site Orientation & Re-entry Workshops

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 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.


St. Olaf Global Semester

Read More

First-Year Abroad

Brandeis Midyear
in Florence

Read More


Smith College Global FLEX
in Brazil

Read More

High School Programs

Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages (IUHPFL)

Read More

What does the custom program process look like?

Let's Get Started

Set up an initial call with our Custom Programs Team to discuss your vision for the program and how we can collaborate to make it a reality. Ideally, this initial consultation occurs 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 work to create a proposal for your program bringing together your ideas and our resources. Keeping your ideal budget in mind, we 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 recruit students, we work to plan, finalize, and confirm all of the arrangements agreed upon in the proposal. We keep you up-to-date on how it’s all coming together and check in to ensure you have the support you need. When the time comes, you’ll have the necessary pre-departure materials so that your students are fully prepared as the program approaches.


Ready to start the process over again? Give us a call! We love working with the same programs year-to-year and building upon our partnership with additional custom programs to achieve your goals.

Wrap Up and Reflect

After your return, we schedule a call with you to reflect on the program. We want your feedback on how we did this year and identify ways we can improve upon our partnership. 

The Main Event

We connect you with your assigned on-site staff member just before you depart, so you are ready to hit the ground running up on arrival. They can 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.

students working on traditional calligraphy

Let's talk about your ideal program

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

Have questions that don’t fit on this form? Reach out to us at [email protected].

Meet our Custom Programs Team

Our full-time, DC-based team works alongside program managers and on-site staff to lead the development and execution of our custom programs all over the world.

Custom Programs Staff

We operate custom programs in all of our program locations around the globe. But where we run larger, more frequent custom programming, we have additional team members to help provide the next-level attention and care to which we are committed.

St. Olaf Global Semester

A five-week, Amman-based program that covers the Jordan portion of St. Olaf’s Global Semester in the spring.

CET-Provided Support Services

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

Smith College Global FLEX in Brazil

A two-week faculty-led program in May with site visits in São Paulo and Brumadinho. Part of Smith’s Global FLEX initiative, the program explores artistic and cultural spaces, including connection with local experts for guest lectures and guided tours.

CET-Provided Support Services


Semi-annual summer intensive language programs for high school students with locations in Osaka, Japan, and Hangzhou, China.

CET-Provided Support Services

CET Jordan: Academic Consultation Board

Over the years, we’ve built a strong network of locally-based faculty that we’re proud to call our peers. These faculty make up our Academic Consultation Board—a select group of local voices and thought leaders that help advise and shape components of the CET Jordan program. 

Board members support the program in many ways, including but not limited to:

Academic Consultation Board Members

Learn More about our Programs