High School FAQs

Application and Admission FAQs

Am I eligible to apply?

CET seeks globally-minded, culturally curious, and academically-driven high school students interested in an immersive, engaging summer program. To be eligible for a CET Global Perspectives program, you must:

  • Have completed 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade by the beginning of the program
    Have not started college yet (completing some college-level coursework during high school is OK)
    Have a minimum 3.0 GPA (occasional exceptions are allowed)

Can’t get away this summer? You might enjoy Custom Language Training with CET from your home. Graduating from high school and looking for a longer experience? Consider a Gap program with CET.

What is in the application?

You’ll complete an online application form, submit transcripts, and need a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Learn more about what is included in an application.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline for summer Global Perspective programs is April 1. The priority application deadline and deadline to apply for scholarships or financial assistance is February 1. Please check individual program pages for any extensions or updates.

Can I apply even if I don’t have a passport yet?

Yes! Most CET programs do not require a scan of your passport until shortly after you are accepted to a program. Even if your application requires passport information before acceptance, we can make arrangements if you do not have passport. If you do not currently have a valid passport, please begin the application process as soon as possible.

Can I attend more than one term…or more than one program?

Of course! The more time you spend overseas, the more you get out of it. So we encourage students to consider studying abroad for more than one term. You might study on a Global Perspectives program one summer then participate in the China Fieldwork Semester the next spring. Or you might go on to participate in a CET Gap program.

This option is available for all of our programs and locations, and we provide a discount on the tuition for any additional term(s).

Am I eligible as a non-U.S. citizen?

Your eligibility depends on the program you have selected and your specific circumstances. Please contact CET, and we’d happy to help you determine which CET program may be right for you.

Do I need a visa to study abroad? Will CET help me get one?

Details about how to apply for your visa are in your online account once you start an application. No student is guaranteed a visa. CET does not grant visas. The process varies by program, so be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully. Non-U.S. citizens should contact CET as soon as possible to determine if they need a visa. Only the government of the country where you are studying has the authority to grant a visa. Students who follow the guidelines provided by CET usually have success with the visa process.

If your destination requires a visa, you can count on our assistance. Depending on the particular visa requirements for your destination, we may get the visa for you, or we may provide you all the documentation and information you’ll need to get the visa on your own. We may also cover the required visa fees if you use the service and timeline recommended by CET. No matter your particular requirements, we will be there to help every step of the way.

I have a medical condition/disability. How can I plan to study abroad with CET?

Each year, CET students reflect a wide range of backgrounds, including students with disabilities. We encourage people with disabilities to apply to CET programs and we do not discriminate based on disability. You are also welcome to contact CET to discuss program options and specific accommodations.

I’ve applied. When do I hear back?

When each item in your online account has been checked off, congratulations, your application is complete! You’re welcome to complete your application in advance, and we continue accepting applications until each program’s application deadline. For most programs, you will be emailed an admissions decision within 2 weeks of receipt of your completed application.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance FAQs

Does CET offer scholarships?

Yes! CET is committed to increasing access to study abroad and offers both scholarships and financial assistance for students who demonstrate family financial need. You are welcome to apply for multiple scholarship awards, as well as financial assistance. To learn more details about the awards, eligibility, and funding available please visit the Scholarships & Finances section of our website.

Even with a scholarship, I might not have enough funding to study abroad. Where else can I look?

Research online. There are many resources online to help you find funding options, including tips for fundraising. This article on TeenLife’s blog is a great place to start, and you may find additional useful tips on other directory sites, such as GoOverseas. YouTube is also a good place to look. Many high school students have posted videos about their study abroad fundraising advice and success stories.

Speak with an alum. Ask CET to put you in touch with an alum who can share their ideas about fundraising, and tell you about their experience on the program.

Be creative with filling in the funding gaps. Try to squeeze in a part-time job during school breaks or offer to babysit or do yardwork for a neighbor on the weekends. Crafty? Create artwork, cards, accessories, treats, or other hand-made items that you can sell or give as personalized gifts instead of buying presents. Ask for luggage for your birthday or an upcoming holiday or look for a local business willing to sponsor your program. Take a close look at your current budget to see if there are extraneous expenses you can cut down on. 

Understand what is and what is not included in the program’s cost. Housing, airfare, supplemental excursions, textbooks, and visa expenses can all add quite a bit to a program’s bottom line. When you’re evaluating options, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. A program that includes a lot of extras may look expensive but might actually be the most affordable option once out-of-pocket costs have been factored in to the fees of other programs.

Payments and Finances FAQs

How much does a program with CET cost? What's included in the program fee?

Fees vary by program, but most summer programs are between $5,000 – $7,000, including all tuition, full room and board with all meals, insurance (for programs abroad), books, excursions and activities, and a college transcript for completing the course— basically everything except international airfare and spending money. See individual program pages for more information about fees.

Can I use a 529 or other state payment plan to pay CET?

As a third party program provider, CET does not have a Department of Education (DOE) code. This means that in most cases, you will not be able to use your 529 plan directly towards CET tuition.

However, we encourage you to speak to your 529 provider directly about specific requirements and any flexibility there may be. Depending on the state you’re in, some may allow it since you’re earning college credit and there may be flexibility to provide a CET invoice as proof of payment to access 529 savings. Again, you should check with your 529 provider. 

Does CET offer a payment plan? Can I pay in installments?

Yes, CET will work with high school students and their families in select situations to offer a payment plan, with full payment due before the program begins. If you have any questions about paying the tuition in full by the deadline, please contact us. We may be able to help.

Health and Safety FAQs

What does CET do to ensure health and safety on high school programs?

We take health and safety very seriously and with over 35 years of experience in study abroad, CET has a strong track record with risk and crisis management. We rely on careful planning and preparation, well-trained overseas staff with local knowledge and contacts, professional resources in the U.S. and abroad, and regular review and communication about potential issues. Learn more about our approach to health and safety.

What happens if I need to go to the doctor or the hospital on the program?

Our on-site staff in each location is familiar with the local hospitals and doctors and much of this information will be provided to you during the on-site orientation. If you need to visit a doctor, we will help you locate one that is covered by GeoBlue insurance (if abroad), and either the Program Leader or an on-site staff member will accompany you.

What insurance coverage do program participants have? What does it cover?

We automatically enroll all students on programs abroad into GeoBlue insurance, even if you already have another form of insurance. The cost for this is included in the program fee. GeoBlue insurance is comprehensive and includes coverage for medical evacuation. Students on the DC program must have their own insurance to participate.

How is CET responding to COVID-19? Is vaccination required for participants?

CET has worked extensively to develop plans for operating high school programs in a COVID reality. CET’s Senior Manager of Health and Safety, in collaboration with many other staff in the US and abroad, developed  CET’s COVID Playbookthat outlines the standards, policies, and communication procedures followed at each CET site to ensure students, staff, and families are well-informed about the steps CET is taking to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for all in-person program participants. We’ve used the Playbook to safely run several CET college programs in various sites during the pandemic. Learn more about our vaccination policy and COVID response.

What happens if there's a political crisis or natural disaster?

Since we launched in 1982, we have seen our share of crises, and this experience is safely in our back pocket as we face new situations. It helps us think through all possible outcomes, consider all unintended consequences, and choose appropriate actions. Crisis response may include restricting student movement until the storm has passed, relocating the program to another city (either temporarily or for the remainder of the program), or in extreme cases, canceling the program and evacuating students permanently. Our GeoBlue insurance also includes coverage for emergency evacuation.

What happens if there's an emergency at home while I'm away? Does CET have a 24/7 emergency line?

Yes, family members can call us at 800.225.4262 to reach a staff member 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.

Program Experience FAQs

Where do students live? With whom do they live?

Students on high school summer programs abroad live in homestay families in or near the host city. Homestay families carefully recruited, vetted, and oriented by our on-site staff. During the program excursion, students will stay in hotels or hostels with program staff. Most students will be in single homestays, but some may be placed with another CET student. Learn more about the homestay selection process.

Students on the CET Global Perspectives: Washington, DC program live in double rooms in a local college residence hall with other pre-college and college students. Resident Advisors will live on the same floor among the students.

Students on the China Fieldwork Semester program live at the program house at The Linden Centre. 

How many students are typically on a CET high school program?

Program sizes vary from year to year and location to location, but are usually a small group of between 5 and 20 students.  

Do the programs have chaperones?

Each program is staffed by a Program Leader who will be with the students during the week-days, on all program excursions, and travel with the students on the end-of-program excursion. The CET Program Leader is responsible for daily oversight and support of the group and is the primary contact for students while on the ground, looking out for your health and safety. Learn more about program staffing. 

What should I pack?

Packing guidelines are available to accepted students in their CET online accounts. In general, students should plan to bring enough clothes for a week of classes and activities (we’ll do laundry about once a week), toiletries and medication for the whole program, and a laptop for classwork.

What does travel look like? Who will pick me up at the airport?

CET programs do not include travel to the program location from your home. Students must arrange for their own flights, however CET will help identify arrival windows and tips for navigating the airport experience upon arrival. A CET staff person will have your flight details, greet all students at the airport, and ensure safe arrival to your host family or residence hall for the start of the program. You will also have their contact information should anything come up during your travel.

Can families visit while students are on the program?

During the program, attendance in class and participation in academic excursions are mandatory. Absences due to visits from family and friends are not excused. Therefore, we suggest families visit before or after the program dates. The schedule is pretty packed with classes, excursions, and activities, and visits from family or friends can be disruptive.

Can I travel to other countries during the program?

Due to the nature of the program, attendance is required throughout the program and outside travel is not permitted.

Will the credits I earn on a CET program transfer to my high school or college of choice?

Upon completion of a CET program, students receive a transcript from Dickinson College listing all courses taken with the corresponding grades earned. Credit transfer to another institution is at the discretion of the high school, college, or university (just like AP, IB, or dual-enrollment classes taken in high school). Check with your high school guidance office, university admissions office, or study abroad office to inquire about credit transfer. We work with many colleges and universities, so they may be familiar with credit through CET. Learn more about CET’s partnership with Dickinson College here.

About CET FAQs

Who is CET?

CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and operating innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. Originally “China Educational Tours,” CET began operations in Beijing, and today offers a varied portfolio of semester, summer, and customized programs for college, high school, pre-college, and gap year students around the world. Known for strong academics, professional program management, and supportive student services, CET strives to integrate students into their host communities, adopt environmentally conscientious practices, and promote diversity and inclusion across all programs. Learn more about CET here

What kinds of programs does CET offer high school students and recent graduates?

CET offers 4-week Global Perspective summer programs in France, China, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Washington, DC. Students take a survey course for college credit that explores global perspectives on international issues, studying and discussing topics such as identity, environmental sustainability, and public health. On-site activities and excursions bring the course themes to life, and students experience and get to know local culture through homestays (in abroad programs), local connections, and language instruction. 

CET also offers the China Fieldwork Semester, a spring term high school and gap program based in rural China.

CET Gap programs are available throughout the year and virtually in a number of locations, focused on intensive language study or an internship.

CET also offers Custom Language Training for anyone looking for one-on-one instruction in Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese.

Why should I study with CET? What are the advantages of a pre-college program?

Choosing to take college-level courses abroad during high school demonstrates your intellectual engagement and willingness to challenge yourself academically. You’ll develop skills you’ll need in college such as independence, time management, good study habits, and living away from home. You’ll also set yourself up for further study abroad and study away in college and the potential for an international career. Many students draw upon their study abroad experience in their college applications.

Examining international issues through study abroad or a domestic program helps you develop skills necessary to be a global citizen and confidently navigate and engage with the world, such as cultural understanding and an appreciation of diversity, openness and exposure to new perspectives, and experience with another language.

CET Global Perspectives programs allow you to:

  • – Get a taste of the college academic experience and earn college credits.
  • – Enhance reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
  • – Meet students from other schools and establish lifelong friendships.
  • – Experience international issues from a different cultural perspective AND study a language.
  • – Apply for the Dickinson-CET Global Leaders Scholarship: a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to Dickinson College, awarded exclusively to one CET alum each year.

Does CET offer custom programs for schools, districts, or other organizations?

Yes, CET works with schools, districts, and other organizations to design and deliver custom programs according to specific groups, needs, and goals for international education. Examples of past custom programs offered by CET include Middlebury Interactive Language in Beijing, Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Language in China and Japan, and Junior State of America in Shanghai.  We have programming capacity in CET high school and college sites as well as in other countries through our parent organization, Academic Travel Abroad, who specializes in adult educational travel and professional groups.

Learn More about our Programs!