Support at Every Stage
Choosing to study abroad is a big decision, so we dedicate ourselves to providing thorough and thoughtful support—not only during the program, but also during pre-departure and re-entry. And we believe that preparation, staff training, and regular review of resources are key to effectively managing crises, whether individual or group. In our 35+ years of operation, we have built a strong reputation for effective risk management. Learn more about our approach to health and safety.
CET high school programs maintain a student-to-staff ratio of at least 10:1 for plenty of support and individual attention. Each program is staffed differently depending on the location, but here are a few student-facing roles you might interact with throughout the study abroad process at CET.
Program leaders are responsible for daily oversight and support of the student group. As the main source of supervision for high school students, they serve as the primary contact for students while on the ground. They lead students from point A to point B, look out for their health and safety, and lead the on-site portion of the core course. They execute and supervise all evening and weekend activities. Program leaders may be members of the local CET staff or U.S. citizens hired by CET to travel with the group. In either case, each Program Leader has strong familiarity with the local language, location, and culture.
Local coordinators manage the many logistics of residential life—homestay vetting and training, meals, activities and excursions, and health and safety. They are responsible for finalizing arrangements and reservations, coordinating local language instruction, and assisting the program leader in the execution of the program. The local coordinator also serves as a back-up to the program leader in cases of student health and safety emergencies.
On larger programs, local assistants support the Program Leader and Local Coordinator and provide additional support to students.
The faculty lead is a CET instructor who leads the online portion of the core course. The faculty member assigns readings, creates assignments, and completes grading. He/she creates the asynchronous course content and leads synchronous, live class sessions while students are abroad.
The programs manager coordinates the development and execution of all high school and pre-college programs. They assist in program design, the recruitment and training of all staff, and work with the student services coordinator in pre-departure processes. The programs manager works closely with on-site staff to prevent and manage crises, and will be the main point of contact with US-based staff and parents/guardians.
The Director of Health & Safety oversees all CET policies and procedures related to student health, emergency response, and crisis management. She trains program staff in policy implementation and emergency management. When an emergency arises, she supports on-site staff and communicates with staff in the U.S., and keeps families and all stakeholders well-informed along the way.
Student service coordinators are the point of contact once you’ve started an application. They work with you for all things pre-departure—the application process, answering questions about each program, and other logistics related to things like visas and housing assignments. They work with on-site staff to prepare for incoming cohorts.
The marketing and outreach manager is your main point of contact prior to starting an application and can help you—and your parents/guardians—determine which program is the best fit. They also manage relationships between CET’s High School & Pre-College division and all schools, teachers, student associations, mentor organizations, etc., and represent CET at study abroad fairs and other school visits.
Get to Know Your 2022 Program Leaders!
When did you first visit France? What type of program was it?
I first visited France after my freshman year of high school to visit family members in the Netherlands. We spent a weekend in Paris, and I was captivated by the challenge of learning a new language and culture. The first time I returned to France was for four months as a college sophomore with Institute for American Universities in Avignon. I lived with a host family with whom I’m still in contact today. They were the first people I emailed when I accepted the [Program Leader position].
What is one of your favorite things about traveling or living in France?
I’m still charmed by historical France, like cobblestone streets, French coffee cups, or the smell of a real croissant — not the kind that you buy at Panera. I also have so much respect for the process of traveling in France, especially the parts that aren’t picturesque: you have to slow down, listen carefully, and not live life behind an Instagram filter.
Do you have a favorite word in French?
I love the word croquer. It means to crack open, as in, a bite into a fresh apple.
What are you most excited about this summer?
Meeting students for the first time is always really cool. Traveling, discovering, and solving problems together is a very particular relationship! I’m especially excited to visit Carcassonne, a medieval city near Toulouse that I personally have never been to before.
When did you first visit Spain? What type of program was it?
I first visited Spain with my family for spring vacation when I was in 6th grade. We toured Madrid, Toledo, Granada, and Málaga! I came back when I was a sophomore in university for a semester-long study abroad program to learn all about the Spanish language, culture, and history. I came back to Spain in 2018 and I have lived here for almost four years!
What is one of your favorite things about traveling or living in Spain?
My favorite part about living in Spain is the fresh food. People in Europe tend to do their grocery shopping daily and buy the ingredients they need from the local markets. That means that the food you eat at home and in restaurants is high quality and is super delicious. Along the coast of Spain you can enjoy the best variety of fresh seafood (look out for Gambas al Pil- Pil in Málaga!). Before I moved to Spain, I didn’t really enjoy seafood, but once I started to taste what Spain had to offer, I never looked back!
Do you have a favorite word in Spanish?
My favorite word in Spanish is albaricoque – apricot
What are you most excited about this summer?
I’m most excited about living the Andalusian summer life. In Spain, during the summer months, people flock to the sea and outside the cities. People here get long summer vacations and spend that time relaxing by the sea with friends and family. I think that the opportunity to experience life in Málaga during summer is a great chance to learn more about Spanish culture and lifestyle and eat as much fresh watermelon as possible!
When did you first visit Italy? What type of program was it?
I visited Italy for the first time when I was a junior in high school. I was taking Italian at the time, and my teacher was planning a 10-day education-travel trip during the Easter Break. My parents gave me permission to go, and I used my savings from summer jobs for the trip. After arriving in Rome, we went south to Naples, to see the ancient city of Pompeii, and to sail to the jet-setting island of Capri where we were dazzled by the turquoise waters of the Blue Grotto. Back in Rome, we visited the 2000-year-old ruins of the Colosseum and Roman Forum, threw coins in the Trevi fountain (a sure way to guarantee one’s return to Rome!), saw the Pantheon and the Spanish steps. We heard Pope John Paul II speak in the Vatican Square on Easter Sunday, and visited St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican museums. We traveled to the floating city of Venice: a city like no others, filled with boats, waterbuses, and gondolas that silently glide through the canals. Next, we visited the Tuscan cities of Pisa, Siena and Florence. I instantly felt a strong and familiar connection to Florence. I remember the thrill of standing in front of Michelangelo’s David for the first time, climbing to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome, and taking in the view of the city’s iconic skyline from the surrounding hills. The impact of that 10-day trip to Italy, of what I saw and learned, changed me forever, and put me on the path that led me where I am today.
What is one of your favorite things about Italy?
Gelato! … and coffee!
Joking aside, one of the things I love most about the Italian people is the time that they take to enjoy the little things in life (like having a coffee or a gelato with friends), but also the pride that Italians put into what they produce. Italians all over the peninsula celebrate conviviality: the joy of having a meal together, sharing moments with family and friends, talking to one another. In the summer, you will see Sienese, young and old, taking their passeggiata (stroll) in the evening, having dinner together in the trattorias, and gathering in the piazzas and terraces until late at night to visit and laugh with one another. It is a fundamental characteristic of Italian, and Mediterranean culture, and a good habit to follow. Resisting our dependency on a social-media fueled world that tries to isolate us, and instead try to enjoy the moment, and cultivate our real-life connections…perhaps over a gelato!
Do you have a favorite word in Italian
Chiacchierare (pronounced /key-ak-kier-ar-eh/) means ‘to chat’ and is one of my favorite Italian verbs. Chiacchierare is onomatopoeic, it’s fun to say, and it represents a favorite pastime of Italians, and a nice way to spend time with friends. fare due chiacchiere/ fare una chiacchierata = to have a chat (with a friend), chiacchiere = chatter, but also gossip; chiacchierona/e = someone who likes to talk a lot.
Another great word that you will hear me – and the Italians you’ll meet – say a lot is allora (so, well, therefore, then, in that case). Allora is a common filler word that sometimes acts as a form of shorthand for a longer sentence. Example: A friend you haven’t seen in a while greets you with, “Allora?” = So? which really means: how have you been? what’s new? The meaning of allora changes depending on how you say it. We’ll practice so you get it right!
What are you most excited about this summer?
I am very excited to be in SIENA for an extended period, and particularly during Palio season! I wonder in which contrada (district) each of your host families will be located. Will you be a snail, a giraffe, or a porcupine? A dragon, a goose, or a unicorn? Will your contrada have a horse in the race? I am excited for you to experience this beautiful medieval city and to learn about this beloved Sienese tradition from the locals. The city will be buzzing with excitement and a sense of celebration.
I am excited to meet all of you, to help guide you along your way to experiencing Italy. The summer is a great time to be in Italy, there is so much happening: cultural festivals, evenings of music and cinema in the piazzas. And of course, I look forward to showing you Florence, Rome and all the other amazing places we will visit.
Meet some of our past Program Leaders
CET Global Perspectives: CHINA | PROGRAM LEADER
Before his time as a Program Leader for CET Global Perspectives: China, Drew was based in Hangzhou, China—where he worked with Middlebury in China students during the academic year. He graduated with a dual BA in East Asian Studies and International Studies (Indiana University Bloomington, 2016). He started studying Chinese in high school, continued the adventure at IU by enrolling in the Chinese Language Flagship Program, and spent time in China, both at the Tsinghua University and as a Fulbright Hays GPA Fellow. Drew completed his capstone year with the Chinese Language Flagship attending international studies courses at Nanjing University, then later interning with Indiana University’s China Gateway Office. Prior to coming to CET, Drew spent a year serving as Resident Advisor at Associated Colleges in China, and also spent a summer serving as Resident Director for the NSLI-Y high school summer language program in Xi’an.
CET Global Perspectives: Italy | PROGRAM Leader
Growing up in an Italian-American family, Rachel had a passion for culture and travel from an early age. She has taken numerous trips abroad—some with family, one to study abroad, and others to lead intimate tours she has organized for others. When not teaching Italian and Spanish at Binghamton University in upstate New York, you can find her on campus discussing the importance of cross-cultural experiences, or out in town indulging at her favorite gelato shop.