chapter  8.2
9 Pages

Building Chinese language programs in China

CET’s experience
WithMark Lenhart

This chapter is the story of one of the earliest and longest continuing program – China Educational Tours (CET). While no program can represent the entire field, the ever-evolving conditions in China that shaped the CET experience were common to other programs as well. CET was founded in Boston by Max and Nancy Owens Hess in 1979. CET's first Chinese Language Program in Beijing, promoted as "CET-Wellesley", launched in the summer of 1982 with thirty-seven students. CET operated other short-term academic projects throughout the 1980s, but the Beijing program became CET's flagship, the heart of its operations in China. Tiananmen Square was a watershed moment in CET's history. Today CET sends around 1,500 students per year to program locations in nine countries. Looking back, it is clear that the authors' experience in China taught them essential lessons that helped them in their growth.