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Council for Educational Travel, USA is dedicated to the mission of “reaching out to encourage a lifelong journey of global peace and understanding”.  We support this mission through the implementation of exchange programs for high school students – both American and international – and trainee and internship programs for university students/young professionals.  This blog space is meant to continue the conversation on the value of education through experience – more specifically the experience of study abroad.  There will be guest blogs here as well as announcements of resources for students, parents and teachers to learn more about study abroad and the global perspective.  Join us…

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A Fun Fall Day

Posted in CETUSA News, and Trainee/Internship

Last week, CETUSA’s activity coordinator, Jessica Skluzacek, organized cultural activities with some of our Applebee’s participants in Bismarck. Since fall has begun and it’s close to Halloween, they thought of pumpkins. So Jessica and the five participants, Cyryll, Adam, Louise, Gifford, and Zhongling, headed to Papa’s Pumpkin Patch – voted one of the top 10 pumpkin patches in the country, according to a Travel Channel poll. As soon as the participants got out of town they were all pleasantly surprised with the change in landscape. The pretty hills and many trees that were turning colors were nice for them to see. Everything at the pumpkin patch was new to the participants, like the trail ride they went on, the corn maze, and the Clydesdale horses and ponies. Jessica even had to explain what a pony was! After the pumpkin patch, Jessica took them to Riverside Park, which is where the…

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An Oceanside Hike with CETUSA

Posted in CETUSA News, and Trainee/Internship

“Hello All! We’d like to once again bring your attention to another one of CETUSA’s many ocean health related activities. In order to celebrate World Ocean’s Day, CETUSA and one of our representative’s set out to organize a five mile hike along the ocean front in Hawai’i. With this event we wanted to not only to promote the values of environmental stewardship, but also to bring together our participants in Hawai’i so that they can share their experiences in the program thus far. Altogether, there were 20 people that went on the hike including 8 CETUSA participants and 2 CETUSA representatives. Along the way, CETUSA representative Aaron Watson used his vast knowledge of native flora and fauna to point out interesting sites including an albatross preserve and an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Other sightings included gorgeous ocean views and a large baby albatross! At the end of the hike there…

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I-LEAD: One Intern’s Experience of a Lifetime

Posted in CETUSA News, and Trainee/Internship

  “Hello All! Two CETUSA staff members were lucky enough to be invited to the I-LEAD Conference, an event that is designed to bring together J-1 Interns who are leaders in their community. One of our participants, Shanyque Crewes was selected as one of the few interns that were able to attend. She provided us with a record of her thoughts throughout to conference, read her story below! ‘Day one after I arrived and did registration we did an introduction to the entire ILEAD team as well as the delegates and an intercultural activity to send us off to bed. Day two we had a presentation on leadership from one of the ILEAD staff, then training on leadership through reflection of our experiences throughout our lives then we had a presentation on the international rule of law with Joel from the world justice project then later down we had dinner…

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Hosting is a Blessing.

Posted in CETUSA News, High school program, and Host Family

  Ten years ago we were asked to “try out” hosting so we agreed to a short term commitment.  Within days it was apparent to my husband, son, daughter and myself that this was an amazing experience and so we welcomed our first international son Bruno from Brazil.  Seven years later we added his little brother Caio to our American family.  At the end of the program his mother Claudia and his father Oswaldo came to personally thank us for investing in their sons  and ultimately their lives.  We are making plans to visit Brazil in the future so our circle can be complete.  WE are still very connected via Skype, face time, email, Facebook and Instagram with the family.  Although your hosting experience may be 4-6 weeks as a welcome family, 5 months or 10 months the memories and relationships last forever.  Holidays and special days I often receive…

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Student of the Week (8.01.16): Jiawen from China!

Posted in High school program, Host Family, and Student of the Week

Congratulations to our Student of the Week: Jiawen from China! I want to acknowledge the friendship this student, nicknamed Calvin, formed with his host brother Ryu from Thailand. Ryu said he will miss Calvin. They spent the last 10 months together doing things such as playing games on their computers, eating at their favorite restaurant near our house on Fridays to celebrate the end of another school week, going to Starbucks, and eating lunch together at school most of the time. Calvin learned how to smile in pictures. He also learned to do many chores while he was here–such as loading and unloading the dishwasher, stripping and making his bed, doing his laundry, and cooking occasionally.  Many things he did were his own idea—such as bringing in the mail and taking the trash can to the street on trash day.” He made good grades and received awards in math and chemistry for the highest…

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Student of the Week (7.25.16): Lissy from Germany!

Posted in High school program, Host Family, and Student of the Week

Congratulations to our Student of the Week: Lissy from Germany! Lissy joined us in March following an emergency placement. We were apprehensive, but never hesitated. She has been an absolute joy and the thought of her leaving already is so hard. We fell in love hard with this girl and never expected to. Some of our fondest memories of and with her will be her infectious smile and laugh. Her laughing at us trying to say words in German and our deep Southern accents throwing it off had us all collapsing into fits of giggles. Her attempt to try and use our slang was also very funny. Her genuine smile when something made her happy or when she was playing with the little ones around here (we have 4 grandkids that live nearby and they adore her). She is constantly telling us that she is taking the baby home with…

Read MoreStudent of the Week (7.25.16): Lissy from Germany!

‘World Oceans Day’ Beach Cleanup – One Intern’s Perspective

Posted in CETUSA News, and Trainee/Internship

  As you may have heard, World Ocean’s Day was last month and we received lots of stories and photos from our participants taking part in beach cleanups. One of those stories came from Yao Chieh “Jeff” Hu. Jeff told us all about the great experience he had with a few other CETUSA participants at a World Oceans Day beach cleanup at Aquarium of the Bay. This is what he had to say:   Since the jet lagged problem, I woke up at 4 in the early morning and decided to start off my journey of the day. The streets were silent. There’s no man chatting, bird chirping and wheel running. What I feel like real, is the pulse of my heart. And here I started off. It took me an hour or so to the beach. I arrived as the sun rose up, and the entire world woke up.…

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Student of the Week (7.18.16): Johanna from Germany!

Posted in CETUSA News, Host Family, and Student of the Week

This is our second experience hosting an exchange student and I can tell you one thing; my family and I don’t even think of her as an exchange student! Johanna has a one of a kind personality, she is not afraid of anything. Since day one she has been motivated and excited to integrate herself into the American culture. According to her host mom, “she joined right into the family as if she has always been a part of our family.”   Even before Johanna arrived in the United States, she was motivated to participate in both marching band and swimming. Although the school schedule would only allow her to participate in one, she chose swimming and succeeded to earn her varsity letter. Johanna has kept good grades while participating in school and family activities and she has made friends easily with both American and fellow exchange students. We have…

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CETUSA Alumni: Alina from Peru

Posted in Alumni, CETUSA News, and Trainee/Internship

As always, we love to hear any and all feedback from our participants about their time on the program. Recently, we’ve been reaching out to program alumni to see what they thought about their time with CETUSA and discuss their experiences. Last week, I had a chance to speak with Alina from Lima, Peru. Alina was an intern at Scripps Research Institute in Southeast Florida. While she wasn’t allowed to explicitly say what her research project was, Alina was able to tell me that it was focused around nutrition and aging. According to Alina, the work was very intense and mentally demanding, but ultimately fulfilling. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at now without my internship through CETUSA,” she explained, “it really reaffirmed that this was what I wanted to do”. After finishing her program, Alina returned to Lima to finish her B.S. in Biology. She has since moved on from…

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Student of the Week (7.11.16): Kathrin from Germany!

Posted in CETUSA News, Host Family, and Student of the Week

Our student Kathrin has really made this host family proud!  Our family owns and operates one of Texarkana’s radio stations.  We are busy with school games, festivals, new business openings, celebrations, city functions, AND are Texas Rangers faithful fans!  She has had many accomplishments and adventures in her time here; she attended her first Ranger game and wore her Texas straw hat, went to Homecoming, and went to Prom with her host brother. She also placed 2nd in an art competition and was awarded “Show Award” that included a cash prize for her art, which was a dress constructed of paper! It is now out on public display for all to admire. It has been a great experience to see this one blossom as she has and is our “Yellow Rose of Texas”. Thank you Kathrin, and all the best to you.  

Read MoreStudent of the Week (7.11.16): Kathrin from Germany!