Skip to content

Council for Educational Travel, USA

CETUSA 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.


Council for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA) is a not-for-profit international student exchange organization coordinating exchange experiences for high school students, university students and young professionals. CETUSA is a US Department of State Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa) sponsor organization.

The mission of CETUSA is “reaching out to encourage a lifelong journey of global peace and understanding” for the students, host families and communities that are part of the exchange experience.

Founded in 1995 by Rick Anaya and Terry Watson in San Clemente, California, CETUSA has coordinated exchanges for over 80,000 students. Those students and the communities where they live are forever impacted by the opportunity to understand and respect what makes each culture unique.

Programs with CETUSA include:

  • a semester or year long high school exchange with host family placement,
  • an outbound program where high school students in the USA can study abroad,
  • the American Cultural Experience (ACE) High School Prep summer program housed on a university campus,
  • a training program for young professionals and
  • an internship program for university students.

Each program has specific eligibility requirements with the opportunity to live in cities and towns across the United States.

CETUSA has offices in San Clemente, California, Bellingham, Washington, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, with community coordinators located in the communities where the international students are placed.

CETUSA’s management team has many years of experience in the student exchange field as well as a personal commitment to the CETUSA mission that they live every day.

  • Rick Anaya, Founder of CETUSA, has worked in this field hosting, placing and administering exchange programs for more than 30 years. He is the Founder and former President of PACE Institute.
  • Terry Watson, Chairman of the Board, has devoted more than 30 years of his professional life to this mission. In addition to hosting and placing exchange students, he founded a short-term program and administered programs for what was once the largest homestay organization in the United States
  • Kim Carter, Executive Director, has lived abroad and is very passionate about our mission. Kim began working with CETUSA in 2014 and brings an extensive background in organizational development and communications.
  • Lisa Turnwall, High School Program Director, and her family hosted their first high school student in 1981. Lisa began her career in student exchange in 2006 after a number of years in the corporate world and succeeded her mother, Peg Spoelstra, as Program Director in 2015.
  • Kevin Watson, Director of the Trainee and Internship Programs, lived and taught English for several years in China and has worked in the international student exchange field for more than 20 years. Kevin took over the Training & Internship Programs in 2012.

CETUSA is granted full listing in the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) Advisory List, is a commitment member of IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative and is a member of the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSTC) and the WYSE Work Abroad Association.

J1inbound CSIET         GSA_partner_logo_orange_sm     WYSE_logo_sm     Work_Abroad_logo_Pantone187_sm

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *