Council for Educational Travel, USA

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About us

Council for Educational Travel, USA

  • 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 “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 in Hesperia, 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,

    • 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 Bellingham, Washington and Grand Rapids, Michigan with community coordinators located in the communities where the 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.

    • Terry Watson, President, 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

    • 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, and is a member of the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSTC) and the WYSE Work Abroad Association.  

Contact information

Date Founded: 1995

Email: Log in to view email addresses.


Phone: 3602550476

110 Grand Ave, Bellingham, WA, 98225, US

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