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.

Our Mission

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.


  • semester or year-long high school exchange with host family placement
  • outbound program where high school students in the USA can study abroad
  • training program for young professionals
  • 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 a Corporate Office in Grand Rapids Michigan and also has an office in Bellingham, Washington. There are Regional Directors as well as Local Coordinators who are located in the communities where the international students are placed.

Olivia Grigorjeva

Trainee and Internship Programs Director

Olivia was a high school exchange student in 1993 in Grand Rapids, MI and she also she spent a semester in Bonn, Germany during her International Business degree studies. Upon completion of her MBA, she joined CETUSA in 2002 and since then has helped the company grow and develop different programs, including the Trainee and Internship Program where she currently overseas the department.

Michael Dulay

Executive Director of J-1 Operations

Michael started in 2018 with CETUSA. He comes from a finance and organizational management background in the post secondary higher education industry.

Cara Parenti

Trainee and Internship Operations Manager

Cara has had an interest in international cultures and affairs for as long as she can remember. While earning her degree in International Studies, Cara studied abroad in Rome, Italy and then went on to teach English to middle school students in South Korea. Cara has a deep passion for bridging cultures, people, and ideas, and loves to help other people navigate and experience life outside of their home countries.

Lisa Turnwall

Director of HS Placement Division

Lisa 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.

Martin Emmerson

Director of Student Services

Martin comes from many years of multicultural life and work within several African countries and in the USA. This has primarily been in the ‘church’ world involving extensive experience with not only adults but personal involvement in care and education of youth.

generation study abroad

Fully accredited

CETUSA is granted full listing in the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) Advisory List and is a commitment member of IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative.