About this Course

Welcome to the China Education Agent Course (CEAC), a practical, professional online training course in Chinese offered by ICEF in partnership with BOSSA, a government-supported industry association of member educational agencies.

The CEAC was designed to support excellence and professional standards in international education and is aimed at Chinese agency based study abroad advisers and student counsellors. It provides them with:

  • An understanding of the overall international education market and the main destination countries for international students
  • The skills and research parameters to analyse destination countries and their education products and processes
  • The functional dynamics of dealing with students, education institutions, and governments.

The Course covers three areas:

The Context of International Education
Destination countries, education systems, legal requirements, and visas
The People in International Education
Students, education institutions’ personnel, and immigration authorities
Promoting International Education
Working effectively, marketing, and ethics

The CEAC is delivered online via this website, in a self-paced modular format. For access, please register for the CEAC. Related testing and assessment sessions are organised by BOSSA. Participants who complete the CEAC test successfully will receive an ICEF and a BOSSA Certificate, certifying them as China ICEF Trained Agent Counsellors (CITAC) and recognizing them internationally as qualified consultants for the international education industry. Successful candidates will also be displayed on a public web listing featured on the ICEF and BOSSA sites, as well as in the Qualified Education App for smartphones, containing the names of over 9 000 qualified agents worldwide.

All courses have extensive study materials available. You can purchase the course eBook for €25 – which is a useful resource for counsellors.

Who can benefit from this Course?

  • New entrants:
    Individuals wishing to enter the international education industry as study abroad advisers (with or without previous experience).
  • New study abroad advisers:
    The CEAC is an excellent training tool for new staff members at agencies.
  • Practising study abroad advisers:
    The CEAC provides up-to-date information about international education principles and processes.

Note: It is beyond the scope of the CEAC to provide specific information about the institutions, regulations, documents or procedures unique to each destination country. This is a general course to provide a foundation for dealing with all destination countries. The CEAC provides the study abroad adviser with practical training in the general principles and functions common to most destination countries, and provides links to each country for detailed follow-up research and practical application. Important: destination country information wIll not be tested.

Specific Information on this Course

Education agents play a significant role in counselling and referring students to international education providers. The primary representatives in this role are study abroad advisers at whom the CEAC is aimed. The CEAC is a Chinese version of the IATC, translated by ICEF and customised by BOSSA.

ICEF introduced the IATC as a means of raising the standard of quality and the professionalism of study aboard advisers and was originally developed based on the input of 769 education agents from 113 countries and 437 education institutions from 78 countries. Further input was given by the IATC Advisory Board, comprised of 30 director level individuals from education agencies, education institutions and official organisations in 18 countries.

The CEAC instructs the study abroad advisers in fundamental knowledge and functional skills. The study abroad adviser gains a “big picture” perspective of researching and marketing destination countries, and recruiting students for their education institutions and courses. This provides a conceptual framework with which to build detailed knowledge of a destination country, its education system and institutions, and its immigration processes.

The CEAC is based on the following definition of the role of a study abroad adviser:

The study abroad adviser connects the people involved in international education, linking students, parents, education providers, and travel and accommodation providers to each other in order to facilitate study in another country.

Core services to students are:

  • Provide information on destination countries, e.g., lifestyle, costs
  • Provide information on education options, courses, and pathways
  • Provide counselling to students to ensure the most appropriate course selection
  • Process enrolment applications
  • Process visa applications

Core services to education providers are:

  • Recruit suitable students
  • Process student applications
  • Provide market information
  • Market and promote education providers

In the CEAC, key concepts are reinforced and expanded across lessons. In each lesson they are linked to related concepts, which both aids memory retention and promotes acquisition of wider cognitive connections. By the end of the course, the study abroad adviser should possess a broad conceptual framework within which to understand their role in international education.

The CEAC has three Course Units (A). Each unit is divided into Lessons (A.1), each lesson is divided into Pages (A.1.1), and each page may have a number of segments. Information is cross-referenced with hyperlinks.

The course units contain three types of questions/exercises:

Focus Questions: These are at the beginning of each lesson and prepare the student for the information contained in it.

Extension Questions: These occur throughout the content and assist in applying the knowledge gained from the course. They are a practical checklist to ensure that study abroad advisers are always able to give accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date information to prospective students, especially with regard to specific destination countries.

Activities: These are learning tools at the end of each page, allowing study abroad advisers to test and reinforce essential information before continuing to the next one.

About the CEAC

请注意:TEST不提供某一国家所特有的机构、规章制度、文件或申请流程的具体信息。CEAC是针对所有目的地国家的基础性通用课程。它为留学顾问们提供 实用的、适用于大多数目的地国家的一般原则,同时CEAC还提供每个目的地国家详细的后续研究和实际应用的链接。重要提示:目的地国家的具体信息不在考试 范围内。

Participants who pass the CEAC formal test will receive a Certificate from both ICEF and BOSSA, certifying them as China ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor (CITAC) and recognizing them internationally as qualified consultants for the international education industry, and will have their name, photo and company details including website listed on icef.com.

In a further recognition of this professional standing, all graduates will also be included in the Qualified Education Agents App (QEA) for smartphones produced by ICEF and PIER containing the names of over 9 000 qualified agents worldwide – a valuable resource for educators looking for expert agencies!

The designation of China ICEF Trained Agent Counsellor (CITAC) does not require participation at an ICEF Event, nor are the agents vetted or required to provide partner references to complete training and testing.

Information about our recognition programme and Agency screening for ICEF Events can be found here:



The formal test is online and comprises 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 90 minutes. During the test, candidates will have access to online and offline resources. They will not be tested on individual country information/regulations; only on all the other sections of the CEAC. Candidates may use personal notes or information presented online from the course content during the test, but they will not be allowed to phone anyone or ask other people for assistance.

To schedule a testing option, please email ceac@bossacn.org to reserve your testing slot.

The charge for the test is 1300 Yuan, which allows you to have 3 attempts. Meaning if you do not pass on your first attempt, you still have 2 more chances to become qualified.

To prepare for the formal test, you can take the CEAC self-assessment test, which can be found on the right-hand side of the CEAC homepage once you have logged in. This self-assessment test is identical in structure to the formal CEAC test. Each question has only one correct answer, and all questions are based on the CEAC content. At the end of the self-assessment, you will receive your result. We encourage only those who pass the self-assessment to attempt the formal test. The pass mark is 80%. Until you have reached a good result on the self-assessment, please keep practising.

You will be automatically notified of your (pass/fail) result as soon as you have finished your test. If you have passed, you will receive your CITAC Certificate and personal CITAC Nr shortly after.

The testing fee must be paid regardless of a pass or fail result. This fee covers three testing attempts.

Once you have registered for the course and test, you have one year in which to sit the formal exam. If you wish to take the formal test and receive the CITAC Designation, please try (and pass) the self-assessment test first.