Does studying abroad in an incredibly diverse and uniquely beautiful country speak to you? Then consider going overseas to Cameroon!
Though often overlooked as a study abroad destination, Cameroon offers a wide variety of study abroad options for prospective students. Just over 100 American students study abroad in Cameroon each year, making this study abroad destination an off-the-beaten-path choice.
Students are exposed to diverse landscapes, from beaches, mountains, savannas, and rainforests. Because of Cameroon's geographical and cultural diversity located in the heart of Africa, it’s considered to be “Africa in miniature.” Furthermore, French and English are the two languages spoken in Cameroon, so students who don't speak French have the chance to possibly learn a second language while abroad.
Cameroon is great for students who are interested in nature, community development, politics, wildlife, learning French, going to a different and unusual destination.
Photo credits: EOS Cameroun.
If you decide to study abroad in Cameroon, you will be exposed to a beautiful culture full of exotic wildlife and diverse ethnic groups. No matter which area you choose to study in, you will learn a great deal about Cameroon and its culture.
Students may be able to work alongside locals and learn about the culture there firsthand. Students will learn about the struggles and efforts it takes for maintaining a local community, from economic issues to food, education, and health.
Political Changes in Ethnic Groups
Students will take an inside look at the political changes in certain ethnic groups in Cameroon, specifically the Bamiléké, the Bagyeli, and the Anglophones. The economic, cultural, and political changes are ever changing in each of these ethnic groups, making it an incredibly interesting and rich area of study in Cameroon.
There are over 240 ethnic groups in Cameroon. Students may study multiple ethnic groups or focus on one ethnic group to fully learn about their way of life and their culture specific to their group.
Cameroon is full of diverse landscapes and hosts a variety of wildlife species, which makes it a wonderful place for those looking to study this specific subject. Students will learn hands on by diving straight into collecting and analyzing data that they find, whether that be through the study of wildlife or local floral and fauna.
Cameroon has a large amount of biodiverse landscapes to study and preserve. Students may learn about forest conservation and the lengths that biologists have to go to to preserve them, such as measuring and collecting plant life data.
Students will also learn about local Cameroonians and how they view the conservation measures and the forests in their own country. Students may also learn about human threats to wildlife in Cameroon.
Housing options for studying in Cameroon include homestays, dorms, and apartments. At a homestay, you’ll be living, eating, and sharing your experiences with a local family who will in turn share their customs and traditions with you.
In Cameroon, it's typical for men to eat first, then women, and then children. Since you will be a guest in their home, you may eat with the men if you are a woman. Keep this in mind when staying with a local family and mimic what they do to respect their culture and show appropriate dining etiquette.
Many students choose to study abroad in Yaoundé. Limbe is another popular city and offers Botanical Gardens and a Wildlife Center. Douala is the biggest city in Cameroon, and Kribi is another popular place in Cameroon, as it hosts a beautiful waterfall for visitors to see.
Students studying abroad in Cameroon will need to obtain a student visa. For students staying longer than 3 months, the visa will cost $184. The visa will cost $93 for students staying less than 3 months.
The currency used in Cameroon is the Central African Franc. Rely mostly on cash to make your transactions, as some banks refuse to change traveler's checks or charge a commission rate. Rural areas in particular will only accept cash. Aim to spend around $30-45 USD a day on food, excursions, and other expenses. Keep in mind that your study abroad program may not provide textbooks for you and you may have to purchase them on arrival.
All travelers to Cameroon will need their yellow fever vaccination. Proof of this vaccination is required when entering Cameroon.
It is highly recommended that students obtain travel insurance beforehand because the health care in Cameroon may not be up to Western standards -- this will put you at ease in case there is ever an emergency.
Although students are able to safely study in Cameroon, they should also be wary about certain parts of the country. The US State Department advises travelers against traveling to northern and eastern Cameroon. Should students decide to study abroad, they should stay within their school and only travel to different parts of Cameroon with a tour or knowledgeable guide to ensure their safety.
Contributed by Monica Grey
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