NOTE: SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, SIT may have to modify programs. Visit the SIT website for more details.
Examine development and the changing cultures, politics, and economy of Cameroon and explore the immigrant experience of Cameroonians in France.
- Examine changing cultures, politics, and economy through the unique lens of Cameroon, known as “Africa in Miniature” for its tremendous diversity.
- Discover the challenges indigenous communities face when their traditional way of life is replaced by a western lifestyle.
- Witness the effects of globalization during a weeklong excursion to Batoufam, a traditional Bamiléké village, where you’ll see how this dynamic group is preserving its culture, identity, and financial sustainability.
- Consider the immigrant experience of Cameroonians in France during a weeklong excursion to Paris.
- Sharpen your French with intensive language classes, homestays, and cultural immersion.
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website
for details on program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
Key Topics of Study
- Development theories and best practices
- The immigrant experience of Cameroonians in France
- Social and political history of Cameroon and Cameroon’s future
- Successes, challenges, and prospects for development organizations currently working in Cameroon
- Social, economic, and political change within three main ethnic groups—Bamiléké, Anglophones, and Bagyeli (commonly referred to as “pygmies”)—highlighting indigenous development structures, changing cultures, nation-state issues, and cultural aesthetic features
- Cameroonian culture, dance, and art
- Cameroonian women in development: the transition from the traditional to the “modern” woman, youth opinions on women, and women’s economic empowerment
You have the option to spend four weeks engaged in an Independent Study Project (ISP), with the opportunity to pursue original research on a topic of particular interest to you. The ISP is conducted in Yaoundé or in another approved location in Cameroon appropriate to the project.
Sample ISP topics:
- Representation and challenge of women’s roles through traditional dance
- Impact of gendered microfinance on domestic violence
- Efforts and obstacles toward political change in contemporary Cameroon
- Cultivating rice in import-dependent Cameroon
- Political opinion among Cameroonian youth
- Chinese and American development efforts and perceptions in Cameroon
- Gender roles and standards of beauty in Cameroon
- Traditional and modern healing: people’s preferences
- The uses and practices of bilingualism in Cameroonian schools
- The influences of westernization on the Bikutsi style of music
- Oral history of the Bamiléké people
- Land grabbing and its local impacts
- Microfinance and women’s empowerment
You can choose to complete an internship during the last four weeks of this program. For this internship, you will be placed with a local Cameroonian organization where you will gain real work experience related to the program’s theme and develop professional skills you can use in your career.
SIT internships are hands on and reflective. In addition to completing the internship, you will submit a paper in which you describe, assess, and analyze learning. The paper will also outline the tasks you completed through the internship, professional relationships you developed, and challenges you encountered and how you overcame them.
Interning in Cameroon
Compared to most countries in the region, Cameroon has had relative political stability since independence, which has permitted investments in agriculture, transport infrastructure, petroleum, and timber. In this sense, Cameroon provides an excellent setting in which to study mainstream development in action and the transitions that occur within a developing society. This internship will place you in an organization at the center of this transition to enable you to appreciate the driving forces and goals of mainstream development practice and how they have been structured.
SIT has partnered with a number of organizations to provide internship placements; alternately, you may complete an internship of your own choosing with approval from the academic director.
- Providing financial support to women entrepreneurs at nationwide savings and credit cooperative MUFFA Cameroon
- Assisting efforts to end hunger, poverty, and socioeconomic injustice; protect the environment; and support indigenous rights at RELUFA, a nonpartisan national network of secular nonprofit organizations and mainstream churches from all regions of Cameroon
- Working with Women’s Promotion and Assistance Association to eradicate illiteracy, prostitution, child abuse, poverty, and human trafficking
- Advocating for farmers and other Cameroonians at Citizens Association for the Defense of Collective Interests, a well-known and respected organization that works to change unfair laws and corruption across all of Cameroon
- Assisting in projects such as agricultural investment, women’s entrepreneurial classes, and a girls’ soccer program at Breaking Ground, an organization founded by a former SIT student and her classmates on the principle that a community project can only effectively address the needs of a population if it is conceived, planned, and implemented by the community for whom it is intended
Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.
SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:
- All educational costs, including educational excursions
- All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
- Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
- Health and accident insurance
- SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
- All scholarships and grants are need-based.
- Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.
- The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program.
- Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.
Contact SIT Study Abroad
The semester begins with a one-week orientation in Yaoundé. After the initial orientation, the following components of the academic program begin:
Development Studies (0.75 Pomona credits)
Modernization and Social Change in Cameroon (0.75 Pomona credits)
French for Development Studies (0.75 Pomona credits)
Research Methods and Ethics (0.75 Pomona credits)
Independent Study Project (ISP) (1.0 Pomona credit)
Each semester, a small number of Cameroonian students enrolled in local graduate programs participate in the program alongside U.S.-based students.
There is no P/NC option on this program.
Students live in homestays in Yaoundé. During program excursions, students stay in homestays, hostels, and camping accommodations.
Number of Students
SIT enrolls approximately 10 – 20 students, selected from a national pool.
School for International Training (SIT)
- Completion of intermediate French (French 2 or 22), or the equivalent, and the ability to follow coursework in French.
A college-level background course with African content is highly recommended.
Click here to read Marianna Heckendorn's (PO '16) reflection on her semester in Cameroon.