Whenever I share with someone my plans for spring 2011, they respond with an initial glimmer of interest at the words “study abroad,” followed by a quizzical look when I say “Cameroon.” Then comes the inevitable question: why there?
For me the past year has contained countless brochures filled with beautiful pictures of foreign places and hours writing essays or completing applications. Since choosing to study French in middle school, I’ve desired to visit a country where this beautiful language is more than a classroom speaking exercise. I have also had a growing interest in Africa and in truth I would love to teach there someday. So when I discovered SIT’s program in Cameroon I was excited by the combination of a continent and a language that I long to know more about.
In case you’re not sure, Cameroon is located in western Africa - bumping shoulders with Nigeria, Chad, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, and a little bit of the Atlantic. Official languages are French and English, but the country has over 200 ethnic and language groups. The landscape includes volcanoes, mountains, savannas, rain forests, and plains. Such diversity, of people and of geography, has earned Cameroon the nickname “Africa in Miniature.” If you want to read more about the country, click here.
Flight Path: United States to Switzerland to Cameroon all in all a 20 hour trip.
So why Cameroon? Pourquoi pas?