Wonderfully Supported Study Abroad Experience Past Review

By (Women's Health, Antioch University – Seattle) - abroad from 09/05/2012 to 12/06/2012 with

Carleton Global Engagement: Arts and Culture in Cameroon

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program is really incredible. The small town vibe was exactly what I needed in my life, coupled with some travel in-country (an amazing field trip with hiking to waterfalls and the best food in the country!) The student group was exceptional, the emphasis on individual apprenticeships invaluable, and feeling like a real part of the community was touching and enriching.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There is a lot of academic work to complete the summer before the program, which frees up our time significantly in country. We had academic classes twice a day for the first three weeks, then twice a week for the remaining time. Classes were on topics realting to arts, culture, and language, and where relevant, students were encouraged to co-facilitate. Each course requires a significant final term paper.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At times I struggled, personality wise, with my homestay host, who was a very stern old lady, but my accommodations were lovely, my own small room, meals cooked every day, and most people in the home very friendly with me, fascinated with my studies, and wanting to spend time together every evening.

* Food:

It's just a personal preference, but I'm not fond of West African food. I made the most of it, cooked for myself where I was able to, and it was not a problem at all.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program does a rally good job at supporting students health needs and sticking all basic provisions that may be needed. Student health was a constant topic of discussion and I always felt it was a priority. While on the program I was very ill for a couple weeks, and was extremely well taken care of. A doctor made house calls, and I stayed in the program director's house (clean and comfortable) while I was recovering. Everyone was super supportive and I felt very comprehensively cared for.

* Safety:

Kankan is very safe. It is a small town, and everyone knows everyone. I always felt my neighbors and other host families were looking out for me, and never felt threatened, unsafe, or vulnerable.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10-20


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I took classes in Maninkakan, had no previous exposure to Maninkakan.
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Students/Staff!
  • Location
  • Supportive/Supported Atmosphere
* What could be improved?
  • regular check-ins on academics
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I had concerns about safety before going, but it proved completely safe in Kankan.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'