La Blanche! August 09, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/04/2018 to 06/04/2018 with

Université Catholique de l’Afrique Centrale / UCAC: Yaoundé - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about my identity as Black American.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

I really enjoyed the food. I would warn that if you have a peanut allergy, it will be very difficult. Also, sanitation was always a concern but you earn to adjust.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The doctor on call was helpful but getting access to medicine, pain killers or actual doctor visits was very difficult. Middlebury gave us insurance cards but they were useless in Cameroon and we had to pay cash if we needed medical help.

* Safety:

Overall, I felt safe. When I was with the program, the director did a great job of making us feel safe and teaching us how to navigate the city. However, there are often times when you have to be very aware of your surroundings and cautious with who you trust.

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

Finances

* 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)

The most expensive part was obtaining the required documents, visas and plane tickets to get to Cameroon. However, once I was there, I could very easily live off of the small amount of money my parents could afford to send me.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is easier to arrive with cash and convert the money. It is rare/impossible to find places that credit/debit cards. You have to take money out of the ATM in order to get cash so be prepared to pay ATM fees. It is very difficult to get smaller bills which are crucial when it comes to paying for things. If you don't have small bills, stores either will turn you away, make you buy more expensive items or augment the prices to deceive you.

Language

* 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? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 220
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If possible, try to find examples or videos of people speaking with the local accent. Also, understand that there are many native languages spoken and many times they may speak a language you don't understand.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
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?
  • Food
  • Traveling
  • Scenery
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
  • n/a
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Cultural norms about women, sexuality and class.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Culture of Central African People

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor:
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I learned nothing from the class. The professor spoke for hours in class without giving any actual information about the cultures of Central Africa.
Credit Transfer Issues: Yes, professors at UCAC are not very helpful in providing you the documents you need to transfer credits and provide professors at Middlebury. Also, Middlebury had no established system for us to transfer classes.
Course Name/Rating:

History of Cameroon

Course Department: History
Instructor: Folfack
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Culture of Central African Peoples
Credit Transfer Issues: Yes, professors at UCAC are not helpful in providing the documents