Stretching from the fringes of the Sahara in the north to the borders of Congo and Gabon in the south, Cameroon is a striking study in diversity. The country’s four distinct geographic regions encompass everything from lush rain forests to rugged volcanic peaks, from spectacular waterfalls to the cruel beauty of the desert landscape. And Cameroon’s ethnic make-up is no less varied than its geography. The north is populated by Hausa, Fulbé, Sudanese, and Choa Arab peoples; in the west the Bamiléké are the largest ethnic group, followed by the Tiker and the Bamoun; and the area south of the River Sanaga is home to several Bantu groups, among them, Fang, Ewondo, Boulou, Eton, Bassa, Bakoko, and Douala. Combined with Cameroon’s colonial past of German, French, and British occupation, the country has a complicated ethnic identity.
The School for International Training’s (SIT) Cameroon Social Pluralism and Development Program is based in the capital city of Yaoundé. The program devotes itself to examining several contrasting influences in this diverse country, including urban and rural sociological factors, colonial and independent historical heritages, Anglophone and Francophone cultural facets, and rain forest and desert geography.
Fall semester: early September to mid-December. Spring semester: late January to mid-May.
Fields of Study
Central African history, arts, anthropology, economic development, politics, religion, sociology, French language.
7.5 GPA required. Three recent semesters of college-level French or the equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in French. Pomona students are part of a competitive national pool. A college-level course with African content is highly recommended. Students must submit a copy of a valid passport at the time of application.
Number of Students
3 or more. Total group approximately 20.
The program is conducted primarily in French. The program begins in Yaoundé and during the first week of the program the academic director and other contributors conduct an orientation to the program and to life in Cameroon. After the initial orientation, the following components of the academic program begin: French for Development Studies (1.0 Pomona credits); Social Pluralism and Development Seminar (1.5 Pomona credit); Field Study Seminar (.5 Pomona credit); and an Independent Study Project (ISP) (1.0 Pomona credit).
There is no P/NC option on this program.
Students live in a variety of accommodations, including hostels and homestays; there also is some camping while on excursions.