Marianna Heckendorn '16 - Yaoundé, Cameroon

Marianna Heckendorn '16, an international relations/French major, chose to study in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to complement her IR focus on African politics. “I have always been puzzled by the either negative or pitying portrayal of Africa in our media and the complex issue of aid,” says Heckendorn. Her goals for her study abroad in Cameroon include gaining personal exposure to Cameroon's politics and culture she's been studying, and to live in a homestay and speak French. One of her favorite experiences thus far was visiting a local NGO called ACDIC, which gained international fame with a successful campaign against cheap U.S. imports of frozen chicken in the early 2000s. “International trade and the effect of Western countries on developing countries' markets and farmers are two issues I'd like to study further,” Heckendorn says. The Cameroon program culminates with a four-week independent research project, which she hopes to use as a starting point for her senior thesis.