Yaoundé: Safer Than You Might Think

Before opening our program in Cameroon, we conscientiously weighed the risks inherent in the region and we continue to do so with each new development.  But what we have found is that Yaoundé, Cameroon isn't the story that the media portrays of Cameroon as a whole.

kyler city.jpgIslamic extremists are present in the far north region of the country, but when you couple the distance with the realities of transportation to that area, Yaoundé is really much farther away from the violence than the map shows it to be.  

Our program is very small, which means our director is in close contact with the students as well as their host families and is able to take an active role in all aspects of the program, including constant vigilance of the well-being of our students. All of our students are housed with local families in an upper middle class sector of the city. They spend the first few days of orientation learning about keeping themselves safe, which has much more to do with big city street smarts than with any problems endemic to Cameroon.  

There is a group trip each semester, led by our program director and other staff. This is a great way for students to get to see village life in Cameroon under the guidance of local experts, something that is difficult to arrange for oneself.  

All students are covered by medical insurance during their time in Cameroon, and we encourage students to seek treatment even for mild illness.  In the event of a medical or security emergency, Middlebury contracts with Global Rescue for evacuation service. 

When asked about how he felt in Cameroon, one student remarked: "Cameroonians are cool people. Sure, there are some folks who want to mess with the foreigners, but I only ever encountered good-natured heckling. I never felt threatened by someone. By and large, Cameroonians are interesting, laid back, and sweet people. And on the Middlebury program, you have lots of opportunities to get to know them."

So come on--let us help you get to know them!