Cameroon: Yaounde

Program Snapshot
Semester: Fall, Spring, or Full Year
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates: Fall: late August to mid-December, Spring: mid-January to late May
Program Focus: Language Intensive
Prerequisites: For non-majors and non-minors, two years of college French (through 202 or equivalent). For minors, two-and-a-half years of college French (through 301 or equivalent). For majors, three years of college French (through 321 or equivalent). GPA of 3.0 required in French coursework. Students must satisfy the Words and Numbers CORE requirement before participating in an overseas program.
Campus Contact: Isabelle DeMarte
Associate Professor of French, 503-768-7426

Program Design

In cooperation with Middlebury College, this program provides language intensive academic and experiential learning through a rigorous curriculum comprised of university courses and program-specific courses. As Cameroon’s economic and political capital, Yaoundé is the ideal place for cultural immersion into Francophone African life combined with rigorous academic study.

Students come in at the intermediate-advanced level of French and adhere to Middlebury’s language pledge to reap the benefits of linguistic immersion. By living and studying with Cameroonians and getting involved in the community through volunteer work, internships, and extracurricular activities, students can build authentic relationships and integrate fully into life in Yaoundé.

Based at the Université catholique d’Afrique centrale (UCAC), with all classes conducted entirely in French, students on this program will be able to take courses at the Middlebury College Center and alongside their Cameroonian peers at the university in several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Yaoundé is the capital of Cameroon and, with a population of more than 2.8 million, the second largest city in the country after the port city Douala. It lies in the Centre Region of the nation at an elevation of about 2,500 ft above sea level. Dramatically spread over seven hills, Yaoundé features a host of art deco, independence-era and 1970s government buildings in various exuberant styles.

Onsite Staff: The Resident Director of the Middlebury School in Cameroon is Ariane Ngabeu. Ariane is from Cameroon, where she received her BA and MA degrees from the Université de Yaoundé I, and she comes to us most recently from Boston University, where she had a Presidential Fellowship for five years and where she was a Teaching Assistant in quite a number of courses both in French language and Francophone literature. She completed her PhD in French and Francophone literatures, with a dissertation entitled “Les enjeux de la modernité dans le roman africain au féminin: Werewere Liking, Angèle Rawiri et Ken Bugul.”

She has led two BU summer programs where students completed fieldwork in Cameroon on the Medumba language (Ariane is a native speaker of Medumba). Her current research focuses on issues of modernity in the postcolonial Africa, gender issues, immigration, history and memory.


Requirements Fulfilled:

General Education - This program fulfills the Global Perspectives general education requirement for students who successfully complete 8 or more semester credits.

Major Requirements: This program fulfills the overseas study requirements for the French Studies major, and the World Languages Major with French as the primary language.

Credits: Credit varies based on courses completed, but students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted.


Students at the Middlebury School in Cameroon take a combination of Middlebury Program courses and courses at the host university, the Université catholique d’Afrique centrale. 

Middlebury Program courses: Each semester, two program courses will be offered that focus on culture, social sciences, language, and literature. These will be taught in French by local faculty. 

University courses: The Université catholique d’Afrique centrale enrolls 4,000 students. Students take intensive courses for 4-6 weeks alongside Cameroonian peers in the beginning of the semester, and then take either two courses of 36 credit hours or three courses of 24 credit hours. Course offerings differ in the fall and spring semesters.

Fall Semester:

- Introduction à la science politique (24)
- Histoire des idées politiques (24)
- Enseignement social de l’église (24)
- Relations internationales (24)
- Culture, identités et mondialisation (24)
- Histoire de la pensée sociologique (24)
- Étude des auteurs d’anthropologie (24)
- Sociologie de la famille (24)
- Institution sociale et solidarité (24)
- Introduction à la psychologie générale (24)
- Église, Etat, et société (24)
- Droits de l’homme (24)
- Éthique familiale (24)
- Politiques économiques (24)
- Sociologie historique de l’Etat (24)
- Introduction à l’analyse économique (36)
- Sociologie générale (36)
- Introduction au droit (36)
- Introduction à l’anthropologie sociale (36)
- Sociologie politique (36)
- Partis politiques et système des partis (36)
- Analyse politique de l’Afrique (36)
- Psychologie générale (36)

Spring Semester:

- Sociologie urbaine (24)
- Morale fondamentale (24)
- Sociologie du travail (24)
- Sociologie des religions (24)
- Étude d’auteurs de sociologie (24)
- Sociologie des organisations (24)
- Introduction à l’anthropologie de la sante (24)
- Anthropologie politique (24)
- Géographie humaine et économique de l’Afrique centrale (24)
- Géopolitique et mondialisation (24)
- Sociologie électorale (24)
- Éthique générale (24)
- Droit constitutionnel et institutions politiques (36)
- Histoire de la pensée anthropologique (36)
- Régimes politiques (36)
- Anthropologie du genre (36)
- Démographie (36)
- Droit pénal général (36)
- Systèmes politiques contemporains (36)
- Analyse des conflits (36)
- Politique comparée (36)
- Droits des régimes matrimoniaux et des successions (36)
- Doit social (36)
- Culture des peuples d’Afrique Centrale (12)

Please note that course offerings may vary by semester - these lists are meant to give students an idea of the kinds of courses that are offered, but it isn’t guaranteed that all of these courses will be offered in a given semester.

Excursions: Field trips are organized by the program to take students out of the city and discover other regions of Cameroon. These excursions constitute an extension of the classroom learning environment, and provide valuable experiential learning opportunities for students to be exposed to, and interact with, local life and local systems. Independent travel may happen on weekends or during Spring Break, generally in-country and with host families.

Student Life

Housing: The Middlebury School in Cameroon provides living arrangements with families hosting a single student, a hallmark of all French Studies overseas studies programs.

Host families are typically upper middle-class families. They are usually able to accommodate dietary restrictions and afford students private rooms. They tend to live close to the city and academic activities. Students may use public transportation or affordable taxi transportation. The home environment is one where students are able to communicate exclusively in French, whether with their host families or with in-home staff with childcare and house responsibilities. Students are considered an integral part of their host families, supporting and expanding the immersive academic dimension characteristic of the whole program through the language pledge.

Extracurricular Activities: Students attend sports competitions at the UCAC, and socialize with locals through choir, dance and other activities.


2024-2025 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $40,962

Tuition: $32,197

Program Fee: $8,728

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals.

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to NSI): $1,500 - $3,000

Estimated Visa Fee: $182

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,906

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary application to Middlebury and will receive a separate notification letter of admittance. Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these similar materials to Middlebury. Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Yaounde airport (NSI), where they are met by Middlebury staff and transported to their homestays.

Visa: Students with a U.S. passport will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Cameroon.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Cameroon page.

Université catholique d’Afrique centrale