I studied abroad with the Development and Social Change Program of the International Training School in Yaounde Cameroon in the fall of 2018. It provided me with scholarship funds and 15 credits. Cameroon is located in Central Africa, bordered by Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, and Guinea. French and English are the two official languages in Cameroon. I was originally supposed to attend the Carleton College program, but it was canceled due to its continuation Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.
I went to Cameroon because my parents are Cameroonian and I wanted to have the experience of seeing my country of origin for myself, and also because of the opportunities it provided me professionally and academically. I was able to completely immerse myself in the bilingual culture, which helped me with my language skills. Also, I have been able to learn about the culture, development and social changes within Cameroon and I successfully Completed Training with a non-profit organization Anishra, which stands for the African Network to Combat Illiteracy, Conflict and Violation of Human Rights.
While studying abroad, I did a job to interview With my grandfather who was a diplomat in Cameroon and chief of police, and I was able to share it as a post on my travel blog I created to document my experience abroad. I am grateful for those memories since his recent death. Had I not made this trip, I would have completely deprived myself of this memory.
I also worked with a local school and raised funds for primary school students who were refugees and those displaced by the Anglophone crisis, and were able to provide them with nearly $500 in school supplies. It’s one of the things I celebrate a lot about studying abroad.
Studying abroad also brings challenges, and it is important to know what type of program is best for you. I’ve dealt with my fair share of language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, and encountered individuals who made stereotypical assumptions with limited world views. These challenges taught me to exercise more self-control than ever before, and showed me how important it is to educate others rather than offend. You can find out more about your study abroad experience by to watch my youtube video. Overall, this experience taught me gratitude, purpose, and resilience. I would never be over that, in the best of ways. I think everyone should study abroad if they can, and it’s possible! If you need a starting point on how to study abroad I guess reading This article will help as well.
Lydia Macondo is a senior student in Strategic Communications Major in Liberal Studies High School and attends Hampton University. She loves telling stories and sharing other people’s stories across different platforms. She has a brand called The HBCU Experience where she shares the culture, history, and legacy of HBCUs on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. As a graduate, she plans to continue her studies in business and communications and will start working in those fields while pursuing a PhD in Education. Check out these and her other initiatives at LinkedIn And Instagram.