Based on previously unused primary sources including extensive interviews in Cameroon, personal journals, diaries, responses to questionnaires, and a variety of secondary sources, this study is a critical analysis of US study abroad programs in Africa. Using the University of Dayton Cameroon Immersion program as a case study, the work examines different aspects of experiential learning including selection, orientation, activities of US college students in Cameroon, post-immersion meetings, and impact of program. The nation of Cameroon and University of Dayton are uniquely ideal for the study as Cameroon is considered “Africa in miniature” and serves as a window to understanding many of Africa’s political, economic, cultural, and social complexities. Located in the American Midwest, the University of Dayton, while unique, shares many similarities with other American universities.
The study expands the boundaries of scholarship on study abroad. By comparing the impact of the African experience on students to that of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in that continent, the study opens up avenues for comparative analyses. Africa is vital to the global community and, with its complex political, economic, cultural, and social systems, offers important lessons to understanding students’ ability to adapt to change in a rapidly changing global environment.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/julius_amin/31/