The Ethnographic Field School in Cameroon is designed to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct research in African communities. In consultation with the instructor, each student selects a topic for investigation, collects and analyzes data, and prepares a written report of findings. Recent researchers have investigated gender issues, the legal system, traditional medicine, sorcery and witchcraft, aspects of health care, fishing practices, agriculture, water quality, and women's ceremonies.

Location The summer field school is located in Cameroon, West Africa. Cameroon is a diverse country, with both English and French as official languages. In addition, there are approximately 280 indigenous languages spoken. Geographically, Cameroon ranges from dense rain forests in the south, to the desert Sahel in the north. During past years, the summer field school has been located in either Limbe, Southwest Province, or in Bamenda, Northwest Province. Limbe is a coastal town, while Bamenda is in the nearby highlands. Both are located in the English-speaking region of Cameroon and provide a wide range of possibilities.

Schedule The ethnographic field school usually runs for six weeks, from late May to early July. Exact dates are scheduled in the spring, based on availability of flights. Returning from Cameroon, students continue the research process by preparing a written report due at the end of the summer. Students, working from home, stay in touch with their instructor by telephone and e-mail.
The field school is offered every other year. The next program is scheduled for summer 2003.

Housing and Meals Living arrangements vary from year to year. In the past, we have rented rooms together as a group or placed students with individual families for home-stays. Specifics will depend on availability and the number of participants. Our liaisons at the Universities of Buea and Yaounde assist us in locating appropriate housing. Students cook for themselves, eat with home-stay families, or eat out. Many tropical fruits and vegetables are available in the market, and restaurants serve a variety of dishes. Sampling local cuisines is encouraged and is an important part of the anthropological experience.

Credit For satisfactory completion of the course, each student will receive 2 course credits, the equivalent of 8 semester hours. This course is taken for a letter grade. Any anthropology or sociology major who succesfully participates in the summer field school will fulfill the graduation requirement of ANTHRO/SOCIO 240: Qualitative Methods.

Prerequisites In addition to generally good academic standing, the basic prerequisite for participating in the course is completion of at least one previous anthropology course, preferably Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Exceptions have been made for appropriate alternative course work. French language is not required because we will be primarily living and working in the Anglophone area. However, anyone with some French skills will find them useful.

Costs Due to fluctuating airline ticket prices, exact costs change from year to year. The program fee for 2001 was approximately $6,150. The fee includes roundtrip airfare, room and board, in-country travel, tuition, International Student Identity Card, visa fees, and orientation expenses. Not included in the program fee are required medical and accident insurance and personal expenses. The costs of passports, inoculations, required medicines, and books may be around $400 and are not covered by the program. Dickinson students who are eligible for financial aid should inquire about options for summer financial assistance at the Financial Aid Office.

Medical Each student is responsible for obtaining the necessary inoculations/immunizations and medications before leaving. Vaccinations for yellow fever, typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and meningitis are required. In addition, malaria prophylactics must be taken before, during, and after the trip. Preparation and reasonable caution are usually sufficient to insure good health during your stay.

Applications Apply early. To apply, you will need to request two references from professors and write a short essay describing why you want to participate in the course. A basic health exam and transcripts from the Registrar's office are also required. Application forms may be obtained from the Office of Global Education, Dickinson College, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013-2896. (Tel: 717-245-1341; E-mail:

For more information:
Professor Ann Hill
Anthropology Department
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013
(717) 245-1659