One of the most diverse and influential countries in all of Africa, Cameroon is home to a wide array of different landscapes, languages, and cultures stemming from all across the continent. Deciding to teach abroad in Cameroon will be the beginning of a tremendous journey in which you can explore the country’s many different regional influences and complex historical developments, while also contributing your time and effort to a worthwhile cause in helping to educate for the nation’s future.
Cameroon sits on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa and is bordered by six countries to the north, east, and south (Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo). It has a tremendous diversity of landscapes including deserts, rainforests, mountains, and beaches; in fact Cameroon has earned the nickname “Africa in Miniature” because it contains most of the major ecosystems and climates found on the continent.
With a population of over 2.5 million citizens, the capital city of Yaoundé is one of the most popular destinations where to teach abroad in Cameroon. Yaoundé rests between the Sanaga and Nyong rivers in a southern tropical zone of the country, and is home to many of the country’s most important cultural and political institutions.
Douala, the country’s largest city by a small margin over Yaoundé, is another popular place to teach abroad in Cameroon. Home to a majorly important port and the region’s largest international airport, Douala is a largely developed city that serves as one of the most important economic and commercial hubs throughout all of West and Central Africa.
Other destinations where you might look to teach abroad in Cameroon include the much smaller cities of Kumba and Buea. Because it is such a diverse country, each of these locations offers up a highly distinctive experience of Cameroonian culture from the next; so do your research and choose wisely!
Teaching Positions in Cameroon
Cameroon has one of the highest school enrollment rates on the continent, making it a very enticing destination where to teach abroad. Many of its schools, however, remain consistently understaffed or otherwise under-serviced, and so international educators are welcomed with open arms to help contribute. Whether you aspire to a career in education or not, this can be a great way to develop invaluable communication skills while also making a positive impact on local communities.
Cameroon’s school system is largely divided between an English and French medium of education, and on top of these there are some 200 more commonly spoken languages throughout the country. Teaching English is generally the easiest way to find a teaching position abroad in Cameroon, though you can also explore placements instructing other subjects such as science and math as well.
Teaching placements in Cameroon are available at all different levels, from young children to adult learners and everywhere in between. Most educators choose to teach abroad in Cameroon for at least one academic year, although shorter placements are also available, especially if you are volunteering as opposed to being brought on for a paid teaching job.
Salaries & Costs
Cameroon is a poor country and so teaching positions abroad here are commonly found on a volunteer basis. Some international or private schools will offer to pay you for your services, though don’t expect to take away a huge salary. Nevertheless the country remains quite affordable for most educators coming from industrialized countries, so on-the-ground expenses need not be of overwhelming concern. The local currency is the Central African CFA Franc, which exchanges at about 600 XAF to $1 USD.
Accommodation & Visas
The type of available accommodations while you teach abroad in Cameroon will vary depending on where your placement is. Generally you can expect to find your own apartment in the cities, whereas in rural areas homestays are more popular options. Wherever you end up, expect to be comfortable, but don’t expect an excessive degree of luxury; for example commodities such as air conditioning, hot water, and internet connection might not be available in many locations.
Educators from most countries will have to apply for a visa in order to teach abroad in Cameroon. Generally you will need the endorsement of your host school or teach abroad program in order to obtain documentation; for more information regarding your individual circumstances, you can check out our Cameroon Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Impact. Large sectors of Cameroon’s population deal with many challenges stemming from poverty and lack of social services; teaching abroad is a great way to contribute to education, which is often overlooked in face of more urgent matters.
Diversity. Cameroon is home to a wide range of different cultures and ethnicities stemming in origin from all over the African continent. As a melting pot, it is a very rewarding place place to teach abroad.
Growth. Lastly, teaching abroad in Cameroon will be an unparalleled personal growth experience. You may be teaching valuable skills to your students, but you will be amazed by how much more you learn from them in return.