International Partnership Brings 16 Cameroon Students to SUNY Canton


SUNY Canton has a record number of international students on campus from PKFokam Institute of Excellence in the city of Yaoundé, located in Cameroon, Africa.

Sixteen students opted to complete the final year of their college education in St. Lawrence County after fulfilling requirements at their home institution. Erin Lassial, SUNY Canton’s director of International Programs, said the college makes a holistic approach to ensure international student success.

A group of SUNY Canton’s Cameroon Students stand outside of the International Programs office.
Cameroon to Canton – A group of SUNY Canton’s Cameroon Students stand outside of the International Programs office. Pictured (l to r) are Danielle Joanna Nguimbous, Brian Njoh Mokom, Hugues Beugeuh Neguem, Ivana Tchouala Tiayack, Aissatou Arfat Adamou, Laeticia Rudie Nyom, Bryan Wilfried Yossa Kegwe, Viny Mbakam Mbakam, Guylaine Honoree Moteka Enanobel, Noe Desire Junior Ikoue, Yves-Armel Mebenga Onana, Steve Fodjo Tebeu, Endale Esther Kouokam Tamga, Ulrich Wilfried Feukouo, and Yvan Fotso Tekam.

“They come to us only knowing each other,” Lassial said. “I’m really proud of the way the entire campus steps up to welcome our students.”

The newest group has quickly become involved with the Student Government Association. Some have served as Student Ambassadors with the Admissions Office, and others are participating in the Presidential Internship program. “They have a huge impact on our campus community,” Lassial said. “They certainly add value to the entire campus experience.”

Yvan F. Tekam of Yaoundé came to SUNY Canton during his final year of college to study Management. He said that he would recommend the experience to other students seeking to study internationally and noted the North Country’s hospitality. “There are really great people here,” Tekam Fotso said. “SUNY Canton is really trying to make it easy for people from the outside to integrate.”

Yvan F. Tekam and Endale Esther Kouokam Tamga
International Scholars – Pictured (l to r) are Yvan F. Tekam of Yaoundé and Endale Esther Kouokam Tamga of Douala. The two students are completing their studies at SUNY Canton after completing three years at Cameroon’s PKFokam Institute of Excellence.

Tekam is looking for employment opportunities with the hope that he can find a position in the United States after graduation in May. His eventual goal is to launch a financial management enterprise. “My number one objective is to open my own business,” he said.

Endale Esther Kouokam Tamga of Douala said she shared a similar experience at her new home away from home in Canton. “Everybody is smiling,” she said. “In my country, we don’t smile very much. I like the vibe here. Everyone is very polite, very cool.”

Kouokam Tamga also has her eyes on entrepreneurship. She enrolled in the Finance program with the hopes of learning enough to successfully run her business or manage one of her family’s existing companies in Cameroon.

“I plan to do an OPT [internship],” Kouokam Tamga said about her goals after graduation. She noted a potential opportunity with the college’s industry partner, Day and Nite All Service, a commercial heating, plumbing, and refrigeration company in Long Island.

Both students mentioned one of their favorite classes, Strategic Policies, taught by School of Business and Liberal Arts Adjunct Instructor Jeremy K. Dutton. “We are learning about having a strategic vision and how to obtain our business goals,” Kouokam Tamga said. “He makes sure we understand everything before we leave class.”

They both noted that the most significant differences between Canton and Cameroon included the weather, population size, and food. Kouokam Tamga said, “The food is very different here. Everything is big size; the drinks or Cokes, everything is big-big.”

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.