By Nikoletta Naydenova
Choosing a business course in the Philippines makes sense for a number of compelling reasons; being the fifth largest English-speaking nation in the world, this rich land has a lot to offer.
The Philippines – a place of enchanting landscapes, amicable, warm-hearted people and an endless summer. So far, so good, but as an academic destination, the south-eastern state is relatively unexplored, compared to some of its neighbours on the continent.
What you don’t know about this country, however, might be just what you need to convince yourself to start your university studies here. Being the seventh largest state in Asia, with a population of more than 100 million people, the Philippines is one of the most multicultural places on the planet. Here, people from all nationalities and ethnicities have crossed paths, leaving traces that are visible to this day. First a Spanish and then a US colony, the country has adopted the unique flare of Mexican and Spanish architecture, while Chinese culture has left a significant mark in the Filipino cuisine.
A mainly mountainous landscape is spread all over the 7,107 islands that make up the Philippines with more than 200 volcanoes, many of which still active. But don’t worry, there is a much bigger chance for you to burn on one of the thousands golden beaches on the island which have been ranked among some of the most beautiful in the world.
If you are, at this point, imagining yourself peacefully lying on the beach, sipping fresh coconut water, you are definitely on the right path. Instead of doing your course work in the library (which of course is always an option), you would most probably choose to read that chapter on international management on the sands, soaking up vitamin D and enjoying the refreshing breeze.
However, student experience in the Philippines is much more than the holiday-like life. Last year, the number of international students that came to do their degrees on the islands has increased from 8000 to more than 24 000. The educational system is entirely adopted by the US, however, the fees are nowhere near the American ones. If you decide to do your degree here, an average 4 year old course with approximately 21 modules will cost you around 30 000 dollars in total which is at least a quarter of what you will be paying in the states. The cheaper fees are not the biggest advantage from a financial point of view. Life in the Philippines is much less expensive than in Europe or America. Just imagine, a meal for one in a decent restaurant will cost you as much as 2 – 3 dollars. A monthly pass for using the transport in the big cities costs around $12 while the taxi tariffs don’t exceed $0.18!
The cheap lifestyle, however, does not mean a lousy economy. In fact, the Philippines is named the second fastest growing economy for 2015 after China. The country has rapidly gained its fame as a newly industrialised state which has transformed itself from one based on agriculture, to a manufacturing and service based. The capital Manila, is the country’s economic and cultural centre which is mainly characterized by production and trade of various goods such as textile, coconut oil, chemicals etc.
Studying a business degree in this booming economic environment is much more than a great opportunity – it is a real life lesson that you will most certainly not be thought in most western societies. The Philippines is probably one of the best examples of economic growth and if you want to explore the dos and don’ts of business on an international level, why not learn from first hand. Currently the 39th largest economy in the world, Goldman Sachs estimates that by the year 2050, the Philippines will go up to number 14. And these numbers mean more investments, more trade, more manufacturing and of course more opportunities, or in other words - a thriving environment for any aspiring financial and business guru.
And if you are one such individual, the Philippines has a large number of universities to choose from. All of the best institutions in the country have excellent business programs that provide an extensive learning experience which targets particular skills and niches in the business environment. Mapua Institute of Technology, for example, is one of the best places to pursue a degree in accounting or entrepreneurship studies. The institution is one of the largest in the country, founded in 1925 by the first ever Filipino registered architect. It also provides a number of scholarship opportunities - from the university body itself, the government and private commodities as well. Philippines best ranked institution for last year is De La Salle University, situated in the capital which is an internationally recognised Catholic institution and has one of the best colleges for business and management in the country. University of the Philippines is another well-acclaimed school with the largest student community in the country and more than 20 business courses to choose from.
The Philippines is also the home of some of the world’s leading private universities such as the Asian Institute of Management, which is one the most cutting edge schools on the continent. Founded in 1965 with the Harvard Business School, Asian academicians, and prominent business leaders, the institute designs its masters and executive programs to develop practising managers in Asia’s emerging markets.
And as markets in Europe and the US are increasingly overwhelmed by too many graduates and not enough job vacancies, considering a more prominent environment is the way forward. Whether you are Asian or are coming from a completely different cultural background, the prospect of a better future would be equally exciting. Plus with more than a half of the population speaking fluent English, you will either feel like home or master the language completely. But no matter what your situation is, the Philippines will welcome you warmly and will set you off for a unique student experience.
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