By Jennifer McNeill
- Deciding to continue your higher studies in a country outside of your own is an exciting and brave venture… and the Philippines cannot be overlooked as an attractive choice in Southeast Asia. Its diverse and multi-lingual culture, its low cost of living, its beautiful scenery and the prestige of its educational establishments have made the Philippines a popular choice for study – with 5,000 international students currently reaping the benefits available there.
As a result of its culturally diverse history, the Philippines is an Asian country unlike any other. Situated in Southeast Asia, the Philippines spent three hundred years as a Spanish colony followed by fifty years under American rule, fusing Philippine culture into a rich blend of both Eastern and Western influences. With a distinct and modern Hispanic-American appearance, its Asian roots are still firmly implanted within the family structure and traditional customs. This unique cultural identity is most often expressed through creative means such as a varied island-to-island cuisine, an abundant selection of art galleries and museums, the ink of its traditional tribal tattoos and the colour and movement of its street parties and festivals.
An important factor when considering life as an international student is how you might linguistically move around inside your host country. While most countries would require additional language lessons in order to be understood in everyday interaction, the Philippines is a pleasant exception. It is not just the only bilingual country in Asia; it is the 3rd largest English speaking country in the world. English is the official language used in school from kindergarten through university and as a result the citizens are predominantly fluent. Additionally, you’ll be able to enjoy TV, radio and cinema as if you were at home as the majority of media entertainment contains English language programming.
3.Low Cost of Living
Life in the Philippines is considerably cheaper than life in a Western country which will be a large factor in deciding where to continue with higher learning. The Philippines provides the same quality of education as Western countries at a fraction of the cost, from rent prices and tuition fees to the cost of having an active social life. This means that students need not worry about the financial burden of continuing their education as even a very limited budget will support a comfortable lifestyle.
4.Tropical Climate and Scenery
The Philippines is ideal for lovers of tropical weather as the country has two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The warmer months are between March and October which is when heavy rainfall is expected. Temperatures then cool down and the country dries up between November and February but will remain relatively warm compared to most Western countries. The Philippines is an aesthetically beautiful country, an undervalued treasure for all lovers of nature. Its islands are home to immaculate beaches and coral reefs teeming with life and throughout the country there are numerous waterfalls, rainforests and mountainscapes to be marvelled. The Philippines is a true natural paradise with no shortage of sites to see when not in class.
The Philippines places a great deal of importance on education and its impressive 93.9% literacy rate is a testament to that. Its educational institutions, which follow the US college system, have a high academic calibre - particularly the University of the Philippines which is consistently ranked the country’s top University. The most popular universities for both study abroad programmes and full-time enrolment are generally located in the country’s capital of Manila however, depending on subject, there are other universities throughout the country. Once the University application has been accepted, the process to obtain a student visa for the Philippines is appealingly straightforward, making the incredible experience of studying in the Philippines more attainable than imagined.
Find out more about studying in Asia