By Monsi A. Serrano
In the coming weeks, 66 Filipino students will pursue their academic dreams in several countries of the European Union (EU) after securing scholarships under the EU’s Erasmus + Programme.
The Erasmus+ Programme will allow them to pursue MA programs in different universities across the European continent. The scholarship is structured to allow students to pursue their studies in more than one country giving them the opportunity to benefit from the academic expertise and culture of more than just one university.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen announced that the Philippines ranks sixth globally as among the countries with the biggest number of scholars.
Jessen has congratulated the Erasmus+ students and urged them to become ambassadors of goodwill and agents of change to help strengthen the partnership between the EU and the Philippines.
He also encouraged the Erasmus+ scholars to give back to their country after they finish their program in the EU. This program gives life changing opportunities for Filipino students to experience living the European culture, learning European languages, and being integrated into the European society for one to two years.
The Erasmus + promotes the EU as a centre of excellence in learning and making student mobility a reality for EU and non-EU citizens alike. Ambassador Jessen has also cited the efforts of the Erasmus alumni led by Kate Ramil who has also initiated the Campus Erasmus to further promote the scholarship and mobility programme in the country and in other regions. The EU Delegation in collaboration with the Erasmus alumni has also been holding information sessions to promote the Erasmus+ programme as well as the European Higher Education Fairs. The next European Higher Education Fair is scheduled on 26 October 2019 at the Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong.
The Erasmus + Programme is among, the leading international academic mobility programs in the world, and students from the Philippines have benefited considerably from it.
Ayee Macaraig an incoming Erasmus Master in Journalism, Media and Globalization student, said: “The Erasmus Mundus scholarship offers not just academic excellence but also an international, multicultural perspective. It is a ticket to understanding other cultures while rediscovering our own. I’m thrilled about representing my country in Europe. I believe there is immense value in discovering new cultures, appreciating similarities and differences, and respecting diversity.”
Macaraig will first study at Aarhus University and the Danish School of Media and Journalism (Denmark) and then at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
Meanwhile, Jayson Gabriel D. Pinza, incoming student of Joint Master Degree (JMD) in Groundwater and Global Change (GroundwatCH), said: “I decided to pursue JMD GroundwatCH because I have wanted to learn new and updated knowledge, skills, and techniques in hydrogeology, which I plan to bring here in my home country (the Philippines). As an aspiring hydrogeologist, I plan to use what I have learned to contribute in solving rampant and relevant issues in hydrogeology in the country. As a passionate teacher, I also wish to impart what I have learned to future aspiring Filipino hydrogeologists . With these, as a former scholar of my country for 8 years, I hope that I would be able to give back to my country and serve the nation well in my own way.”
Jason is going to study in three institutions: Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal), Stichting IHE Delft – IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (The Netherlands) and Technische Universität Dresden (Germany).