Text, photos and video by Monsi A. Serrano
Filipinos by and large have a strong desire to widen their horizons by traveling abroad for tour or study.
Looking back, history tells of national heroes who had sought the best available education in Europe as a means of contributing to the Motherland. Back then, an education earned in Europe was the only way patriotic Filipinos could fight for independence from Spanish rule.
Fast-forward 120 years to now, Europe still offers the best education to a freer world that has grown to embrace globalization and multi-racial co-existence. All the more has this brand of education become attractive to young and ambitious Filipinos.
Thankfully, the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines and embassies of EU-member states are giving a slice of this pie-in-the-sky dream to academic standouts in the Philippines.
On October 26, the European Higher Education Fair 2019 (EHEF) will take place at the Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
EHEF will feature more than 30 universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden and Spain.
This year’s theme, “Study in Europe: EUr Journey to Excellence,” establishes EU’s position as an outstanding center of quality and excellence in higher education.
The fair will provide opportunities for students to interact directly with EU universities and HEI representatives to gain comprehensive information about their study programs. They can also look forward to country presentations from EU member states and listen to testimonials from EU alumni and past Erasmus+ scholars.
Why study in Europe?
Pursuing postgraduate studies in the EU offers many advantages and possibilities, not to mention, the ideal atmosphere for scholarly activities. The EU remains an excellent destination for academic and scientific research programs, particularly specialized and advanced study courses in Engineering, Architecture, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Information Technology.
The other tangible benefits of an educational experience in the EU include learning new languages, immersing in diverse cultures, and joining an international network of students and peers.
The EU also provides scholarship schemes to foster student mobility and academic excellence such as the Erasmus+ program, which encourages students from partner countries to take higher education courses in the EU.
Scholarship dreams come true
This year, 66 Filipino students have been awarded Erasmus+ scholarships that will allow them to take MA courses in various EU universities. More than 400 Filipino students have already pursued their academic dreams in several EU-member states and have successfully made their mark in their chosen fields.
Some of the EU alumni and past Erasmus+ scholars were shared their experience with THEPHILBIZNEWS and while they had to leave their home and family during their academic journey, living and studying in Europe has both broadened their horizons and helped them appreciate their heritage.
One of them, Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco, who has made it her mission to share scholarship opportunities and guide young Filipino academic prospects, said: “We Filipinos are not supposed to be intimidated. Magagaling tayo (We’re good). Wherever we are planted, we will grow and bloom, and that was what all of us proved during our study (abroad).”
Dr. Elmaco, president of the Marie Curie Aumni Southeast Asia chapter, graduated cum laude when she took up her Ph. D. degree under a scholarship in Europe.
“I am sure, our younger generations can see for themselves how they will also excel as they take the journey to explore European Higher Education,” Elmaco said.
Also speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS was Ella Laxa Pangilinan, the youngest EHEF Goodwill Ambassador who earned her degree at the Florence Design Academy in Italy. “Studying in Europe is a dream that almost everyone thinks about. And for me, I realized a lot of things especially when I started to explore the places in the Europe. How the people in Europe take pride of their artisan prowess. I said to myself, we have a lot of equally-great, talented Filipinos back home,” Pangilinan said.
“Then that prompted me to really know more about my own Filipino culture. That is why I encourage my fellow youth to go out and see it for yourself on what being educated in Europe means in your life and bring back your learnings to the Philippines,” she added.
LPU partners with EHEF
This year, Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) has been chosen as one of the venue hosts of EHEF 2019. Vice President for Administration Maria Teresa Pilapil, who also heads the Registrar’s Office, the LPU Cavite Campus is proud to be hosting the fair’s second leg on 28 October.
“When CHED contacted us if we were willing to host EHEF at Lyceum, we did not hesitate to welcome this opportunity,” Pilapil said. “The LPU is very open to this kind of partnership. Needless to say, we have been attending various educational related events abroad to explore how we can further learn from other international educational institutions and bring them to the Philippines and to our students.”
The LPU Cavite Campus is dubbed as the first and only resort campus in the Philippines.
The EHEF is organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, together with EU Member States’ Embassies and Cultural Groups, and in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED),
The Philippine Business and News is a proud media partner of the EHEF 2019.