The country Philippines is open for all foreigners. They are gladly welcome to the country whatever their purpose is, whether it’s for vacation as a tourist, to build a business, to migrate and many more as long as they follow the government’s legal policy for foreign entry. One of the main reasons why foreign nationals, particularly the youth, seek to live in the Philippines is to get education from the country’s premier schools and universities.
According to Executive Order 285 of former President Joseph Estrada entitled “Amending the Guidelines Governing the Entry and Stay of Foreign Students in the Philippines and the Establishment of an Inter-Agency Committee on Foreign Students for the Purpose”: “Whereas, it is the policy of the government to continuously to promote the Philippines as a center for education in the Asia Pacific Region by (i) encouraging foreign students to study in the country, (ii) developing awareness of the Philippine educational system among neighboring countries, and (iii) allowing duly accepted foreign students to avail of the facilities of the Philippine educational system; Whereas, an increasing number of foreign students have expressed the desire to study in the Philippines, and graduate from Philippine school, colleges, and universities; Whereas, the government policy of attraction of foreign students to come to the country will help boost the country’s prospects to improve its economic environment.”
There are students from more than 65 countries that choses the schools in the Philippines for them to study, these country includes USA, European countries such as France and Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea to name a few. Half of the foreign students come from East Asia, particularly from China, Korea, and Taiwan, according to the UNESCO. While lots of foreign students are found anywhere in the world—like in US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, or Japan—some cannot ignore studying in the Philippines.
According to the data coming from Bureau of Immigration in the year 2017 alone they have issued a total of 18,713 Special Study Permit (SSP) for primary and secondary education, short courses, Non-degree, exchange students, minor undergraduate students and 14,848 conversion and extension for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. According to 2014 – 2017 data most of the nationality of foreign students are South Koreans with a total of 17,583 next are Indians with a total of 14,138, Chinese have a total of 4,401, Japanese have a total of 3,918, Iranians have a total of 3,083, Indonesian have a total of 2,592 and Americans have a total of 1,592.
As the world’s 3rd largest English-speaking nation, the Philippines provide huge knowledge resources, up-to-date instruction, and a multicultural learning atmosphere with its 93.9% literacy rate. Foreign students do not only get the chance of earning excellent education, but they also find ways of enjoying their stay in the Philippines.
Here are some of the reasons as to why foreigners prefer to study in the Philippines:
Cheap cost of living. Foreign students can live satisfactorily with the Philippines’ affordable lifestyle and monetary status. With only less than $60 or Php3,000 a month, depends on what type of unit you’re going to rent, dormitories are much cheaper than apartments, but apartments are comfortable to live in, you can also look for a room for rent, there are a lot of properties for rent here in the country. Foreigners can easily afford their tuition fee in a much cheaper price compared to other foreign countries. All other expenses like food, clothing, school tuition and the daily cost of living are much cheaper here compared to many countries around the globe.
A touch of International Education. Most Philippine Universities and Schools offer many international courses and subjects that are fit for foreign students. Not only that, education institutions here also implement certain ways of western teaching, enabling for students to advance their interpersonal and intellectual growth. Most Philippine professors are the best of their fields, completed Graduate and Doctorate Studies. There are also institutions that established an Indian only batches so that students can easily adjust.
Pleasant Filipino Attitude. My cousin who is half Japanese told me that she is having so much fun studying in the Philippines, she made a lot of friends in school, all of them are very pleasant to interact with and everyone welcomes her to their home, which is a remarkable Filipino trait of being hospitable. She told me that one of her favorite Filipino’s trait is welcoming foreign visitors and willingness in helping one towards any situation. She remarks on Filipinos are easy to be friends with. She also told me her amazement to Filipinos’ strong faith in nature, love, and mostly in our Creator.
The weather and the great nature. The fair tropical weather of the Philippines makes it easy for foreigners to adjust. It also has some of the most beautiful sceneries the world has, keeping any student at a greater mood for studying.
Language is not a problem. The Philippines is culturally diverse country, and considering it as the third largest English Speaking nation in the world makes it the best choice for foreign students. Also, Philippines is a home of many talented linguists, self-taught language speakers—making Filipino people the best conversationalists in the world. Filipinos are also easy to adapt to foreign languages, making great efforts to make foreign people speak with ease.
I think foreigners who chose to study in the Philippines are just being practical and they totally made a good choice about it. I see many Koreans here in the city where I live in and I know they are here to study English in a much cheaper price, I often hear them communicate in English to Filipinos all the time, most especially when I eat to a restaurant, they converse really well although there accent makes it a bit unclear for some of the words that they are pronouncing, but it’s not that bad and there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
According to a teacher of Korean students, he ask them what they think about Filipinos an here are their answers:
Filipinos are a bunch of friendly people. They see the smiles of the everyday Filipino on the streets, in elevators, at public markets, in business meetings, inside pub houses, among others. Many of my students come to the Philippines because they feel Filipinos are easy to get along with; they are non-threatening and are highly hospitable. One even said most Koreans would not smile in the elevator when someone gets in but they are forced to when a Filipino smiles at them first.
Filipinos are religious and spiritual. South Koreans are witnesses to our many religious sites. There are shrines, churches and religious icons and artifacts in numerous tourist destinations. They see thousands march to the churches during Sunday and the Philippine laws follow the moral teachings of Christianity. Filipinos observe Christian holidays such as Christmas, the holy week and many of their Catholic schools are closed on certain special occasions in honor of Mary, the Mother of Christ.
Filipinos are lazy and do not value time. Though quality jobs are scarce in the country, Koreans see those Filipinos who loiter on the streets as lazy individuals. They think if you do not find a job to feed your family and yourself, you are lazy. Perhaps, the truth is that the hot weather prevents many Filipinos from taking grueling jobs outdoors such as in building construction and in field sales. And also, there is a lack of quality jobs in this country which makes many Filipinos linger as jobless people; they would rather stay at home than work for companies which pay them meager income and with unfavorable working conditions.
Another thing is that Koreans think Filipinos are always late. Yes, many Filipinos are always late at work but this does not make them lazy. The traffic situation along EDSA and all over Metro Manila is almost like a legendary characteristic of this country. Many come to work 1 to 2 hours later than their appointed time because of this.
Filipino women are easy to get. The Philippines may be a Third World country but it does not follow that most of its Filipino women are just after the foreigners’ money. Many of Korean men frequently visit our local night clubs and see that the women there are fighting one another for their attention. Sometimes when I walk by into one of the streets here, I often see those Korean guys in a group together with their hired prostitutes. One of them even mentioned that he dated one of these girls for only $10. While life is hard for most Filipino women, many of them look for foreign men who qualify as would-be lifetime partners and do not count the amount in their fat bank accounts.
Filipinos are resilient despite their problems and are very positive about life. There have been countless natural calamities in this country and none of them ever got to make it tumble and fall. Filipinos bend wherever the wind takes them. Evidenced by their sunny disposition and positive outlook in life, Filipinos generally brave whatever crisis comes along their way. Maybe, unlike many South Koreans who take things very seriously, a quality that is probably attributable to their country’s rapid economic development, Filipinos live one day at a time, worrying not about their towering concerns and believing that God will do the rest.
Education is a big deal for Filipinos, in fact, if you’re whole family is a degree holder, it would be considered a success for parents and would make them really proud. I think this is also the reason why there is a great competition in all academic institutions here in the Philippines. Every institution should have a field of specialty, they make sure that all the graduates are excellent, accountable and globally competent individuals. It is also a requirement for college instructors to earn their master’s or doctorate degree while teaching tertiary education for them to be highly effective professionals. My brother has a master’s degree in Information Technology and teaches college students, he told me that they always held a meeting to check if the curriculum is still effective and updated for the sake of students education and knowledge. This just proves that education are taken seriously here in the country.
I would highly recommend Philippines to my foreign friends, because why not? There are a lot of institutions to choose from. They can totally enjoy the country during weekends. They can even visit beautiful places, there are a lot of islands and destinations to explore and they are very affordable. I’ve been to different beaches here in the country and there is always this foreigner whose taking their time to appreciate the beauty of nature and a breath of fresh air away from the city, because that is one way to relax our mind and body. After having serious lessons in their classrooms, a foreign student can relax by swimming, surfing, diving, and snorkeling in numerous pristine beaches anywhere, or unwind in some of the island’s heritage sites like the man-made rice terraces, marine parks, mountains, underground rivers, and other tourist hideaways that depict Asian and European architecture. If these are not the places for them, they can still enjoy hanging out in countless five-star hotels and restaurants, entertainment shows, shopping malls, and cafes.
And since Philippines have so many foreigners around, I think it’s not that hard for a certain nationality to move here because every race can create their own community to be able to adjust easily in the country.