Is It Hard to study abroad in the Philippines?

It can be difficult to study in Japan, even though there are many different universities and colleges in Japan, In this article, we will show some of the common challenges you may experience while studying in Japan. 

It is not hard to study in the Philippines depending on the school or course of study. They consider education as a prerequisite for the nation and global development, and the governments are taking proactive steps to ensure the students have the best experience they can ever imagine. Studying in the Philippines can be done without unbearable challenges. This means that with the right resource and information, you can make your study in the Philippines easy and possible.

Finding ease in your study abroad in the Philippines depends on the university and the city of the school is located. It depends on the program the student wants to study.

Many foreign students study in the Philippines because their means of communication, instruction, and business language is English, which makes communication a lot easier between them and the citizens. The Philippines is one of the five largest English-speaking countries in the world having the highest English literacy rate in Asia.

How easy you find your studies in the Philippines also depends on the level of degree you want and how well you can balance your academic workload and social life. Some students find it hard to achieve this balance so one aspect affects the other. You should be able to find this balance while studying at any level. 

Let’s take a look at some information about studying in the Philippines such as the educational standard, cultural differences, and how you can overcome these challenges regardless of where you are coming from.

Educational Standard

The educational standard and entry requirement in the Philippines is not as high as in other countries. To study in the Philippines, you need to have certain qualities and educational background which I will point out in this section.

The Philippines have three official languages which are English, Filipinos, and Spanish. However, English is the most commonly used language in the Philippines. While applying to schools, you will be required to meet most schools’ English proficiency requirements by submitting your English proficiency results especially if the program will be delivered in English.

You can take either IELTS or TOEFL to prove this and you can also take other proficiency exams depending on the requirement of your school or the program. Some schools may require that you write an essay on a given topic to check your proficiency in the language.

However, some schools may waive English proficiency tests for you if you are from an English-speaking country or if you were taught in English throughout your previous education in your home country. 

To enroll for Master’s studies in the Philippines, you should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution. The degree should be officially recognized by your state and can either be public or private.

Also, you must have maintained a Cumulative Weighted Average Grade (CWAG) of 2.00 or better at the end of each academic year in your graduate courses for a master’s degree in the Philippines. 

A master’s degree lasts up to one or two years while a doctorate in the Philippines can last up to 5 years. However, A Ph.D. in education usually lasts for two years. 

Cultural Differences

When you arrive in the Philippines for your studies as an international student, you will meet and experience a different culture from what you are used to in your home country. This new culture is usually different from the western culture so you may need to keep an open mind when leaving your home country if you are not already used to it.

Filipinos are very friendly and welcoming. They always want to learn about other people’s cultures as much as you want to learn about theirs. They respect people and their culture regardless of where they are coming from. You will find it easy to make friends there due to their friendly and welcoming nature. 

There is a Christianity dominance in the Philippines over Islam. You will find that a good number of families are Catholics and they take their religion with uttermost seriousness and reverence. This is why they can be against certain social issues such as divorce or LGBT claims.

They have close family ties and this forms the bedrock of their political and social choices. They put family before anything and anyone else. Young people also don’t leave their families except based on marriage else you find most grown-ups still in their parent’s homes. 

In the Philippines, most people now dress in the western way, especially the young ones who have been influenced by the American culture. Old people still prepare to dress in their traditional way. You don’t have to worry about how people dress in the Philippines, you can dress casually as a student in the Philippines and you won’t have eyes turning at you. 

English is one of the most commonly used languages in the Philippines. Other languages include Filipinos, Spanish, and others. You will find a handful of people who speak English in the Philippines so you won’t find it hard to communicate in English if you are from an English-speaking country.

However, you may find that they speak English in a different tone and accent than you are used to so you need to take time to hear them. 

Cost of living/Financial barrier

The standard of living in the Philippines is not as high as that of most countries. What takes up the chunk of your accommodation fee is the rent. So you may want to start cutting things down from here so it can positively affect the rest of your living costs. 

In general, university towns outside of Manila, the capital city can be less expensive compared to living in Manila. Other places such as Quezon city can also be more expensive so you want to look out for less expensive regions of the country to live in as a student.  

On-campus lodging is typically in dormitories, with or three humans according to room. Residents share bathrooms, bathrooms, and showers. This can be another affordable option for you when it comes to finding low-cost accommodation. 

Food is not expensive in the Philippines as you can budget an average cost of about $200-$300 per month for your feeding. You can also get a decent meal for as low as $3-$5 in an inexpensive restaurant. if you decide to eat out sometimes. However, cooking at home can help you save much more than eating out so you can get groceries and make food at home. 

Transportation costs about $15-$20 per month as buses in Manila can be just $1 or less. You can cut transportation costs by getting accommodation in school dormitories or on-campus lodging.

This will save you the stress of planning for transportation costs since you only have to walk a few minutes to the school. However, you will need transportation to go to other places that are not close to the school. 

Best Practices You Can Employ While Studying in the Philippines 

Now that you have enough information about studying in the Philippines, let’s take a look at some of the best practices that can help you get the best from living in the Philippines. 

  • You should keep an open mind while studying and living in the Philippines. To make the best out of your stay in the Philippines, expect things to be done differently than you were used to. When you keep an open mind, you will not experience too much culture shock and you will be able to embrace the Filipino culture with ease.

  • Another way to make things easy for you while living and studying in the Philippines is to make Filipino friends or friends from your country who are now used to the Filipino culture so they can hint you on the best ways to behave. You can also stay observant by watching them and from continuous interaction with them, you will be able to catch up fast. 

  • Try to live in your school’s hall of residence as there will be many students like yourself in there and you’ll be able to relate freely with time.

  • Seeking counseling from the school is also a good way to get by. The school understands that you are new and are always welcoming to new or international students who need help.

  • Watching more Filipino shows or movies before coming to the Philippines can help. You get to see how things are done and how people behave and react to certain things.

  • Ask questions and be polite. When you are not sure about what to do or say, you are free to ask people and they’ll be happy to help. 

  • You can also join student groups and clubs. 

Many international students studying in the Philippines have been able to blend in the society and culture so you can do so too by following these guidelines and staying positive.