Foreign students in the PH share scholarship tips
MANILA, Philippines - Getting a scholarship is never easy. It is even more challenging because there are limited slots and candidates need to compete with many others.
Scholarships are avenues for many students to be exposed to foreign life and to expand their knowledge according to their skills.
The are many scholarship opportunities to study in the Philippines for foreign students. Here are 3 Asian scholars who are studying in the Philippines. They share their stories and give tips to those who dream about studying in this country.
Khe Longkeat from Cambodia
Khe Longkeat, 28, is a Cambodian graduate student studying Development Management and Governance at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB)
He is scholar of the Asia Pacific Scholarship Consortium (APSC), which is offered to 4 countries in the Mekong Sub-region: Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
Khe said looking for information about scholarships is the most important first step. He also pointed out two things that helped him know more about his scholarship: social media and networking.
Khe said a candidate needs particular qualifications to get the APSC scholarship: (1) they need to have an undergraduate degree; (2) they must be a citizen of and currently living in one of the 4 countries; (3) they need to be proficient in English; And (4), they must be committed to return home after graduation.
He added that his work experience also helped him get the scholarship.
“The good thing was I potentially had (the) equivalent of three-year work experience in (a) similar field of rural project management,” he said.
Khe said the education system in the Philippines is very rigorous. “I very much appreciate (sic) the academic life here due to the high quality of education,” Khe said.
Of his experience as a student, Khe said that he has to work hard. Lectures are student-centered while class participation, discussion and reporting are highly expected from every student in every class. He also considers self-study a must for students to survive.
Compared to Cambodia, Khe said the enrollment system in the Philippines is more complicated. He said the school administration in his University requires a lot of papework while Cambodia’s system is not as labor intensive. Less administrative work is also given to undergraduate and graduate students in Cambodia.
Phairin Sohsai from Thailand
Aside from Cambodians, many Thai students are also taking classes in the Philippines. An example is Phairin Sohsai, 34, a Thai Female student who is also a scholar of APSC.
Phairin also majors in Development Management and Governance at UPLB.
Being part of the first batch of scholars from Thailand, Phairin said she was quite clueless when she first applied.
“I didn’t (sic) have any background or much more information about the APSC so I didn’t prepare much for the interviews. I feel lucky that they selected me,” she said.
Phairin said her work experience also played a big part in getting the scholarship. “I had more than 7 years work experience in social development with the local community. (I think) that was why they selected me as a scholar,” she said.
“Knowing what the scholarship looks for is important (in) preparing yourself,” she added.
Like Khe, Phairin said academic life in the Philippines is more rigorous than in her own country.
“The classes (in the Philippines) are very comprehensive and heavy. I have to do many things for one subject - read articles, write reaction papers, term papers and group discussions, answer exams, and go to field trips,” she said.
She added, “I can say that it’s quite challenging (sic) to me because it’s English. We have to put much effort to work on it.”
Khan Saw Aung from Myanmar
Khan Saw Aung is taking his masters degree in Public Affairs and Education Management. He is a scholar of the Supplementary Grant Program Asia (SGPA) from the Thaybay Organization, the biggest scholarship-providing organization in Myanmar.
Students from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos are also eligible to apply for the scholarship but Myanmar students are given priority.
Khan said the scholarship requirement is quite unique in that at least 5 years work experience in the social development sector is required. A candidate also needs to have a Bachelor’s degree.
Good scores in the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required. He also said essay writing is an important part of the criteria and participants should be able to express themselves and their commitment to their chosen subject, community and country.
Khan believed that he was chosen because of his commitment.
“I was chosen probably because I have all the requirements that they need. Yet the strongest point, maybe, is because I can express my commitment and interest in the chosen subjects which is relevant to my working experiences,” he said.
About the education in Philippines, he said, “The quality of the education here is one of the highest in Asia and the lecturers are highly qualified in their respective fields.”
Khan's tip for foreign students who want to study in the Philippines on a scholarship is don't give up.
“Don’t give up easily. Candidates who usually apply for more than 1 year continuously are selected. It is not easy but (it is) possible.” - Rappler.com
Kim Kotara is a Rappler intern from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.