- Geography and Climate-This country has South China Sea on the west. Along the four borders of this country, there are four countries, Taiwan to the North, Palau to the east, Malaysia in the south and Vietnam to the west. Since the Philippines lies around the equator, it enjoys the tropical climate. The climate is mostly hot and sometimes very humid and patchy. The monsoons experience very heavy rainfall.
- History-The Spanish colonies ruled this country until 1898. From this time onward the US colonization started. Meanwhile, the Japanese entered and captured Manilla during the Second World War. The main ruler of the Philippines was the United States. They finally gained their independence in the year 1946 on 12th June.
- Economy-This country's economy ranks 34th among the other countries in the world. The GDP growth of this country is just after China. So the economy of this country is highly developed as it mostly depends on its industries. The manufacturing companies generate high revenue for the country. A lot of agricultural products are exported to the Middle East and other parts of the world.
- The currency of Philippines is known as Peso.
- This country is a member of the Pacific Ring of Fire. This is because this country experiences frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
- Did you know that the Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world. A lot of this can be attributed to the US colonies built in the 19th century.
- The population of this country is around 150 million which is quite high. So if you are thinking of settling down in the Philippines, now is the time. Six years down the line the population will be almost double of what it is now. Then it will be more difficult for you to start your career in the Philippines. The birth rate of the Philippines is moderate, but the death rate is on the decreasing side.
- The people of the Philippines are huge addicts of sports. The traditional sports of this country are boxing and figure skating. Other than these, football, basketball, etc. are also widely played by children and adults alike. There are women's leagues for playing sports. Basketball is played nationally and internationally. The people of Philippines have participated in the FIBA world cup for basketball.
- The national animal of the Philippines is Carabao and the national fish is Bangus. A lot of Indians might be familiar with Bangus. These fishes are exported to many foreign countries.
- Did you know that the largest pearl in this world was found by a diver of Philippines? This pearl was discovered in the year 1934. It weighs around 14 pounds and till the 90s it was regarded as the largest pearl
Admission Process in Philippines
- Many universities and colleges conduct admission tests known as CAT or college admission test. You need to appear in that and get a valid score. After you get a valid score you will have to gather the following documents to get admission in any college or university of Philippines.
- You must download the admission form from the official website of the university. Fill in all the required areas. Don't leave any place blank.
- Along with the application you will have to attach 2-3 passport size photographs. Generally, the photographs should be of standard passport size. If the university has a specification of some other size, it would be mentioned in the application. If the application form has to be submitted online, then the photograph should be submitted online. In that case, check the stipulated size of the photograph. The size can be less than the stipulated size, but not more.
- You must submit a photocopy of your passport. The validity of the passport should be of more than six months.Some universities require a statement of purpose. The statement of purpose is a letter that would highlight two things. Firstly, it should state what your current academic status is. You can highlight any accolades that you have received or any humanitarian work that you have done in India. Secondly, it would highlight the purpose of choosing that university. You must state valid points as to why you wish to study at that university. You should check the format of writing the statement of purpose from any online academic source.
- Along with the statement of purpose, you will have to provide the transcripts of your past academic records. It would be better if it is authenticated by the Philippines embassy.
- You would require two recommendation letters from the professors of your high school or college. Again, I would suggest that you search the format for writing the recommendation letters online. You have to ask your professors to write in that format only.
- If you are a woman and married, then you need to provide one photocopy of your marriage certificate.
- Last but not the least, you will have to pay a non-refundable application fee. This fee varies from college to college and depends on the course in which you are taking admission. The fees for master's courses are much more than undergraduate courses. Again, the fees for the certificate courses are lesser than the graduation fees. You must remember that in case your application gets rejected, you will not get back the application fee.
Student Visa Application Process
When you will be thinking of studying in the Philippines, the first thing you need to do is choose the college you want to study. You must do the background work of planning the course and the university before you complete your higher secondary. This is because you will not be eligible to apply to any college in the Philippines or the student visa for the Philippines unless you are of 18 years of age. You need to directly apply to the university. The format of application will be given in the official website of the university. The university will forward this application to the Commissioner of Higher Education. The Commissioner of Higher Education or CHED will scrutinize the application, approve it, and forward it to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. This will again forward the application to the Department of Foreign Affairs. After the Department of Foreign Affairs approves of the application, it will forward this to the foreign embassy. It will give the embassy a green signal to start the procedure of issuing the student visa. As you may understand that your application will go through a lot of layers and it would be a little time-consuming. Accordingly, you will have to start applying. The details regarding the documents necessary for the visa application is given in the following sections.
You start your life with the breakfast and the morning classes in the college or university. You can spend a lot of time in the libraries of the universities. You will get access to many national and international journals over there. Many students have said that they found the libraries very useful and a place to be because they knew Spanish. This is because you will find lots of books written in Spanish in the libraries. So when you decide that you will pursue higher education in the Philippines, you can take admission in Spanish classes. This will help you in reading the Spanish books in the libraries.
In your initial days, you will have to eat out in the restaurants. In that case here is a list of a few dishes that you can try in any Filipino restaurant. Those of you who love chicken can try Chicken Adobo
. This is a simple and yet very tasty dish. You can try cooking this dish in the hostel or in the rented flat you will stay. This is a cheap and wholesome dish to go with rice. If you are a vegetarian, then you can try Kare Kare
. In this dish, there are lots of vegetables. One quick warning for the people allergic to peanuts and seafood is that this dish contains peanuts as one of the ingredients. Sometimes shrimp sauces are provided with the dish. You can cook this dish at home with cashew nuts and normal chilli sauce. Sinigang
is another popular dish of Philippines. If you aren't allergic to any meat, then this dish can be taken with bread. This is basically pork stew. If you are a beef addict, then you can cook this dish at home with beef. In that case, you will have to make chapattis to go with this dish. If you belong to a state where rice is the main staple food, then you can think of cooking beef pares
. This would perfectly go with rice.
You can also think of learning any special art while you are studying in the Philippines. The best art to learn in my opinion would be martial arts. The Philippines has a lot of academics who provide classes in martial arts within budget. The class duration can go up to 2 months. The minimum duration is 1 week. The duration varies upon the levels and the depth you want to go to. You will find the classes very interesting and useful. Choose the classes according to your academic schedule.
Lastly, while you are in this country, you must visit some places. You should keep your weekends for some adventurous trips. One such trip could be to the Pagsanjan falls in Manilla. You can go for canoe rides over here. You can take a four-day underground river tour of the Palawan River. This is the river where the biggest pearl was found in the year 1934. There are cave rides available in various cities of Philippines. If you cannot afford 2-3 days at a stretch, then you can take city tours. One of the popular one-day city tours is of Manilla. You can visit lots of places on this one day.
Cost of Living for StudentsAccommodation
You can rent apartments in Philippines. Generally, such apartments or flats are very costly. They can cost you in between 30,000-60,000 Philippines Pesos. It will be better to rent flats only if you have 5 or 6 other roommates to share the rent. You can rent boarding houses or hostels. These will cost you in between 5000-10,000 Pesos. Some boarding houses have attached bathrooms. You will get free internet facilities. Some hostels have complimentary breakfast facilities. You can also stay in university dormitories. These will cost you less than 10,000 Pesos. You will get complimentary breakfast, free internet etc. Some dormitories have transport and safety box facilities. You can opt for them by paying some money extra along with the rent. If you stay in the dormitory of the university where you have taken admission, you won't have any transportation cost. Although the rent of the hostels and dormitories include electricity bills, the bills of the gas and other utilities are seldom included in the rent. So if you decide to cook in the hostel or to keep a housekeeper for your daily cleaning and cooking, then you need to pay extra money for that. It would be a wise decision if you cook and clean yourself as the house cleaning staff is very expensive in the Philippines.Food
-After you stay for one month in the Philippines, you will have start cooking your own dinner. The groceries here are costlier than that in India. So I would suggest you take lunch in the university canteen. The breakfasts are complimentary in most hostels and dormitories. You can avail that facility. The prices of apples, oranges and other fruits are almost three times that in India. So try to buy fewer fruits and more vegetables from the market. The cost of rice and bread is moderate. So you can buy a moderate quantity of rice and lots of fresh vegetables to cook your dinner all through the week. You can make use of the refrigerator in the hostel. If your hostel or dormitory doesn't have a refrigerator, then you will have to buy vegetables twice or thrice a week. Before buying, you must survey the markets near your locality. Try to buy from the cheapest markets. You can keep the weekends to cook a few of the dishes mentioned in the above sections.Transportation
Lastly, we come to the transportation facilities. The tickets would cost you around 15-20 Pesos. You can buy a monthly bus or train passes which would cost you a little more than 600 Pesos. If you stay on the university campus, then there would be no daily transportation cost. You should apply for dormitories of the university immediately after your admission is confirmed. Only if there is no vacancy in the dormitories or the university doesn't have dormitory facilities, should you go for outside accommodations.
Documents for University Admissions in Philippines
- As mentioned earlier, you must apply in the universities of Philippines first.
- When you get the approval of the Department of Foreign Affairs, then you need to bring a few documents with you for the visa interview. The first set of documents is two printouts of the visa application form. You should fill all the required areas in both the forms.
- You would have to submit a proof of your birth certificate. This birth certificate should be first verified from the Philippines embassy. Without this verification don't go to the visa office.
- The the validity of your passport must remain for at least for six more months. I would advise you that to be on the safe side, make sure that the validity of your passport remains for at least 18 months. This is because, you will be visiting the Philippines to study graduation or master's course, for which you would require a maximum of three years. So if your passport has a validity of at least 1.5 years, then you would not be in the hurry to renew it right after you reach the Philippines. Along with this, you need to submit two photocopies of the passport of your legal guardian. This is applicable for those whose parents or legal guardians hold a valid passport.
- You need one recent photograph. The photograph should be coloured and taken on a light background. I would suggest that you go to a professional photo studio and get the visa specific photographs clicked there.
- The original affidavit of the support provided by your legal guardian for your education in the Philippines should be signed by your guardian and authenticated at the Philippines embassy.
- There are few other documents that you need to authenticate by the Philippines embassy. One of them is a photocopy of the transcript of your academic records.
- Next is a photocopy of the medical examinations conducted by you in your locality. These examinations should prove that you don't have any contagious disease that will be detrimental to the people of the Philippines. You must conduct an X-ray of your upper body and enclose the corresponding photocopies with the medical documents. All these should be authenticated by the Philippines embassy.
- The embassy should also authenticate one photocopy of the certificate of police verification. This certificate should state that you are a person of good and stable character and have not committed any crime in the past.
- You need to provide a list of the persons that could be contacted in the Philippines. Generally, in this case, the students give the contact numbers of the teachers of the college where he or she is going to study. You can also provide the contact numbers of the landlord, where you have booked your accommodation.
- Last but definitely not the least, you must pay a fee of Rs.19,000 for the processing of visa application. This fee may vary depending on the current conversion value of NOK.