The Philippines is a newly industrialized country and emerging market in Asia. Over time, this country has welcomed a large number of international students, and is equally a popular tourist destination. It is not surprising when you think of those fancy tropical and of course sunny beaches. However, this beautiful country has more to offer than an attractive coastline; students who study on cheap tuition in the Philippines will have the opportunity to explore its fantastic mix of Islamic, Malay, Spanish and American influences on the indigenous culture.
Applying to universities in the Philippines
There are majorly two intakes for applying to universities in the Philippines, one is in June and another in November. Do well to apply directly to your chosen university,and provide an academic transcript relevant to your level of study. Depending on the institution and type of program, you may be required to provide letters of recommendation and/ or pass an entrance exams.
Since the language of instruction at most universities in the Philippines is English, you’ll be required to prove your language proficiency with a standardized test such as IELTS or TOEFL if you’re not a native speaker.
How to Apply for a Philippines visa
Note that all international students will require a student visa, which you’ll have to apply for from the nearest Philippine embassy or consulate in your home country once you’ve gained admission at a Filipino university. You’ll have to put together the right documents (which would be stated on your embassy’s website) and then go for an interview at the embassy or consulate. Also remember that your Philippines visa will be valid for a year and is renewable every semester. The documents required are as follows:
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- Your international passport, which should be valid for at least six months after you intend to leave the Philippines;
- Duly completed visa application form;
- A medical health certificate (DFA Form 11) with life-size chest x-ray and laboratory reports;
- Two or three photographs of yourself;
- An authentic police clearance certificate;
- Acceptance letter to study at a university in the Philippines;
- Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay, or a scholarship;
- Your paid visa fee
Fees and funding
International students interested in studying in the Philippines would be delighted to read that living expenses are cheap – you’ll need roughly US$4,200-6,000 per year. Tuition fees are equally low and affordable. Universities typically set their own fees and these vary between programs, but you should expect to pay an average tuition of US$1,000 per year at public universities and US$1,200 to 2,500 at private ones.
Please note that your student visa will not allow you to find part-time work in the Philippines while you study, so you will not be able to supplement your expenses on the go.
Health and safety
Remember to secure health insurance before you study in the Philippines. You are able to purchase this from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, which sells affordable health insurance for all citizens. However, do well to check the options available in your home country. It’s equally beneficial to check in with your health professional before your visit to see if you need any vaccinations before you set off to the Philippines.
Sadly, the Philippines’ location on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ makes it prone to earthquakes and typhoons, the latter of which can happen during the rainy season from June to November. They’ve been numerous volcanoes in the Philippines. So feel free to read up on what to do if there is any natural disasters. As of April 2016, the island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago are considered dangerous due to terrorist activity so visitors are not advised to visit these locations.
List of Universities
University of Santo Tomas
De La Salle University
University of the Philippines
Ateneo de Manila University