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All The Basic Info You Need If You Want To Study Abroad

'How much does it really cost?'
PHOTO: Pixabay

There’s no use denying it: traveling is at the top of everyone’s never-ending bucket list! Whether it’s a seat sale or an upcoming long weekend, people are more than willing to invest their hard-earned paychecks on the chance to get away, even if it’s just for a little while. But did you know that you can travel and further your career at the same time? Traveling doesn’t have to be your means of escape; it can be a tool to further your career.

Studying abroad gives you an edge; it exposes you to different cultures; it forces you to learn and adapt to new concepts; it makes you more independent; and it gives you a new level of confidence. To better explain the process and benefits of studying abroad, we reached out to United Kingdom Education Advisory Service (UKEAS) Philippines, an education firm that provides FREE counseling, application, and support services for Filipino students.

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What are some of the postgrad options out there?
It really depends on the particular student. There is no such thing as one school or one program that’ll benefit every single person. Anyone who tells you this is obviously not well-informed. A common misconception about higher education is that only the top-ranked schools are worth pursuing. The truth is, there are literally thousands of unranked and unheard of schools that are incredibly accomplished at what they do. There are also programs at top-ranked universities that aren’t as good as those of the unranked schools—and definitely not worth the money!

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You can do a short program—two days to three months—depending on your interest. There are also diploma courses, blended courses (online and on-campus), postgrad studies, internships, and cultural tours with friends. What we recommend is that if you’re planning on traveling to London for two to three weeks, you may as well squeeze in a short course program on any topic. UK schools have the most diverse short course programs out there!

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What are some of the most popular study abroad programs among Filipino students?
A lot of our students pursue business, development studies, fashion management, and law. Another thing worth mentioning is that most of our students are women!

What are the basic application requirements?
The requirements include previous school certificates or diplomas, transcript of records, an English language test, a statement of purpose, recommendation letters, an updated resume, a passport, and bank certificates. It’s like a combination of applying to college and applying for a Schengen visa. A Schengen visa is pretty much the only visa you need to get into and travel around Europe. It’s used by 26 countries.

What’s the application process like?
The most common mistake is googling your plans and letting Google lead you to 400,000 sites. UKEAS helps narrow it down for you. We ask questions that really matter. We force you to think about all the things you may not have considered yet. Where you plan to go in your career plays a massive role in what you should focus on when it comes to studying abroad. There are so many things to consider: where you want to study, how much you’re willing to spend, what kind of course you want to take, what kind of environment you want to be in. And UKEAS will be with you every step of the way. We even help you with the visa application, which can be SUCH a nightmare!

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What’s the estimated cost of the entire application?
Usually, a student will have to invest P20,000 to P30,000. This pays for the requirements you’ll need: photocopies of your papers, payment for copies of your transcript of records, your English exam (which is around P10,000 already), application fees of some schools, your visa (ranging from P7,000 to P25,000). Again, this will all depend on what you’ll be taking and where you’ll be studying. This does not cover your initial deposit, your fees at the school, or your insurance. You’ll have to pay for those after you’ve accepted the offer.

What kind of financial assistance or scholarships can applicants expect?
UKEAS partners offer partial tuition discounts. Usually, students get 1,000 to 4,000 pounds (or P62,000 to P250,000) off their tuition amount, but outstanding students have won full scholarships. UKEAS also works with BDO to facilitate student loans in the Philippines. Students who are in need of full scholarships should always look at government programs. In the UK, it’s called the Chevening scholarship; in the U.S., it’s USAID; in Australia, it’s AUSAID; and in New Zealand, it’s NZAID. These have a specific number of scholarships just for Filipinos. Students can also look for foundations from multinational companies. Understandably, these scholarships are competitive, and are reserved for the most able students.

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Are students allowed to work while studying abroad?
Yes! Students are allowed to work for 20 hours per week. During school break or holidays, they’re allowed to work for as long as they want to. Many of UKEAS partners, like Newcastle College, have programs where students work as part of the curriculum. For a minimum wage job, students should expect to earn between P420 to P610 per hour.

How do students find lodging?
As previously mentioned, UKEAS helps each student from start to finish. We provide them with options of where they can stay. If you’re below 17 years old, however, you will have to live with a family for the first year. This is called “homestay.” If you’re of age, you can live on campus, use Airbnb, share an apartment, or find a university lodge nearby.

UKEAS will be happy to answer all of your additional questions at the Study World Philippines Education Fair on October 1 at the Isabella Ballroom Complex in Makati Shangri-La. The event is from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. You can register here. If you’re unable to attend the event, you can schedule a counseling session through their website instead.

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For more information, please visit UKEAS’s Facebook page

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