Issue of September 15, 2019
Mt. Province
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U.S sees Baguio students’ big potential as int’l learners
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Students from Baguio City and other Cordillera provinces are encouraged to use available means to achieve their dream for higher learning abroad, particularly in the United States of America.

The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines has conducted a four-day road show in Baguio from Sept. 11 to 14 as part of its service of providing support to students who want to study in the U.S.

The activity was organized by EducationUSA, a U.S. government Department of State office that serves as its official resource for students interested in pursuing higher education in the U.S.

Through its advisers, the office offers accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited post-secondary U.S. institutions.

Christine Grace Catindig, an EducationUSA adviser and a U.S. Embassy cultural affairs specialist who studied at the University of the Philippines Baguio, said the road show consisted of school visits and a guidance counselors’ conference on Sept. 14 to train school counselors in extending services EducationUSA’s services to students in Baguio and the Cordillera.

They interacted with more than 200 students from Hope Christian Academy, Regional Science High School, Brent International School, Saint Louis High School, Small World Christian School, Princeton United School, and University of the Cordilleras for this year’s road show. 

In previous years, Catindig led annual outreaches in Baguio and have visited Philippine Science High School, Berkeley School, Educare International School, Saint Louis University, Benguet State University, the Department of Education, and the Commission on Higher Education. 

EducationUSA targets students who want to pursue either an undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate degree in the U.S. It does not mean to recruit, but instead serve as a guide for students who often lack information on the proper process.

Princess Grace Wooden, also an EducationUSA adviser, explained during road shows, they let students know of the steps or the options they have if they want to study or stay abroad to become more competitive, marketable, and globally ready so that they could land jobs they want.

“The role of our office to assist students, navigate the process so that they will be able to reach their dream studies, a sort of a one-stop shop of information for U.S. school admissions and related requirements such as processing of visa and guidance on making choices of school suitable to the student’s plans or interests,” said Wooden, who is a graduate of Secondary Education major in Library Science from St. Louis University where she also worked as a teacher and academic librarian.

EducationUSA’s services are offered free.

Wooden said they believe Filipino students are a great candidate to study in the U.S. considering the country’s upgraded education system, which now adopts the K to 12 curriculum that is similar to U.S. school setup, making them more prepared as international students.

She added that the Philippines being an English speaking country is also an advantage.

Catindig said there is in fact a highly untapped market of potential international students in Baguio, those who are considering applying in U.S. universities, but they are often intimidated with the process.

She cited a Unesco report that Baguio is one of the places with a high concentration of prospective international students those who have interest and resources to tap to study abroad, third to Manila and Cebu.

Both also noted that there are many students from Cordillera high schools and universities who are also doing well and making waves in various international competitions.

At the Embassy’s English Language Office, Catindig said the highest ranking students who are able to speak English the best are from the Cordillera. 

“We’re here to tell them there is a step by step process that we can help them with. It should not be difficult if they get proper guidance,” she said.

Interested students and parents who want to avail of EducationUSA’s resources and assistance for their children may coordinate directly at its Manila office through email (EducationUSA.Philippines@gmailcom), website (EducationUSA.State.Gov), Facebook (EducationUSA.Philippines), and Twitter (EducationUSA_PH).

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