October 2, 2000
UC initiates first large-scale U.S. university exchange with the Philippines
By Peter Wollitzer
Education Abroad Program
Beginning this coming spring, UC students will pack their bags and head to Manila
to study for a period of nine months at the Ateneo de Manila University or the University
of the Philippines (Diliman campus), two of the most distinguished universities in
The new exchange, made available through UC's Education Abroad Program, will offer
UC students the opportunity to study--through both classroom work and internships--many
of the unique economic, demographic, and cultural aspects of the Philippines.
"A UC international study program in the Philippines is long overdue, given
the strong interest shown for many years by a large number of UC students and faculty,"
said Peter Wollitzer, a regional director of the Education Abroad Program (EAP).
"We are delighted to finally open classroom and internship opportunities for
"We look forward to enriching UC intellectual life through a reciprocal flow
of visiting faculty from Ateneo and the University of the Philippines."
The academic program will consist of Filipino language study, followed by a semester
of university course work, and an individual eight-week academic internship or directed
"Students often report that the most rewarding element of international study
is an internship that provides practical experience and meaningful direct involvement
in the life of the host country," Wollitzer said.
To fulfill the program's internship requirement, EAP students will participate in
projects made available through a number of public and private entities, including
economic, business, and social services organizations.
Both Filipino host universities have long-standing connections with nongovernmental
organizations engaged in finding local, community-based solutions to issues such
as urban poverty, environmental degradation, domestic violence, cultural preservation
of historical sites, and minority communities, human rights, and journalism.
Established connections between classroom work and field work will help to ensure
that UC students are placed in suitable, rewarding internships.
For many students, the most distinguishing aspect of this program may be the exposure
to a method of teaching that regularly uses "real life" to underscore classroom
theory. Faculty at Filipino universities routinely make use of the country itself
as a natural laboratory.
"We expect the internships in the new Philippines program to generate a lot
of student excitement," Wollitzer said.
The University of California's Education Abroad Program annually sends approximately
2,500 UC students to study at more than 130 sites abroad. In most cases, UC students
are fully integrated into the academic curriculum of the foreign host university
and study alongside their foreign counterparts.
Through its exchanges, partnerships, and initiatives, EAP expands the scope of education
at UC by giving students access to the vast new sources of knowledge available worldwide,
to special pedagogical methods and field study opportunities, and to widely varying
cultural, social, political, and economic environments.
Incorporating such expansive learning opportunities into a University of California
education significantly multiplies UC's comprehensive educational impact on students
and provides them with a distinct competitive advantage in the global career marketplace
of the 21st century.
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