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30 Pinoys get scholarships for higher studies in Europe

Students from the Philippines will undertake their master's and doctorate programs in the European Union under the Erasmus Mundus Programme. Outgoing Erasmus Mundus students and Erasmus Mundus alumni are joined by EU Chargé d'affaires, a.i. Lubomir Frebort, Political Counsellor Julian Vassallo and Hans Farnhammer, Development Counsellor of the EU Delegation to the Philippines. EU photo/Released

MANILA, Philippines — In the coming weeks thirty Filipino students will pursue their academic dreams in several countries of the European Union after they won scholarships under the EU's Erasmus Mundus Programme.

The program will allow them to pursue master's and doctorate degrees in different universities across the European continent.

The scholarship is structured to allow students to pursue their studies in more than one country giving them the opportunity to benefit from the academic expertise and culture of more than one university.

Beyond the vast academic opportunities presented by the programme, past students often point to character-shaping experience that comes with the scholarship—learning to live and integrate into different European societies and often learning a new language in the process.

The Erasmus Programme promotes the EU as a centre of excellence in learning and making student mobility a reality for EU and non-EU citizens alike.

Lubomir Frebort, Chargé d'affaires of the EU Delegation to the Philippines congratulated the outgoing Erasmus Mundus students in a reception held recently at the EU Delegation to the Philippines as he urged them to become ambassadors of goodwill to help strengthen the partnership between the EU and the Philippines.

"Make your country proud and become the goodwill ambassadors to move forward the friendship between the EU and the Philippines," he said.

Erasmus Mundus alumni led by Sheila Balbutin who is president of the Erasmus Mundus Association's Southeast Asia chapter also attended to share their experiences of studying in Europe and encouraged the scholars to take advantage of their time in the EU to benefit from borderless travel across different countries and experience the cultural diversity of Europe.

Several Erasmus Mundus alumni who returned to the Philippines to put their newly acquired qualifications at the disposal of their home countries in the public or private sector, recounted their intense academic and personal experiences across Europe—from culinary delights to bureaucratic nightmares.

Frebort, meanwhile, noted that since 2004 more than 200 students and lecturers benefited from the programme.

The scholarship covers air travel to Europe, tuition fees and a monthly living allowance between approximately P55,000 and P138,000.

Philippine universities such as Ateneo de Manila University, Visayas State University, Mindanao State University, University of the Philippines Diliman and Los Banos, and SEARCA have sustained their collaboration with European Union counterparts under the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 Partnerships and Erasmus Mundus Mobility with Asia East.

Through these programmes, multilateral cooperation is enhanced, mobility flows between and among students are strengthened and capacity-building of teachers and staff is continuously developed thereby promoting higher education teaching.

The Erasmus Mundus programme is among the leading international academic mobility programmes in the world, and students from the Philippines have benefited considerably from the programme, just as the EU universities have benefited from the participation of these visiting students.

During the send-off reception, Frebort also announced the conduct of the fourth European Higher Education Fair on Nov. 15, 2014 in Hotel Intercontinental, Makati City.

The fair is seen to enable Filipinos to access more information on the Erasmus Mundus programme and the education programmes of European higher education institutions that will be represented in Manila.

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