Studying in the Philippines: Terms You Need To Understand

Education is a vital aspect of one’s life. It helps an individual grow and develop knowledge and expertise in a particular field. More so, in a study by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, educational attainment is directly proportional to earnings and employment opportunities. Because of this, choosing the right educational institution is a significant decision.

The Philippines is a renowned destination for students seeking quality education at an affordable cost. According to the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 15 universities in the country made their way as one the best in the world. So, it’s not surprising that studying in the Philippines has become a popular choice for students worldwide.

However, there are a few things you should know before you begin your studies in the Philippines. Here is a brief overview of the basic things you need to keep in mind:

Senior Highschool Curriculum

Before a student can enter a tertiary institution, completing senior high school (or grades 11 and 12) is mandatory. The K-12 education system was implemented in the Philippines in order to produce globally competitive graduates. As part of this system, senior high school students can choose from a range of academic and technical-vocational (tech voc) tracks.

The academic track is for students who wish to pursue a college degree. Conversely, the tech voc courses in the Philippines are geared towards those who want to enter the workforce after graduation. Depending on your chosen track, your senior high school curriculum will differ.

Some schools also offer special programs, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and the Advance Placement (AP) program. These degrees are also available online for students who want to study remotely.

Either way, a background about the senior high school curriculum is essential in planning your studies in the country. It will also give you an idea of what to expect once you begin your academic journey.

Tuition Fees

One of the main reasons why studying in the Philippines is attractive is because of the relatively low tuition fees. Especially if you plan to attend public universities, your education will be more affordable than in other study destinations.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should not research the tuition fees of your desired school. Some institutions, especially private ones, may have higher rates. Nonetheless, the cost of studying in the Philippines will still be lower than in most developed countries.

So, before you make your final decision, check your target school’s tuition fees. This way, you can better prepare your finances and have realistic expectations of your expenses.

Entrance Examinations

In order to be accepted into a particular institution, most students must take and pass an entrance examination. The type of exam you need to take will depend on the school you’re applying to.

For example, the University of the Philippines (UP) requires applicants to take the UPCAT, while those planning to study at De La Salle University must pass the DLSUCET. Make sure to check the requirements of your target school before you begin preparing for your exams.

Aside from the entrance examinations, some schools also require their applicants to take a language proficiency test. This test will ensure that you can understand and be understood in English, which is the medium of instruction in most Philippine universities.

A few examples of these tests are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The requirements for these exams may differ depending on the university, so it’s best to check with your school first.

young students in separate seats taking a test

Immersions and Internships

In the Philippines, students are required to undergo immersions and internships as part of their curriculum. Immersions usually take place in the first or second year, while internships are required during the last semester of study.

An immersion is a short-term experience that allows students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a real-world setting. This can be done in various industries, such as healthcare, hospitality, and education.

Internships, on the other hand, are more long-term experiences. They usually last for a few months and usually take place during the summer break. It is an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in their chosen field.

Schools include this program to prepare their students for the workforce. So, if you’re planning to study in the Philippines, you must be prepared to undergo these requirements. Besides, it’s an excellent opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge.


There are many reasons why studying in the Philippines is a good choice for students. The country offers a variety of programs at affordable rates, and its schools maintain high standards of education. And by knowing the basics, you can better prepare for your studies in the Philippines.

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