To be able to study in Europe is a dream for so many of us. More than gaining further knowledge on one’s profession or another field, experiencing Europe’s cultures and traditions firsthand attracts students to the idea of finishing their master’s or doctorate degrees on this side of the world. But only a few get lucky to actually enroll in a European university
either thru a scholarship or self-funding.
And hearing their stories is truly inspiring.
So many of these students are first-timers in Europe, let alone abroad. They survived, continue to survive, trusting only their instincts, guts and fate. Despite the cultural differences, the climate and the food, they learn to adapt well to their new environment and even make new friends. They eventually become Philippine “ambassadors.” Away from home, they encounter realizations, most important of which is how to make the Philippines a much better place for Filipinos. Some return; others opt to stay and learn more.
ABS-CBN broadcast journalist Ryan Chua, for instance, writes how studying and living in the UK for almost a year reopened his eyes to the ugly realities that Filipinos back home face everyday. He hopes that his renewed anger towards the ills of the Philippine society will help him become a better journalist and a better Filipino.
Meanwhile, Germany’s efficient and effective political system inspired Wilfred Dominic Josue so much that he decided to take up an MA about it in Europe and in German, at that. He was so determined, it didn’t matter that he was financing his own studies abroad. Josue envisions to impart and apply his learnings when it’s already his turn to work in the Philippine government someday soon.
After finishing his master’s degree in London, Jomel Anthony Gutierrez went back to the Philippines and worked in one of the poorest regions in the country. He had the option to stay in Europe and live a much more comfortable life. But he chose to serve his country, to pay it forward.
On the other side of the fence, Filipino Expat’s creative director Robin Kuijs relives his journey to the Philippines’ rebel-infested mountains to finish a thesis project for his MA. He recalls sharing sticks of cigarettes with some members of the New People’s Army (NPA) one night and witnessing an actual battle between the Philippine military and the communist rebels.
Of course, don’t miss our feature on cover girl Marjorie Renner as she tells her journey from being a ramp model in the Philippines to having her own label as a bag designer in Paris. She also lets us in on balancing business and family life, sharing tips on how to lead a model life.
Travel with publisher Dheza Marie Aguilar as she spends some leisurely time in Italy and Greece. Rediscover Vigan as it vies for a spot in Unesco’s new 7 wonders cities. Check out the emerging bar scene in the Philippines.
Lastly, help support our pastry chefs who are competing in the upcoming World Pastry Cup in Lyon for the first time ever.
All the best!
Diana A. Uy