Monday, Sept. 25, 2000
Peter Wollitzer, Education Abroad Program
(805) 893-2918


Beginning in spring 2001, 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 Philippines.

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 UC students.

"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 field study.

"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 non-governmental 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.

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