Philippines is officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean with Manila as its Capital. It comprises 7, 1707 islands being populated by almost 95 million people. The Philippines was formerly a Spanish colony but later on it was also colonized by the American people. The Philippines has many affinities with the Western world.

Why Philippines

The Philippines is a nice country with a good education system. There are a whole lot of reasons why most foreign students study in the Philippines, unlike other countries that restricts there medium of instruction to their local language, Philippines happens to be the direct opposite because both the medium of instruction and the business language is English thereby making communication a lot easier between foreign students and the citizens. Almost 90% of Filipinos can understand and speak English well but that does not neglect or relegate their major language which is Tagalog.
Philippines is the 3rd largest English Speaking Nation in the World having the Highest English Literacy rate in Asia. For this reason there are thousands of foreign students enrolled in different universities in the Philippines. The Philippine Education system offers high quality education and assures the students globally competitive academic programs, highly skilled professors as well as modern facilities that they surely love.

Education System​s

Remember that during the Industrial Revolution, Philippines were a colony of the USA for 50 years? At that time the education system was molded in accordance with the existing American system. Philippines is now the third largest English speaking country with USA based medical education. As an Indian citizen, you have the options of choosing to apply to post-graduation or practicing medicine in the USA or in India with ease if you have completed your undergraduate study in the Philippines. Since the curriculum is more up-to-date in the Philippines than in India (because it’s based on the latest research from the USA), the quality of education is better, which is definitely a huge advantage. Additionally, all reputed medical institutes have faculty that have been trained in the USA itself.

Cost of Living & Studying

The fee for the full 4 year program is usually around INR 15 lacs. Most often, universities require the tuition to be paid annually, which means you will be expected to pay somewhere between INR 2.75 lacs and 3.5 lacs annually depending on which institution you opt to study at. The cost of living is relatively cheaper in the Philippines and will be INR 12000-18000 per month. So your total cost would be somewhere around the range of INR 25-28 lacs.

Courses and Universities

Every year, the Philippines welcome thousands of foreign students wishing to pursue their higher studies in English. Based on statistics, more than 8,000 foreign students have enrolled for the 2015 ‘ 2016 academic year. Note that the country has the whole of Asia’s best higher education system with 40% of faculty staff having a Masters and 13% a PhD.

Moreover, registration and course fees are lower than in many countries. You are advised to inquire about these fees with the university you have chosen since it depends on the number of units you will take.

A lot of universities are concentrated in what they call the ‘University Belt’ in Quezon City. Based on a 2018 ranking by uniRank, the top 5 universities in the Philippines are located in the greater Manila area:

  • University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman)
  • University of Santo Tomas (UST)
  • Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU)
  • De La Salle University (DLSU)
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)
  • University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila)
  • University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB)
  • Mapua Institute of Technology
  • University of San Carlos
  • Universidad de Zamboanga

Eligibility Test Requirements

  • English Proficiency Test – may be required for some top institutes
  • National Medical Admission Test result (photocopies which will be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy) if opting for PG
  • PRC Board Rating Certificate if exam has been given

Admission and Application Procedure

There are 2 intakes – July and November. The academic year constitutes two semesters – one from June/ July to October/ November and the other from November/December to March/ April. The deadlines are usually around the end of February. So before February you will need to prepare your application forms and documents so that once your results are declared you can send applications to the universities. The documents are a little tedious as some need to be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy at Nariman Point in Mumbai.

Visa Process

Documents needed to apply for a Philippines Student Visa:
  • Student Visa (9F)
  • Alien Certificate of Registration/ICard (ARC-IC) issued by the Bureau of Immigration & Deportation
  • Personal History Statement (PHS) with original photos and signature
  • Certified copy of Passport pages where name, photo, birthdate and birthplace appear
  • Notarized proof of adequate financial support (Bank Statement) of sponsoring party
  • Transcript of Records and Certificate of Graduation should be duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country of origin or legal residence
  • Notice of Acceptance

Some also require your authenticated birth certificate, TOEFL/IELTS results for applicants in non-English speaking countries or a personal statement or a letter of motivation for pursuing further studies. Once you have been given a Notice of Admission by the school, you can proceed further once your application has been approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Immigration and Deportation Bureau (IDB) and by the Department of Foreign Affairs at the Philippines embassy or consulate in your home country. You should then be able to apply for a visa. Refer to this article for a comprehensive guide to visas in the Philippines. Note that student visas are only granted to those who wish to take up higher education (aka higher than high school) with schools accredited by CHED.