The number of foreigners seeking student permits from the Philippine Bureau of Immigration has quadrupled in six years time since 2008. The surge of overseas students to the Philippines indicates the country’s booming tourism industry, and more importantly, the increasing demand for English lessons taught here. Indeed, the Philippines has become Asia’s top destination for English studies, and here are a couple of reasons why overseas students like to study here.
1. Affordable Lessons
Dubbed as the world’s budget English teacher, the Philippines is truly a one-stop destination for those who want to learn the international language and at the same time enjoy a tropical vacation. Overseas students find the Philippines a better option for learning English because of its highly competitive rates, at $500 60-hour training, a far cry from language lessons offered in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
2. Commendable Accent
Filipinos have vast exposure to various entertainment and informative platforms in English, specifically pertaining to the American culture. The people are strong followers of English films, news, and books, enabling them to embrace and imitate the American ways, most importantly the accent.
3. Community Immersion
English, as a medium of instruction and secondary language, is used in school, at home, at work and almost everywhere. Even the “common tao” (Filipino with little to no formal education) can understand and speak a bit of English. The Filipinos’ mastery in spoken and written English has made the country an important hub for call centers and other BPO operations. English is a vital language for getting hired and performing work.
4. Great Holidays
Tourism is another reason why overseas students from Japan, Taiwan and Korea, as well Libya, Russia and Brazil, come to the Philippines. The country is known for its historical spots, fine beaches, modern entertainment facilities and shopping culture – reasons enough for alien students to enjoy their stay here. Travel is actually part of the short-term English studies offered here.
5. Job Prospects
In turn for learning English in the Philippines, some foreign learners teach their native languages and customs to Filipinos who are equally fond of Asian pop culture such as that of South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Others find jobs in themed restaurants and shops to the delight of Filipino fans, as well as native patrons who want to buy authentic products from their respective countries.
6. Proximity to Home
The Philippines is strategically located right at the heart of Southeast Asia, a close neighbor of South Korea and Japan, and a neutral place of temporary residency for those in Russia and the Middle East. Classic destinations for English studies like Australia and the US are several hours away by plane, making the Philippines a stepping-stone for learning basic to advance English.
7. Regional Identification
As an Asian country with a rice-eating population, co-Asians can identify themselves with the ways of the Filipinos. The food, especially, is closely similar, and the cuisine somehow brings Asians together.
8. Tropical Weather
The tropical weather is generally acceptable, even a good welcome, for other Asians in the north with four seasons who want to escape the cold winter, and for those in the desert regions who want a mild breather from the heat. The fair weather is good reason for students and tourists alike to check out hot attractions in the archipelago.
9. Filipino Hospitality
Filipinos are famous for their exceptional friendliness and hospitality. Visit any Filipino home, no matter how affluent or impoverished, and guests always feel the warm welcome. Diplomatic ties have dimmed bitter pasts with hostile foreigners, compelling modern Filipinos to accommodate strangers in their homeland.
On top of that, the Philippine education system is suitable to local and foreign students alike, and many top universities have adopted the international academic calendar, starting their classes in August instead of June.
10. Gateway to Australia and other English-Speaking Countries
Overseas students seeking to live in English-speaking countries, such as Australia, find it easier to learn the language basics in the Philippines first. The country is like a gateway for them to learn the language and embrace the culture of English-speaking countries without the abrupt changes to their lifestyles.