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Study in the Philippines

If you make it through the preparation, the trip will be a snap. First there is the application process, then the visa process; finally, there is the financial, physical, and mental preparation.

With programs in Asia, applications can be lengthy and detailed. At times I felt like there was no logic to it all. For example, my transcript first had to have the seal of the state in which I attend school, then the seal of the Consulate of the Philippines. The state seal I could get in Boston. The nearest Philippines consulate was in New York City.

Once accepted, I began the visa process. First, my exchange school mailed my acceptance letter to the consulate of my home region. This meant that now instead of working with the New York office from Boston I was working with the Chicago office. The consulate in Chicago mailed me a packet of forms that asked for extensive personal information, all to be hand copied multiple times. Medical examinations would be accepted only if the medical forms were also notarized.

Financial preparation was a bit simpler. The partnership allowed me to pay my regular tuition fees to Boston College.

Not only was I the only person from my school doing this exchange, I was also the only American in the entire dorm community in which I lived. Before long, though, I realized that this was the perfect arrangement. I had the best possible opportunity to completely immerse myself in Filipino culture.

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