Filipino Scholars gear up for their studies in the U.S. - Full Story
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 11:48 am

filipino_scholarForty-one (41) Filipino talented scholars and fellows representing four programs under the Fulbright umbrella (i.e., Fulbright Student Program, Fulbright Advanced Lecturing/Research Program, Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program, and the Fulbright-Philippine Agriculture Scholarship Program);and the Hubert H. Humphrey, East-West Center,and Global Undergraduate Exchange scholarship programs enthusiasticallyparticipated in the Pre-Departure Orientation Program held on May 18-19, 2011 at the PAEF office in Makati City.  The PDO is an indispensable ingredient toward better academic and cultural adjustment to life in the United States.  It aimed to give useful information on living and studying in the United States and stressed the importance of being a Filipino Fulbright, Humphrey, EWC, and Global UGrad scholar and therolescholars play as ambassadors of the Philippines in the United States.

Mr. Alan Holst, U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Office and PAEF Treasurer opened the annual Philippine-American Educational Foundation (PAEF) Pre-departure Orientation (PDO) program for the 2011-2012 US-bound Filipino scholars.  Other speakers include recently returned Filipino Fulbright, FLTA, FPASP, Humphrey and Global UGradscholars, Prof. Jeff Sallaz, an American scholar from the University of Arizona currently pursuing research in the country, officers of the different alumni organizations, Ms. Mimi Wang, consular officer, Non-Immigrant Visa Unit at the US Embassy Manila, and Dr. Esmeralda Cunanan, PAEF Executive Director. Dr. Antonio Contreras, a Fulbright alumnus and professor at De La Salle University was this year’s keynote speaker.  He gave an inspirational message about taking full advantage of what the different programs offer, coming home, and paying forward.

The highlight of the program was a dinner reception honouring the scholars which was hosted by U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Office and outgoing PAEF Board Chairman, Mr. Rick Nelson.  U.S. Ambassador and Honorary PAEF Board Chairman Harry Thomas gave a short speech on the importance of the programs represented by the scholars in nation building and development.  He also acknowledged Mr. Nelson’s exemplary service as PAEF Board Chairman for the past three years and presented him with a certificate of appreciation.  A show of Fulbright talents which included two guitar performances by Barney Fojas, solo vocal performances by Randy Ibarra, Jessica Santiago, and US Fulbright students Andrew Plan and Lorenzo Perillo followed.  Mr. Nelson also rendered one Filipino classic song and one pop song.

The reception gave the US-bound scholars the opportunity to meet with past scholars who shared invaluable advice about what to expect from U.S. institutions of learning, how to make best use of the educational and travel opportunities, and how best to budget time to make their experience in the U.S. not only educationally, but, also personally rewarding.  The scholars shared that the PDO has put them in a solid and enthusiastic mental state for what lies ahead.  They all agreed that the program stimulated their excitement for the upcoming trip and adventure in the United States as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Source: FULLBRIGHT (Philippine-American Educational Foundation)