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international programs

Manila, The Philippines

program description


The City

Manila, characterized by a wonderful array of Chinese, Spanish, American, and Japanese influences, is located on the island of Luzon, one of the 7,000 archipelago islands that comprise the Philippines. More than just the center for trade, commerce, and banking, Manila is also filled with cultural and historical sites including Asian-influenced gardens located in Rizal Park and “Intramuros,” the 16th-century walled city built by Spanish conquistadors.

The University

Founded in 1859, Ateneo de Manila University is a Jesuit institution located at Loyola Heights, Quezon City. The university enrolls nearly 8,500 students. The university offers courses and departments in philosophy, theology, economics, business administration, law, and development, healthcare education, rural projects, and women in politics.

The Program

Students enroll directly into the university system, choosing courses from over 31 departments offering a wide range of programs in English. Following the academic program, students take part in a month-long service project immersing them in the local community. 

Orientation/Academic support

Students participate in Orientation Week, an immersion program offered by the Office of Social Concern and Involvement at the Ateneo. A local faculty member oversees students during their stay in Manila.


Students have the option of living either in the Ateneo Residence Halls or in accredited and private off-campus housing facilities. Ateneo offers the option for students to try out the dormitories for a week and then decide, with the assistance of the Office of International Programs at Ateneo, where they would like to reside for the remainder of their stay.


Activities range from athletics to cultural events, including the Loyola Mountaineers, the Ateneo de Manila Rowing Team, the Ateneo Fencing League, and the Ateneo Rifle and Pistol Team. At the Loyola Schools, socially-oriented organizations such as the Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League (ACIL), Ateneo Student Catholic Action (AtSCA), Ateneo Christian Life Community (ACLC), and other clubs provide assistance to various communities and groups. In the process they help students appreciate the complex and interrelated issues of different sectors as seen through urban poverty, the plight of street children, and cancer-stricken youth.

Service opportunities

Under the direction of the Social Development Complex at the Ateneo, students in the past have worked in fishing and farm communities or among the urban poor.