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international programs

The Philippines

office of international programs

Bamboo stalks

A archipelago consisting of over 7,000 islands, The Philippines are a multicultural nation with an emerging economy that boasts of great ethnic and ecological diversity. A country that emerged from several foreign occupations, the Philippines today offer insight into modern politics, business, and nation-building, offering lessons for BC students not only within the classroom, but beyond it as well.


BC Programs - Semester & Academic Year

BC students wishing to study in The Philippines have the opportunity to study at Ateneo de Manila University in Manila, which offers excellent academic programs and access to the Filipino capital.

To accommodate those students who would like to study in a region of Philippines in which BC currently does not offer a program or need tailored programs for certain majors, the Office of International Programs has compiled the following list of approved external programs.

Speak to an OIP Advisor

In preparation for your study abroad in The Philippines, you will work with a Boston College OIP Advisor who specializes in this country and in BC's programs there. Your advisor will help guide you through the application and pre-departure process, as well as act as your main contact with BC while abroad. For students studying abroad in The Philippines, your advisor is Christina Hatzipetros. To find out more information about this program, or to schedule an appointment with Christina, please click here.


Currency in The Philippines

The unit of currency in the Philippines is the peso (P), which is also spelled piso in Filipino, and is divided into 100 centavos (c). Banknotes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 pesos. Coins are in 10c and 25c pieces, and P1, P5 and P10.

The smartest way to bring cash to the Philippines is in the form of a credit card, cash card or debit card. Provided you have your PIN, you can use these to get cash or cash advances from thousands of banks and ATMs in the Philippines (but don't expect to find these in rural areas - always stock up on cash before leaving a city).

It is important to remember that pesos and US dollars are not equal, however, and students should consult a currency conversion calculator.


Boats in the ocean

Current Events & News Resources

In preparation for your time in The Philippines, you should familiarize yourself with the current events and contemporary issues facing the Filipino Republic. By knowing about your host country before you arrive, you are making yourself a more informed traveler, a more receptive student and a better prepared individual. It is also helpful to know about your host country so you can pack correctly. Following these and other news sources will be of great value in preparing you for your time abroad.


Language & Customs

Over 170 individual languages are spoken in the Philippines, but Filipino (Tagalog), English, Spanish and Arabic are all widely spoken. While students may be able to get by with their own language skills in English, it is recommended that they pick up some of these others as well.

Filipino customs may be very different than many in the United States. It is best to familiarize yourself with acceptable practices before you arrive in the country. Some tips for successful cultural integration may be found here.


Visa Information

International exchange students/non-degree students are advised to use a tourist visa together with a Special Study Permit (SSP) throughout the duration of the exchange program at Ateneo de Manila University. While maintaining a tourist visa which will be renewed every two months, international students will apply for a SSP which allows them to study non-degree courses in the Philippines for a period not exceeding one year.

Incoming students should secure a 59-day tourist visa at the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate in their country of origin before entering the Philippines. U.S. passport holders (and citizens of select non-restricted countries) can receive a 21-day tourist visa on entry into the Philippines, which can then be extended for an additional 38 days once in country. 14 days before their tourist visa expires, students must work with the Office of International Relations (OIR) at the Ateneo de Manila to renew their tourist visa for another 59 days. Any travel outside the Philippines during the duration of the 59-day tourist visa will nullify the remaining days in the 59-day tourist visa. This means that when students return to the Philippines they will be given a new 21-day tourist visa (for non-restricted countries).

The application form for the Special Study Permit (SSP) will be given to students by OIR. Students would need their passport and a 2 inch x 2 inch recently taken photo for the application. The cost of the SSP is approximately Philippine Peso 8,000, approximately US$175.

The total costs involved in the visa process vary depending on the number of tourist visa renewals students must complete.