The European Union (EU) Delegation in Manila is set to open its 2021 one-stop shop for Filipinos aspiring to study in European universities.

Going virtual this year, the European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) is expected to reach more Filipinos with more higher education institutions participating in the event from October 1 to 2.

A total of 140 colleges and universities from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Finland, and Sweden were tapped to join the event.

“Through this fair, the EU wants to give Filipino students access to information about pursuing their higher education in European universities, institutes, and colleges. We also want to underscore the importance of mobility, innovation, partnerships, and lifelong learning,” EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron said Thursday.

The event will also serve as a virtual information hub for Filipinos who want to avail of financial support through the Erasmus Mundus, an EU scholarship program that has already sent 65 Filipino students to Europe in 2021 alone.

The fair also allows European and Philippine higher education institutions to explore partnership opportunities, mobility exchanges, joint research undertakings, and other forms of higher education cooperation.

Sharing her experience, AJ Flores, a Filipina alumna of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) in Erasmus University Rotterdam, said communication is not a problem for foreign students studying in the Netherlands as most people there speak English.

“It was very easy, our professors in the university were practitioners as well so the environment, not only in the Netherlands but across Europe when we went around, is very inclusive. The experience was very pleasant,” she said during a virtual meeting.

Flores said one of the best courses offered in the Netherlands is water science and engineering, being a country with a geography that is prone to flooding.

Like in the Netherlands, Samantha Balboa, an alumna of Poznań University of Economics and Business, said the medium of instruction for international students in Poland is also in English.

“There were also a lot of technologies being offered in the program laboratories,” she said. “To be honest, I believe the quality of education in Poland is really high or even at par with more of the popular European countries and unlike those other countries, studying in Poland won’t break your bank as much.”

Meanwhile, if you want to study public policy and international relations, Hertie School alumnus Lanz Paningbatan said Berlin is one of the best places to pursue higher education.

“The fact that we were so close to the Bundestag and all the federal ministries, there are opportunities to learn directly from policymakers themselves. We were having talks and seminars almost every other day with ministers from Germany, Brussels, and a lot of changemakers that are operating in Europe,” he said.

“Berlin, since it’s the seat of the German government, there’s a lot of opportunities to learn on European politics and how it relates to us here in the Philippines,” he added.

From Oct. 1 to 2, EHEF participants will be allowed to chat live with other Filipino alumni and representatives of different European schools. They will also be given free access to webinars on specialized courses and programs.

EHEF 2021 will be streamed live at and on the EU Delegation to the Philippines’ Facebook for free. (PNA)