Fulbright Philippines’ 2020 leg for the U.S. Scholarship Roadshow opened in the city Friday as its first stop in a succession of provincial roadshows it will hold in the country to promote the various Fulbright scholarships available to Filipinos.
Julio Amador, executive director of Fulbright Philippines, said the roadshow is under the tutelage of the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (PAEF), a binational organization responsible for the administration of Fulbright exchanges between the country and the United States, the Hubert H. Humphrey fellowships, and the East-West Center scholarships.
“May mga scholars na kami sa Palawan, I think tatlo or apat sila around three years ago. Ito ang ino-offer ni Fulbright kung saan United States of America is offering an opportunity to Filipinos and at the same time, the Philippines is offering scholarships to Americans. Kung gusto mo mag-aral ng Master’s or PH. D. ay mayroon kami and it is all free, wala silang kailangan bayaran para makapasok, ang gagawin lang ni estudyante ay mag-aral ng mabuti,” Amador said.
He said that the school where the scholars will study will depend on the program that will be selected by the applicant.
Amador also clarified that Fulbright will only cover a maximum of two years of studying while the remaining years will need to be sponsored.
“Maximum of two years ang sagot ni Fulbright, kung master’s ang gusto ay two years ‘yon. then kung Ph. D. ay around five years siya doon. Since two years lang ang covered ni Fulbright the rest of the remaining years ay hahanapan ng sponsor. We assured naman na naibibigay lahat ng kailangan ng scholar namin, kumbaga hindi ka namin ipapadala doon kung hindi ka kayang paaralin,” he said.
Under the agreement of both countries, Amador said that the students should come back to the Philippines after they finish their studies.
“Hinid pwedeng pagkatapos mo mag-aral ay doon ka na titira, of course, hindi naman bawal ang maging turista or tumira doon provided na pagkatapos mo mag-aral ay uuwi ka sa bansa mo para magsilbi. Wala naman kaming requirement kung saan ka dapat magtrabaho pero atleast nandoon ang assurance between both parties na uuwi ka, kung gusto mo magbakasyon or tumira sa U.S. its up to you pero dapat bumalik ka ng bansa,” he said.
He said that the main goal of the scholarship roadshow is to promote the various Fulbright scholarships available to Filipinos and to potential applicants in the provinces.
Amador said that even if information and resources are available on the Fulbright Philippines website, the roadshows will serve as a platform for potential applicants to ask detailed questions.
Puerto Princesa City is the first stop in a series of provincial roadshows across the country for the 2020 leg.
“We want to meet candidates who come from different backgrounds and who have not been given an opportunity to know about the Fulbright Program. In our experience, a lot of applicants only need the encouragement to apply, instead of just reading the information from our website. The roadshows give them a venue to ask questions about the details of the scholarship programs so they can actually decide which program best suits their personal and professional needs,” Amador said.
Aside from Palawan, Fulbright Philippines plans to hold provincial roadshows in Batangas, Mindoro, Isabela, Tuguegarao, Zambales, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Naga, Capiz, Aklan, Iloilo, Samar, Bohol, Davao, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Bukidnon. Sessions will also be scheduled in major Metro Manila cities to cater to participants from the greater Metro Manila area.
“We want to be inclusive and diverse in our lineup of applicants in our quest for brilliant and competitive scholars,” Amador said. “So if they can’t come to us, we will come to them. We want to personally be out there and bring the Fulbright experience closer to them. We want to try to reach the farthest areas of the Philippines and give them an opportunity to experience U.S. education for free,” he said.
PAEF was established through an executive agreement signed by the governments of the United States and the Philippines on March 23, 1948, and established in the U.S. Congress under the legislation of late senator J. William Fulbright.
As of now, grants have been awarded to nearly 3,000 Filipino and 1,000 Americans.
Amador also announced that Fulbright Philippines is also open to conduct free information sessions to universities, academic institutions, and private organizations. Interested parties may send a letter of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org.