Sharpen your pencils and bring out your notebooks because today, we’ll be talking with the president of College Admissions Mentors for Peers (CAMP) Philippines about educational opportunities for local Filipino students abroad.
A high school graduate of De La Salle University and a current Civil Engineering Major at New York University (NYU), Anton is currently leading CAMP with his co-president, Jacob Wee. When asked about what he’s most grateful for for being a member of CAMP, he told us its the friends he made through it — friends that he’s still in touch with even after CAMP events.
With its student-run mentor ship program, internship program and study abroad conference, CAMP aims to help local high school students study abroad. For the mentor ship program, current college students from universities abroad are paired up with local high school students — the goal of which is to connect successful applicants to current applicants so that high school hopefuls could maximize chances of acceptance. The internship program, on the other hand, connects students to companies that accept interns over the summer. This internship program could be included in one’s resume. Lastly, the study abroad conference is the flagship program where attendees attend a whole-day event graced by speakers who were once international students at universities abroad.
During this Corvid-19 pandemic, have there been any challenges in keeping in touch with your community at CAMP?
Recently, a problem that we have is the inability to have an in person venue so we’re trying to find new avenues to gather students in one place. So we decied to have our virtual CAMP conference online during the whole month of July. We’re also trying to make CAMP more accessible by putting out informational videos that can be accessed any time. CAMP has always been Manila-centered so we’re taking this opportunity present by COVID to increase our online presence. There is a silver-lining in this because our friends from Mindanao and Visayas won’t have to fly to Manila all the way.
How is CAMP vital in the college admissions process?
It’s hard to do it successfully because there’s a gap in resources. CAMP’s aim is simply to educate the people. If you know what to do, then by all means, do it on your own. Another benefit in joining CAMP is the connections one makes. You see, when Filipinos study abroad, it’s difficult to find the roots because the culture is different in America. Even Filipino-Americans have a very different culture. So CAMP really tries to keep in touch with CAMP members, which is another vital part of CAMP. Like for example, my close friends at NYU are Filipinos that I met through CAMP. It also serves as networking platform in general.
Is there any racial prejudice that Filipinos may face when they study abroad?
Personally, I haven’t really experienced any of that because I go to a school that has a very diverse racial community. So regardless of your racial background, you will really feel like you belong. I do know, however, know that in other schools, that there has been instances when Filipino students have been judged on the basis of the color of their skin. I really feel like in times of social discomfort, solidarity will get us through.
What differentiates studying abroad and studying here in the Philippines?
Well, first of all, when you’re apply abroad, some universities do not accept our curriculum. So you really have to take Standardized Test (SAT). There are even Subject Specific SATs, and when I found out about that it was already too late. In college, another thing that sets an education abroad, specifically in America, is the freedom to take classes that interest you. The fact that you also don’t have to declare your major until your sophomore year is one thing that’s unique about studying abroad.
With the presence of COVID-19, what will the fall semester look like?
I honestly don’t know as well. NYU has not given us any statement about our classes being online or in person classes, which is crazy to me. To call it all the way until next year is extreme. We don’t know what could happen in the future. I’m still hoping that I could return to my beloved campus in the fall. I wouldn’t discourage the students from applying abroad just because of the corona virus.
Watch his full interview here.