Aktualizēts 15.10.2019 10:39
Master student of History at Daugavpils University
Erasmus+ mobility exchange for studies at University of Mindanao, The Philippines
Academic year: Autumn semester 2019. /2020.
I arrived in Philippines on Saturday, weekend day, and had an amazing experience watching jungles, swimming in the ocean and sleeping on the beach under the clear sky full of lights on different from where I stay island at my first night in Philippines. It was just the first day.
Since I took the first step in the Philippines, this country has not ceased to prove to me that you can adapt to everything. As soon as I arrived, I immediately declared to myself that I would never get used to the local cuisine, intracity logistics and this huge traffic. And guess what? Within a few days, I learned how to use local transport to get to the university and the nearest shopping center. A week later, I realized that the problem was not in traffic, but in the fact that I had never lived in cities with over one million people, and I found a way not to live my life in traffic – I just started walking at rush hour. And after the third week, I found local dishes so delicious that every time I pass by the places where they are sold, it becomes difficult to resist and not to buy.
Nature, the ocean, and the presence of fresh, tasteful fruits of all stripes every day far surpass those of my little complaints. And what wonderful people live here! The mentality of every Filipino is hospitality, kindness and responsiveness. You need to be very careful during conversations, otherwise they can be offended very easily.
The curriculum at the University of Mindanao is quite different. Here you can feel the East Asian zeal when you fall from your feet, coming home from studies, interspersed with American influence in the field of higher education, when courses with a strictly narrow specialization are offered or courses that cover large layers of knowledge without going deep into them. Bachelors study here from Monday to Friday, and all undergraduates and doctoral students are mostly on Saturdays, but sometimes there can be classes on Sundays. During class work, a lot of creativity and group work is required. The same knowledge that we just got, we immediately learn to put it into practice.
My classes are in full swing, soon there will be the first intermediate exams and tests, so most of the time I spend in the library, which occupies an entire floor here (and soon the whole building will be completed). The whole territory is not homogeneous terrain. During breaks, the student can optionally rest lying on the field, under the canopy of trees near the stadium or in the stands, or go and take a walk through the inner university jungle (not to mention the huge number of tables and chairs throughout the territory). Also, the university has many options for extracurricular club activity. For example, I have already joined the training of the university basketball team, now I am also a varsity! I really like it here. When I think that sooner or later I will have to leave, I already fall into sadness … but not for long, because with such an abundance of sun, bright smiles and the amount of unknown to me in the local environment it is impossible to be sad.