How It All Started

I actively scouted for Student Exchange programs since I joined an exchange students organization in UPLB. I have sent more that 10 applications to various summer schools, internships, and conferences before I decided to apply in the Office of International Linkages (OIL) of UPLB.

Our organization usually works with OIL, so when OIL posted a call for application for Far East University, I thought I should give it a try. I met tons of exchange students from FEU so why not.

It was quite a process. I had to get numerous documents from my College Secretary. I also had to ask a professor to write me a recommendation letter. I submitted my documents on the day of the deadline since I still had to wait for all the documents I needed.

Then the waiting game started. I knew that there were five other students who applied for the program, and I also knew that only three will be chosen. It was a contentious battle.

As a member of the exchange students organization, my orgmates told me about the selection process. It was (1) grades (2) essay (3) interview. It was a scary experience because on the first category I knew that I was not adequate enough only having a 2.5 grade weighted average, I was not strong enough. I had to depend on my essay. Since, they told me that the interview part only happens when you are able to pass the first two categories. So, I was really nervous.

Then, around two weeks after I got a message from OIL. I was called back for an interview! I was like holy shit is this real?? So, I messaged my ninang and asked for interview tips. I was very nervous about the interview. I mean I am very used to talking in front of a crowd but this was different.

Then the waiting started again, I waited for around 10 minutes outside the office for my interview. My ninang told me to wear something presentable, well for someone from UP who is very used to shirt, jeans, and a pair of sneaks I had to prepare. So, I ended wearing a stripped long sleeved chambray shirt, skinny jeans, and loafers. Ten minutes later, I was called in for the interview. Some of the titas in OIL knows me, since our organization worked with them in most events. So, I said hi and was asked to proceed to the meeting area.

It was nerve wrecking, as I sat across Prof. Collado. The interviewee before me had a lengthy interview, so I was really nervous. But she just remarked on me being able to speak five languages and said maybe that’s why I failed my math (lol). Then, asked me a few more questions on my financial capability, on which I answered that my parents will be supporting me. Then a few more questions on why I wanted to go to Korea. It was a short interview since she already knows me from my organization. Hooray for org connections!

A few weeks later, I received this email.

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So, I guess I’ll have to see you soon Korea!

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