The FEU Institute of Education (IE) has joined the 9th Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) this year.

Through its international exchange programs, Far Eastern University ensures its students with academic and cultural opportunities. It has given many students an opportunity to enhance their educational experiences and develop global perspectives. Indeed, it has been an undeniably resounding success.

The SEAMEO Teacher Student Exchange Program, now in its 9th year, was established to provide a comprehensive global education to its students. Through the program, outstanding students can take advantage of the opportunity to practice their teaching skills abroad while also interacting with some of the world’s most prominent universities.

Furthermore, it sought to empower pre-service educators to cultivate their pedagogy and teaching abilities; to encourage pre-service educators to improve their English skills; to help them gain a wider perspective of the world and the region; and, to develop their teaching and learning skills in different learning contexts.

For 28 days, six fourth year students from the undergraduate studies department of IEEducation, including Mary Dazzle Eve Mata, Reilly Raje Angeles, Stephen Xian Habla, and Princess Charm San Miguel, all from the Bachelor of Special Needs Education program, together with Mariel Nage from the Bachelor of Physical Education and Joe Vince Lamirez from the Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English, traveled and immersed themselves to various universities in Indonesia.

Angeles and Habla were assigned to Universitas Halu Oleo in the province of Kendari; Mata and Nage to Universitas Negeri Malang in the province of Malang; and San Miguel and Lamirez to Universitas Negeri Surabaya in the province of Surabaya. They were chosen due to their exceptional academic and teaching abilities and their passion for learning about other cultures.

The success of the program can be attributed to its diverse learning experiences, cultural enrichment, global networking, and personal development. Through this program, students gained a deeper understanding of foreign academic cultures. They were also exposed to different teaching methods and perspectives.

Through cultural enrichment, students were able to interact with local customs and traditions. This allowed them to grow as individuals and develop their abilities to adapt to new environments.

Moreover, the goal of the program was to develop global networking skills and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. Through these connections, students were able to build a strong and lasting professional network.

Finally, through the experiences abroad, students were able to develop their personal growth and resilience. They also became more self-assured and capable of facing challenges in the future.

The feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive and insightful.

 “Some valuable insights that I gained during the SEA teacher program is to be flexible and adaptable, to always seek for ways on how we can possibly adjust as an individual in a country that we are visiting, and the ability to resolve conflict based on our capabilities and available resources,” said Mata.

“This participation made me think that we, teachers, have our own fire in our hearts when it comes to teaching. We should just listen to ourselves and understand what lessons we want to teach and know our purpose in instructing our students. This fire will help us reach our full teaching potential, which will also help our students,” said Angeles.

“Listening to our Indonesian students and their cooperating teachers, the hopes are high for the future generations who will have the privilege of leading the Asian Nations in the future,” said Dr. Rosarito Tatel-Suatengco, dean of IE, during the closing ceremony with the Indonesian students in FEU Cavite.

“As you prepare to be back in Indonesia, I hope that you will always remember your time spent in FEU Cavite and the Philippines and be the salt to your future students to help them become better individually and collectively who will always have a heart for others leading to a more harmonious and peaceful Southeast Asian Region,” added Dean Tatel-Suatengco.

The program’s success has placed the university at the forefront of academic excellence and global education. Indeed, this recognition has encouraged IE to expand its international initiatives.

The success of the SEA Teacher Student Exchange Program shows the potential of academic institutions to forge global connections and transform the lives of their students. As more institutions strive to promote cross-cultural understanding, FEU can serve as an inspiration.

Through the program, these students have experienced a journey of academic and personal growth that will benefit them in the future. It has also helped them become more culturally aware.