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Cebu SunStar

THE Department of Tourism is seeking to attract more Koreans to get their English as a Second-Language (ESL) training in the Philippines.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said Philippine ESL is one of the highly-demanded programs worldwide catering to Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Koreans, citing the country’s position as the world’s third largest English-speaking nation.

 “It is very encouraging to see that more and more Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese, among other foreign students, are considering the Philippines over other English-speaking nations for their studies. With a booming tourism and improving economy, it is no surprise that the Philippines has become one of the choice destination of foreigners for high quality and affordable education, as well as for fun vacations,” said Teo in a statement.

Koreans in Cebu

Cebu is one of the leading ESL destinations in the country. Its proximity to beaches, presence of direct flights to Korea and other Asian destinations, cheaper ESL rates and highly qualified English teachers make the province attractive for non-English speaking students.

Recently, the DOT Korea Office hosted over a hundred Korean students and parents at the Philippine Study Abroad Fair in Seoul. This year’s fair featured 15 of the leading ESL institutions in Cebu, Baguio, and Iloilo to talk about their programs and admission process for Korean students and parents.

According to the DOT, the Philippine Study Abroad fair has become the “go-to” for potential Korean students planning to take ESL in the Philippines. In addition to promoting tourism, it also aims to help students and their parents understand the Philippine ESL system. 

Aside from Koreans, the Philippines is also seeing a spike in Japanese arrivals who come to Cebu to learn English in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. Japanese students taking up ESL stay the longest, from six months to one year. There are also some who stay for a week.

Singapore is the Philippines’ closest competitor as an ESL destination in Asia, while New Zealand and Australia are the top countries for Japanese students and professionals to learn English.

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