A global village of learning
MANILA, Philippines — I had no idea Eurocampus existed. I confessed this to my seatmate, Vic, who happened to be on the board of directors for Deutsche Europäische Schule Manila (or what they more plainly refer to as the German school). “It’s our 25th anniversary!” he laughed. Oops.
When you say “international school,” the more popular campuses of Taguig come to mind, overshadowing what truly is a gem of a community tucked away in a subdivision in Parañaque. Eurocampus, which is home to both Deusche Europäische Schule Manila and Lycée Français de Manille (the French school), takes pride in housing over 50 different nationalities.
As we make our way to the function room for lunch, the headmaster of the German school tells me there are only four other accredited Eurocampuses in the world aside from the one in the Philippines — one in Dublin, Ireland; one in Taipei, Taiwan; another in Shanghai, China; and one more in Zagreb, Croatia. Both the German and French schools take much pride in their academic rigor, boasting IB programs that get their students into universities all over the world. Instead of a more traditional approach to education, they go by a more personalized system that focuses on investigation, working towards stoking the fires of their students’ curiosity instead of dampening them. (Traditional Catholic schools, come through!)
I also got to chat with a student named Vanessa over lunch. Eurocampus is a small community with a total of around 700 students for both schools combined, but she loves the closeness. The German school celebrates German holidays, the French schools celebrate French holidays, but both come together to celebrate special events like International Day, the Elysee Treaty which commemorates the French-German friendship, Pasko sa Pinas which celebrates a Filipino Christmas, and even a Palarong Pinoy which is a traditional Filipino sports tournament.
“The best part is how diverse we are,” she shares, “It really makes us global-minded.” A global mindset fostered in an environment that is so close-knit it’s practically familial. It sounds nice, really. I head over to the small buffet to get more chicken, and as though to further convince me about just how close-knit they are, a parent chats me up about the chicken and shows me how to eat it — apparently, the chicken’s from his farm.
Definitely, it’s a pleasant morning spent with the Eurocampus community. As I say goodbye to my new friends, the words of the French chargé d’affaires — he’d spoken earlier that morning — stay with me: “The world of tomorrow is a world where we overcome differences.” And honestly, I couldn’t think of better words to raise our children by.
Read the original Article from The Philippine Star here.
Martin Gabel, 1.12.2020