How to Study in Philippines for International Students

Among the Asian countries, you should check if you're looking to study abroad is the Philippines. The country is budget-friendly for international students, with its relatively affordable tuition and living costs. In addition, the English language is widely used in the country, lessening the communication barrier as you explore the country's world-renowned tourist destinations.

When it comes to the choices that are available, Philippines currently has 243 universities, from which 90 universities are a part of the public sector and 153 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in Philippines you should definitely check out are Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines Diliman, and University of Santo Tomas.

Being able to study in Philippines as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in Philippines, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in Philippines

The cost of your studies is a big factor to consider when you're planning to study abroad. It can financially burden you, but here's the good thing: the public universities in Philippines don't charge tuition fees to international students like you! there is Bataan Peninsula State University a tuition-free school. You will just be required to pay some registration and other study fees, but these won't be as high.

On the other hand, if you choose to study in a private institution, expect that you'll pay higher fees. Here are some of the private universities in Philippines with their tuition fees:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
West Bay College 50,000 Pesos - 80,000 Pesos
Mountain View College 25,000 Pesos
Holy Cross of Davao College 33,500 Pesos 31,100 Pesos
FEATI University 120,000 Pesos
Bestlink College of the Philippines 0 Pesos
Aldersgate College 6,501 Pesos
Santa Isabel College 50,100 Pesos - 63,300 Pesos
Davao Doctors College 33,000 Pesos
Central Philippine Adventist College 11,000 Pesos - 17,100 Pesos
Colegio de San Juan de Letran 42,100 Pesos - 81,400 Pesos 41,800 Pesos - 46,000 Pesos
Manuel L. Quezon University 66,400 Pesos - 92,800 Pesos 53,800 Pesos
University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos 33,400 Pesos - 70,000 Pesos
Far Eastern University Institute of Technology 96,000 Pesos - 100,000 Pesos
Assumption College San Lorenzo 97,600 Pesos - 99,600 Pesos 36,600 Pesos - 44,000 Pesos
University of Asia and the Pacific 149,600 Pesos - 216,300 Pesos 176,400 Pesos - 199,400 Pesos
Jose Rizal University 30,400 Pesos - 49,400 Pesos 41,200 Pesos - 54,500 Pesos
Holy Angel University 55,000 Pesos - 63,200 Pesos 48,200 Pesos
Manila Central University 69,100 Pesos - 105,500 Pesos
Republic Central Colleges 18,500 Pesos - 48,900 Pesos 24,500 Pesos - 29,400 Pesos
National Teachers College 14,700 Pesos 9,720 Pesos
La Consolacion University Philippines 13,600 Pesos - 30,500 Pesos 13,600 Pesos - 16,300 Pesos
Asian Social Institute 13,000 Pesos - 15,600 Pesos
Adventist University of the Philippines 31,500 Pesos - 56,700 Pesos 11,700 Pesos - 46,700 Pesos
Trinity University of Asia 36,100 Pesos - 52,200 Pesos 26,300 Pesos
Silliman University 52,800 Pesos - 63,900 Pesos 25,600 Pesos
Father Saturnino Urios University 26,700 Pesos - 27,200 Pesos 14,500 Pesos - 17,400 Pesos
Wesleyan University-Philippines 14,400 Pesos - 19,200 Pesos
Technological Institute of the Philippines 39,000 Pesos - 50,000 Pesos 32,000 Pesos - 50,000 Pesos
Asian Institute of Management 1,389,400 Pesos - 1,677,900 Pesos
St. Paul University Manila 46,200 Pesos - 85,700 Pesos 33,100 Pesos - 44,100 Pesos
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde 137,000 Pesos - 237,400 Pesos 36,100 Pesos - 36,300 Pesos
Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies 80,900 Pesos - 97,900 Pesos
Lyceum of the Philippines University 100,000 Pesos - 110,000 Pesos
Centro Escolar University 59,800 Pesos - 128,900 Pesos
Lorma Colleges 16,500 Pesos
Central Philippine University 29,500 Pesos - 52,100 Pesos 27,000 Pesos
Far Eastern University 62,800 Pesos - 93,200 Pesos 7,635 Pesos - 53,500 Pesos
Ateneo de Manila University 184,200 Pesos 88,300 Pesos
Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan 69,200 Pesos - 108,300 Pesos 32,100 Pesos - 42,800 Pesos
Adamson University 71,900 Pesos - 126,100 Pesos 72,900 Pesos - 118,900 Pesos
University of the East 63,700 Pesos - 92,000 Pesos 40,400 Pesos - 46,900 Pesos
Philippine Women’s University 25,900 Pesos
De La Salle University 168,100 Pesos - 200,500 Pesos 126,000 Pesos - 149,400 Pesos
University of Santo Tomas 53,400 Pesos - 106,700 Pesos 90,000 Pesos
Our Lady of Fatima University 39,500 Pesos - 59,400 Pesos

2. Requirements to Study in Philippines for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in Philippines, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In Philippines, English is the main language of instruction. An academic institution in Philippines may require non-native English speakers to prove language proficiency by taking standardized English tests, such as the International English Language Testing System also known as IELTS, and the Test Of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL. You can also check out if your target university is accepting a Duolingo English Test score because some universities in Philippines are accepting Duolingo scores. When you take any of these tests, note that you’ll need to get at least the required minimum score to qualify for your preferred university.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in Philippines and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies

Master’s degree

Asian Institute of Management

Master’s degree

Ateneo de Manila University

Master’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in Philippines

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in Philippines have online applications available on their websites, like Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines Diliman. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in Philippines.

Ateneo de Manila University

University of the Philippines Diliman

University of Santo Tomas

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in Philippines differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in Philippines.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in Philippines

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in Philippines. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to Philippines as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in Philippines. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Student 9(f).

To start your student visa application in Philippines, you will need to present the following:

  1. Duly accomplished visa application form
  2. Personal History Statement (certified true copy)
  3. Notice of Acceptance or CEA (certified true copy)
  4. Medical Health Certificate
  5. Chest x-ray plates and results
  6. Police clearance with the signature of issuing officer and law enforcement agency seal
  7. Passport with at least 6-month validity
  8. 6 2x2 photos, taken within the last 6 months

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in Philippines is around 250 USD.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Submit the requirements to the host university.
  2. The host university will issue a copy of the Notice of Acceptance to the applicant.
  3. The host university will submit the original copy of the Notice of Acceptance, along with the submitted visa requirements to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
  4. DFA will endorse the application to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General location in the applicant’s country.
  5. Applicants will receive notification to appear in the embassy or consulate for an interview and completion of other requirements. Applicants will need to bring their visa requirements in triplicate during their appointment at the embassy or consulate.
  6. Upon arrival in the Philippines, the applicant must report to their host university and receive the Alien Certificate of Registration and the Certificate of Residence for Temporary Students from the Bureau of Immigration.
  7. After visa approval, submit your passport for visa implementation.

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in Philippines. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!