The University of Baguio (UB) is one of the biggest universities in the City of Pines, Baguio. Offering basic, secondary and tertiary education, UB is a learning institution that welcomes students not only from Baguio City, but also the neighbouring towns and provinces, as well as a number of international students.
In October 2017, eight UB students from grades 8-12, along with one teacher, flew to scenic Sydney, Australia to participate in the Australian Innovation and Leadership Programme - a first, not only for UB, but for the city as a whole.
Shortly after landing, the group visited a range of beautiful Eastern Suburb beaches, before feasting on an Australian roast chicken dinner - it was a great, relaxing, introduction to Australian life. The programme kicked off properly with visits to Sydney’s leading schools, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Sydney. These visits were designed to highlight tertiary education at the highest level, as well as introducing a range of innovation and entrepreneurial techniques and ideas to students. One of the highlights was the business planning session the students participated in, wherein they had to develop a business concept selling Australian products to the growing Filipino market. The students did very well, with their ideas being unique and highly feasible! Further to the university visits, the group visited a local special needs school to volunteer with some of Australia's most vulnerable youths - a truly eye opening experience.
Naturally, the programme was not all academic. The group enjoyed a little bit of everything that Sydney offers, from marvelling at the rugged Blue Mountains and hiking up and down the Grand Canyon Track, to shopping at the famous Paddy’s Market to take home some cheap Australian goodies. They were also able to learn about Australian wildlife, seeing koalas and wild kangaroos! The students, being millennials, had the chance to take lots of selfies at iconic Sydney sights such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It goes without saying that the programme was an exciting and adventure-filled experience, one the group will definitely remember.