Why not Europe?


Europe is one huge melting pot of culture. Its countries have always figured in the top travel bucket lists of most wanderlusts.

The great continent’s sights and sounds are well-documented. As a whole it is fabled for its beauty that grows even more alluring as time passes by.

This is why it continues to attract the citizens of the world. Like the wines that are produced in its regions, it tastes better over time — much riper and so much more to give.

Top dance choreographer Georcelle Dapat-Sy believes so.

The young-looking, fortysomething dance guru shares that her time at Amsterdam in The Netherlands helped her be more centered and not easily shaken.

A dance choreographer since she was 14, Teacher Georcelle, as she is fondly called in the entertainment industry, has been running her own school, the GForce Dance Center, for years now. She has been the go-to choreographer of the stars with her group, the G-Force.

FRANZ Jessen, European Ambassador to the Philippines (third from left) and other delegates of the European Higher Education encourage young Filipino students to pursue higher education during the European Higher Education Fair 2018.

Georcelle shares that it was both a choice and serendipitous event when she chose to pursue a leadership program at the THNK School Leadership.

“Why not Europe? I was looking for a place where I could be a student again,” she recalls.
It was 2010 and she had just been to Austria for a stint with a beauty pageant being held there. While aboard the plane, she read a feature on Amsterdam and watched the angsty teen romance film, The Fault in Our Stars, which was set in, well, Amsterdam.

Prior to this, she had been thinking of pursuing a creative leadership program to further her growth as the proprietor of her dance school and as the face and mentor of her dance group.

“I have a company and it’s been around for 13 years now. Every two years we have a transition. And how do I lead people, like dance artists and celebrities, who come and go? I just need to understand it more, go deeper into my business,” she tells the Daily Tribune.

In Amsterdam, she learned to live and learn the holistic way. Ideas flew freely among her fellow international students. There would be a dialogue among themselves that would result in more ideas and concepts to learn and adapt from. Her six-month course didn’t feel like a mandatory and boxed learning.

“It’s a different approach there. I love it there because their approach is holistic. They’re not just about facts, facts, facts, but they also involve nature. There’s a mind and body connection. That’s why I loved studying there,” Georcelle muses.

This months she is set to return to Amsterdam for the annual THNK Festival where the alumni of past programs gather to exchange ideas.

A different approach

For Daniela Laurel-Fois, going to Europe to pursue her master’s degree and further studies is a way to experience a different approach to education.

“Studying in Europe means studying with so many different cultures. Plus the education is not just limited to the classroom, but it’s a cultural, creative kind of education,” explains Laurel-Fois.

She added that pursuing post-graduate studies in Europe is complementary to her Ateneo undergraduate studies. Daniela went to Madrid in Spain to get her Master of Business Administration (MBA). She did not stop with her MBA, she also took a doctoral degree in management engineering in Italy. In the next few years, she found herself teaching finance in Paris, France.

“In Europe, everybody has access to education. The creme de la creme are there. I think that’s the advantage of Filipinos who went to study in Europe. They have much more inclination to do better. In terms of the content, it was much more focused and structured for me. The way they view problems is much more pragmatic. I think that was what I picked up,” Daniela expounds.

Both Georcelle and Daniela believe that studying in Europe has helped hone them personally and professionally. They have been tapped to be the EU Higher Education Goodwill Ambassadors.

Just like them, more Filipinos can have their chance at an immersive, holistic and innovative education with the 2018 European Higher Education Fair today, 10 October, at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City.

This year’s fair is organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines together with EU Member States’ Embassies and Cultural Groups and in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education.

Business, engineering, sciences and the arts programs are offered by institutions from 11 countries, namely Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Admission to the fair is free. Interested parties can pre-register online via www.ehef-philippines.com.