Cultural Immersion and Academic Exchange Like No Other

30 April 2024

In pursuit of global education, Fundacio Privada Universitat Tecnologia, La Salle – Universitat Ramon Llull (La Salle URL) in Spain, and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Inc. (Benilde) in the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in 2021 that is in effect until 2026. The MOA is the academic exchange program’s cornerstone, facilitating students’ bilateral exchange between La Salle URL and Benilde.

Management of Business and Technology exchange students Joaquino Da Costa, Laia Saboya, and Jordi Colome from Barcelona immersed themselves in Filipino culture while pursuing coursework at Benilde for one term (January to April). Da Costa shares, “The moment we arrived in the Philippines, we felt welcomed by the people, setting the tone for an enriching experience.” Saboya echoes this sentiment, adding, “l noticed differences in communication styles and social norms. The emphasis on family and community in the Philippines was inspiring.”

In the Career Development Program under Benilde’s School of Management and Information Technology, they were embraced by a vibrant campus community. Saboya shares, “Benilde’s inclusive atmosphere fosters a sense of belonging, with students from diverse backgrounds coming together to learn and grow.”

They also had access to modern facilities with the latest insights into business management principles and technological applications. Da Costa says, “Nothing short of extraordinary has been our experience at Benilde. The institution offers a vibrant learning atmosphere that promotes cooperation, creativity, and critical thinking. Our experience has been further enhanced by the opportunity to interact with students from various backgrounds and the tremendous support of the instructors and staff.”

Colome emphasizes the practical skills gained at Benilde, stating, “The emphasis on practical learning equips us with valuable tools for success in the global job market. Benilde equips students with tools for success in a dynamic global landscape.”

As exchange students, their experiences were not confined to the Benilde Campuses. Da Costa shares, “Our travels around the nation gave us priceless insights into the various cultures and customs that make up this archipelago nation. Every time we spent discovering the Philippines astounded us, whether swimming with vibrant marine life in Palawan, Cebu, Boracay, Bohol, Coron or immersing ourselves in the rich history of Intramuros in Manila.”

As students return home, Colome says, “This exchange program has greatly enriched our personal and academic growth by exposing us to new perspectives, cultures, and ways of thinking. It has broadened our horizons and equipped us with valuable skills to benefit our future endeavors. We believe that our experiences at Benilde will influence our future paths by providing us with a deeper understanding of global issues and a more diverse network of connections.”

This partnership underscores the transformative power of international collaboration, shaping future leaders with a global mindset. Through cultural immersion and academic exploration, students emerge as ambassadors of cross-cultural understanding, ready to navigate the complexities of our interconnected world.

For foreign students who are interested to study in Benilde, please visit our admissions page for international students, call us at (63) 2 8230 5100 local 1801, or email

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