Are you interested in pursuing a rewarding career working on the social or scientific side of law enforcement? Did you know that while pursuing your education and credentials for this fast-paced career you can actually study and live abroad for a semester or year in the beautiful and exotic country of the Philippines? The Philippines is rapidly becoming a popular destination for those seeking something unique and exciting in their study abroad destination; a country whose universities offer courses in a number of popular academic fields, including the field of criminology.
The Philippines is a sovereign country, an archipelago consisting of over 7,000 islands situated approximately 500 miles (805 km) off the southeast coast of the Asian continent. Only about seven percent of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names. The largest of the islands are Luzon in the north, measuring 40,420 square miles (104,687 sq km); Mindanao in the south, at 36,537 square miles (94,631 sq km); and Visayas, at approximately 23,600 square miles (61,077 sq km). All of the islands that comprise the Philippines are of volcanic origin, with the larger ones crossed by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Mount Apo, located on the island of Mindanao and measuring some 9,690 feet in height.
The Philippines encompasses 115,124 square miles (298,171 sq. km) of total land area, and is home to a population of approximately 104 million inhabitants, making it one of the world’s leaders in terms of population density. The capital of the Philippines is Manila, with a population of 1.65 million, while the largest city is Quezon (2.76 million). Both of these cities are part of the Greater Manila Metropolitan Region. Other large cities on the islands include Caloocan (1.5 million), Davao (1.45 million), Cebu City (866,170), and Zamboanga (807,129).
Criminology Education in the Philippines
Criminology, as a field of study, is offered at a good majority of the universities in the Philippines, particularly at those in the country’s most urbanized areas. The program is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level, leading to Bachelor and Master’s Degrees, respectively. At the undergraduate level, students can expect to study for 4-5 years depending on the institution and course availability; while at the graduate level, programs generally span 2-3 years depending on the same factors.
Some of the core and elective courses students can expect to encounter while studying Criminology in the Philippines include:
Crime, Criminology, and Justice
Administration of Justice
Statistical and Computer Applications in Criminal Justice
Crime and Violence in America
Professionalism in Criminal Justice
Psychology of Crime
Alcohol, Drugs, and Criminality
Research Methods in Criminal Justice
Students are required to complete all course requirements prior to graduation, and in some cases may need to participate in an internship or work-study program to gain experience.
The coursework involved in the program prepares students to work as criminalists or criminologists, professions involved with the study, research, and reporting of the social and psychological conditions related to a crime. Careers in criminology center on in-depth research and analysis of various situations that cause criminal behavior, and how different laws apply to an investigation. Criminologists work on ways to better serve and protect society from crime, and help with criminal rehabilitation, assisting offenders in reentering the workforce so that they can provide for themselves and their community. Some careers are involved with the criminals themselves, while others use data and reports to draw conclusions related to a crime.
Why Study Abroad in the Philippines
The Philippines is a country full of wonder and possibility. As a participant in a study abroad program in this beautiful country, not only will students be introduced to a new academic system and alternate learning modalities, they will also get a crash course on the culture and people of the Philippines, their customs, traditions, language and cuisine. They will also have countless opportunities to explore some of the sites and attractions that make this nation so exotic and unique, including, but certainly not limited to:
Often referred to as the Philippine’s “Last Frontier,” the province of Palawan is one of the most popular spots in the country. If there was ever a litter-free oasis—one that was surrounded by a jungle no less—it would definitely be Palawan and its capital city of Puerto Princesa. White sand beaches are scattered throughout this province, as are karsts limestone formations that rise like statues out of the emerald-turquoise waters—waters that have yet to be spoiled by commercial fishing and the irreverence of the sea. Perhaps the most exciting attraction in Palawan is the Puerto Princesa Underground River, recently proclaimed one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Mountain Province, a landlocked province in Northern Luzon, has long been a favorite of tourists and locals alike. The province is the site of what once was the most famous tourist attraction in the Philippines—the rice terraces—before they were eclipsed by Palawan’s subterranean river. A strikingly beautiful place surrounded by mountain peaks, there is much more to the Mountain Province than what meets the eye. For example, a visitor who looks closely enough might espy some of the coffins hanging on the mountainsides, some containing even the recently deceased. This rather unique and ancient burial practice is mostly found in the region known as Sagada
, where natural rock formations, both above and below ground, simply abound.
Far away from the noise and hustle and bustle of the Greater Manila Region, in an area located far to the south of the capital, is Davao City, located on the island of Mindanao. Although also well-populated, the city has far less crime and pollution than Manila and is considered by many to be the cleanest city on the islands. It is the embodiment of a livable city, the gold standard (outside of Palawan’s Puerto Princesa) of how a city should be, offering adventure and vibrancy at every turn. Davao City is home to the Philippines highest peak, the nearly 3000-meters-above-sea-level Mt. Apo, as well as the rare Philippine Eagle, which is bred here in captivity. If you happen to visit at just the right time, you might find yourself smack dab in the middle of the local festival known as Kadayawan
—a thanksgiving festival inspired by the Davao’s “lumad
” (ethnic tribes living at the foot of Mt. Apo). The festival is an annual event designed to give thanks to the lumad’s
deities after a bountiful harvest, and includes massive parades, food, music and dancing.