• Status: Alumni
  • Current country: Philippines

Lasmyr DIWA EDULLANTES – Philippines – Summer School

Where do you come from?

I’m Lasmyr Edullantes from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. I study Management, and I am currently in my third year. I like to do a variety of things: capoeira, art, knitting, reading, et al. I like learning about different cultures, especially learning different languages. I am multilingual, fluent in Filipino, English, and Indonesian. So far, I’ve been trying to learn German, French, and Portuguese.

The Philippines is a beautiful place, when you know where to look. It is the epitome of the combination of Southeast Asian values and western ideology. Our culture is deeply influenced by Spanish colonial rule, American colonial rule, and Chinese immigrant culture whilst still retaining distinctly Filipino characteristics. Aside from our natural wonders, our predisposition to hope, and our stereotypically friendly nature, we also have different historical places like Corregidor and Intramuros in the capital city of Manila, which shows the brutal yet interesting past of the Philippines. Come visit for the most beautiful beaches and seascapes, mysterious forests and mountains, the most fun fiestas (where I live, there’s a fiesta almost every month), and really great food.

Ateneo de Manila University is one of the premiere private universities in Metro Manila. It’s famous for producing great businesspersons, writers, and our national hero, Jose Rizal. It’s located in the Katipunan area of Quezon City, one of the largest cities in the Metro. I like studying in this university because of their mission of creating students who are men and women for others, emphasizing the ‘why’ of life, instead of the ‘how’.

What studies have you already done, and what programme did you attend during the Summer School (Joint Summer School, what classes did you attend at Toulouse and Ljubljana?)

I’ve mostly done general courses in University, and a few major subjects focusing on business administration and leadership.

Courses (Toulouse): Managing Innovation, Cross Cultural Awareness

Courses (Ljubljana): Business of Wine, International Marketing Strategy

Why did you choose TBS Summer School over other schools?

I primarily chose TBS Summer School because of its joint nature with LSS. I think that this provided me the largest opportunity to travel and meet people from across the globe. My choice was reinforced as I looked at the programs offered in both schools. Both schools had programs that sparked my interests and also are not offered in my own university. Aside from the travel and social aspect of the summer school, I also wanted a large variety of courses, and I think that I was only able to achieve that because I joined the Joint Summer School Programme.

How did your integration into TBS and the Summer School go?  What is your feedback about the programme?

As for the school itself, it was very different from what I am used to in my campus back here. The classrooms were very malleable in the sense that it was easy to move tables around, and the rooms were small so it felt more intimate. Security was also not a problem for me. Location-wise, the school and dorm were very convenient as it was within walking distance from practically everything. I can walk from the school to the city centre in 20 minutes! I think the team did well  in helping us understand where to go, how to go around, and were generally helpful and accommodating.

The courses were good. I especially liked the Managing Innovation class because it was something that was completely novel to me.  I gained many insights to which I find useful in my studies back here. As for the cross cultural awareness class, I liked Shala. She was aggressive and knew what to say and how to say it. Overall, the courses were very informative and insightful.

The social events were nice. I think the number one factor that contributed to it was the fact that we weren’t a tremendously large group, and so everyone was able to know each other. The best social events were those that weren’t overtly planned, like the picnics along the river. I liked that it allowed us to bond with each other.

The company visit was awesome. I had vague aspirations to work in the airline industry before, so this visit was particularly insightful. The tour was nice in that we were able to see the technical aspect of planes, the business of selling planes, and also the impact this business has made to the community. Plus, we got to see a real Beluga fly. The other company visit I joined was the vineyard. I love wine and the visit to the vineyard and the introduction on how their operations and processes proceed was very insightful and was a great introduction to the Business of Wine class I took in Ljubljana. I think that it spurred my interest in the wine industry further, and helped in forming the holistic view of wine I also learned in the Ljubljana course.

The scenic route was good in that we stopped at places most internationals don’t really know. I was interested in Grasse and Cassis. In retrospect, I think I liked it because it was a break from the touristic sites that we were able to go to. Nice was also nice. The huge plus that I was glad with is the decision to stop in Piran! Liked it so much I went a second time with the Ljubljana crew.

Ljubljana was an amazing surprise. I already knew I would love France, I am after all an avid Les Miserables fan and a sometimes Francophile. But I knew nothing about Slovenia except for Zizek. I think the huge impact that Slovenia had on me is the amount of nature they possess and the astonishingly lack of tourists they get despite their amazing natural sites. I especially enjoyed the parks in the city. Tivoli park was my go to place when I wanted alone time. I was astonished as well as to how safe it was in the city! I think I really enjoyed Ljubljana for its lack of tourists and it’s amalgamation of city look but country feel.

BEST MOMENTS IN SUMMER SCHOOL: Hard to discern, but most likely the first time we all went out and the last time we all went out. The first time was after international night. That was great, there were lots of dancing, and that’s when I really got interested in knowing these people. The last outing was after the pub quiz. Everyone was just game for drinks and dancing and that’s when I realized that I gained some pretty awesome friends; a very bittersweet goodbye to some people who weren’t joining us to Ljubljana.

I think the number one strength of TBS Summer School is the intimate quality of the school. The fact that there were less people helped shy people open up more easily. The classroom setting was conducive to meeting new people. Even the location of the campus and the dorms helped because they were so near to the places students hang out in. This intimacy helped make the experience even more than I expected.

What did you appreciate about Toulouse: the people, the town, the School etc.?

The people are so nice. I cannot believe that the stereotype is that the French are haughty and rude. I literally did not encounter any rude and haughty French person. That may just be my luck, but I really think that the people of Toulouse are very nice. I felt a sense of home when I was in Toulouse. I also really liked the size of the city. It wasn’t as large as Paris (which can be a headache to navigate, for a first timer), but it wasn’t too small to suffocate. I really enjoyed walking through the small alleys inside and in the outskirts of the city Centre (and enjoy being able to find my way back to the dorm). The parks are also very beautiful, and I enjoyed the people actually enjoying being outside.

The students are also very very nice. When I arrived speaking my bad accented French (I later learned I was saying some words wrong), a French student was the one who helped me understand how exactly I can get to my dorm. Though he spoke little English, it was evident that he was trying really hard to help me, which I greatly appreciate. Then, there was Fete de La Musique, when I took a walk at midnight because I couldn’t sleep and I was approached by a group of French students who let me join their group to a salsa music party in the street. Again, they spoke little English, but it was fun communicating with them through sign language. I really enjoyed that not only is Toulouse not a super touristic place, but it’s also a student city.

Can you give us a small anecdote concerning your time at the Summer School (Toulouse, the Scenic Route, Ljubljana)?

Four things I will never forget: One, that first party with the Toulouse crew. This is a lie, because I can’t really remember everything that happened, by I am sure that it was 100% fun; Second, clutching for dear life on Tom’s arm as Sayana swims farther into the ocean in the beach we went to in the Venice area. Being shorter than most of the westerners, I thought I was going to be able to swim far and still be able to touch the ground, as soon as I couldn’t my fear of oceans manifested. All the while Sayana and Tom were laughing at me. After a long day under the heat and sun, being teased by friends was a relief; third, hiking up Smartna Gora, running on two hours of sleep. This memory is specifically brought to you by Cherry, who forced me to join the hike because ‘hiking in Slovenia!’ (I am of course, forever grateful. The view from the top was glorious, the hike down was a relief, and the knowledge I made it up there is something I am proud of);Fourth, kayaking to the middle of Bled Lake and sleeping under the sun. That moment was so peaceful, it felt like heaven.

So, not really one anecdote, but several. I don’t think I can give anything small from my experience in both summer schools!

What advice would you give to a future Joint Summer School Student?

Join it! Book it! Or you’ll regret missing it! Take this opportunity to meet new people and to learn new things. Take a chance and sign up for that interesting course that you don’t know about. Branch out and talk to people. That person beside you probably wants to talk to you to. Lastly don’t forget that when you work hard, you have to play hard!

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