Recently, a Filipino student named Kent Tangcalagan made headlines as he brought pride to our country after he finished his Master’s Degree in Europe as summa cum laude
It was back in May 2017, when the young man qualifies for the Erasmus Joint Masters Degree in Comparative Local Development (EMJMD) of the European Union, he was given a chance to study in Europe and experience different European universities in the two-year program, all-expense paid.
The Erasmus Mundos scholarship covers his whole tuition fees, annual travel allowance, monthly accommodation and other basic needs, and an establishment allowance that helps scholars in their adjustment period in a foreign land.
For the first semester of his two-year master’s program, Kent studied at the Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary. After that, he also went to the University of Regensburg in Germany for his second semester, followed by the University of Trento in Italy for the third semester.
Kent spent his last semester as a Graduate Research Intern at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Max Planck Society in Germany, where he worked on his thesis and defense. Here he received an Excellent mark of 5.0, Excellent in Internship, and Excellent in Thesis.
Prior to this, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and Associate in Health Science Education in Cebu at the University of San Jose – Recoletos in 2011 and a Master’s Degree in Health Social Science from De La Salle University.
The young man also worked as a nurse at the Perpetual Succour Hospital and later as a Gender Research Associate at the Social Development Research Center at De La Salle University. This helped him a lot to gain more knowledge and confidence to study in Europe under the Erasmus Mundos program. He learned about this scholarship from one of the delegates at a conference he attended abroad.
Many people admire him for his determination and strength for overcoming all the challenges he faced both in his studies and from his personal life, particularly after losing both his parents last year, yet he managed to earn the highest honors of summa cum laude.
On Facebook Kent wrote a heartwarming lengthy post that serves as a tribute to his late parents:
“Closing for now this beautiful chapter of my two-year Erasmus Mundus journey here in Europe. If there has been one great thing I’ve learned from these last two years, it would be – resilience.
I’ve been tested these past two years with the toughest times while being all away to the other side of the world. But through all those challenges, it has only made me even stronger and inspired to move even further.
Wherever mom and dad may be right now, I hope they look over me with pride not because of the achievements that I may have reached, but because of how I’ve managed to overcome whatever obstacles and surprises that life has to offer.
“These wouldn’t have been possible as well without all the love and support I get from my family, the people who treat me their family, my friends, and to everyone I’ve met all over the world. My overflowing thanks goes to all of you.”
He also expressed happiness that he was able to surpass his goal as he graduated with flying colors. Kent also thanked all the people who helped him throughout his whole journey in Europe.
“My goal was to make the best out of the scholarship. As a scholar, I feel I was very privileged and honored to be studying in Europe. I am not spending any money, it’s the European taxpayers’ money that I was using for my education so I felt like I have the responsibility to make the best out of the education and scholarship that I am getting
“Also I wanted to make my family and friends back home proud and even my colleagues at work since I left the Philippines for this education so at least by the end of the program there is something — this is what I did,” Kent said.