ISR-OVCSA concludes “TULAY” program for int’l students

5 April 2023 | Sairah Mae R. Saipudin |

The UPLB International Student Relations (ISR) of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) held “TULAY: Building Bridges Across Cultures,” a week-long program for international students, last March 20-24.

The program aimed to provide a bridge that would help in the adjustment and transition of international students in the university through a series of discussions regarding support services, policies, and guidelines.

It would also assist international students in reviving the International Students Association (ISA). Tulay is the Filipino word for bridge.

For Day 1 of TULAY, a welcome program for new and continuing international students, was held at the Makiling Ballroom, Student Union Building.

The event was attended by Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr., Vice Chancellor Janette H. Malata-Silva and the assistant to the vice chancellor and directors of OVCSA offices. These are Director Marc Immanuel G. Isip of the Office of Student Housing, Director Jea Agnes T. Buera of the Office of Counseling and Guidance, Director Ariel L. Babierra of the Office of Scholarships and Grants, and Office of Student Activities Director Maria Rowena Beatriz Q. Inzon, who also heads International Student Relations.

Also present were Marcelina C. Miranda, Research, Communication and Information Technology coordinator, other OVCSA staff, and Lily L. Tallafer, representing Friends of Overseas Citizens and University Students (FOCUS).

OVCSA Directors presented the programs and services of their respective offices during the welcome program. At the same time, the UPLB Sandayaw Cultural Group and the UPLB Choral Ensemble gave performances during the intermission.

Akhmad Zamroni, a PhD candidate in Environmental Science and president of the International Students Association, responded on behalf of international students. The activity was hosted by ISR’s new project development associates, Vannessa San Juan and Sairah Mae Saipudin.

Day 2 of TULAY focused on a discussion on gender and cultural sensitivity led by Dr. Emilia A. Lastica-Ternura, coordinator of the UPLB Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment.

On days 3 and 4 of the program, the ISA executive committee and country representatives were brought together for a write shop. The head of the UPLB Legal Office and chair of the Student Disciplinary Tribunal Jorge S. Davide, Jr. discussed the nature and components of a constitution and by-laws which serves as the reference for the execcom in updating ISA’s organizational documents.

To cap off the week-long event, ISR, with its partner student organization, Society of Exchange Students UP, held a tour of the lower and upper campuses and visited The ARTIST, Inc. Center at Carbern Village which showcases Espasyong Bayan, a collection of 30 maquettes by Filipino artists across the country.