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University of the Philippines Los Banos

Welcome to the Hinich Foundation’s Orientation page for all Global Trade Leaders attending University of the Philippines Los Banos.

On the left sidebar you find a list of informational resources related to student life in the Philippines. These have been created by our current scholars to better prepare you for your arrival and ensure the smoothest transition when you start university.

Have a great first semester and congratulations again on being chosen for the Hinirich Global Leadership Program!

Pre-arrival – Before you get to school

After scholar received good news from Hinrich Foundation or HF offered and welcomed to HF family. Now, it is time to start journey into window of the University of the Philippines, Los Baños or UPLB in short name. The Graduate Student (GS) office will contact directly with scholar asking to fill-out the GS forms which every scholars of UP have to complete all its requirement and submit due to the deadline. The approval processing will take time for a while, but do not worry I believe most of scholars that HF chosen will pass through. Tip how to fill-out the GS forms and well preparation before step into UPLB.

Firstly, passport preparation. Surely every candidate who is hunting the scholarship to study in abroad has own passport already. Just make sure the passport will not be expired within 6 months and has enough blank page left for immigration stamps. Please do not worry about the VISA in the Philippines, the GS will organize this matter for all GS scholars, just hold a tourist VISA and bought tickets roundtrip with 30 days is enough and then the process let school handle this issue. Secondly, during preparation all requirements of school and HF. Scholar makes sure that has plan and inform the current organization working with about your next few months destination of studying life. Finally, make sure accomplish all of school and HF requirement due to the deadline strictly to show you are organize well and respectful. In addition, for more information-please do not hesitate to ask former of HF scholars and HF team. They are always ready to assist you.

Arrival : Getting from the airport, ID Cards and Banking

Welcome to the Philippines, just be and perform normal do not be panic whatever the immigration official asking. Because you are not illegal immigration and criminal person right? Just relax, answer them based on reality. But normally, they did not ask. My case just in case I were asked because I have not been the Philippines yet, I prepared to answer-visiting Alex Boome. Please record his phone number and address in case you are in emergency case. Definitely, before you step into the Philippines airport and proceed to the UPLB, the HF team will guide and assist you through the appropriate process.

The time arriving the UPLB, the time of opening school registration. Basically, these processes will bring you to get student ID Card and the same time applying for student VISA with GS which will take 2-4 months to get a ACR I-CARD from the Bureau of Immigration. Recommend asking friends from country-mate to guide you through the registration processes before proceed next step by your own. Or you can ask the officials around there to give you the direction. Once you got the student VISA and ACR I-CARD, please do not forget to check its expired date and keep asking GS official who take responsible on this task to organize for you beforehand.

More importantly, since you step into school make sure you have standby money to cope within 1-2 weeks for housing, registration fees, transportation and meals etc. Because since HF scholars opened the ATM bank account with BPI Family Bank (Located at Lopez Avenue–road going to UPLB), this will take a while through approval process. The approach of opening ATM of BPI, you should bring your ID or passport and sometime they would ask you a form5 from school. Recommend to open an ATM-only account (opening is Php500 and maintaining balance is Php3,000). Once you have money in your account, no need to teach you right how to withdraw stuff, you can withdraw with any BPI ATM nearby UP gate or other areas, but do not recommend to withdraw with other company bank with they will charge you.

Classes: Course preparation and reviews

For those HF scholars who do not have TOEFL or IELTS score test before, UPLB has request to have English class called LITE program. Basically, prepare the English class in UPLB to test your English capability before take course properly. Meanwhile, HF scholars case has to take main course with Devcom at least 4 subjects plus English class. Since HF scholars who offered studying MS Decom as main course, as mentioned 4 subjects (12 units)–you should chose the subject carefully in terms of what you will focus on, but you have to take main required subjects of college first such as the subjects are available in the first semester are DEVC201, DEVC208, DEVC230, and DEVC261 (see its website ).

The best to do this, you should bring the list subjects that available in first semester consult with your temporary or main adviser asking her/him suggest you. Nearly the end of first semester, the main college will ask to fill-out the study plan already (green form from GS). This form, you will list all the subject entire four semester that you will take after you consulted with your adviser already which and what minor course subjects you will take.

Living in University of the Philippines Los Banos – Housing, shopping and other establishments

There two options for housing in UPLB. First, on-campus housing. Second off-campus housing.

On-campus housing, you have the option to stay in UPLB Residence Halls. However, you would need to share a room with other students. The number of occupants depend on the residence hall. You also need to share common bathrooms with the other residents. But the good thing is that monthly fees in these dormitories are very minimal. For foreign students–don’t forget that the common electrical voltage in the Philippines is 220v! In the on-campus housing divided 2 types such as the dormitory for men are Makiling Residence Hall, Lower ACCI Dorm, New Forestry Residence Hall, New Dormitory, ATI Dorm and the dormitory for women are Men’s Residence Hall, Women’s Residence Hall, ACCI Dorm, Forestry Residence Hall. In addition, the UPLB dormitory has option that offer mix men and women such International House, VetMed Residence Hall, and SEARCA dorm (most are foreigner students).

For those who prefer to live off-campus, private dormitories, hostels, and apartments are just within a few minutes’ walk from the UPLB campus. You can go around in tri-cycle, bikes, if you may, but you can flag down a jeepney to take you to your destination within or outside the campus. You can also walk. You must be aware that most of apartments outside the campus are not furnished. So you may need to buy appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, beds, furniture, and other kitchen appliances. You may also need to pay for the monthly electrical and water bills.

The pros and cons between living on-campus and off-campus housing. The pros of on-campus housing: 1) safe and cheap–most of on-campus housing has security and they are strictly on the campus regulation and the price is cheap because you will share with roommate for expenditure except personal one; 2) friendship network–since most of students have to share kitchen, bathroom, bedroom so there is no doubt that this build relationship automatically, unless you are not go well with somebody then you choice to get rid of it right?; The cons of on-campus housing are sharing bedroom, long queue cooking, not private, strict rules some dormitories do not allow cooking and electronic appliances.

The pros living off-campus housing are independent (private), nearby the alternative shops, canteens, touching real community culture, open space for visiting guest, siblings, friends etc., the price of housing can negotiate. However, the cons of living with off-campus or outside of campus areas are not guaranty in terms of security (most big private dorm has security), pricy, some private dorm is far from school, far from big group of foreigner students.

Food – Canteens, restaurants and other meal option

Whenever taking about foods in the Philippines, I cannot stop to talk about how Filipinos love fastfoods and its address where to find it nearby UPLB such as McDonalds (Located at Vega Center, near the UPLB Gate and open 24 hours), KFC (Located beside Vega Arcade), Chowking (Located at Vega Center), Jollibee (There are three branches of Jollibee at Los Baños. One is located at the junction going to UPLB. From the campus, you can ride a jeepney going out of UPLB and ask the driver to drop you off at Jollibee. They will usually drop you off near Robinons Town Mall, where you can walk to Jollibee. This branch is open for 24 hours. The other branch is located at Centtro Mall, along Grove, while the other one is located at Olivarez Plaza–ride a jeepney going out of the campus to go there), Pizza Hut (Located at Olivarez Plaza), Greenwich (Sells pizza and pasta located at Olivarez Plaza), Mang Inasal (opposite the Jollibee at inter-junction). These fastfood chains are cheap and fast service place but not good for health in long term.

Beside the fastfoods, there are the Filipino local foods located along the road go to UPLB and also there are lots of canteens located inside the UPLB that you find easily. The foods style are sweet, salty, oily, rare of vegetable and not spicy.

If you would like to buy the groceries, you can find the major supermarket like There are two Puregold branches in Los Baños: Puregold Jr. is located near the Batong Malake Public Market while Puregold Extra is located near Olivarez Plaza. If you want to go there, you can ride a jeepney going outside the campus and tell the driver to drop you off there. Store hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Savemore is located very near the campus. It is located in Centtro Mall, opposite Mernel’s Cakehouse. Store Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This supermarket is located at the ground floor of Olivarez Plaza. It is located at Batong Malake, opposite Caltex. If you are coming from the campus, you can ride a jeepney to Bayan, Calamba Crossing, SM Calamba or Calamba Bayan. You can ask the driver to drop you off at Olivarez.

This supermarket is located across San Antonio de Padua Church at a place called Junction. If you are coming from the campus, you can ride a jeepney to Bayan, Calamba Crossing, SM Calamba or Calamba Bayan. You can ask the driver to drop you off at Robinsons. Store Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 8pm, Friday to Saturday and Holidays: 10am to 9pm.

Or if you would like to find more choices, you can take Jeepny go to Crossing Calamba (sign of Jeepny) and drop off at SM Calamba (20 peso cost)

Beside the major supper market, you also have choice to find things from Mini Mart in UPLB such as Star Commercial Lane, Mini Stop, 7-Eleven, Sari-Sari Stores. You can find these Mini Mart along road to UPLB.

If you who the one love fresh foods and cook by your own, then recommend to go to fresh market near the Olivarez Plaza in the right hand side if you come from UPLB to Manila. (It’s not far from Campus, 40 minutes’ walk).

Transportation – How to get around

This part just know the name destination where you are going to and then flag down the jeepny cost 8 peso (7 peso for students and senior people). It is very not complicate to commute around the campus of UPLB.

If you want to go Forestry, you can ride a jeepney at Demarses. However, they wait for it to be full before leaving. If you are in a rush, you can wait for a jeepney near DL Umali Auditorium and do the hand sign point up. You can also opt to do this sign anywhere in the campus, but chances to ride a jeepney going to Forestry are higher if you do so near DL Umali.

If you want to go to IRRI, First, ride a jeepney to Junction (you can normally ride all jeepneys from the campus besides the UP Gate jeepney) and get off at El Danda. This is the road turning left from the main avenue just before Robinson’s Town Mall. You could see that there are jeepneys lined up waiting for passengers. (Note: the jeepneys only park outside the IRRI gate, you would need to walk the rest of the way to IRRI building you want to go to there.). There are also shuttle buses from IRRI going to PhySci parking lot and vice vesa. This is free of charge and you only have to be there on time. The IRRI bus picks up passengers in front of LandBank (across ADMI) and OVCRE annex (across Christian School International) before 8 am and before 1 pm.

If you want to go to Metro Manila, you can ride a jeepney going outside the campus and ask the driver to drop you off at Olivarez Plaza (Fare: 8 pesos). From there, you can ride a bus to Cubao or LRT Buendia (Fare: more or less 100 pesos). If you are not sure whether which bus to take, you can first research or ask others about where to have yourself dropped off since it depends on which part of Manila you are heading to.

If you would like to go back to school from NAIA airport and vice versa by her/himself using public transportation. This purpose was addressed for whom already familiar with the Philippines and for whom no one guiding you. First, let’s say-you are now in the airport would like to commute to college of UP Los Banos, Laguna where far from Manila 1-3 hours travel depends on traffic. If you are on a budget and you can carry your things easily, you can take the shuttle bus waiting outside the airport (This will cost you 20 pesos). This will stop at the LRT (EDSA) station, where you should drop off. (Alternatively, you can get a taxi cab at the airport and tell them to drop you off at the DLTB or Greenstar Bus Station at Gil Puyat. This may cost more but would be more comfortable. If you do this, disregard steps 2-3). Take the LRT 1 to Gil Puyat Station (12 pesos*). Walk to the DLTB Bus Station or to the Greenstar Bus Station. It is close to the LRT 1 Station. Tell the conductor that you will get off at College. Prepare your fare, it costs more or less 100 pesos*. Once you arrive at Los Baños, get off at the Caltex Gas Station and take the jeepney with UP College sign board. Pay the minimum fare (8 pesos*). You may ask the jeepney driver to drop you off at your specific UPLB campus destination (or near it).

And vice versa, let’s say you are in UPLB would like to commute to the airport by several purpose. This follow instruction might help you unless you have lots of money hire a van or taxi which will cost you around PHP. 3500 or more.

You can ride a jeepney going outside the campus and ask the driver to drop you off at Olivarez Plaza (Fare: 8 pesos*). From there, you can ride a bus to LRT Buendia (Fare: more or less 100 php*).

From the last stop (bus station), you can walk to LRT 1 and ride it to ESDA Station (Fare: 12 php). There is a shuttle bus there which you can ride to the airport (Fare: 20 php). If you are carrying a lot of baggage with you, it would be more advisable to talk a taxi cab from the bus station to the airport.

Activities – On-campus clubs and international travel

"It more fun in the Philippines” is the phrase promoting tourism in the Philippine, there are many activities organized by different faculty in UPLB. The campus events are known as Loyalty Day and Alumni Homecoming, February Fair, Palarong UPLB. But here will discuss on international students’ activities as following:

ISA Orientation

This activity aims to inform the international students of the different services that they can avail in UPLB. It also aims to give them an idea about the Philippine culture and the new life they have to face as new UPLB foreign students.

ISA Cultural Night

This night is dedicated to the sharing of different cultures through presentation of festival dances, songs, rituals and unique presentations mirroring the culture of international students’ respective countries

ISA Sportfest

This activity aims to strengthen the camaraderie among international students by engaging them in sports such as volleyball, basketball, football, and other traditional games

ISA Family Day

During this day, the family of the foreign students gather together for a fun filled day of activities which aims to strengthen camaraderie among families through different parlor games.

Chancellor’s Welcome Party

The Office of the Chancellor sponsors a welcome party for new/incoming international students together with ISA Officers. This is an opportunity for them to personally meet the Chancellor of the University and discuss matters related to international students

"Share a Home this Christmas”

During the Christmas season, members of the Rotary Club of Los Baños and other interested organizations share their homes to International Students as they celebrate Christmas together.

Pinoy International Food Festival

The International Students Association and some Filipino Varsitarian organizations participate in a food festival that showcases their culinary talents of preparing traditional food from their country or region

Search for Outstanding Foreign Students

The Philippine International Friendship Organization (PIFO) is a nationwide organization for foreign students. One of its major activities is the Search for the Three Most Outstanding International Students of the Philippines. The competition includes screening of nominees, talent search, extemporaneous speech, essay writing, examination, and interviews, aside from the required credentials to be submitted to PIFO.

Ambassadors Day

This is an event organized by the embassies wherein students are invited to share their experiences in the presence of the ambassador

Ambassadors Program

This program encourages international students to become a volunteer Ambassador for Filipino Goodwill for UPLB.

Emergency numbers and contacts

If you are in emergency case or other concerns please have a look the list contacts

Special tips (Tips of excellence)

Actually, I am not sure it is a tip or not, because I do believe everyone has different survival technique. Based on my two years experiences, the best thing to do.


Create the study plan-specify exact time complete.


Make friends with not just only international students, but also Filipino student who they are your classmates, because they are better understanding in class than us who from not Filipino English native. If you are honestly and friendly with them then they will help you smoothly.


Work closely with you adviser who will help and support you through the thesis and classes within 2 years. Fourth, accomplish all the assignment and submit due to deadline. This will show your enthusiasm on your study work. Lastly, be smart student!

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