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  • Angelica Africa

Undergraduate Students Participate in a Leadership Exchange Program in Singapore

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

by Angelica Africa, Raymond Gallego, Alena Taldua, Alon Vallespin

Photos: Alena Taladua

Five students from the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) participated in the first-ever partnership between the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) and Republic Polytechnic, Singapore (RP) in the inbound leg of the Temasek Foundation International Specialists' Community Action & Leadership (TFI-SCALE) Program last September 6-19, 2023. TFI-SCALE is a short-term student leadership exchange program sponsored by the Temasek Foundation that engages students in discussions on regional issues in ASEAN with the goal of applying their knowledge and skills to relevant social projects.

Inbound leg of the TFI-SCALE Program held in Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

The program consists of a two-week inbound program in Singapore, which is focused on discussing a regional issue and project planning, and another two-week outbound program at the partner university for the project implementation.

TFI-SCALE exchange students from UPD and RP

Senior students Angelica Africa and Raymond Gallego, and junior students Francesca Petero, Alena Taladua, and Alon Vallespin, along with five other participants from the Institute of Biology and another five from the National Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology of the University of the Philippines – Diliman, worked with fifteen students from Republic Polytechnic Singapore (RP) in tackling plastic and water pollution.

UPD NIGS delegates from left to right: Alon Vallespin, Francesca Petero, Angelica Africa, Alena Taladua, and Raymond Gallego

As the outbound program is slated for March next year, the participating exchange students plan to conduct a coastal clean-up along theLas Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA). They have divided themselves into three groups: the first group focuses on trash collection and classification, the second on quantifying pollution levels based on chloroform amounts in water samples, and the third on assessing microplastic pollution in the area.

UPD & RP students’ culminating performance

This program provided the students an opportunity to hone their leadership and problem-solving skills, and know more about the magnitude of real-world environmental issues. Aside from these, the exchange also served as an avenue to create meaningful life-long friendships and learn about navigating multicultural environments.

Guided tour in Marina Barrage


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