by KRISTINE ERIKA AGUSTIN and JANIS JOPLIN MOISES
THE UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas Journalism Society (JournSoc) and student publications welcomed five Journalism students from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) last Monday for the second batch of the Foreign Correspondent Study Tour.
Writers from The Flame and The Varsitarian will collaborate with students from UTS in writing stories on various issues relevant to the Philippines. JournSoc members will be on hand to assist them.
Journalism program coordinator Felipe Salvosa II and JournSoc members accompanied the students from UTS, along with their two professors, on their excursion around Intramuros and National Museum of the Philippines on Sunday.
The excursion allowed UTS students to learn more about the culture and history of the Philippines and to familiarize themselves with students from UST.
Jacinta Neal pitched stories that focused on the activism and initiatives of organizations in restoring Manila Bay and how abortion laws in the Philippines and Australia relate to each other as both create uncomfortable conversations in their respective countries.
Sevin Pakbaz proposed to write stories on how boxing would improve the mental health of underprivileged communities, skin whitening as a beauty trend, and environmental issues in Palawan.
Renae Barber, also from UTS, centered her topics on how the LGBTIA+ community is treated in a predominantly Catholic country, veganism lifestyle, and the struggles of living in a country where the minimum wage is barely enough to feed a family.
Eliane Turnbull took interest in the rise of sustainable fashion and the lack of nurses in the Philippines due to low salary and longer shifts as topics for her story.
Lastly, Jarin Hossein will explore the HIV stigma in the Philippines and the disappearance of the Filipino language.
The two-week study tour is facilitated by the New Colombo Plan of the Australian government, which aims to connect Australia and the Indo-Pacific region by providing experience and knowledge on the culture and language of different countries.
“UST happens to be aligned with the New Colombo Plan, so that is the reason why we are partnering together for students from UST and UTS to collaborate, to be able to write stories that could be captured [for] different audiences.” Kate Delmo, a lecturer in UTS, said.
Delmo added that the study tour would help the students prepare for the challenges of being a foreign correspondent, especially in terms of cultural barriers and unfamiliarity with new places when writing a story for the public.
UTS also deployed groups to India and Indonesia to conduct study tours.
The UTS students will continue their study tour in Palawan on Nov. 29 and will be in the Philippines until Dec. 7.F