Return To The USA - PART 2 Work & College

Return To The USA - PART 2 Work & College

Returning To Work

Returning to the United States after many years of living in the Philippines could be a lot tougher than doing the reverse years earlier.

You may have gotten older and consequently slowed down a bit. But the US will probably be even more fast paced than when you left.

If you need to work when you get back, then you can start planning for that contingency before you ever go to the Philippines.

Personal references stateside will be very valuable after years abroad. Maintaining personal and business ties with people in the US can help you a lot when you return and start your job search. Maybe no search will even be necessary. Maybe the job will be waiting for you thanks to your stateside ties that you never lost track of.

To avoid a blank spot on your resume you may choose to do some volunteer work while in the Philippines. In the bigger cities there are many opportunities with non-governmental agencies in a wide array of fields.

The bigger cities of the Philippines also allow more opportunities for networking with other expats.

Potential employers may also want to take a look at your credit report before hiring you, which is yet another reason not to let your credit slip while living in the Philippines. 

Education Credential Evaluation

If you have a Filipino spouse who has a degree from a University in the Philippines and they wish to use that degree for some kind of work in the US, then you may need to have the degree evaluated by a Credential Evaluating Service whose work is accepted by the US employer. The process can take months to complete and may cost several hundred dollars, depending upon many factors. 

If the degree is not printed in English, then the credential evaluator may require you to have it translated before they will evaluate it for you. Some credential evaluators also provide in-house translation. Two national associations of credential evaluators that can provide you with a listing of their members are:

The National Association of Credential Evaluating Services (NACES) and

The Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE

Just because an organization is a member of one of these two associations does not guarantee that you can depend upon them. I did my own research on several credential evaluators and searched for reviews on Google to see what the public has to say about the quality of services offered.

Home Schooling And High School Diploma

My wife and I had planned on homeschooling even before we came to the Philippines. Home schooling has made our life in the Philippines much more convenient and enjoyable and it has allowed us to spend a great deal more time together as a family.

Expats coming to the Philippines will have the same array of elementary and secondary education choices that they have in the US. Private schools are abundant and in the larger cities there are many secular schools and schools associated with various religious denominations. 

You can also find International Baccalaureate (IB): 
The International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organisation works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.—International Baccalaureate Mission Statement. IB Leaner Profile Booklet 
There are currently twenty-one (21) IB schools located in Metro Manila, Cebu and Baguio.

A student who graduates from a Philippine high school would have no problem getting into a US college or university if their academics are solid. Such a student would have to take the same entrance tests as US students do. The SAT and ACT are both offered at many locations in the Philippines throughout the year.

The GED Test

Update on taking the GED in the Philippines

Home schoolers in the Philippines, as elsewhere, who plan on sending their children to US universities can opt for a GED certificate to establish that high school level educational skills have been attained.

To prepare for the GED a parent needs to create an account on the GED Testing Service website. Once you have an account you can access information about the four tests (mathematics, social studies, science and language arts)
that must be passed to obtain the GED certificate.

The GED website also provides links to study options that include practice tests, study materials and prep courses. I know for a fact that live GED prep courses are available in Manila at this time.

The website also provides a tool to assist you in finding testing centers in the Philippines. Currently, there are two organizations that provide GED testing in the Philippines: MISNet Education, Inc. and Pearson Professional Centers-Manila. I have been unable to contact Pearson Professional Centers-Manila. Though I cannot locate a website or an email address for Pearson in Manila I presume that the GED is offered at that location, as the GED tests were developed by Pearson. I have, however, made personal contact with MISNet. MISNet confirmed to me that they do offer the complete four test GED battery at their CEBU and Makati testing centers.

Students who desire to take the GED at international locations may do so at age 18 with no restrictions. If the test taker is under 18, then they may take the test once they turn 16 years of age, but they must also submit Parental Consent Form. When an account is created with GED Testing Service if the test taker is between 16 and 18 years old there will be an alert message that will provide the link I gave above that leads to the consent form.

I have also considered the contingency of waiting until we are in the US to take the GED tests. If that were the case, if the test taker is under 18 then we would be subject to the GED rules of the particular state that we take the test in, which might include getting a clearance letter from the school district that has oversight over the area where we live. These rules vary widely from state-to-state. The upside is that many states award GED passers with state diplomas. 

I have yet to discover a college or university that does not accept the GED, but the US Military does allow only a limited number of GED recipients to enlist per year.



The HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) is another option to earn the high school diploma. Each state determines specific requirements for HiSET testing in that state and there are no International testing locations.



A third option for the high school credential is the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion). The TASC is offered by New York and Indiana.

College Entrance Testing 

College entrance exams test acquired skilled in reading, writing, science and mathematics. They also test a student's ability to manage time and cope with pressure and stress. The ACT and the SAT are two standardized tests that every college bound student should be planning for many years prior to graduation from high school.

The ACT 

The ACT (American College Testing) is a standardized college entrance test developed by ACT, Inc. Like the GED website, the ACT website provides links to study materials and resources. The ACT test can be taken at several locations in the Philippines throughout the year.  

The ACT test assesses English, mathematics, reading and scientific reasoning. There is an optional essay that tests the student's ability to understand and write about a complex issue.

The SAT 

The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) was developed by College Board, Educational. The SAT website. The SAT is offered throughout the year at various locations in the Philippines.

The SAT test assesses reading, mathematics, writing and language. Unlike the ACT, the base SAT test does not assess scientific reasoning. The SAT also includes an optional essay. In addition to the base battery of tests, the SAT currently offers twenty subject tests that can be taken to boost a student's university placement.

Live prep courses are available in the Philippines for both the ACT and the SAT. 

The prep route that I think we will take is through a combination of SAT and ACT study guides. Hard copy study material can be found at bookstores throughout the Philippines. Amazon Kindle versions of ACT and SAT study guides are also available. Amazon provides Kindle software for most devices. We have been using Kindle for PC for some of our homeschooling material.

Khan Academy offers an online SAT prep program that is free of charge. Khan currently has ten (10) full length SAT practice exams available that were written by the College Board especially for Khan Academy. Our daughter has already taken several of the exams and we do plan to make this a part of our ongoing test preps. Prep Scholar is a paid platform that offers SAT preparation online and they provide an insightful article detailing the shortcomings of the Khan SAT program. The best plan is a multifaceted plan and we will make use of many different formats and sources for our college prep.

Paying For College 

US citizens and certain other non-citizens may be eligible for Federal Student Aid. The Federal Student Aid website provides information about what types of aid are available, eligibility requirements and access to the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Main types of aid available are grants, scholarships, various types of student loans and federal work study.

Federal student aid is subject to eligibility requirements that will be determined in part based upon whether the prospective student is classified as dependent or independent.

To establish dependent status US citizens who have children while they are living in the Philippines should report the birth to the US Embassy as soon as possible. The sooner this is done the easier it will be to acquire US citizenship and a US passport for the child. It is also possible to adopt a child while living in the Philippines and they can subsequently be granted an immigration visa if certain conditions are met.

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