Pinoy Scholar in Europe Graduates from His Master’s Degree as Summa Cum Laude

A Pinoy scholar taking up his Master’s Degree in Europe went viral after he completed his studies as summa cum laude, the highest honor a student could achieve in his studies in higher education.

Kent Tangcalagan impressed fellow Filipinos and foreigners alike as he graduated summa cum laude from the Erasmus Joint Masters Degree in Comparative Local Development. What makes this achievement extra special is that Tangcalagan was able to study in three different universities throughout his 2-year scholarship in Europe.

Photo credit: EHEF / Kent Tangcalagan – Facebook

He qualified for the scholarship in May 2017. He began his studies in Europe at Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary. Then, he spent the second semester at the University of Regensberg in Germany before heading to the University of Trento in Italy for his third semester.

His last semester was spent as Graduate Research Intern, working on his thesis and defense, at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies at Max Planck Society in Germany.

Photo credit: EHEF / Kent Tangcalagan – Facebook

My goal was to make the best out of the scholarship. As a scholar, I feel I was very privileged and honored to be studying in Europe. I am not spending any money, it’s the European taxpayers’ money that I was using for my education so I felt like I have the responsibility to make the best out of the education and scholarship that I am getting,” the young scholar shared.

Also, I wanted to make my family and friends back home proud and even my colleagues at work since I left the Philippines for this education so at least by the end of the program there is something — this is what I did.

But Tangcalagan’s 2-year stint in Europe wasn’t always happy because he lost both parents in 2018, at the time when he was experiencing both fun and challenges in this new chapter in his life. So, he dedicates his success to his late parents, saying that he hopes they are looking over him with pride over his achievements.

Photo credit: EHEF / Kent Tangcalagan – Facebook

Closing for now this beautiful chapter of my two-year Erasmus Mundus journey here in Europe. If there has been one great thing I’ve learned from these last two years, it would be – resilience.

I’ve been tested these past two years with the toughest times while being all away to the other side of the world. But through all those challenges, it has only made me even stronger and inspired to move even further.

Wherever mom and dad may be right now, I hope they look over me with pride not because of the achievements that I may have reached, but because of how I’ve managed to overcome whatever obstacles and surprises that life has to offer.

Photo credit: EHEF / Kent Tangcalagan – Facebook

Before going to Europe for the Erasmus Mundos program, Tangcalagan used to work as nurse at Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu and as Gender Research Associate at the Social Development Research Center in De La Salle University.

He completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associate in Health Science Education at the University of San Jose – Recoletos (USJR) as a scholar in 2011, then his first Master’s Degree (Master of Health Social Science) at De La Salle University, also as a scholar.


One comment

  1. I am glad I contributed to his success. As Kent mentioned, “ it is the European taxpayer’s money.” I have been paying tax in Austria since 1977 and in UK since 2009. Congratulations Kent! Well done! Sorry for your loss. May your parents RIP.

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