“Universitas gave me the opportunity to participate in several academic programs abroad, namely at the Witherspoon Institute and John Jay Institute, both in the United States, and the at the Kolegium Antona Neuwirtha in Slovakia. The experience greatly widened my horizon and raised the bar of my aspirations for my country. One of the things that I learned from those programs was that the intellectual life doesn’t necessarily entail total detachment from society. To the contrary, academics have the responsibility of sharing their knowledge, shedding light on societal issues, and most importantly, aiding the people in making sense of their day to day life so that they may be guided in using their freedom well and living a meaningful life.”
Bino was part of the founding team of the first Inquies Pro Lege seminar during his college days at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila. Due to his active involvement and great capacity for learning, he was sent by Universitas for a 5-month fellowship course at John Jay Institute in Pennsylvania in 2018. He fulfilled the internship component of his fellowship program at the Kolegium Antonia Neuwirtha in Slovakia. Prior to that, Universitas also sent him to Princeton for the First Principles summer course of Witherspoon Institute. He completed his Masters Degree in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland in 2020.
by Bino Socrates
(Bino Socrates shares his experience as an intern at the Kolegium Antona Neuwirtha (KAN) in Slovakia last June 11 to July 9, 2018. Bino is the Officer for International Linkages (Europe) of Universitas Foundation, Inc. He graduated with a degree in Sociology from the University of Sto. Tomas in 2016.)
Through the John Jay Fellows Program (US), I was able to do my internship at the Kolegium Antona Neuwirtha (KAN) in Slovakia. At first, I didn’t really know what to expect since I’ve never been to that part of Europe. I just know that it used to be part of the Communist bloc. And much of what I know about Kolegium came from Atty. Oliver Tuazon, the CEO of Universitas, who attended their summer seminar for international students a few years back. In fact, it was Oliver who suggested that I apply for internship at KAN. And thankfully, through the kindness of Dr. Martin Luteran, the Rector and Founder of Kolegium, I got accepted for a one-month internship (June 11 – July 11).
The thought of staying in Slovakia filled me with feelings of excitement and anxiety. Excitement because it was certainly going to be an adventure, while anxiety primarily because of the language and cultural barriers. How will I work and make friends with the people? What if I got lost, will anyone help me? All my worries, though, proved unfounded when I arrived at KAN.
The moment I stepped down from the car, I was welcomed by the enormous and wonderful castle-like structure right in front of the gate, the chateau, as the students would call it. I grew even more fascinated with the place when I saw the wide garden surrounded by trees at the back of the chateau. It was still Spring when I arrived. I knew at that moment that it was the place to be. With the temperate weather, the peaceful atmosphere due to its fair distance from the city (Bratislava), it was a perfect place for people who love contemplating the beauty of nature, as well as for intellectual and spiritual reflection…. Read More.