#WeAreInternational Alumni Stories 

Milagros Santos-Ong

South East Asia region, the Philippines, Librarianship, Class of 1982

"Even the mailboxes amazed me as they were a bright colour and we did not have them in the Philippines."Milagros Santos-Ong

I went to Sheffield University Postgraduate School of Library and Information Studies in 1980 as a British Council Colombo Grant scholar for a Postgraduate degree. This was my first trip outside the Philippines. I was the first Filipina to get a Postgraduate degree in library and information science from England. This education has equipped me in the Philippine library profession and to be the Director of Library Services of the Supreme Court - highest in the entire Philippines to this day.

As a Postgraduate student, I found it different that I was not required to attend classes everyday and the system was tutorial. The most difficult adjustment was spelling. It was after I received my first paper with red marks all over it that I realised that my English is American English. I use ‘z’ instead of ‘s’ and use words like ‘catalog’ instead of ‘catalogue’ and ‘elevator’ instead of ‘lift’.

Coming from a tropical, warm country as the Philippines, the first and most amazing time for me was experiencing snow. Despite visits to Australia, Germany and the United States, till this date I have not experienced snow again.

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