International Service Project - Philippines

International Service Project - Water for Waslala

In the Philippines, the College of Engineering has partnered with a number of organizations to support various development initiatives, most aimed at improving the quality of life for people living in isolated communities. Engineering design projects have focused on water supply, agricultural mechanization, micro-hydro electrification and solid waste management. 


Student  Experiences

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Kyle Johnson ’13 CEE spent a summer in Ifugao province where he worked on a solid waste management plan for the small rural town of Kiangan. The challenges he discovered there led Kyle to develop an independent study project to design an engineered landfill for the area. “’Enlightening’ is the word I use to describe my time in the Philippines. Your work feels more important when you know the stakeholders personally. No feeling compares to knowing you are making a significant impact in the community,” said Kyle. In addition to providing him with a direction for his studies and career, Kyle admits that, “Because of the trip, I’m paying better attention in several of my courses, knowing that what I’m learning in the classroom has applications that I’ve seen in action.”


Colleen O’Neil ’12 CE was understandably “overwhelmed” when she arrived in Taytay, Palawan, but like most service learning students, her anxiety was diminished when she met the local people. Colleen’s team worked on a sustainable eco-tourism plan for this beautiful lake-centered small town. Along with a plan to improve transportation to Lake Danao, she created a website that captured the beauty of the area and provided tourist-friendly information. “My experience in TayTay has put engineering in perspective for me. I know an aspect of my career will have something to do with service,” she said.

Read more about service learning experiences in the Philippines in “Service Learning: Supply and Demand.” 

To Apply

Volunteer immersion trips often include students who are working on their senior design project, though under-classmen also are encouraged to participate to bring needed continuity to the program. Deadlines and an application form can be found here.

Learn More

For more information or to help support international service projects, contact Director Jordan Ermilio at Jordan.Ermilio@Villanova.edu or 610-519-6859. You can also make a donation through the University website, designating your gift to “Engineering Service Learning.”