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Union Catholic High School in New Jersey Opens Doors to Filipino Learners

As a homeschooling mom, I always seek enriching educational opportunities abroad for my children, in case they will want to try to study outside the Philippines.

Recently, I came across Union Catholic High School, a top private school in New Jersey (I have feedback that confirms their claim to be a top-tier high school in their location), and I learned that they’ve been reaching out to Filipino families like ours. Through their “Beyond Boundaries” roadshow, Union Catholic representatives — Assistant Principal, James Reagan, School Counselor, Jennifer Dixon, and Elito Tanyag, Teacher of Religion and Moderator of Filipino Club, visited the Philippines, giving us a glimpse of the academic and extracurricular programs they offer, stopping by U.P. Town Center in Quezon City and The Mind Museum in Taguig City.

I went to the one at the Mind Museum in BGC because it was near our church facility where I was going to attend a parenting workshop.

Union Catholic is a gem when it comes to rigorous academics. They prepare students for top colleges and universities with a learning environment that promotes critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

As of current, UC boasts that they have students attending Columbia, UPENN, Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth, and have students on scholarships at great schools like Duke, NYU, Rutgers, Purdue Norte Dame, and UCLA.

Image Source: IM Visuals
Image source: IM Visuals

Parents from UC speak highly of the school’s academic excellence, saying it provides fertile ground for students to achieve their best. I reckon that Union Catholic’s strong values-based education, diverse course offerings, and vibrant extracurricular activities are truly appealing to many Filipino families.

Since my children are leaning towards the Performing Arts for their future careers, I asked what they have in their program that would accommodate their interests and career paths, and they talked about their numerous clubs and organizations (they have about 40 active ones), including their Performing Arts Company.

I checked their page on this and I saw that they are staging Midsummer Night’s Dream and Emma, a Pop Musical — not bad, not bad at all for a Theater program.

On a side note,  my sister-in-law who migrated to Houston, said to me that Catholic High Schools in the US are better options for students to register with than the public schools because they offer a relatively safer environment for new migrants.

Asked on why they came to the Philippines, James Reagan said that they simply want to open up to different nationalities and culture, invite more asians to check out their school, to diversify their community even more. They pointed out that it is beneficial for their students to learn to communicate, socialize and work with people from all over the world.

Union Catholic offers ESL support services for students still developing their English skills and have cultural clubs to help Filipino students stay connected to their heritage. During the roadshow, Dr. Jennifer Dixon introduced their “homestay” program, which matches international students with host families, ensuring they feel at home even when far from their own families.


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A friend of mine asked what happens if the student does not get along with his host family and they said that they will help find him find a new home without additional costs.

Elito Tanyag shared his hopes of hosting Filipino students and assured us that he helps students stay in touch with their culture while encouraging independence. Union Catholic High School opens up a world of possibilities, blending strong academics with a supportive and diverse community.

Someone asked if students are required to join the Catholic-based activities in the High School and Elito said that for the religion subjects, yes, because it’s in the curriculum. But if you are not a Catholic, you are not required to practice them.

Elito also said, being a Catholic school, that they do not discriminate against gender preferences. While they still expect their students to adhere to the school’s rules and standards, their students who identify as LGBTQ are allowed to express themselves, especially in the arts programs.

One of the things that UC is very confident about is their community. Many of their former students continue to connect to their UC friends and teachers, and often, they introduce and connect young aspirants to these successful UC graduates to be mentored and guided towards their chosen pathways.

Union Catholic offers as much as 10K USD on scholarships to eligible students. UC scholarships can be either merit-based or need-based, but most of their scholars receive a combination of both. During the school year, the student can apply for more scholarships, if he needs to, and Union Catholic can assist in his applications for academic grants.

I asked if UC has a student exchange program at the moment for those who are not fully decided yet about moving to the US for Senior High and I was told that what they have are their Summer and Winter programs  that are conducted online.

UC uses Canvas, a highly reliable Online Learning Platform, for all their learning activities online. Jennifer Dixon mentioned that their students hardly missed anything during the pandemic lockdown and were online by Monday following the announcement of closure of schools the week prior.

They do have what they call a “Shadow program” wherein a learner can experience what it’s like to study within the UC environment for a maximum of 4 weeks. Shadow programs cost $1500 per week, inclusive of the learner’s homestay expenses.


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A post shared by May Palacpac (@fullyhousewifed)

Union Catholic is a good option if you want your child to experience independence and life in a US-based High School. They offer a solid academic foundation if your child is vying for the Ivy Leagues and top universities in America, plus they also provide a good environment and community that they can grow with when they stay there.

If it’s something that you are keen, you can click this link to get in touch with their admissions: https://flow.page/beyondboundaries


  • Stephanie

    Great news from Union Catholic! I am familiar with the school as it is only several miles from my home. Its a great school and glad to hear they are promoting for foreign students. Not only does this help the visiting students but also exposes the US students to new cultures.

  • LisaLisa

    This is fantastic! I’m thrilled that these types of schools are available, as they truly expose students to both cultures. This will be excellent for them.

  • Kat

    Your detailed guide on senior high school opportunities in the USA for Filipino students is incredibly helpful. It’s a great resource for families considering this path, providing clear insights and valuable information. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Olga

    I am glad we can have students from many cultures in a school. In my last English course in college, we had two guys from Thailand and we loved them.

  • Melanie E

    It is good to hear that they will get a good education. I think it’s great they’ll find a new host family if it doesn’t work out with the initial one.

  • Bedabrata

    Informative read! Understanding the US senior high school system is crucial for Filipino or any foreign students planning to study abroad. How do cultural adjustments impact their academic journey?

  • Marysa

    It is nice to explore different educational options. This is interesting to know that there are schools reaching out to Filipino students to expand their horizons.

  • Archana

    This is such a great news. Union Catholic High School in New Jersey is doing a great job reaching out to Filipino families through its “Beyond Boundaries” roadshow. Having students from other cultures enriches a country for sure.

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