Office of Global Engagement

SUMMER 2024 - PHILIPPINES: Writing Filipino and American Experiences through Creative Nonfiction

In this Brown Global Summer Program, explore the relationship between the US and the Philippines through the lens of creative nonfiction in the capital city of Manila. 

PHILIPPINES: Summer 2024 • Virtual Info Session

Click below to watch a recording of a virtual info session and learn all about PHILIPPINES: Writing Filipino and American Experiences through Creative Nonfiction.  Facilitated by faculty director, Grace Talusan (English), this info session provides an overview of academics, cultural programming, housing, costs, eligibility requirements, and instructions for submitting an application for Summer 2024.

Click to watch the info session recording!


This course explores the relationship between the US and the Philippines through the reading and writing of creative nonfiction including journalism, memoir, essays, and scholarly articles. We will explore this relationship through various topics such as Facebook and elections, Filipino nurses and labor, and the rise of Filipino flavors such as ube in American foods. Students keep a notebook and practice all the stages of writing towards a portfolio of finished creative nonfiction. This course includes mandatory travel to Manila, Philippines for experiential learning through interactions with the local writing community in a range of settings, including universities and media companies, and field trips while in residence at Ateneo de Manila University. 

Program Highlights:

  • An online asynchronous summer course with a mandatory two-week in-country residential travel component to Manila, Philippines;
  • Opportunities to practice creative nonfiction writing skills through first-person reporting, place-based writing assignments, and reflective writing; 
  • Generating and sharing nonfiction writing in workshops;
  • Excursions to the Manila American Cemetery, shopping centers, and other sites that reverberate with traces of the US empire in the contemporary Philippine cityscape; 
  • In-person meetings with Philippine-based journalists at media organizations such as with  Glenda Gloria, co-founder and executive editor of Rappler, and broadcast journalist Howie Severino of GMA Network;
  • Discussions with faculty and students from Ateneo de Manila University, the partner institution and the primary residential site for this program;  
  • Participation in a day-long public symposium related to the course topic with nonfiction writers and scholars at Ateneo de Manila University, and other academic and literary community members; 
  • An overnight at Kapusod, a sustainable living lakeside camping retreat.


Grace Talusan (English)


  • Course Title: ENGL 105X - Traces of Empire: Writing Filipino and American Experiences through Creative Nonfiction
  • Credit: Participants will earn one unit of credit, equivalent to four semester hours.
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Language of instruction: All classes are delivered in English. 


*June 17, 2024 – August 2, 2024

*Please note that program dates and itinerary are tentative and will be finalized in Spring 2024.


June 17 - June 29, 2024

Pre-Travel Coursework (Online/Asynchronous)

June 30, 2024

Arrival in Manila; check in to program-arranged housing

July 1 - July 12, 2024

Delivery of in-country/experiential learning program

July 13, 2024

End of in-country program; check out of program-arranged housing 

July 14 - August 2, 2024

Post-Travel Coursework (Online/Asynchronous)


  • In Manila, students will be housed in an international student residence in double rooms with ensuite bathrooms at the international residence hall at Ateneo de Manila.  
  • Please note that all participants are required to stay in program-arranged housing. Independently arranged housing will not be permitted.
  • Some meals will be provided as part of program activities. Otherwise, students should budget accordingly to provide for their own meals. 


Brown Global Summer Program participants are billed for Brown Summer Session Tuition, the Brown Summer Session Enrollment Fee, and a program fee that covers housing, program activities, and some meals while in-country.  The tuition and fees for Summer Session 2024 are published on the Student Financial Services website.  The program fee for this program is $3,200.

This program also has anticipated expenses, including airfare, that will not be billed by Brown.  We will be uploading detailed estimates of the unbilled expenses for this program in the coming weeks on this website.


Brown undergraduates who receive financial aid during the academic year may be eligible for a Summer Grant towards their Summer Session tuition and enrollment fees. Eligible students will be contacted by the Office of Financial aid in late February/early March with information about their eligibility.



Please make note of the following deadlines for Summer 2024 programs.  Application will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

  • Thursday, February 1: Preferred Application Deadline
  • Friday, March 1: Final Application Deadline
  • Friday, March 8: Admissions Decision
  • Friday, March 15: Commitment Deadline


All questions can be directed to:

Banner Photo by Alonso Nichols