Volunteer students from the Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies (BAMS) Program recently showcased an innovative metaverse exhibit during a short study visit to Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS). This presentation featured curated videos from students enrolled in MMS 198, a special topics course on intercultural communication and building digital bridges between the Philippines and Japan. The exhibit included contributions from collaborating institutions such as Tsuda University, the University of California Irvine, and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

The in-person presentation was a highlight of the ongoing Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) project under the TranPacific-Bridge Program, which spanned the 2nd trimester of the academic year 2023-2024. A passionate group of volunteer students from the collaborating universities presented the exhibit to students of Dr. Aya Fukuda at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The presenters, Ms. Jana Denise Tomacruz and Ms. Kristina Sarosa, along with graduate students from UPOU and International Christian University (ICU), Mr. Lexter Mangubat and Ms. Elizabeth Olivares Flores, shared their experience working together to create the exhibit in the metaverse. Their efforts not only highlighted the potential of the metaverse as an educational tool but also emphasized the importance of cross-cultural collaboration in today’s digital age. Dr. Roberto B. Figueroa Jr., who is in charge of the course and was also supporting the project as the director of the immersive open pedagogies program at UPOU, led them.

A Step Forward in Digital Learning

The success of this metaverse exhibit underscores the growing importance of digital learning and international collaboration in higher education. This pioneering short visit is a testament to the university’s commitment to achieving sustainable development goals through innovative platforms for open and flexible education and international partnerships. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and fostering a spirit of cooperation, the participants have set a benchmark for future educational initiatives.


We appreciate the unwavering commitment and diligent efforts of every participant involved and would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Koki Motoi from Purdue University and Ms. Ayaka Ito from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, who were members of the volunteer group, together with Ms. Jana Denise Tomacruz, Ms. Kristina Sarosa, Mr. Lexter Mangubat, and Ms. Elizabeth Olivares Flores, for their invaluable contributions. Their dedication to producing a remarkable and influential display is evidence of the potency of collaboration and ingenuity in education. Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Fernando Rodriguez of UCI, Dr. Aya Fukuda and Ms. Florinda Palma Gil of TUFS, and Dr. Yayoi Anzai of Tsuda University, who collaborated in the COIL project.

Looking Ahead

As the academic year progresses, the BAMS program at UPOU and its collaborators continue to explore new ways to integrate technology and international cooperation into their curricula. The success of the metaverse exhibit serves as a promising indicator of what the future holds for digital learning and global educational partnerships. With initiatives that build digital bridges between cultures, like the COIL project, the possibilities for enriching student experiences and fostering a truly interconnected world are endless.