5 famous Pinays who studied abroad
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray pursued a professional music education. Source: Paras Griffin/Getty Images/AFP

Known for their beauty, Pinays have been making their mark across the world for decades now. They are models, artists, and humanitarians who chart their own path. They win competitions, build businesses, and spread joy through their vocation. All this is made possible by the education they gain — not just in school back home, but also institutions in the US, UK, and Australia. Here’s a look at five Pinays who have proven just that.


Catriona Gray attends the 2019 Latin American Music Awards at Dolby Theatre on October 17, 2019, in Hollywood, California. Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP

Catriona Gray

You know her as one of the country’s beloved beauty queens, but did you know she is also a trained singer? Before she was crowned Miss Universe 2018, this Filipina-Australian graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Gray studied music theory, ear training, harmony, and more in a Berklee Online certificate programme.


Georgina Wilson attends Maybelline New York Celebrates New York Fashion Week at Sixty Five on September 13, 2015 in New York City. Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Maybelline/AFP

Georgina Wilson

Wilson is no stranger to the screen or the world of finance. She started her Bachelor of Science in Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Then, she transferred to the University of Australia, eventually graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting with a double major in Finance. She went on to form Sunnies Studios in 2013 — today, it is a leading eyewear brand in her home country.


Rhian Ramos attends the “Safe Spaces” screening during 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at Village East Cinema on April 29, 2019 in New York City. Source: Dominik Bindl/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival/AFP

Rhian Ramos

Though not a traditional study abroad experience, Ramos got to be a part of the iconic New York improv scene when she went to the US in 2019. For six months, this famous Pinay lived her dream with the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch group. It is where Amy Poehler and Adam McKay cut their teeth in comedy, which is surely inspiring for Pinoys and Pinays who dream of making it big.


Actress Angel Locsin attends the 37th International Emmy Awards gala at the New York Hilton and Towers on November 23, 2009 in New York City. Source: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images/AFP

Angel Locsin

Beyond her success in TV, film, and modelling, Locsin is a professional fashion designer. This Pinay graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2007, even launching her own bag collection with a local brand. Her charitable efforts are also commendable; she has used her voice to support indigenous people and women, sponsored scholarships for children, and helped raise funds for COVID-19 aid.


Actress KC Concepcion, Philippines National Ambassador against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), poses with a banner in front of the Toyota team garage at the Singapore Formula One night race-track on September 25, 2009. Source: Roslan Rahman/AFP

KC Concepcion

Daughter of Megastar Sharon Cuneta, KC Concepcion has also become a household name in showbiz. She went to the American University of Paris in 2007, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Communications with a minor in Theatre Arts. She later started the online shop KC’s Closet, where she sold her pre-loved clothes for charity, and furthered her philanthropic journey when she became the National Ambassador Against Hunger of the United Nations’ World Food Programme.