1. Muhammad Ibnu Ristiawan – Yangon, Myanmar
Every word we said/wrote will be doa. It’s something I learned from my experience.
Starting from a desire to go aboard, I had followed international office of undip’s website and said “I wanna go aboard one day”. Then, I found an opportunity for student exchange program, it was EU-SHARE Schoolarship batch 3 opened registration which fully provides schoolarships for ASEAN students to undertake short-term studies in other ASEAN and European higher education institutions.
At that time, I went to IO, and it was not easy to prepare all the documents and requirements needed right before deadline. I also had to manage my time and focus on my last semester exam and organisation. Sometimes those problems got me down. But yeah, all my sacrifices paid off. After 3 weeks of registration, I received a LoA from Yangon University of Economics, Myanmar. I chose Yangon University of Economics (YUEcoe) when I registered the schoolarship via online, and Alhamdulillah I was choosen to study at YUECoe for one semester.
That was my very first time ever to go and study aboard. The first day I arrived in Yangon, I was so excited and at the same nervous. I have taken 2 courses related to my major of public administration in Undip : International trade policies and issues and Economic policy and management. Learning public administration in a different country, helped me in understanding administrative setups and their functioning in various settings and societies/countries.
There are three campuses of Yangon University of Economics, I studied at Hlaing Campus, obviously that campus is for Master students, but because the location is close to the downtown, so I studied there. The different things that i founded in myanmar is the age of the university students here is 2 years younger than university students in Indonesia.
I appear much like any other Burmese people, when I met people there, they talked to me in Burmese. One funny experience that I had was when i went alone and I wanted buy something, so I just typed words in Google translate.
I learned a lot by this exchange, I have learned to more to be independent, when living far beyond my family, this obviously was not the care, which challanges me to take care of myself, besides that by the shared scholarship programe I also could improve my english skills, all learning activities were carried in english and I was forced to speak in English all the time which enabled me to further developed my english . Last but certainly not least, by going on exchange I could gain deep insight into another culture, especially Myanmar culture that was very rich, which enriched my life and give me a different prespective of the world.
So, don’t underestimate ourselves. With some efforts and doas, InshaAllah Allah gives us a best opportunity2.
2. Bianglala Asmarasari – Hanoi, Vietnam
Since I was in high school, I always wanted to study abroad. However, language barriers and financial capability were two main obstacles for me. Since I entered university, I started to work hard on it, so that one day I would be able to pursue it. And it happened in my 3rd year in university. In May 2017, I could achieve my dream by receiving a scholarship from SHARE-ASEAN, which all funded by European Union in Vietnam National University, Hanoi. I couldn’t describe how thrilled I was to be chosen by them. This scholarship aimed to support higher education in ASEAN. So that, I got the opportunity to get a fully funded exchange program for one semester in another ASEAN country, precisely in Vietnam. After weeks of arranged things, I finally arrived in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. It was my first experience ever to come to a foreign country on my own, just myself and my luggage. Absolutely, I was nervous at first if I couldn’t adapt well to the new environment. But I was completely wrong. Vietnam was such a great country. I could feel a new atmosphere here, surrounded by incredible nature and unique culture. I said to myself that I’m ready to start and to learn something new for the next five months!
During my stay there, I studied at Vietnam National University. The location of it was so close to my dormitory. It was only five minutes away by bus. The faculties in VNU are separated in to some areas. The place I was studying in was called University of Social Science and Humanities (USSH). I took four classes there, Introduction to Sociology, General Economics, European Union Foreign Policy, and Political Institutions of The World. In my classes, there were also some other exchange students too. It was great to expand our international connection there! All the classes conducted in English by Vietnamese Lecturers. They helped me to broaden my knowledge about Vietnam and its culture. We also got the chance to have classes with the lecturers from different nationalities! The lecturer in EU Foreign Policy Class was Mr. David Camroux. And there were also more from the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands in other classes. Having international lecturers and friends from different nationalities were so helpful to improve my English skills and to expand our understanding of other countries. I had the opportunity to introduce them about Indonesia and things about our culture that probably they hadn’t know yet. We often discussed things that happened in our country as well based on given topics, so we could see from different perspective. During the exam weeks, we had to do presentations on certain topics that we chose. My presentations was about Executive Roles in the World, Human Resources in Indonesia, Foreign Policy in Latvia, and Social Phenomenon in Indonesia. I was glad that I could pass all the exams very well and able to gain good grades. Besides studying in the class, I also joined Master Tea Club, it’s an English Club in USSH, which invites all student who have interest in learning English. Every week, we discussed some interesting topics in English about the current issues.
Studying isn’t merely inside the class. We have to go outside and explore the cities to discover something new as well. Hence, I learned a lot about Vietnamese culture, went to some historical places there. We tried many Vietnamese food as well, such as pho, bun dao, bun cha, etc. I really love Vietnamese food (my favorite was bun dao and banh xeo). This food has a different kind of taste and unique ingredients. We also had a photo session with other SHARE Awardees wearing our national dress and Áo dài (Vietnamese Traditional Clothes) for the friendship of our friendship in Hanoi. Besides knowing about Vietnamese culture, we were also truly fascinated by nature. I went to some famous places My first trip in Vietnam was to Ha Long Bay, a famous destination there. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Quang Ninh Province. We spent one night on the boat and one night on Cat Ba Island. It has a breathtaking scenery and surrounded by huge rocks. I also went to Ninh Binh and visited the biggest temple in Southeast Asia. We walked a lot to explore the temple. Before I came back to Indonesia, I visited Sa Pa. It’s another famous destination which located in the north part of Vietnam. Actually, the weather in the North part of Vietnam was so cold during December, but we enjoyed it so much! Two days before I left, I also had a chance to visit Phong Nha, it’s 6 hours away from Hanoi. There were many marvelous caves there. The beauty of Vietnam made me want to explore the whole country, however because I didn’t stay for long there, I had no chance to visit the south part of Vietnam.
During the classes, the trips, and even my daily life there, I met a lot of nice people who were willing to help me when I had some troubles. I made friendships with them that we still keep till now. Of course, there were many impediments, especially the language barriers, but they always tried to understand and help me in many ways. The time I left Hanoi, I remembered the first time I came here. I was afraid to be here alone, thinking about how I could make friends here in the foreign country. But it was wrong. I was even surprised I got many friends here, to share, to help, to learn, to travel. I’m so grateful to have a chance to study abroad as an exchange student at Vietnam National University. It was such an irreplaceable experience that I will never forget. It was more than studying in the classes, but I discovered new things that will be useful in my future too. That was my best experience so far.
3.Heberina Trinatis Tampubolon – Mandalay, Myanmar
Who doesn’t want to go abroad for free? Hmm
Hi, I’m Heberina, a student from public administration of UNDIP, batch 2015. I have a lot of dreams in my life. One of them is that to go abroad for free. Does anyone have the same dream as me? So, let’s start it..
One day, I saw my friend post the interesting photo on Instagram that made me curious. The place on the picture he posted on his Instagram got me interested to know. That is Myanmar. Myanmar sounded strange to me because the favourite destination countries for vacation around ASEAN are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and also Indonesia. In my opinion, Myanmar was not a favorable country to visit at that time. Everything had changed after I saw my friend’s picture on Instagram.
I asked my friend “How can you go there?” …I WANT…
He said “I got it from the share scholarship”
After the day, I applied for that scholarship with my close classmate that had the same interest in the scholarship.
I went through all steps in the requirements such as complementary documents, interviews, essays, and, yeah, I did them well. so I received Letter of Acceptance (LoA) from Mandalay University and also EU-SHARE informing that the scholarship allowed me to study in Myanmar.
After that, I must do my final exam earlier than other students and for sure, “semkon” because I would start my mobilities at the hosting university on the first of December, while my final exam in home university started in the middle of December. I believed that I CAN DO IT.
Yah, I did it well. So, I could go to Myanmar right after finishing my exam. (But you know it was not easy, I had many obstacles to go through, guys)
On the first day in Mandalay University, I had school orientation held by the university. it was about introduction performed by visiting students to hosting students and it was on the contrary. It was exciting experience to meet so many people that I thought, I could never remember all the faces and their names. I stayed at the international student boarding house, and made activities such as international dinners, and culture talk with other friends from Cambodia, US, and Korea.
My major at hosting university is Politics. On the other hand, as the student of public administration at Diponegoro University, I chose three subjects related to the subject I take in home university. Those are about political theories, conflicts management and resolution, geopolitics in International Relation.
Due to those 3 chosen subjects, I was shared about politics and conflict occurred in Myanmar by the hosting students . We discussed what the best solving ways are to the problems. My friends and lecturers also asked me back about politics and conflicts occurred in Indonesia. It meant that they are open to accepting me as a foreigner from Indonesia and want to visit wonderful Indonesia, that they have heard from me someday.
I’m so happy and grateful that I’m able to know their culture, people’s habits, traditional foods, tourist destinations (like Inle lake, flower garden (Pyin Oo Lyin), Hill and Mountain, Bagan (the place that we can see more than 1000 pagodas)) are in Myanmar. The most phenomenal place amongst them is Irrawaddy River. It is the largest river in Myanmar for international trade and liaison with China, and many more.
Not only that, I also had the opportunity to perform Indonesia dance on celebration of Union day of Myanmar. Myanmar’s Union Day is celebrated on 12th of February to commemorate Myanmar’s Independence. Such as lucky people.