Being an IISMA Awardee
In 2021, I was selected as the awardee of the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA), Kampus Merdeka Program. I got a chance to study at the Faculty of Geographic Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Netherlands. I took this program as an opportunity to maximize my potential and emphasize the Tri Dharma Perguruan Tinggi.
Being a student at the University of Twente (UT) has given me a way to connect with new colleagues and experience a new culture of learning. Here, students are commonly asking questions in class or later approaching the teacher individually. We even have an assignment Q&A period in the timetable. We have always been told, “There isn’t such a stupid question; every question is worth asking”.
During the learning program, we got the module on specific themes with all sorts of subjects and learning activities. Usually, we got feedback sessions with fellow students, tutorials, and lectures. Interestingly, we had a final team project at the end of the module, in which, together with my group, I addressed a real-world problem. This way, I got to put scientific theory into practice.
Being an international student has given me the opportunity to share Indonesian culture with society. I and the other IISMA awardees in UT have participated in an event called “ITC International Food Festival”. We introduced a bunch of Indonesian cuisines. We dressed up, decorated a booth, and shared the Indonesian foods while interacting with the other students and staff in ITC Faculty.
Being far away from my family and getting into a new environment has pushed me to explore the other side of myself. I learned how to manage money, time, and even I made my own meals. I became more independent and creative. It has given me the opportunity to enhance my communication skill as well.
Enschede, the city where I lived, is not a big city. But I like how the environment which is so calm. Most people here use to walk or ride bicycles. I like to walk around the park when I had free time. However, since the Netherlands is quite a small country, I can easily travel to another city. It just took me one to three hours to reach another city by train. So, during the weekend, I like to visit other cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag or even some neighboring countries like Germany or Belgium.
By participating in the IISMA program, I obtained the international experiences that would help me to engage and contribute globally. At least, it has been helping me to increase my language skill, which can support me to have a better understanding, and explore some international resources for my thesis. I can see that this program has created the opportunity for me to sharpen my competencies such as critical thinking, problem-solving, change management, and collaboration. I hope all of those experiences can be the sources for me to give a better contribution to the surrounding community.
Ceudah Hajashafira, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Faculty of Mathematics & Science.