Foreign Students’ Buddy, ACT #5
Foreign Students’ Buddy, ACT #5. Despite the grief of the pandemic, foreign student recruitment programs at universities around the world are still being implemented. Pandemic does not reduce the excitement and joy in preparing the best program for foreign students. Entitled “Foreign Students’ Buddy”, After Class Talk #5 was held on Friday, June 18th 2021 through the ZOOM meeting, and invited four extraordinary young fellas from Telkom University, Mapua University, Gadjah Mada University and Indonesia University of Education.
The event opened with a marvelous presentation from Matthew Gulthom (Gadjah Mada University). As one of the universities with the largest number of foreign students in Indonesia, UGM already has a capable system in managing foreign student regulations. Under the name UGM Buddy Club, this community spreads the spirit to all UGM students to build more positive environment in the campus in order to improve the quality of the students, not only in terms of academic and non-academic matters, but also as individuals who are open to and accept socio-cultural differences.
The discussion continued with a presentation from Christian Matthew Mabborang (Mapua University). Even though the student buddy is not yet a member of the official Mapua University community, Matt and his friends continue to organize foreign student exchange activities in exciting and organized program. Their activities include cultural exchange and guiding foreign students to get to know more about the culture of the Philippines and Mapua University.
Also present Aishah Sucu Utomo (Telkom University) from IOSBC Telkom University. IOSBC is a community extension of the Foreign Office in assisting foreign students while studying at the Telkom University campus. Together with Buddy who is under IOSBC, foreign students will be assisted to get to know Indonesian culture, through interesting programs such as welcoming parties, talks and discussions with the local students, Volunteering activities to local communities, outbound, and other exciting programs.
Last but not least, Wisnu Dwiyon (Indonesia University of Education) from SAHABAT DIA UPI. The unique name SAHABAT DIA has the meaning that this community wants to be best friends of “DIA” which in this case refers to foreign students. This community aims that the exchange of information allows people to gain a richer insight. Through this information exchange, there are also many things that can be directly learned between countries through their students. The presence of Buddies provides comfort for foreign students while living in Indonesia, especially at UPI.
Foreign Students Program in Virtual
In addition to sharing information about program activities that have been implemented in each community, each of these leaders also shared tips on implementing virtual programs. Because as we know, the pandemic is still hitting, offline programs cannot be realized, instead online programs are the most likely thing to do. And to avoid the monotonous online programs, some tips are shared to make online programs as exciting as offline programs.
Running for more than 2 hours, the participants had great enthusiasm, ranging from a few questions about life as a buddy to tips on dealing with cultural differences which are often still an internal issue. Hopefully our spirit is still burning to continue to give the best for our foreign friends, yes, keep the spirit!(IO)***