Ten Indonesian students have arrived in the beautiful South West of England to experience life at one of the country’s most renowned universities. University of Exeter is actively engaged with the BritCham Education Centre, the Human Capital & Education Member Focus Group and is a member of the BritCham special university panel.
The students have made the 12,000km journey to study at the University of Exeter thanks to the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA), which provide scholarships for short-term programmes at top universities overseas.
This funding from the Indonesian government enables students to study a full semester at their chosen institution, where they can experience their host country’s culture and enhance their academic, language and life skills. These include social intelligence, novel and adaptive thinking, cross-cultural competency, and new media literacy.
Exeter is taking part in this scheme for the first time this year. Among the ten undergraduates it has welcomed include Hanan Tsabitah, a final year student at the Universitas Indonesia, from Jakarta, who like many of her cohort, is visiting the UK for the first time.
“I wanted to have new experiences and meet new people,” she said. “I would like to learn about studying in the UK because I am hoping to undertake a Masters here. I chose Exeter because I liked the courses, particularly those relating to business and entrepreneurship. I also really like the fact that we have much greater access to the academics and a greater freedom to contact them outside of the lecture theatre.
“The architecture is very beautiful here and very different from at home in Indonesia and I really like the campus. I love hiking, so the fact that the campus is quite hilly is a bonus! I have signed up to the hiking society, as well as badminton and the Islamic Society.”
Aqli Sharfan, also from Jakarta, is a final year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Yogyakarta. He too is keen to develop his skills, improve his English and boost his confidence so that he can enrol on an MBA, potentially in the UK.
“It’s an opportunity for me to have an international experience and adapt to a new culture,” Aqli said. “I want to learn about business and Exeter is renowned for the quality of its teaching in this area. I am really impressed with what I have experienced so far. There are lots of international students and the city is great. I’m also excited to see the countryside here in the UK, because it is so different to Indonesia.”
The green Devon countryside was also among the reasons that Krissanti Gusti, from Semarang, chose to come to Exeter. The International Business student at Universitas Diponegoro, similarly has an ambition to take an MBA in the UK.
“I did a lot of research and knew that Exeter was the best option for me,” she says. “The main reason I have come here was the courses, with lots of options in the Business School which will be very helpful for me. I also knew that it has lots of societies and I am excited to find out more as to what they offer.”
Professor Roberts welcomed them all to Exeter – one of the top 150 universities in the world, and a member of the elite Russell Group in the UK. She told them how important it was for the University to be strengthening its ties with Indonesia, and said there are now more than 250 Indonesian alumni.
“As a global university, we are delighted to be supporting IISMA and recognise its contribution to widening participation in Indonesia and the creation of valuable academic and life-skills. We hope that the students are inspired by their time here with us at Exeter and take advantage of the fantastic experience we provide.”
Among the modules that the students will be taking at Exeter include Digital Technologies and Future of Work; Leading Change in Practice; and an Introduction to Health Research. These all complement the ‘Ten Skills for the Future Workforce’ identified by the Indonesian government.