NIGEL Koni was selected as one of the candidates for the Indonesian Government scholarship 2012 to undertake studies in masters of urban and regional development planning at the Universitas of Diponegoro (UNDIP) in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia.
He took up one month pre-departure training and left with other selected students to Indonesia in the second week of September 2012.
The duration of the scholarship was 18-24 months in which he started his study programme in late September 2012 and completed it in mid-October 2013 and graduated with his master’s degree on Jan 29, 2014.
Experience in Indonesia
It was Koni’s first time to go abroad and so he was very excited, however the challenges ahead is to adopt and adjust to the new environment, the people and the life style.
The main challenges he faced included were the language, the food and the life-style.
Although not fluent in speaking the Indonesian language (Bahasa), he tried his best to speak it and learnt by listening to the Javanese people using it everywhere, including on the streets.
Almost all the food in Semarang is hot and spicy and does take time to adapt to the life-style there.
The environment is tropical hot and wet, similar to PNG. Most universities in Indonesia do not have dormitories to house its students, therefore students usually rent rooms in the neighbourhood and Kost (boarding house/rooms) close to the university.
Students do buy their breakfast, lunch and dinner from the little fast food stalls and 24-hour shops (IndoMart) along the streets.
He said the renting fees and food price was much cheaper compared to those in PNG.
Koni thanked the Indonesian Government and the Indonesian Embassy in PNG for giving him this opportunity, which broadened his knowledge, taught him skills and gave him a lot of experience.
l Report compiled by education attachéd, Indonesian Embassy, Port Moresby, D W Widajajanto
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