Choose the right university, major, and country for you!
Are you ready to embrace the cold of the winter and the heat summer will surely bring in a four-season country? Ready to encounter the humidity that tropical country will certainly greet you with? If yes, then go for it! Look for a university of your interest in that country, pay attention to courses details in the university’s website and their requirements. It is advised to choose a major correlating with yours in UI to make it easier for credits transfer.
Preparation is a must!
From the moment you arrange the documents needed for exchange registration, you have to be prepared. Usually, those documents include your grade transcript, recommendations from your faculty, motivation letter, CV, and TOELF/IELTS score. Since attaining those documents cannot be done in a short time, pay attention to the deadline for your submission. Prepare those documents far before the deadline, especially documents which needed quite long period to make, such as TOEFL/IELTS score, grade transcript, and faculty recommendations.
Don’t forget to prepare again before you go to your exchange university. Bring all important documents with you, as well as clothes, personal medications, and stuffs you are going to use during your study there.
Most likely, you will only meet a small amount of Indonesian people in the university you are going for. English is of course important, especially in countries using English as their first or second language. Beside that, it is better to learn the local language to further connect with friends, lecturers, and communities there. Break the language barrier! It’s never a bad thing to add one or two more languages to your skills.
Academic lessons may differ slightly or even heavily from what you know in UI. Therefore, you have to be ready to face this challenge. Listen to your lecturers and read the materials thoroughly. Another thing you need to take into account is learning and being respectful to the country’s culture to avoid unnecessary conflicts. Remember, you are both UI and Indonesia’s representative there. Your action will be the reflection of your campus and country.
Join extracurricular activities and explore around!
This is another way to expand your connections and gain more friends! Every university usually have their own off-class activities, whether it’s in the form of sport, arts, community engagement, et cetera. Don’t be afraid to ask around, whether to your friends or the university’s staffs. You can develop your skills or even gain new experience outside of learning in your class.
As you will be spending months abroad, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore tourism places and a better understanding about the country you will reside at for one or two semesters. However, don’t forget that first and foremost, the main purpose for your exchange is to study. Don’t neglect it in favor of having only entertainments!
Never compare your exchange experience with others!
Sometimes, it just cannot be helped to make a comparison between your experience and your friends’ in another university or country. Instead of letting other people’s activity dictate your mindset, do the things that you genuinely want to do. Focus on your own growth in your choosen university and country. This also means that it’s better to not force yourself for the sake of looking cool on Instagram if, in actuality, you’re not comfortable or enjoying what you are showing off in social media. Never hesitate to try everything new as long as it’s in concordance with your values!
Now that you have read these tips, what are you waiting for? Check out IO’s opened Global Opportunities and submit your documents now!
Contributor: Maria Gabriela (Bioprocess Engineering 2017)
[This article is written thanks to Kalista Putri (Psychology 2017), Khairina Sekar Wijayanti (Criminology 2017), and Muhammad Ghiffari Rizkitabuana (Psychology 2016).]