Home Away From Home: Study Abroad Student from UIN Jakarta
By Muhammad Yaqin:
“The flight to Australia will be taking off in five minutes,” announced the airline attendant. The story began when my home university in Jakarta announced that I had selected as an exchange student to Australia. As a young man, I was feeling so excited and a bit nervous about spending a semester studying in Western Sydney University.
Well, here I am. I’ve been in Sydney for a couple of months now and there is so much to say. First, everything here is so exciting, just because it’s all new and different. The environment is totally different from Indonesia – the people, the houses, the trees, the foods and of course the language. In the beginning I believed that “Matt” was the most common name in Australia, because everyone said“G’day Matt”. But when a shuttle bus driver said “Have a G’day Matt” to me, I realized that I was wrong. He means ‘mate’, and it sounds similar for me.
Talking about my study, I have experienced a different culture. When I got my timetable, I was happy to know that I only take 3 units for this semester, so I imagine having a lot of spare time here (because I used to take 10 -12 units each semester at my home university). But, once again, I was wrong. Three units in WSU are enough for me; I have to attend a lot of sessions, not only lectures and prac, but also tutorials and lecture-tutorial. I have no tutes and lec-tutes in my home university.
Now, I’m getting used to life as a local but I’m still discovering new things here. Being an exchange student makes me learn a lot of things and helps me to be more independent. In Indonesia, I used to eat in food stalls and get some rice 3 times a day, but here I have to make my meals and I’m having corn flake cereals + bread for my breakfast, and I like it.
Living in another country is also an opportunity to explore something new. I was also lucky enough to travel around Sydney and see things I had never dreamed of before. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe I’m so far away from home, and I have to remind myself that I’m here to gain more knowledge.
Eventually, studying overseas changed my perception of life. Although there have been a couple of hard days when I missed my family and friends, the good times have always come. It’s a journey of self-discovery and personal growth filled with unforgettable memories. And now I have to say that studying abroad is lovely!
If you would like information on WSU study abroad programs visit uws.edu.au/globalmobility