Being a host of a student exchange program certainly symbolizes the trust of the quality of the university that is visited by students from abroad. Universities that entrust their students or lecturers and researchers to visit and share experiences on a particular campus certainly believe that their destination campus has sufficient resources to provide the knowledge and experience they need.
Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) in collaboration with The Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) organizes student exchange programs from several universities from the Kangaroo Country, Australia. “This year we received exchange students from more universities. “There are those from Tasmania, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the University of Sydney and many more,” said Elizabeth Agnes, an intern student at ACICIS who also handles the introduction of Australian students.
Located in the Unpar rectorate building, the introductory event was held on August 10, 2018. Some students have arrived since a week ago. Today’s introductory program is intended to introduce student exchange students to student buddies. Foreign students are also introduced to some Indonesian vocabulary and how to find a place to stay while in Bandung.
At the first session, Janelle, an ACICIS staff member, gave a brief introduction about what ACICIS students would encounter in Indonesia such as the political, religious and cultural conditions of the general public. Janelle also stressed that Australian students should be careful about some common things in Indonesia such as online motorbike transportation (ojek) which is not commonly found in Australia.
Janelle also urged them to avoid demonstrations that often occur ahead of the political year. The next presentation was from the BIPA team (English for Foreign Speakers) Unpar which introduced general Indonesian and Sundanese vocabulary. BIPA Unpar opens Indonesian language classes for student exchange students.
“I ‘m happy, I ‘m an Architecture student so there is rarely an opportunity like this,” said Gita, a 2015 architecture student who also became a student buddy.
In short, this student exchange program has many benefits for both campus and students who have the opportunity to build networks of friends with various individuals from different worlds.