The International Office (IO) of Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) continues to encourage students to interact and integrate with the global community. Be Unpar Delegation (BUD) is a leading program for Unpar students who want to be actively involved in international activities held at various Unpar partner universities around the world, either through intercultural activities, short courses , and student exchange programs.
Some time ago, five Unpar delegates joined the BUD, namely Pingkan Audrine, Irene Hadi Wijaya, Reizka Dwidianto, Henry Mulyana and Christy Angelia, participated in the ASEAN Camp of Friendship 2017 organized by the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) Pattani, Thailand. The event took place on July 20-23, 2017, and involved 28 students, from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. For four days, students from various ASEAN countries study Thai culture, explore Pattani, and practice their English skills.
In an interview with Unpar’s Publication Team Tuesday (15/8), members of the delegation shared their experience and many interesting things encountered during their visit. Although initially overwhelmed with anxiety, it turned out that people and PSU students welcomed them with open arms. “In our opinion, people there really welcomed us, they are not introverted, not self-centered and are willing to learn from us” according to Irene. Pattani is an area full of diversity.
“Our limitation is the language,” Henry said, when asked about the challenges they had faced during the event. Furthermore, they told us that many participants have not mastered English properly. It is interesting to note, in addition to the Thai language, it turns out, students of the PSU are able to speak Malay, so they can communicate with students from Malaysia and Indonesia quite smoothly. In addition, the location of the campus is located in the coastal area, away from the metropolitan image, it also provides a different and interesting atmosphere for the Unpar delegates.
For members of BUD, Intercultural Competence is very important in the process of improving the quality of students in the global community. The existence of IO Unpar is very important for improving the competence. ” The existence of the International Office helps us to explore opportunities outside our campus, even abroad,” Pingkan said. Through international programs such as BUD, he continued, “Students at Unpar have a wider insight.”
Finishing the interview, members of BUD expressed a deep desire to be able to follow this kind of activities again. With the professionalism of the IO in preparing Unpar delegates, as well as the hospitality of the host, such as the PSU, the 2017 ASEAN Camp of Friendship program has proved an extraordinary experience for BUD members. “It was unforgetable,” Reizka said. “Events like this should continue to be held, either by Unpar, or by outside parties,” he added.
On the other hand, BUD members encourage each Unpar student to be actively involved in various international activities, through participation in the BUD Program. In addition to enhancing cultural and historical insights, participating students also gain insight into international phenomena, as well as being able to adapt to the global community. The most important thing is to have the courage to get out of the comfort zone. “Just follow it, do not hesitate, do not feel (you) lack confidence,” summed up Christy.