Indonesia in retrospect – Part 1: Life at Universitas Indonesia (a)

at pasca sarjana building universitas indonesia

I was sent to Universitas Indonesia (UI) as exchange student from April 2005 to June 2005. That was my first experience of living abroad. I stayed in dormitory during my whole 5 years studying in KUiTTHO so I was very used to socializing with Muslim friends. But this time, it’s a little bit different: I actually lived with them and even joined their religious occasions and studies.

The exchange program changed me somewhat. This is an example: when I was back to Malaysia, one day I was talking on phone with my Indonesian host mother, Ellen, “Hi, Ibu Ellen! I’m so glad that I’m going to see you in KL! …. Ibu…. Ibu…” My mama was very puzzled, asked, “Why are you calling another woman mom?!”  :p Ibu also means madam and Mrs. in Indonesian 🙂 I was speaking with heavy Indonesian accent when I first came back and some Indonesian vocab integrated into my dictionary forever. 🙂

Starstruck!!!

Nicolas Saputra!!! I was starstruck!!! ♥♥♥

Before visiting Indonesia, I remember watching the Indonesian movie “Ada apa dengan cinta” in the TV room with my Malay friends who stayed in the dormitory. Then I got really smitten with the male lead, Nicolas Saputra in the movie. When I was in UI, one day, I told Gunadi about this and he responded, “Really? You like Nicolas? He’s my housemate! I could arrange for a meet-up” I actually screamed, out of excitement!

at faculty teknik universitas indonesia

Fakultas Teknik=Faculty of Engineering, the faculty which hosted the 5 of us.

study group

study group

Hostel life

Hostel life

We were each assigned a room in the hostel. This was a thoughtful arrangement: we got to mix around with other undergraduates and experience genuine Indonesian campus life. The greatest cultural shock I had when I first checked in to the room: there’s no fan!

group pic 1

The main objective of the exchange program was for us to gather inputs and refine our final year project and also to foster ongoing collaboration between KUiTTHO and UI. Vice Rector (Academic) (front row, 4th from left) paid us a visit, to audit that we were not playing too hard I supposed! :p

in bus kuning universitas indonesia

Shuttle bus within the campus: To increase capacity, the bus has almost no seats!

hunger strike in universitas indonesia

Hunger strike in the campus, something which we were forbidden to carry out at all back home. I think I would be expelled if I were to do this in university.

with dwi 2

Dwi, the technician from the Geography department=my angel! I learned how to use GIS software from him. Mastery in the software gave me a head start on my final year project.

Part 1: campus life – (b) | Part 2: host family | Part 3: adventure – (a), (b)

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1 Response to “Indonesia in retrospect – Part 1: Life at Universitas Indonesia (a)”


  1. 1 eden16blog September 27, 2016 at 1:05 am

    how i wish I can also meet nicholas saputra in person like you did 🙂


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