In spring 2017, four Telkom University students from International ICT Business program departed to Daejeon, South Korea. They were there as exchange students to study for a full semester at SolBridge International School of Business.
What they had experienced…
It all started when I was writing my bucket lists on my journal during sophomore year that I wanted to live in the strange place that would bring totally new experiences for me. I took any kind of opportunities that could lead me to the goal, and I thought joining student exchange is precise while studying. However, South Korea, particularly Daejeon was never really on my mind. Despite everything, choosing Solbridge for Student Exchange program was absolutely one of the best experiences I ever had. So, there I go, my journey was started on February 18th, flying 2.677 miles away; the longest flight I had in life.
The goals were set as I flight to South Korea: immerse myself to the new culture, engage with many people from all around the world, take as much advantage from the professor and facility provided, explore the uniqueness of South Korea, and explore myself to the whole new environment.
Solbridge is really diverse in term of culture. There are many nationalities: Indonesian, Malaysian, Kazakh, Russian, Turkish, French, Mexican, Chinese, etc. I had Mexican roommate, Chinese classmate, Korean teammate, Kazakh, French, German friends at the school activity club, and learn Russian with the Russian. Not only friends, the professors are also from many different countries, I took Management Information System class with Pakistan professor, People and Organization with Korean professor, and Consumer Behavior with Turkish professor that used to live in Germany for years. Surrounded by many cultures teach me how to respect and be open minded on the different way of thinking and behaving.
I took six courses at Solbridge and others two at home university. I went to campus from Monday to Friday by bus from Solgeo, dormitory, to Solbridge or the other way around that is provided. I learned so much on time management there because I had to catch up the bus, not missing a minute from the departure time, unless I will be left behind. The classes were strict and scheduled since the beginning. Therefore, I joined volley ball club to give myself little rest, have fun and to stay healthy. Despite everything, the classes were fun as I obtained many perspectives on group discussion, but my favorite was Management of Information System.
While studying there for one semester I consider myself as of being under the pressure with the good meaning. I have participated in Debate Club, Dance Club, Cheerleading Club, Journalism Club, Volunteering Club. When we had exams I could spent my whole nights in the libraries with different kind of books and at the same time I could run from one building to another in order not to skip rehearsals of Cheerleading Club. At the same time, I had deadlines for my articles related to journalism club moreover I had to run to another session of debate club and be prepared to go to the orphanages to teach Korean kids from the volunteering club. And all of this pressure along with the haste was enjoyable for me. I was out of my control zone and learned how to perform non-routine tasks. I learned how to be a professional multitasker. Every course that I take and every club that I join I met a lot of wonderful people. I spent my best times with them by traveling and hanging out together. Now I am back to Indonesia and I miss the pressure that I had and miss those wonderful people that I met. Even though if it’s over I am grateful for life for such an amazing experience. I feel that I am much more mature and confident now.
Rhaudia Rizkita Maghfira
During my stay, I lived in a dormitory with a roommate from Russia. The University would not allow students that come from the same country to live together, the reason behind that is to encourage students to get out of their comfort zone and experience a new culture first-hand from their roommate. I took 6 courses during the season, but my favorites were Management Information System, People & Organization and Marketing Simulation. MIS class taught by Professor James Reagan, the most clever and easy-going person I have ever met. The way he brings his class to life by always putting his experiences as examples makes it easier for us to fit every theory to life. For Marketing Simulation, it was just a whole new teaching method to experience. We did not exactly have lecture, instead we were put into groups and run a car company simulation. So the whole class was competing against each other, managing to do tricks on marketing, on how to do the perfect advertisement and such. But above all of these educational advantages, the one thing that matter the most for me was the experiences and new insight on things I have never thought before. South Korea being a developed country made me do things in a different way, I am more responsible and put more thought on every works I am doing, always try to be punctual, and act the way I should be on every situation. I was very fortunate to have fellow Indonesians with me to help me cope with the new atmosphere for a while.
During these 4 months of ups and downs in Daejeon, what I get is how to bring the best of myself towards anything. I am more confident on showing what my strengths are, instead of bottling it all up, I chose to show it instead and see how people react. Now, I will take all matter seriously and be the best of me I can be.
Dhiya Najmilia Wibowo
The orientation week was really fun and helpful to me to know more about the university and the area around campus. They also introduced us about the program and the event that will be held in that semester. For example the event that was really impressive for me was a homecoming party, it was an event where every student can show their talent in front of the teachers and all the students. Me, Dila, Audy, Cherish and Ricky performed Saman dance and sing Indonesian folk song Yamko Rambe Yamko and at the end we won the first place. Because Chairman Kim Sung Kyung from Woosong University was impressed with our performance, he then invited us to perform again in the opening ceremony of Sports Day. We were very happy and it was such an honour for us.
Most of people are open-minded and they are pleased to help me and everyone whenever we need help. As a moeslim that wears a hijab, I never had a bad experience regarding the way I look. I was really confidence to represent myself in front of everyone. So I feel like I live in my country, not even had a time to think that I’m a stranger. If I had more time, I will choose to stay there longer and learn Korean language deeply. This country looks like the best place where people always obey laws and everything was clear and in a good order. Therefore, it gave me a good and strong impression.
Here are the lessons I learned from being an exchange student.
- We are stronger than we think. As long as you being nice and humble to everyone, you will always get a positive feedback from everyone.
- Enjoy the little things. 4 months was a really short-time to spend in another country, so just make sure that we really do our best upon everything, respect everyone and make every day memorable for you and your friends.
- Try everything. I would like to encourage everyone to try something new, out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to get tired, get lost and make a lot of new friends. We have to make sure we are alive in each and every single moment and don’t be passive. Because now I regret about the moments which I was so passive about, the time I chose the few extra hours of sleep instead of going out and exploring further.