25 students of Madania higher secondary school went to numerous cities and universities for a campus visit. The journey which started on September 24 and ended on Sept 28, 2018 was begun in Bandung and continued to Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and finally Malang.
ITB, UNPAD, UNDIP, UGM, ITS, Unair, and Unbraw are noted as the universities they made a visit to. Together with ibu Dina Krisanti and ibu Suhartini, the student group were presented with the opportunity to know and understand better all the study programs and student activities provided by each university.
Some Madania alumni who are currently enrolled in mentioned universities also took the time to meet and greet the group. They volunteered to share their philosophy, passion, and pride for their university with their juniors as they hoped it would help to guide them in making decisions to pursue a particular study program and university.
The following is what bu Dina has wrapped up about the journey chronologically.
Welcome to ITB Jatinangor! After spending 3.5 hours on a train and an hour on a bus, we finally arrived at ITB at 11. Welcomed by bapak Frans as the Head of Public Relations Division, we were introduced to various pathways available in ITB and also to the facilities and students activities.
We were also greeted by two alumni, Bramantha Jiwandaru and Malikhey Almantha Siregar, who shared how they struggled in a new environment and how they developed their critical thinking.
Our second destination was UNPAD Jatinangor. We were welcomed by ibu Lisna and bapak Rustandi. After the presentation, few questions were given. Some of our students asked about Television and Film Program, Business Digital, Medical Program, and International Programs of School Business and Management. These are some of the students' interests for their future studies.
There were also Aldi Musa (FEB), Raihan Badrahadipura (FMIPA), Genta Syaifrin and Thalib Aditya Hakim (FK), M. Arkana Wibisono (FISIP), Madania alumni who interactively shared their passions, ideas, and motivations to the others.
Now it's time for us to go to the next destination. Semarang, here we come....
It's still dark outside when we stepped out into the train station. A little bit of light tinge came out as it greeted the new day.
Semarang, there we were.
To the hotel we went, only for taking a bath and having breakfast as we needed to go directly to our next destination, Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP).
Bapak Bambang as the Head of Admission welcomed us when we arrived there at 08.30 a.m. There was also another school from Surabaya joining us that day. Together, we came for the same reason, to broaden our horizon of knowing about higher education.
Not only about various types of programs and entry requirements, the insights Pak Bambang presented were also about the differences between the vocational school (D3) and the undergraduate program (S1). He also gave us tips on how to get prepared in taking SBMPTN or any other higher education admission tests. In the end of the session, he emphasised that having motivation and passion for the target study program and university that you really want to pursue is also crucial.
The campus tour was also conducted and guided by our lovely alumni, Maula Nadia, Nadhilah Putri, Zaina Thuraya, and Desvilia Dea.
Next place that we visited was one of the tourism sites in Semarang, Sam Poo Kong Temple, the oldest Chinese Temple in Semarang, originally established by Chinese Moslem explorer, Zheng He. There, we learned the history of his arrival and were introduced to other temples: Kyai Juru Mudi Temple, Kyai Cundrik Bumi Temple, and the worship site Mbah Kyai Tumpeng.
Visiting those temples was a great decision as we expanded our knowledge and had the opportunity to seek the historical values that lie beneath the story of each temple.
It's a wrap for the second day. Off we went to the next destination, Kota Pelajar Yogyakarta.
After blending into the hustle of Malioboro at night, we continued our campus visit in the morning. This time we went to Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). There were hundred of students gathered in a big hall of GSP. The students listened to the presentation from one of the campus representatives, speaking about courses and activities provided in the university. Of course, after the presentation was over we always had time to meet the alumni.
For us, the alumni completed the information that wasn’t obtain from the general presentation. They gave us the inside stories, the challenges, and mostly the tips on how to adapt in a new environment. More motivation came from Fajar, Sekar, Faris, Lani, Aryo, and Mila, the university students of International Programs. They also shared with us the information about the double degree program and students exchange opportunities. There was also Regi Johannes who’s from the regular program joining and enriching the discussion, so we got insights from both programs.
Next, it’s time to see Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI). As we arrived, we were astonished by the artistic products made by the university students. The university presentation was also quite different compared to what we already had previously. The ISI representative showed us a lot of videos describing their students’ projects and activities. There was one video presenting a story of one student who was officially appointed to make a cassette cover design for the world famous group band, Maroon 5. The rest of the videos presented various students activities and projects, e.g. interior design, films making, and performing art projects. Those videos made us understand better about the activities offered by the institute. From their presentation, we also just knew that there are only three universities in Indonesia holding the certificate to provide film and television undergraduate study program, and one of them is ISI Yogyakarta.
In after-session, we also had a chance to share the room with Syafa, one of Madania alumni, and she kindly volunteered to share her stories and experiences. As the only Madania alumnus in that institution, she encountered a great wave of homesickness. However, she tried to put it aside and focus more on her study. Through this short meeting with her, we knew that her study in fashion design specialized in Indonesian Batik design has given her another world to explore and of course this is very challenging yet exciting at the same time for her.
Get ready for another destination. We packed our things, settled ourselves on a train, and headed to Surabaya the City of Heroes.
In the next morning, we were ready to explore the next campus, Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR). As soon as we arrived, we went directly to FISIP (Faculty of Social Sciences and Political Sciences). We were greeted by the vice dean of the faculty who told us many things about the study programs offered –Communications, International Relations, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Public Administration, and Information and Library Science.
There was also a unique experience that we had in this campus. We had a chance to see the Museum of the Death (Museum Etnografi Kematian). This museum was built in 2006, initiated by students of Anthropology where they exhibited different Indonesian traditional death ceremonials. Not only replicas of different types of cemeteries, coffins, and corpses, real bones given by the local police department from unidentified body of crime investigation can also be found there. However, this museum is not intended to scare people; it is one of the tools for learning as death is a part of our life and it’s inevitable.
Leaving the site, we had another companions who happened to be Madania alumni. Evan and Sita, students of the Medical Faculty, gave us a short campus tour, telling about facilities and daily life in Surabaya. There was also Fachry who told us his experience in becoming a professor assistant. What a great sharing session we had with them!
Protected by shades of trees, next we strolled along the path through the gate of ITS (Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November). Pak Ichsan, as the campus representative, shared so many projects, creations, and achievements of ITS students. Specialized in technology, ITS has 10 faculties. However, there is one faculty specialized for social science students. It is the Faculty of Business and Management Technology. Other than that, there’s also one undergraduate double degree international program offered by this university, which is named Marine Engineering in cooperation with Wismar University of Applied Science, Technology, Business and Design, Germany.
For the next session, Amodya, Alariq, and Deprastha had a chance to share their experiences living as university students. They motivated their juniors to be sure of their choices. They highlighted that the choices must be made by ourselves, not others nor because of others, as we are going to spend at least four years in a specific field. Therefore, strong will and hard work are the main ingredients in order to survive.
From Surabaya to Malang. That was the place we’re heading to. That night we had something special waiting. It was time for us to have fun in Batu Night Spectacular, one of the night time spots for rides and games. We screamed together in Haunted House. We jumped, bounced, and turned up-side down in several rides. But most of all, we shared laughter along the way.
Needed to get up early! It was our last stay in the local hotel. Our last breakfast. Our last campus visit.
Welcome to Universitas Brawijaya (UB). Malang itself has a friendly environment but Universitas Brawijaya is even friendlier. With its trees and cosy areas, we think it’s one of the best places to study.
The presentation from the representatives was mainly about programs, entry requirements, and achievements. However, there’s one special thing about this place. The university has opened specified university entrance for special need students. For those who have disabilities, this university can be an option since it provides a pathway to accommodate the needs of those children to study in higher education. They even have a program which allows the ‘mainstream’ students to be a volunteer to accompany their friends with special educational needs who needs extra support.
Ghiffar, Zahwa, Liam, Ihza Bayu, and Indah also took the time to share what they had experienced. Mostly, they told us that at first, they were amazed by how cheap the prices for almost everything here, especially for the food. Because of it, they can save a lot of money. Most of them also feel homey due to the environment. One of them even had a plan not to go back to Jakarta but staying and buying a house there instead! Wow!
Our visit to Universitas Brawijaya concluded our journey. It was time to be back home!
After the campus visit over, it was quite uncanny to see some of the students have become even more confused with their options. However, we believe they will have time to sort things out and find the best path for them, eventually. (Dina Krisanti & Fajar Yulianur)