My International Experience: Reiner Anggriawan Jasin
My name is Reiner Anggriawan Jasin, and I’m a student majoring in Informatics at Universitas Ciputra Surabaya class of 2019. During my time at UC, I have been highly motivated to expand my knowledge and pursue my dreams. I actively engaged in various activities, such as joining committees, conducting research with professors, and participating in competitions. These experiences have developed my soft skills and knowledge and shaped my personal journey and ambitions. Now, I invite you to join me as I recount one of the remarkable journeys I recently experienced, providing you an insight into the valuable lessons and unforgettable moments that have significantly affected my educational and personal development.
Last semester, during the fall season, I had the incredible opportunity to be selected for the student exchange program at Inha University in Incheon, South Korea. Additionally, I was honored to receive the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) Invitational Program for International Students, a prestigious scholarship awarded by the Korean Government. This scholarship includes coverage for tuition fees, round-trip airfare fee expenses (reimbursed), medical insurance, as well as settlement and monthly allowances. The GKS Invitational Program recognized and valued international students’ academic achievements and potential, offering them the necessary resources to fully engage in their chosen educational pursuits without the burden of financial constraints.
I was motivated to participate in the student exchange program because I had always dreamt of studying abroad. However, the financial constraints presented a significant challenge. When I learned about the student exchange program offered by UC, which allowed students to study abroad while paying the same fees as at UC, I saw it as a valuable opportunity to fulfill my dream and overcome the financial barrier.
The application process for the program involved a competitive selection process. To increase my chances, I sought guidance from friends, colleagues, and lecturers who supported and inspired me to confidently approach the application. Demonstrating a strong passion for learning and a dedication to academic excellence were key elements in my application.
Upon arriving in Korea, I was immediately impressed by the city’s vibrant atmosphere. It was very beautiful and modern, with clean streets despite the busy crowds. At Inha University, I quickly realized that the campus was an excellent place for learning, with helpful and sophisticated facilities. The classrooms were tidy and well-organized, and the campus was peaceful, thanks to the greenery surrounding it. This positive environment motivated me to be productive and focus on my studies.
One thing that pleasantly surprised me about life in Korea was the efficiency and convenience of the transportation system. The subway and bus networks were essential for exploring the city’s attractions. Although I had to adjust to the occasional long walks between stations or bus stops, I quickly discovered the joy of strolling through the safe and pedestrian-friendly streets. The well-maintained sidewalks, decorated with colorful trees and beautiful landscapes, created a pleasant ambiance that made every journey a delightful experience
Academically, I enrolled in various different courses at Inha University. I took classes from multiple departments, such as AI Application Systems from the technology school, The Analytic Study for Economic Problems from the business school, Intellectual Property and Patent Rights from the law school, and an introductory Korean language class. All the classes were conducted in English, and the professors demonstrated fluency in the language. They created a supportive environment, encouraging active participation and ensuring students felt comfortable and motivated to learn. The professors’ dedication to their work and focus on the learning process’s value were genuinely admirable.
Interacting with international students from various cultural backgrounds offered a challenge but also presented an opportunity for personal growth. Embracing an open-minded and tolerant attitude was essential in building relationships and appreciating diverse perspectives. One notable difference was the learning system, where a shorter duration of classes was complemented by increased effectiveness. This approach encouraged a balanced lifestyle, allowing time for personal journeys and rest.
Participating in the exchange program brought many benefits, both academically and culturally. It expanded my network of friends worldwide and taught me the importance of maintaining strong relationships. The experience inspired me to pursue higher education and strive for more success.
In addition to my academic journeys, I joined the AZIT club, which organized activities for international students at Inha University. This provided opportunities to connect with people from various countries, promoting cultural exchange and personal development. I also enjoyed playing basketball at the park during my free time, promoting a healthy lifestyle while building connections with individuals with similar interests.
Overcoming language barriers, particularly with older locals who had limited English proficiency, required the use of translation apps and a basic understanding of the Korean language. However, the warmth and helpfulness of the local community made the experience valuable. Financial management was another challenge due to Korea’s relatively higher cost of living, but the scholarship funding I received eased some of the financial challenges. For others facing similar challenges, careful financial planning is crucial in maintaining a comfortable stay.
The most memorable parts of my time in Korea were all about diving into the culture and joining in on different events. Exploring the beautiful scenery, attending events like the Han River firework festival, and engaging with Korean traditions, such as wearing the Hanbok, left a lasting impression. Building strong bonds with my Korean friends, who were incredibly kind and welcoming, also contributed to the overall experience.
In summary, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to participate in such exchange programs as they provide immeasurable lessons and personal growth. Consider this program as a stepping stone toward reaching new heights in life. Do not limit yourself and pursue the dreams you have always aspired to achieve, for as they say, the sky’s the limit, so reach for the stars.
written by: Reiner (IMT 2019)