Hello everyone! My name is Alinka, and I am a final year Industrial Engineering student at Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia. I will spend a semester in London this autumn, and I cannot wait for it!
Ever since junior high school, I have always wanted to study abroad. I remember watching Harry Potter and wondering how extraordinary it must feel to be a student in the United Kingdom (and learning magic, of course). This year, I have been granted the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dreams. Even though I won’t be able to cast Expecto Patronum, I am incredibly excited to start my journey at Queen Mary University of London.
This fantastic opportunity was brought to me through the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA). IISMA is a government-funded scholarship program managed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of Indonesia to fund undergraduate students’ mobility programs at top overseas universities. I immediately chose Queen Mary as my host university after browsing through QMSU’s website and discovering the plentiful societies and events held. I even listed some of the communities I was intrigued by and the events I could not wait to attend. IISMA also has challenges for awardees to complete, one of which was the SDGs Social Campaign challenge I just recently finished.
Living in a tropical country my whole life, I am very used to warm weather. Semarang, the city where my home university is located, even has a relatively hotter temperature to the rest of the country. So it is my biggest concern to experience cold weather, which London is famous for. Another fear I have is adjusting to the new academic environment. After asking around and reading many blog posts, I noticed a lot of differences between Indonesia’s educational system and the U.K.’s in terms of types of classes. Nonetheless, I am thrilled and cannot wait to experience life as a student in London.
One of the advantages of the IISMA programme is that I am allowed to choose whatever modules I’m interested in, so I did just that. After reading my modules’ descriptions, I became more excited to learn from experienced professors. I hope to gain new knowledge and perspectives from an expert in the related field. I would also like to build an international network and make as many lifelong friends as possible at Queen Mary. At the end of my study, I hope to become more well-rounded and have my life changed from this study abroad experience!