Cara Dapet Beasiswa?

“Kak, caranya dapet beasiswa gimana sih?”

Pertanyaan ini sering banget gue dapet dari dedek-dedek gemes yang lagi duduk di bangku SMA maupun S1. Berhubung pertanyaannya nggak spesifik, biasanya gue tanya dulu si dedek tersebut lagi ngincer beasiswa apa. Tapi in general, berikut ini jawaban yang biasanya gue kasih ke mereka:

  1. Banyak cari informasiManfaatkanlah teknologi informasi yang makin menjadi-jadi ini dengan banyak cari informasi seputar sekolah/kampus/program tujuan. Kalau internet di rumah lemot, atau kuota HP kurang memadai, bisa pinjam komputer sekolah atau pergi ke warnet. Bisa dibilang, proses pencarian informasi ini adalah langkah awal kesuksesan. Semakin detail informasi yang kita punya tentang sekolah/kampus/program tujuan, insya Allah semakin siap juga untuk daftar. Ya, ibarat mau perang, mesti ngerti dulu dong medan perang dan musuh yang bakal dihadapi seperti apa.

    Oh, tambahan tips, tanya ke orang-orang yang udah berhasil sih boleh-boleh aja, boleh banget malah, tapi usahakan pertanyaannya jangan tentang persyaratan atau hal-hal umum lain yang bisa dicari tahu sendiri. Selain bisa mengganggu orang yang ditanya, persyaratan dan tanggal pendaftaran itu umumnya diganti setiap tahun/periode. Jadi, daripada sama-sama nggak enak, lebih baik tanya pertanyaan yang lebih detail (tapi jangan kelewat kepo ya hehehe).

  2. Siap-siap gagal
    Loh, belum daftar kok udah disuruh siap-siap gagal? Menurut gue pribadi sih menyiapkan mental untuk bisa menerima hasil apapun itu sangat penting. “Siap-siap” di sini bukan berarti pesimis loh. Tapi lebih ke nyiapin mindset “oke, kalo kali ini belum berhasil, gue akan coba yang lain” atau semacamnya. Kalau kalian terlalu fokus ke bagian enak-enaknya, saat kegagalan itu datang pasti akan lebih sulit buat move on.
  3. Teliti saat menyiapkan berkasUntuk yang satu ini, gue belajar banyak dari orang Jepang. Selama di sana, gue menemukan beberapa program beasiswa yang daftarnya harus tulis tangan dan nggak boleh ada salah tulis sedikitpun! Bayangin deh tuh ribetnya gonta-ganti kertas akibat salah nulis satu karakter. Nah, menurut gue, ketelitian kayak gini justru sering dilupain saat menggunakan komputer. Ada baiknya sebelum submit dokumen kalian periksa baik-baik apakah ada bagian form yang belum diisi, typo, scan-an kurang jelas, dll. Kalau perlu minta tolong teman/keluarga untuk ngecekin juga.
  4. Be authenticBaik saat menulis essay maupun saat wawancara, jadilah diri kalian sendiri. Nggak perlu minder karna merasa IP kalian nggak sebagus orang lain atau prestasi kalian cuma sebatas menang lomba balap karung. Yang dicari sama pemberi beasiswa bukan kesuksesan atau kegagalan kalian, tapi gimana cara kalian belajar dari pengalaman. Percayalah bahwa tiap orang itu unik dan punya daya tarik masing-masing.
  5. Banyak berdoaIni sih udah pasti, ya. Sebesar apapun usaha yang dilakukan, cuma Allah swt. yang berkuasa nentuin jalan hidup kita. Jadi di sela-sela nulis essay dan nyiapin berkas, jangan sampe deh ibadah yang biasa kita kerjain berkurang. Justru harus makin ditingkatkan lagi dong ya semangat “merayu” Allah nya.

    Oke deh segitu dulu tips mendapatkan beasiswa dari gue yang sotoy ini. Semoga bermanfaat. Semangat terus yaa!



NZ North Island “Must-Visits”: Are They Really Worth It?

So I just got back from Auckland, Matamata, and Rotorua in New Zealand’s North Island, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the two places that appear regularly on travel influencers’ instagrams.

  1. The Hobbitton Movie SetHow to get there: Take a bus from Auckland to Matamata I-Site and sign up for the Hobbitton tour. From there, a tour bus will pick you up to the movie set.
    Entrance Fee: NZD 79 (including bus to the set and guided tour)

    First of all, let’s talk about the I-Site (a.k.a information center). This building was deliberately built as a hobbit hole! Apart from signing up for the Hobbitton tour, you can also get information on other places in NZ. You can also leave your bags in the designated space which costs 5 NZD.


    The movie set itself is located about 20 minutes away from Matamata I-Site. Now let me be honest and say, it wasn’t as “fantastic” as I thought it would be. I’m pretty sure the fact that I haven’t seen any of the LOTR/Hobbitton movies made the place feel “foreign” to me, as in I didn’t feel any connection to the place as the movie fans would.

    That being said, if you do have the time and money to got there, why not? It definitely is a green, beautiful place filled with cute “houses”. Plus, by joining the tour you will be able to hear interesting behind-the-scenes stories.

  2. Te PuiaHow to get there: Take a bus from Auckland to Rotorua I-Site, and then take Bus #30 to Hemo Road. Wait in the same bus stop when going back to the I-Site.
    Entrance Fee: NZD 54 (day pass, including guided tour)

    There are two main attractions in Te Puia: the Maori culture and Pohutu Geyser, which is apparently the biggest geyser in Southern Hemisphere. It reminds me a lot of Beppu and its famous Jigoku Meguri.

    By adding NZD 15 you can experience the Maori cultural performance (check the timetable first though, because it’s only performed 3 times per day). To me, this is the best part of my visit. There’s just something magical about the Haka (Maori traditional war dance) that will make you feel both threatened and entertained.

    You can also visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where students from all over NZ learn how to preserve Maori tradition with the help of modern technology. The students receive scholarships from the entrance fee to Te Puia.

Day Trips from Melbourne: Brighton Beach and Geelong Waterfront

Since I’ve listed two non-beach getaways from Melbourne in my last post, I’m now sharing with you two beaches that you can visit if you are more of a beach person (unlike me, LOL).

  1. Brighton Beach

    How to get there: from Flinders Street Station, take the train to Brighton Beach Station.

    Brighton beach is probably the most instagram-ed beach in Melbourne. The colorful bathing boxes there are indeed eye-catching. If you really want to take pictures in front of the boxes, it’s best to come early so you don’t have to “fight” with the crowd.

    To be honest, I don’t think there’s any other interesting thing to see or do there. Sure you can do sunbathing or a little bit of swimming, but other than that, it’s just a “regular” beach.

  2. Geelong Waterfront

How to get there: From Southern Cross Station, take the V/Line Train to Geelong Railway Station (Just a heads up, the V/Line fare is different from the regular one-day Myki fare. The 2018 fare from Southern Cross to Geelong is 18.48 AUD per day)

Geelong is technically not in Melbourne–in fact, it is the second largest city in the state of Victoria (after Melbourne, of course). It’s also home to Deakin University, of which one of the campuses is located right across the waterfront. I mean, can you imagine attending lectures while thinking about the beach?

The beach itself is quite lively with attractions such as a carousel and a ferris wheel . You can also find food trucks selling fish-n-chips and gelato (a.k.a beach staples).

There’s also a swimming facility for adults, and a pool for kids. You can literally spend the whole day here. Just bring your own lunch if you’re tired of fish-n-chips already.

Once again I remind you all to check the weather forecast before going, since Melbourne’s weather (especially in the summer) is always unpredictable.

Enjoy your trip!

Day Trips from Melbourne: Montsalvat and Werribee Park (+Mansion)

The two places I’m going to introduce here are perfect for summer trips, especially if you’re interested in historical buildings. Fyi, they’re both on the less-touristy side.

  1. Montsalvatp_20171221_124534_zpsaqhwlis0

    How to get there: from Melbourne Central station, take the train to Eltham station and continue your journey with bus #582 to Rockliffe st. (better tell the bus driver beforehand so you won’t miss the stop)
    Entrance fee: AUD 10 for studentsMontsalvat is a complex of French-style buildings that were (and still are) used as art galleries. That being said, even if you’re not a huge fan of paintings, you can still enjoy the buildings and the green areas around them.


    Another good thing is that this place isn’t normally crowded with tourists, so the atmosphere is very relaxed.

    If you’re going here in the summer,  I recommend bringing your own lunch and eat it on the grass while watching the beautiful scenery. If you’re lucky you can also see the three peacocks there interacting with each other.


  2. Werribee Park and Mansionp_20171227_140550_zpsf92q903l
    How to get there: from Southern Cross station, take the train to Werribee and continue your journey with bus #439 to Werribee Park Mansion. Just a heads up, the buses do not come very frequently so you might want to take notes of the return bus schedule before entering the park. (just use Google Maps/PTV Apps to check the schedules!)
    Entrance fee: AUD 7.40 for students (for the mansion only — the park is free)Werribee Park is another option for picnic-ing in the summer. However, compared to the park itself, I am more fascinated by the historical mansion there.

    What I love about this mansion is its authenticity; you’ll feel as if you’re visiting someone from the past while inside. One of the interesting displays there is a row of housekeeper costumes. Apparently, in the past, these housekeepers had to wear different uniforms according to their jobs.


    Some part of the mansion is now commercialized as a hotel. There’s also a cafe if you want to buy some cakes or drinks.


As I mentioned before, these two places are perfect for historical building lovers out there. They can also be alternatives for summer getaways when you’re tired of the beaches. Just remember to check the weather forecast before you go, just in case.

Enjoy your stay in Melbourne!

Back to School: Why International Development?


Setelah sebelemnya ngasih tau kenapa gue berminat melanjutkan studi ke Australia, kali ini gue mau sharing sedikit tentang jurusan yang gue ambil: Master of International Development.

Tulisan ini gue ambil dari online discussion yang gue lakukan bareng Cozora. Yang mau tau apa Cozora itu, klik di sini, ya. They do some awesome stuff so you better do check them out!


Yak lanjut…

  1. Apa sih jurusan International Development (ID) itu?
    ID itu bisa dibilang campuran dari ilmu hubungan internasional, sosiologi, politik, dan ekonomi. Fokusnya adalah gimana caranya bikin dunia jadi lebih baik, nggak cuma secara ekonomi tapi juga secara sosial. Di sini kita belajar berbagai topik mulai dari penanggulangan bencana, kesetaraan gender, sampe cara memfasilitasi seminar yang lebih inklusif.
  2. Apakah harus punya background ilmu sosial di S1 untuk bisa belajar ID saat S2? 
    Nggak juga. ID sangat fleksibel untuk dipelajarin regardless of your previous education. Temen-temen gue di RMIT University, misalnya, ada yg backgroundnya engineering, nursing, physiotherapy, environmental science, bahkan accounting. Kebanyakan mereka memang pernah kerja atau jadi volunteer di bidang sosial, tapi nggak menutup kemungkinan juga fresh graduate dari jurusan lain “nyebrang” ke ID.
    Menurut gue pribadi sih, pengalaman kita lahir dan tinggal di Indonesia yang juga negara berkembang udah cukup banget untuk mendukung pemahaman selama kuliah.
  3. Persisnya ID itu belajar apa aja sih?
    Seperti yang gue bilang tadi, ID itu adalah jurusan “gado-gado” alias gabungan dari banyak disiplin ilmu.
    Di RMIT sendiri ada mata kuliah wajib (core courses) dan pilihan (electives). Yang wajib itu contohnya “Learning and Participation in Development” dan “Gender in Development”.
    Untuk mata kuliah pilihan, di RMIT ada beberapa pilihan kelompok, misalnya kelas-kelas di kelompok “Disasters and Humanitarian Assistance” bisa dipilih buat yang mau fokus belajar penanggulangan bencana. Ada juga “Conflict and Peace Building” buat yang mau belajar cara membangun kembali tempat-tempat yang habis kena konflik.
  4. Lulusan ID biasanya kerja di mana?
    Bisa dibilang sebagian besar mahasiswa ID itu sudah/akan kerja di NGO, termasuk yang besar seperti Oxfam atau Save the Children.
    Sekarang ini selain NGO, makin banyak bisnis atau social entrepreneurship yang fokusnya nggak cuma nyari profit tapi juga ngebangun masyarakat sekitar. Nah, lulusan ID juga dibutuhin tuh sebagai konsultan corporate social responsibility (CSR) di perusahan-perusahaan swasta, misalnya. Nggak menutup kemungkinan juga lulusan ID bikin social enterprise sendiri.
    Selain itu lulusan ID juga bisa bekerja sebagai researcher di lembaga riset di yang fokusnya development.

    Segitu dulu ya rangkuman Q&A-nya. Seperti biasa yang mau tanya-tanya silakan komen di bawah!

It’s more fun in the Philippines(?) #travelingwithkubiir ep. 2


For this episode of #travelingwithkubiir, my friend Asma’ and I went to Philippines. Unlike many others who traveled to Palawan, Boracay, or Cebu, we chose to visit Bagac in Bataan province as well as the capital Manila.

Before I start, let me tell you this: it’s been a few weeks since we came back but we still can’t get over the top-notch hospitality of the people there! From the crowded city of Manila to the serene Bataan, almost everyone we met really gave their best to smile at us and help us.

Now, on to the journey itself. On the first day we arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at about 3-4 p.m. After buying a Smart SIM Card to use during our stay, we went to the Grab Car booth outside the arrival hall and went to Hop Inn Hotel Ermita, where we staying that night.

After checking in and resting a bit, we hired another Grab Car and went to SM Mall of Asia, the so-called biggest mall in Southeast Asia. Guess what, the mall is really huge we barely had time to explore what’s in it. So after having some modified Indonesian food at Martabak restaurant, we went to buy some souvenirs at Kultura and got back to the hotel. I think not spending too much time in this mall was a good decision because later on our third day, we had some free time and went to another gigantic shopping mall called Greenbelt in Makati area.


The next morning might be the most exciting part of the trip, because we didn’t even know exactly how to go from Manila to Bataan apart from some vague information we found online. Alhamdulillah, we managed to arrive safely in Balanga terminal after a 3-hour ride with Genesis Bus. From there, we randomly rode a Jeepney that had “Bagac” written on it. We were not so sure at first, but I managed to convince my friend that we were on the right track after confirming to the driver that we were going to Las Casas Filipinas the Acuzar.

The Jeepney right was fun, to say the least. Having a good internet connection (thumbs up for smart!) really helped us to be aware of where we were, even though it didn’t really help in terms of telling us where to stop (yup, Jeepney doesn’t have formal stops so anyone can just say “para, po…!” and stop anywhere, basically). We were so grateful that the driver was kind enough to tell us where we had to get off. From this point on, we continued our journey by tricycle.



Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar a.k.a “the Filipino houses of Acuzar” was built by an architect who wanted general public to know more about Filipino history through its old buildings. This architect, along with his interior-designer wife, managed to relocate and rebuild various houses across the Philippines into this resort area. I think this is a great way to let people–including foreigners like ourselves–to understand about and learn from what had happened in the past. Sure, the cost of staying there was quite high, but to me the guided heritage tour and the cultural performance provided to all guests were worth the price.



Fast forward to our last day in the Philippines, we started the day walking from Casa Bocobo hotel to Rizal Park. This park was built as a tribute to the national hero of the Philippines, Dr. Jose Rizal. Being the lazy girls that we are, we decided to ride a mini train that goes around the park. The cost of this train was pretty cheap, only 1 USD or 50 PHP per person.


We continued walking to Intramuros which is an old town similar to Jakarta’s Kota Tua. Apart from Manila Cathedral, the most iconic building in this area is Fort Santiago where Dr. Jose Rizal was imprisoned by the Spanish colonial government.



After that we went to Quiapo area which, unfortunately, became a hot topic after several bomb attacks there. This is so unfortunate knowing that the Golden Mosque, one of the very few Islamic buildings in the Catholic-majority country, was located in that area. After praying we spoke to a Filipino lady who apparently was able to speak Malay quite fluently. We also went to Landap Cafe, located just across the mosque, for lunch.



Apart from the hospitality I mentioned before, another thing I remember from the trip was how people always thought we were Filipino! In the hotels, on the street, pretty much everywhere we went to, people would always talk to us in Tagalog and we were like “ehm… excuse me but we’re foreigners…” hahaha.

Overall, we really enjoyed our time there and personally I had to agree that it is, indeed, more fun in the Philippines! 😀


Siem Reap Adventure #travelingwithkubiir

Apparently this long-overdue post has been sitting on my draft for 8 months… Well, better late than never, right?

But anyway, this time I’d like to talk about my journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I went with my partner-in-crime Asma’. Despite having known each other for almost 10 years, we had never gone traveling together before, so we were supert excited to depart on our adventure (and Asma’s first time abroad as well!)

We started the journey by taking AirAsia to Kuala Lumpur, then continued with another AirAsia flight from KL to Siem Reap. We found this route much cheaper than using AirAsia Indonesia that flies from Jakarta to Siem Reap with one layover in Don Mueang (Bangkok).

We stayed in KL for a night, visited the iconic Twin Towers and explored the night bazaar near Masjid India. Oh, by the way, we stayed at Hotel 1951, and we have to say this place was bomb! I mean, for the budget that we had, we couldn’t have asked for more than a strategic location and  a compact-but-cozy room. There’s also an Indian restaurant nearby, which was perfect for naan lovers like us.


The next morning we went back to KLIA2 and flew to Siem Reap. After a little fight with the tuk-tuk driver who forced us to ride his tuk-tuk for Angkor tour the next day, we took a long nap at Sok San Street Boutique Hotel. It took around 30 minutes and USD 6 from the airport to the hotel by tuk-tuk.


Later that night, we walked to the night market and did some shopping. Actually there were a few lanes which are all called “night market”, all of them claiming to be the “original”. One fun fact, almost everyone selling goods there called female visitors “Lady”. When we were roaming around, they would say something like “please have a look, Lady…”


The next day, we woke up at about 2 a.m. and went on an Angkor tour at 4. Our tuktuk driver, Wanra, was very nice (and a bit shy).

Our first destination after buying Angkor World Heritage tickets (USD 20 each) was the legendary Angkor Wat. We waited for sunrise with many other visitors there. My phone’s camera obviously doesn’t do it any justice, but here’s a pic of the sunrise:



There’s a funny story from when we were about to leave the Angkor Wat complex. We went there taking some takeaway breakfast from the hotel, which had eggs and bananas in it. We didn’t manage to eat them all so we just took them with us to eat later, but then a monkey came and snatched the meal from my arm! It may not sound funny here but trust me, you would’ve laughed if you saw how shocked I was.


I honestly don’t remember where else we went to that day (I left my journal at home LOL) apart from Bayon temple and Ta Phrom, where Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider took place, but for sure we took the small tour instead of the full-day one. We arrived back at the hotel at about 2 p.m.


After taking a long nap, we went out for dinner. This time we tried “beef climbing mountain” (yeah that’s really what it’s called) from Muslim Family Kitchen. Everyone there was so nice! The food was nice too, of course.



The next day, before catching our flight back to KL, we took a short walk to Siem Reap Mosque. Apparently, there’s quite a number of Siem Reap citizens who studied Islam in Malaysia, hence the mosque and halal restaurants around it were built. We figured only men went to pray at that mosque because the second level, which is for women, was very quiet. We were happy to find quite a large mosque there regardless.


For lunch, we revisited Muslim Family Kitchen and ordered beef amok, another staple food from Siem Reap.



On our back to the hotel, we met little boys in their school uniform smiling to us and said “Assalamualaikum”. After two days of arguing with a tuktuk driver and getting our food snatched by a monkey, this one experience made us so touched.

Overall, our trip to Siem Reap (via KL) was a success, alhamdulillah. Can’t wait for our next adventure!