Back to School: Why Australia?

Haloooo kembali lagi dengan saya di sini *sok asik*

Jadi beberapa bulan belakangan ini gue sering ditanya tentang kuliah (khususnya master) di Australia. Nah, berhubung saat ini gue ngambil jurusan International Development di RMIT University, Melbourne, jawaban gue mungkin akan bias. Tapi silakan dibaca siapa tahu bermanfaat.

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Dapet salam dari koala.

Oke langsung aja ke QnA, ya:

  1. Kenapa Australia? Hmm, jujur aja gue awalnya nggak ada niat untuk ambil master di sini. Tapi karena kondisinya saat itu cukup mendesak, gue akhirnya mencari beberapa universitas yang buka intake bulan Februari, dan kebanyakan memang di Australia. RMIT sendiri adalah universitas pertama yang gue daftar dan alhamdulillah diterima. Jadi, lagi-lagi gue akui, keputusan untuk pergi ke Australia termasuk  yang “tidak direncanakan”.
  2. Kenapa RMIT? Kembali ke pertanyaan pertama, keputusan memilih RMIT bukan sesuatu yang gue pikirkan lama-lama. Tapi kalau ditanya pertimbangannya ya nggak jauh-jauh dari reputasi dan ketersediaan jurusan. Dari awal memutuskan berangkat S2 dengan beasiswa LPDP gue memang tidak pernah menargetkan untuk masuk universitas yang “wow”, karena buat gue kecocokan universitas dan kemampuan gue jauh lebih penting dari sekedar prestige. RMIT sendiri rankingnya termasuk “biasa aja”, tapi reputasinya di Australia cukup bagus sebagai universitas yang punya banyak International students dan hubungan yang  baik dengan industri.
  3. Apa sih enaknya kuliah di Australia? Pertama, hubungan dosen dan mahasiswa. Di sini dosen dipanggil dengan first name tanpa embel-embel professor atau panggilan lainnya. Kalau ada pertanyaan seputar perkuliahan, dosen sangat reachable walaupun kadang hanya bisa lewat e-mail karena ybs sibuk. Di kelas pun diskusi sangat terbuka, bahkan kadang dosen terkesan “gabut” karna mereka hanya menjelaskan sebentar sebelum mahasiswa dilepas untuk diskusi. Gue pernah membahas ini dengan teman yang asli Australia, dan ternyata mereka memang dibiasakan untuk “nggak gampang percaya” dengan omongan guru sejak SD. Sangat berbeda, kan, dengan kita yang terbiasa mendengarkan penjelasan guru di kelas.
  4. Bagaimana kehidupan muslim di Australia? Alhamdulillah gue tinggal di kota Melbourne yang sangat multicultural. Kerudung yang gue pakai sehari-hari tidak membuat gue merasa “aneh” karena banyak juga perempuan lain yang berhijab. Makanan halal? Jangan ditanya. Selain kebab dan masakan Indonesia, gue paling suka makan di restoran Uyghur alias Muslim Chinese. Bumbu-bumbu masakan Indonesia ada di berbagai toko Asia, halal butcher pun ada di mana-mana. *tuh kan, seru sendiri kalau bahas makanan* Puasa dan Lebaran kemarin pun gue nggak pulang ke Indonesia dan alhamdulillah suasana buka puasa, tarawih, dan solat ied cukup ramai karena di sini ada beberapa masjid dengan komunitas yang besar dan akrab.
  5.  Katanya living cost di sana mahal, ya? Kalau ini nggak bisa dipungkiri, sih. Tapi tenang, selalu ada cara menyiasatinya. Gue sendiri memilih untuk tinggal di city alias Melbourne CBD yang lokasinya dekat dengan kampus, jadi nggak berat di ongkos (walaupun harga sewanya sedikit lebih mahal). Fyi, naik tram di CBD gratis sepuasnya, lho. Terus untuk makan, belanja bahan mentah di sini cukup jauh bedanya dibanding makan di luar. Jadi selagi ada waktu untuk masak, gue lebih memilih masak sendiri.
  6. Dari tadi bahas yang enak-enak terus. Yang nggak enak apa? Gue orangnya memang jarang mengeluh *eaaaak* tapi kalau harus jawab… Gue akan jawab ini: internet di sini lola alias lemot alias lamaaaa.! Apalagi kalau malam. Agak bikin sedih sih bagi yang suka nontonin Oppa kayak gue hehehe.

Sementara itu dulu kali, ya? Jangan malu-malu untuk bertanya kalau ada yang masih ingin ditanyakan. Inshaa Allah akan gue jawab di kesempatan berikutnya.

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Explore Indonesia #2: Makassar

So another wedding invitation came and I couldn’t resist the desire to book my flight and go. This time I went to Makassar, one of the biggest cities of Indonesia located in the southern part of Sulawesi–the island I’ve never visited before.

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Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport

I arrived so much earlier that day, just to hear that my flight got delayed for 2 hours. Hmm, quite a long time isn’t it. But anyway I had a safe flight, alhamdulillah. My friend picked me up from the airport and took me around the city right away.

The first place we visited was Fort Rotterdam. This place used to be a fort built by Dutch colonies. These days, though, creative people of Makassar often utilize its open spaces to hold meetings and practices. One of the teams we bumped into was some kind of a traditional drama club. Oh, by the way, there’s no entrance fee for this place.

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The gate to Fort Rotterdam
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What’s inside

Next, we headed to Losari Beach. After praying at Masjid Amirul Mukminin a.k.a. the floating mosque, we took a little stroll along the beach and took photos in front of the infamous “Makassar” sign. Apparently, there are also “Bugis” and “Toraja” signs to represent each tribe that lives in South Sulawesi.

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The floating mosque

The next day was the day we attended our senior’s wedding ceremony. Despite arriving quite late, we were lucky that we could taste some food LOL. After that we headed to yet another beach: Akkarena Beach. While Losari beach was developed with modern facilities, this one felt more like a “traditional” beach. Well I don’t even understand what I’m saying, but, yeah.

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Akkarena Beach

After having Cotto Makassar for late-lunch, we went straight to a beach cafe called Ballairate, where we watched sunset while, of course, taking lots of pictures.

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“Follow me to…” kinda pose

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People said that it’s always hot in Makassar, but perhaps due to the rainy season, I didn’t sweat that much. The highlight of the trip to me, though, was the freshness of the air in  Makassar. Oh, and of course, I was also delighted by the delicious food we had, which always came in big portion. *still I could finish everything*

Looking forward to another wedding invitation! 😀

Bonus: the food we had during the trip

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Pallubasa

 

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Konro Bakar
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Cotto Makassar
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Pisang Epe’

Tentang Beasiswa LPDP: Seleksi Administrasi

Disclaimer: tulisan di bawah ini berdasarkan ingatan, catatan, dan pendapat pribadi penulis, jadi mohon maaf apabila ada yang kurang berkenan.

Alhamdulillah, akhirnya jadi juga saya menunaikan janji sharing tentang lika-liku mengejar beasiswa LPDP di blog ini. Semoga bermanfaat buat yang baca (kalau ada).

Jadi di sini saya nggak akan panjang lebar menjelaskan apa syarat-syarat mengikuti seleksi beasiswa LPDP, karena selain syaratnya berubah-ubah tiap periode, sudah ada juga info lengkapnya di sini. Yang jelas, pada saat saya mendaftar di bulan Oktober 2015, ada 3 item yang cukup membutuhkan usaha untuk dihadirkan: essay, rencana studi, dan surat keterangan sehat dari rumah sakit pemerintah. Bahas satu-satu yuk, cyin…

ESSAY

Ada dua essay (masing-masing panjangnya 500 kata) yang waktu itu harus saya buat, satu bertema prestasi terbesar dalam hidup dan satunya lagi tentang kontribusi bagi Indonesia. Khusus tema yang kedua, ada beberapa poin pertanyaan yang bisa dijadikan guideline untuk penulisan essay. Sekilas dua tema ini mungkin tampak sederhana, apalagi dibandingkan dengan topik skripsi yang kadang menjelaskan ke dosen saja pusing sendiri. *maaf curhat* Tapi yang perlu diingat, kita perlu memposisikan diri sebaik mungkin dalam penulisan kedua essay ini. Jangan sampai terkesan terlalu “rendah diri”, tapi juga jangan merasa jumawa atau arogan. Yang sedang-sedang saja, kalau kata lagu dangdut. Menurut saya sih, sebenarnya pihak penyeleksi tidak terlalu “peduli” dengan jenis dan bentuk prestasi maupun kontribusi kita. Toh, hampir semua yang mendaftar pasti berprestasi dan banyak berkontribusi bagi Indonesia semasa kuliah. Yang dilihat oleh penyeleksi adalah cara pandang kita tentang pengalaman-pengalaman di masa lalu, apa yang kita pelajari dari situ, dan semacamnya. (Jangan percaya 100% ya sama saya, hehehe *insert peace sign*)

RENCANA STUDI

Nah, kalau yang ini, tidak ada batas jumlah katanya. Mau buat panjang boleh, singkat tapi padat pun silakan saja. Awalnya saya bingung juga dengan format bebas ini, apalagi saat mendaftar ke universitas tujuan saya tidak diminta membuat research proposal. Jadilah saya ngubek-ngubek blog para awardee (baca: sebutan untuk penerima beasiswa LPDP) senior. *terima kasih kakak-kakak* Dari contoh-contoh yang saya dapat, ada beberapa yang hanya menuliskan garis besar penjelasan jurusan yang dituju, kemudian ditambah rencana setelah lulus. Ada juga yang mencantumkan pilihan kelas secara detil, bahkan sampai rencana keuangan perbulan pun ditulis. Hmm, makin bingung lah saya. Akhirnya saya ambil jalan tengah saja, dengan menuliskan latar belakang pilihan jurusan, kelas-kelas yang rencananya akan diambil, rencana topik tesis, dan rencana karier setelah lulus.

SURAT KETERANGAN SEHAT

Berbeda dengan dua benda di atas, yang ini tidak bisa saya siapkan sendiri. Saya harus melakukan medical check-up terlebih dahulu di rumah sakit pemerintah (sesuai syarat dari LPDP waktu itu). Berhubung saya berdomisili di perbatasan Pamulang-Serpong, jadilah saya memilih RSUD Kota Tangerang Selatan yang berada di Pamulang. Prosesnya kira-kira begini: saya datang dan mendaftar langsung di counter rumah sakit (tentunya dengan menjelaskan keterangan bebas penyakit apa saja yang saya butuhkan), lalu dicek lab dan rontgen. Sebenarnya ada yang harus saya kumpulkan ke RS keesokan paginya, tapi benda ini boleh diantar oleh siapa saja jadi kita tidak harus datang lagi. Saya sih titip ke Mama, hehehe. Setelah 4-5 hari kerja, saya datang lagi ke RS untuk mengambil hasil rontgen lalu membawanya ke ruangan dokter umum. Beliaulah yang menandatangani surat keterangan sehat, bebas narkoba, dan bebas TBC yang saya minta.

Itu tadi sekilas info tentang seleksi administrasi LPDP. Bagi yang mau tanya-tanya lebih lanjut, silakan komen di bawah ini. *kayaknya nggak ada juga sih, hiks*

Bagi yang mau daftar, saya ucapkan semangat dan semoga sukses!!!!

 

Explore Indonesia #1: Malang

First of all let me wish you all a happy new year! Yeah I know it’s super late but still…

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So two of my goals for 2016 are to visit as many new places as possible and to attend my friends’ wedding ceremonies. Thus when Nasha‘s random message popped up on my phone’s screen I knew this trip to both attend our seniors’ weddings and refresh ourselves from our routines would be a good start.

We went to Malang by executive train called Gajayana. The train itself was quite comfortable, its toilet was quite clean, and the food we bought for dinner was OK. However, the supposedly 16-hour journey was extended 1-2 hours so we were way more tired than we expected.

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Inside Gajayana

Nevertheless, the first wedding ceremony we planned to attend was waiting, so after putting our bags in Raras’ place (and having some yummy breakfast, of course -credits to Raras’ mom!) we went straight to Pelangi Jingga swimming pool. On the way back home we stopped by Bakso Bakar Pak Man, where we tried its famous grilled meatballs. Malang’s cool breeze was a nice addition to the food.

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Venue for the first wedding ceremony
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Forgot to take pictures of the food, sorry

The next day we went to another ceremony. While the previous one adopted garden party concept, this one was held in a hall. After stuffing our stomach with food (well that’s one purpose of attending wedding ceremonies right? LOL), we continued our journey up to Batu City where Museum Angkut a.k.a the newly opened transportation museum is.

After paying IDR 90,000 for Museum Angkut and D’Topeng Museum (I’ll get back to this one later) tickets, we went in and took as many photos as possible LOL. Well I don’t know why but sadly most Indonesians–including myself, sometimes–regard museums more as a place to collect selfies rather than to learn about certain topics. But anyway at least there’s no such thing as “museum allergy” anymore these days, meaning that finally young people have this will to go visit museums.

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Some of Museum Angkut’s old-car collections

Museum Angkut itself was quite interesting, with collections vary from old cars to becak (Indonesian traditional trishaw). Its size was way bigger than we thought. Interestingly, in the American(?) area, they had this DWP-ish outdoor party with a guy wearing Scooby Doo as the DJ (weird, I know). Before the party, there was this mini carnival where fake superheroes rode Museum Angkut’s car collection along the main corridor.

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This is part of the museum, too
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“Money can take you to the outer space” *what a quote*
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The weird party

As for D’Topeng, it was more like a gallery with collections of masks from different places in Indonesia (fyi, “topeng” means “mask” in English). In one corner of the gallery we saw a band of senior musicians playing keroncong songs.

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The keroncong band!

For Dinner we went to an Egyptian restaurant nearby Alun-Alun Batu. The food was not spectacular but still good, considering its price was almost half of the same menu’s price in Jakarta (okay this is sad).

The next day, after getting some traditional snacks as souvenirs, we headed back to Jakarta through Abdul Rahman Saleh Airport. The airport was a small, clean one with a line of restaurants outside (excuse me for talking about food again and again). Oh, by the way, I would recommend crispy tempe and fruit crackers for souvenirs.

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The airport

Well, despite the very short visit, I can say that my second trip to Malang was indeed a good start for my 2016, alhamdulillah. Now, time to prepare for another trip!

 

Kyushu Trip Part II: The Beautiful Nagasaki

On the second day of our trip, we went to Nagasaki, another city in Kyushu. In the morning we went to Beppu Station to buy a 7000 yen 3-day ticket which can be used to go all aorund Northern Kyushu. This ticket is especially sold for foreigners, including foreign students like the three of us.

According to hyperdia, we had to change train in Hakata Station in Fukuoka. We got off the at Kokura Station hoping to get on the shinkansen (super-fast bullet train) so that we could arrive at Hakata earlier.  Unfortunatey, our ticket could not be used for shinkansen, so we ended up waiting for another train to Hakata.

Doria for lunch, nom nom

It was already past 12 pm when we arrived at Nagasaki Station. Before having lunch at Royal Host, we bought Nagasaki tram ticket which can be used everywhere around the city and costs 600 yen.

Inside the tram

 

 

Our first stop was the famous Peace Park. This park is full of statues for commemorating atomic bombing to Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. We also went to the Atomic Bomb Museum not far from the park. It was my seond time at the museum, yet I could still feel the same heartbreak I felt when I first came. Both the park and the museum could really portrait the pain of atomic bomb victims.

The famous Peace Statue

Before moving to our next destination, we stopped by a cathedral named Urakami Cathedral. We found it interesting that Japanese people prayed there in their Buddhist-Shinto way, even though they were praying at a cathedral. We didn’t realized that they were praying for 3/11 Great Earthquake even though we heard a loud sound of sirene. After asking one of the visitors, we then found out that it was the exact time of the earthquake three years ago.

Urakami Cathedral

We iniatilly planned to go to Glover Garden, a beautiful garden at one peak of Nagasaki, but the train schedule forced us to go directly to the Nagasaki Ropeway. Nevertheless, I was not upset at all because it was my first time riding the ropeway.

On the way to the top

The ropeway ride to Mount Inasa reminded me a lot about the way up to Namsan Tower in Seoul. However, I have to admit that the view up the mountain was much more beautiful in Nagasaki. We also came right at sunset time, which enabled us to watch the beautiful sunset from above. Apparently, the night view from Mount Inasa is ranked third in the world, after the ones in Hongkong and Monaco.

Stunning. Subhanallah.

Our Nagasaki trip was ended by our all-time “favorite” Lotteria Shrimp Burger. Still we felt satisfied to be able to watch the beauty of Nagasaki.

 

Winter Trip Part III: The Most Expensive Sushi I’ve Ever Eaten

Tokyo Day 2: Tsukiji Fish Market

the market

So this is actually what I did on my second day in Tokyo, before leaving for Nagano later at night.

Those of you who has been to Tokyo must known this place. The most well-known attraction of Tsukiji Fish Market is its tuna auction. Unfortunately, the auction was suspended when I went there, perhaps due to the year-end holiday.

the car reminded me of segway

Before entering Daiwa, the restaurant, we had to queue for about 2 hours. Interestingly, almost all people standing with us were foreigners. One Japanese ojisan even said out loud in Japanese, “am I the only Japanese here?” Well, you maybe are, sir.

Entering the restaurant, bar to be exact, we sat in front of the sushi makers. He was a nice, friendly guy. He asked me and my friend about where we came from while preparing the sushi set that we ordered. The set consists of 10 different kinds of sushi, 1 piece each. The taste was… amazing. I mean, a-ma-zing. Accompanying the set, came a cup of miso soup added with clams. As a seafood lover, I felt heaven.

the set

The price for the set was 3800 yen. Literally the most expensive sushi I’ve ever eaten, but it was all worth it. Especially considering how we had to wait in front of the sushi bar since 7:30 in the morning.

a giant fish

After eating, we went to the Buddhist Cultural Center on the main street of Tsukiji. It was a Buddhist temple which looks more like a church from outside.

Buddhist Cultural Center

 

Winter Trip Part I: Fujiko F. Fujio Museum

Hello world!

It’s time to reveal what I did during last winter break!

Well, the first four days were actually spent with my family, who came here to visit me and my brother. 😀 After they went back to Indonesia, I stayed in and around Tokyo for an Indonesian traditional performance on January 4th. So these are basically the things I did before the performance preparation started!

Day 1

Fujiko F. Fujio Museum in Kawasaki City

Dorami ❤

It had always been my dream to meet Doraemon, Nobita, and Gian. Now that the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum is open, I was so excited to go there.

How to go: get off at Shukugawara station then walk for about 15 minutes or at Noborita station then take the shuttle bus

Ticket price: 1000 yen (bought in Lawson convenience store–you have to pick the entrance hour when buying the tickets)

The ticket

The museum was surprisingly not so big. Since I came on school holiday, I met many cute kids inside. It was a relief, though, that I went there with same age friends. Otherwise, I would have been the oldest visitor, LOL.

Before starting our journey inside the museum, we were lent handy talkies that serve as our virtual tour guides. Confused between English or Japanese, we ended up choosing Kids’ Japanese for the language of instruction.

Inside, we could see Fujiko F. Fujio’s sketches and collections, not only from Doraemon but also other cartoon series. Unfortunately, photographs were prohibited inside. 😦

I personally liked the outdoor mini-park better than the indoor museum, because I could walk through the doko-demo-doa and of course, meet my childhood best friends.

The outdoor park
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Childhood friends

Before going home, I took a piece of purikura (Japanese photo box) with my high school bestie.

Purikura!

If you want to taste the infamous memory bread, or Doraemon’s all-time favorite dorayaki, you can buy them at the souvenir shop. I didn’t buy any of them, though, but some postcards instead.

After all, all the cuteness and childhood memories were totally worth a piece of 1000 yen!