June 22, 2013
Dear English Department,
It’s been quite a long time since the last time I took my last class there in home university. I’m writing this just to share my stories what I’ve been seeing, doing and learning in this land of far far away from home, Czech Republic, for half a year.
First, since we are students, let’s talk about the lessons. I took only 5 courses here in Tomas Bata University, Czech Republic. It is half of all the courses that I had to take in Binus, which are 10 courses. Thanks to the lovely Mam Risa, who made it possible for me not to retake the courses that I didn’t take in Binus since all of the grades are generated using transfer credit system. So what were the courses that I took in Czech Republic? Here you go:
1. Analysis of technical text
In this class we often do in-depth analysis on many kinds of text from advertisement to brochure. So yes, it is kind of heavy subject. Thank God that I have a great lecturer. She’s also the head of the department. And the great thing is she said she’s been to Indonesia – Jakarta, Yogya and Bali. Hahahah. It just feels good to find out there’s a foreigner visit your country and she or he enjoyed her or his time there and said that your country is beautiful. Anyway, she’s Czech but she speaks a really good English, though, just like a Native American. It’s really cool cause, FYI, not many Czech speak English. It’s like if you ask people in the street to get the direction, don’t hope too much that they can help you. It’s not because they don’t want to help, but because of the language barrier.I guess that’s the biggest problem living here.
2. Australian Studies
In Binus, it is equal to the course of Australian Culture and Society. Like its name, Australian studies talks about Australia’s A to Z. Well, it’s the class when I can sit back and relax. We don’t do many things actually. The lecturer is Australian. So he just does this kind of talking about his country or we watched a movie related to Australia one time or two. To be honest I enjoy this class because I can get an easy pass.Eheheheh. As a project I just have to do the presentation about Australia and write a biography about one famous Australian. The test? Multiple choice and we did it online. Cool, right? I know 😀
3. Commercial Correspondence
Frankly, I didn’t have to take this subject. I’m taking it for CB’s sake when it has nothing to do with CB. I know it’s sad, but what can I do? Here, there’s no such thing as CB. So, go with it. It is more like a business English stuff and it’s like you’re a secretary. Write a letter for clients or supplier, get familiar with this kind of business terms, write a CV, write a cover letter and things like that. And I’m not into business and things like this. So, I bet you can imagine what I feel. Anyway, I survived this course. Yay!
4. American Literature Survey
Here we go to the most difficult course of all. It takes up my energy until nothing left. No kidding. This course is equivalent to the prose analysis in Binus,but I bet it is 10 times more difficult. We have to read a lot. I mean like a looooottttttt. I love reading. Actually, I love reading that much like there’s always a book in my bag. Always. So, what makes it so crazy then? We have to finish a novel in a week. One novel a week! What worse is each of the items in the reading list is a heavy reading; it’s not an easy reading at all. Name it: Nabokov, Hemingway, Fitzgerald. It’s just too much, isn’t it? L
5. Presentation Skills
In Binus the course name is the same. Here, Presentation Skills is my favorite subject! Yes, just like its name we have to do some presentations. As for final score, I have to do an individual presentation in which I can choose the topic freely. I was confused about what my topic would be. I looked around and realized that I’m the only Asian in class. I thought, “Okay this might be interesting”. So, my topic was about our country, Indonesia. I talked about the differences between Czech Republic and Indonesia in terms of lifestyle, mindset, behavior, etc. In the end, the lecturer told me that it was such a great presentation and she really appreciates the topic I chose. I was also well-responded by the students. They asked me some questions like if I’m happy to be in Czech or what county that I dream to live in and etc. I love this class cause it gave me the chance to show them our country, about how we –Indonesians- live, the richness of our culture and everything. So yes, I enjoy this class so much until I’m kinda sad when it’s over.
However, those classes are not the main things why I’m writing you this story. What I’m trying to say is this; here, study abroad, I learn many things that are far beyond about academic stuff. I learn about life by making friends, travelling, living far from your family and friends and many more. Every single minute that I spend here helps me to learn about myself. There were many times that took me by surprise. Before I didn’t realize that I could such things until I’m here, such as flying for such long hours by myself. I mean come on! In Indonesia, I’ve never even travelled from Jakarta to Bandung by my self. I’d never been a solo traveller. But here, I don’t even remember how many times I travelled alone from one place to another. I can say that I’m stronger than I thought I was. It’s like by the time I return home, I may feel like a super hero: I can do just anything!Hahahah.
Study abroad has given me new ideas and perspective about my own culture and myself. Now I can say that I’m a proud Indonesian. You know what, when I was still in Indonesia many times I thought “Just get me out of this country!” and things like that. But now I’m here it’s undeniable I’ve been missing everything about Indonesia; the food, the people, the culture, the traffic jam (no way, not this one. I’m kidding). Can’t you see my point? Being here, far away from home, it taught me how to miss and love your own country, and to know your identity.
Hmmm what else? Oh yes, this opportunity has broadened my world understanding and perspective on just about anything. I know I’m not going to be the same person as before. More or less, being here changed me. Now I have much less biased perspective toward other culture and people. I also have a deeper understanding and respect for my host country, knowing how another culture approaches daily life, for example, their punctuality, their respect to the pedestrians, their straightforwardness.
So, I’m truly grateful for these amazing experience –adventure- , to study abroad, to travel to the coolest places on earth, to make friends around the world, to see the world from a different angle, to show me the way to appreciate life, basically everything. So people, if you have a chance, don’t think twice, just go!*. Cause in the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take J
* Go as far as it would take you. The farther, the better 😉
is a 4th semester student joining exchange program in Czech republic
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