AN EMAIL FROM AUCKLAND
Friends, and Students
Studying abroad is my biggest dream since I was a kid. Gaining lots of experience from different country and learning new cultures become the reason why I was so interested in pursuing my degree overseas. I got my degree in Indonesia last five years from Cenderawasih University, Papua in English Education program. Since then, I dedicate myself to enhance the education of the indigenous people of Papua to make them equal with other Indonesian citizens. Until the gold opportunity came, there was socialization about the NZAS (New Zealand ASEAN Scholarship) in Jayapura, Papua in October 2013 and I tried to send my application straight away. Basically, getting a scholarship from other country is not easy. I have to follow some selection phases until I came to the end of the selection stages on October 2014. So, totally I had to wait for about a year, and December 2014 was the most memorable moment in my life, as my name was announced as one of the scholarship awardees out of 18 other awardees who would be trained in Surabaya for a preparation program of overseas study. Lastly, on March 2015, me and other three fellows passed the IELTS test and we deserved to go earlier than others. I got my 7.0 IELTS at that time.
I left for Auckland on July 8th 2015 and arrived here one day after. The first two weeks was the most shocking day of my life as I have to adapt new environment, new weather, new culture and of course new ‘home’ which was so far away from my beloved family. In addition, I struggled really hard to deal with the university life that was much more different from Indonesia, by understanding the new system, new rules, and new way of learning as well as new friends from all over the world. It seemed interesting at first, but I have to fasten my speed of comprehension and I got settled at the middle of the first semester. I was taking two degrees, it was Postgraduate Diploma in Education, which is the pathway of Master of Education that I am doing now. During my first year, I had learned many things, academic and cultural matter. I love the way of the university staffs and lecturers treating us, as they put a high respect to all people, no matter how and what we are. I also found that the course materials were really high standard and require us to gain our excellence of critical thinking. Finally, I finished my postgraduate degree and joined a spring graduation ceremony on September 27th 2016. That day was the proudest moment of my life, because I am eligible to graduate from the University of Auckland, the number one best university in New Zealand and the 81st world top universities, with the honor of ‘with merit’ and it was announced in the ceremony. From that moment, I was automatically granted for the Master of Education program that I am taking now.
Being enrolled in a Master program in New Zealand is an honor for me. I am being given a chance to do a home-located research in Indonesia, and I am interested in doing a study about gifted and talented education, especially investigating the challenge of acceleration sustainability.
It was a bless for me to join Majapahit Islamic University (UNIM) while I was collecting the data for my research. Being a member of UNIM big family is one of the reasons for me to come back to Indonesia besides my beloved family. I hope this story will encourage my colleagues in UNIM to pursue a higher overseas degree, in order to give better contribution for our beloved university. In addition, hopefully these cluster of words will be able to motivate my students, who are struggling to finish their degree at UNIM, to have a big dream and confidence of their excellence.
I had been collecting the data for three months and I come up with the data analysis process this moment. Again, this program made me frustrated at the beginning as I did not have more classes and less socialization with others, I had to study and solve the problem independently and I started my solitary life since the thesis began. Thus, I am looking for other activities to mingle with others. I applied to become one of the models for the university magazine and had some photo shoots between my thesis writing. I also join some events at the University, such as becoming the committee member for the new international students’ orientation, attending some university parties, group discussion and taking some casual jobs. I feel better after taking a break in such activities for a while and then come back to my research data, because I need another environment rather than just being engaged with the thesis stuffs. There are some free events in Auckland, so I always hang out with my flat mates every weekend. Every single side of this country is so beautiful and I am sure I will be really missing it someday when I return back to Indonesia. I always enjoy my days here, because I know, five more months I will go home for good and I can contribute something for my beloved country, Indonesia.
Auckland, February 21st, 2017
ANITA TRESIYANA DEWI
(Master of Education candidate, The University of Auckland)