Being part of a well-known university in Korea and cultural diversity is one of Komang Dyah Apriyanti’s dreams, a student of the Study Programme of French Language and Literature, Faculty of Cultural Studies (FCS), Universitas Brawijaya (UB). Komang is one of the participants of the International Indonesian Student Mobility Award (IISMA) 2022. Until the end of 2022, Komang will undergo academic activities at Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea.

“I want to know how the ethnic diversity, traditions, and cultural patterns are as numerous as in Indonesia,” she explained.

While in Korea, Komang chose courses on culture, negotiation, media effects and film script writing, advertising, and other entertainment-related courses. While at Hanyang University, Komang was part of the College of Performing Arts and Sport, majoring in Film and Theatre.

“This department is relevant to what I learn in UB. Moreover, I am also interested in the development of the entertainment world in Indonesia, especially for the better Indonesian cinema,” she said.

The interesting thing during her stay in Korea was that she walked a lot more.

“In Indonesia, I could park my motorbike directly at the faculty, but here I have to walk from the station to the college building. The distance is quite far. Here also the lecturers and the staff do not pay attention to students in class but they are very interactive,” she stated.

“One thing that is similar to UB is the existence of the Hanyang version of SIAM and GAPURA, namely LMS and CanvasHanyang for class schedules, attendance, and so on. There is also a monument that looks like the UB roundabout. Lecture assignments also consist of projects, discussions, and debates. However, there is the same method as in UB, namely Case-based Learning Methods. In my study programme, it is applied in the French Culture course. Then there is also a group-based project,” she continued.

Another thing that is interesting according to Komang is that there is a room filled with beds and chairs for students to rest.

“In this room, students can rest or do assignments in between lectures, because this is HU’s method to improve the students’ learning quality and save students’ energy,” she explained.

Language and culinary barriers are also not a big problem for Komang. This Balinese girl claimed to have learnt basic Korean before arriving in Korea.

“I have been fluent in Korean since middle school, but for grammar, I learn from Twitter, and I’m also a fan of Korean music. Here, we are helped by the existence of a translation application because many residents are not fluent in English. Technology helped me a lot while in Korea. There is no problem with food, only the price of food here is quite expensive. So, we have to be smart to save money. The favorite food of IISMA students in Hanyang is fried chicken. Because I miss Indonesia, I even cook smashed fried chicken. The surprising thing is that many of the items sold are made in Indonesia,” she added.

Apart from studying, Komang also explored Seoul. On the sidelines of a busy college, she also took the time to visit museums or historical places.

“I had a chance to enjoy Chuseok, a Korean Thanksgiving celebration and the three-day holiday. I visited Gyeongbokgung Palace and tried to wear the hanbok. I also visited museums because I love art and the museums here are free or only pay a few won. I also had time to go to Gangnam, as well as Itaewon to enjoy the many Indonesian culinary delights,” she said excitedly.

Becoming an IISMA participant allowed Komang to develop.

“IISMA gives us many opportunities to grow and discover new things. We plan to carry out the performance. We are also supported by the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul, both morally and otherwise. My friends are also supportive because we are abroad with people of various cultures and we only have each other,” said this Class of 2020 student.

After returning from Korea, Komang plans to pass on her experience and knowledge to her friends.

“I will continue my studies at UB, then I am also interested in sharing tips and tricks while in Korea. To be sure, I want to share knowledge about negotiations through webinars or articles that can be accessed. The point is, I want to share the knowledge I have when I was in Korea as much as possible and my friends can access it in Indonesia,” she concluded. [VQ/dts/aaz/PR FCS]