Teatime #2 with Iwan Awaluddin Yusuf: Seeking and Taste The International Experiences

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Actually, not only tracing international experience, but also smells a ‘sense’ of international experience. It was the purpose of the title: Seeking and Taste The International Experiences. International experience is important and needs to be felt by Indonesian students, not merely to be proud of. But also understanding differences in perspective, culture, even expanding academic and intellectual networks. That is what I would like to emphasize Iwan Awaluddin Yusuf, UII Communication Lecturer who is currently completing a doctoral program in media and journalism at Monash University Australia as a speaker at the UII Teatime # 2 International Program of Communication talk show.

The event, which was held at the UII International Communication Program, invited him to track and share the need for international experience for student self-development and scholarship. The theme raised in this second Teatime is “Seeking the international experiences”. The moderator on Friday 3 July 2020 was Ida Nuraini Dewi KN, Secretary of the UII International Communication Program, who is also a Lecturer in the Cluster of Journalism and Media.

That afternoon, Iwan Awaluddin from Melbourne, and Ida Nuraini, from Jogja talked for an hour. Through the Instagram Live Application, Iwan told me that what he had achieved so that he could get a scholarship from LPDP to study at Monash University did not come from holding hands. There is a business, prayer, and track record that was built before reaching it. “For some people, the chance to get international experience might be easy, but this is not an easy thing for me, let alone achieve an IELTS score of 7,” he said of the process of winning a scholarship.

What is the importance of International Experiences?

The Instagram conversations that have been watched by more than 100 viewers also give new insight about how to view the international experience. For Iwan, international experience is not just a matter of studying abroad. There are two things: formal and informal. Formal international experience, for example, studying abroad. Or for example informal ones are invited to be speakers at international scientific activities, joint research, or short courses. Iwan told Ida, the moderator today, that he first experienced a ‘sense’ of international experience precisely because of his track record of actively writing a blog.

“I’m actively writing a blog about the media and the press. At that time my writing about freedom of the press was seen well and made me invited by the campus in Myanmar to talk about press freedom in Indonesia,” Iwan recalled.

Talking about foreign experience, it was precisely the ability to write and the many publications in Iwan’s work that made Monash University melted and accepted him to continue his studies there. His network with professors at Monash also greatly helped him lobby and penetrate Monash University. “The quality of the publication of my works is one of the things that has convinced the supervisor,” said Iwan.

What International Experiences Can Be Shared?

Iwan shared many of his international experiences. Iwan said he, there, was not only learning about Australia, but also learning Indonesia. Iwan’s explanation revealed that there were many studies in Australia in Indonesia. “I just learned the Dieng bundengan musical instrument of Wonosobo. I learned from the ethno-musicology department at Monash. While we do not know Indonesia itself. Indeed, we need to keep a little distance, instead we know,” he said.

“I saw a very natural, clean and amazing view,” Iwan said with astonishment. “I see Australian aloha flowers, I remember the rice fields. For people here, the rice fields are so beautiful, because there are none here. Maybe they are also amazed by the Randu Trees, the same as we see sakura in Japan. Indeed we have to give distance,” he continued.

Indeed, said Iwan, it is important that we immediately feel the ‘smell’ of other countries as part of experiencing international experience. For example, said Iwan, “there was a stereotype about Islam in Australia when I was in Indonesia. When I went there it was not like that stereotype either. I learned that Islam had come to Australia and was brought by Makassar people first from James Cook who discovered Australia.”

So, said Iwan, we need not only to hang out with communities that only want to justify us. We need to understand and study people and other thoughts in order to understand. “If we are still confined to thinking and comfortable with these and only things, we will not develop thinking,” he explained.

This is what came to be called Iwan and Ida the meaning of experiencing International Experience: discover new things about new culture.