Atma Jaya


Living Abroad As Foreigner : Alvin Angjaya Exchange Student to Hanyang University Korea

Hi! My name is Alvin from Economics and Business Faculty, Management Major, grade 2016 and I’m here to share my student exchange experience in Hanyang University of Korea and also some tips on how to go on a student exchange program. By joining a student exchange program, there are a lot of benefits that you could get such as, cultural exchange, friends and connections, new opportunities, and of course, the experience of living by yourself in a foreign country with different lifestyle, new people and lastly far away from home.


In the span of 1 semester or approximately 4 months of my study there, I feel like I got an incredible amount of knowledge and experience that will be memorable and useful for me, that I won’t forget for my whole life. It all started at September where I flew to Korea and started my orientation there. At the orientation I met my mentor and also the other international students, which is wonderful because I got the chance to met amazing people from all over the world, and my connections just increased to the whole globe by joining this program.


At my University, Hanyang, international students are allowed to enter clubs and also competitions. It gave us a huge opportunity to do basically anything to improve ourselves. Personally, I joined 2 clubs there and enter 1 competition and it became a good experience for me. I get to know how foreign university clubs works, met new friends and it also a chance for me to learn how to socialize with different people. Some of the class also required us to work in teams and make presentations and present it in front of the class, which made me learn more at how to work with people when you have language and cultural barrier, it greatly improved my spoken English and also presenting materials in English.


Living by yourself away from home for 4 months could be quite a challenge by itself, you need to know how to go everywhere, take care of yourself and it really pushes you out of your comfort zone and make you more independent. Befriending people from variety of country and also living in another country not only taught me their culture, but the real benefits are by being exposed and getting to know a lot of culture I became trained to broaden my mind, less judgemental and respect other people more.


For the tips on how to get a student exchange program, there are several points that I will mention. First, open your ear and eyes and heighten your awareness of international events itself. You can easily find the program by looking or asking to your faculty office, or your university international office in Atma Jaya case, we have our own International Office and Global Active Student Association to look from international opportunities. Second, remember that even though there a lot of programs, some of the programs has limited participants that could join. Depending on the program, you could get full scholarship, partial scholarship or none at all, and of course, more scholarships means harder and stricter selection or the program itself maybe only let limited students to enter. That’s why you need to armed yourself with weapons such as good GPA, organization, volunteer or working experience, and also good English etc. Improve yourself and trust me, opportunities will present itself to you. Last but least, be brave and take action! I’ve seen enough people that were faced with opportunities have more than enough requirements but afraid to take action, and it is such a waste! Chances are useless without the courage to take risk and go with it.

So, to sum it up, aware of your surroundings, improve yourself, but also remember take action and go to a student exchange journey on your own because the world is not in your head, but out there.

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