R E S U L T   !
Students of Darmasiswa
2016 -2017,


Better Understand Indonesia

“We have been able to communicate fluently, but there are some words that we have not understood and difficult to pronounce.”

 “These are our activities: attend lecture, play, sleep, and read books. Our friends at Unila also often come here and we study and play together. We also sometimes visit and spend some time at lecturer houses around the complex," said Deborah Andrianony Eliane whom is called Eli by her friends, a student from Madagascar studying Indonesian Language for Foreign Speakers (BIPA) in the Department of Indonesian Languages and Arts, Faculty of Teaching and Education at University of Lampung (FKIP Unila).

Eli and her seven friends coming from other countries are foreign students selected this year to participate in the Republic of Indonesia Darmasiswa Scholarship Program for one year. Actually there are nine students who attend the program, but one person from Thailand joint the program only for six months, and now she has returned to her home country.

In addition to Deborah Andrianony Eliane, other students are named Ramiandrisoa Miantsa Andrianony Hasinjara that also come from Madagascar, Michal Tengeri from Slovakia; Khan Dalath, Soun Savon, and Met Monynimol from Cambodia. Then two students, i.e. Nagisa and Harasawa Nagisa Misato, are Japanese. They occupy five rooms at Unila housing that has been provided by Unila with good facilities. "Our home stay at Unila is better than our friends’ home stay at other universities, that we have visited and have seen the condition," said Mia.

They study at Unila only until August, but they have felt a lot of changes in themselves during their stay at Unila. "It means a lot for me," said Eli. "Unila campus is wide, lots of trees" said Dalath. Before the Program, most of them did not know where the University of Lampung was, and even they don’t know about Lampung Province.
Almost all the foreign students who are now studying at Unila actually selected a university in Yogyakarta and Jakarta. "I had no idea about Unila, but I choose Unila as the second choice," said Eli. "Me too, I was ready to and hope I could get accepted at a university in Yogyakarta," Misato said. However, Misato finally feel at home in Lampung and Unila because there is a Japanese community at Unila that she join.

Learning Indonesian and Lampungese Culture

Their activities at Unila include studying and doing fun activities. Studying Indonesian Language at BIPA Program conducted from Monday to Wednesday for 4-6 hours a day. The program that offer four courses takes place in Unila Language Institute with the instructors from the faculty members of the Department of Language and Art of FKIP Unila.

Currently all of them are able to communicate well in Indonesian, while initially they are not. In addition to the support of their friends and friendship during their stay at Lampung, interactive lectures held in the class, as well as the patience and guidance of lecturers to be the key for their success. As could be watched during the presentation of Dr. Muhammad Fuad as a lecturer that motivate students to give a speech in front of the class. "Let's be brave. To learn a language, a key to success is the courage to speak the language" she said.

The ability of foreign students to speak Indonesian fluently in just a few months has not been followed by their writing skills, because of the difficulty is in grammar. "Writing in Indonesian is difficult because of the grammar" said Misato who is currently a student at Tokyo University of Foreign Study. To solve the problem, Misato also follow some regular classes with students majoring in Indonesian at FKIP Unila. Although difficult, that indicates they are serious to learn Indonesian, the language that has been increasingly talk about in the world, and during the ASEAN summit in Cambodia last year proposed to be the official language of ASEAN as it is used in a lot of relationships in the Southeast Asian region.

Learning the Indonesian culture, especially Lampung culture, seems to be interesting for them. Currently they have just finished learning the Sulam Usus craft in a well known Sulam Usus center, Ibrahim Aan. Then in June they learn Lampung Sulam Tapis in a well kown axpert about it whom are also well-known designers, Raswan. In campus, every Friday they learn traditional music Talo Balak (Gamelan Lampung), dance, and traditional literature in a students organization with interest in arts at Unila.

Lampung is a nice place to live, and they also learn about the social life and nature in Lampung. "I love Lampung because there is multicultural in here, a lot of cultures that can be studied in addition to Lampung, Lampung siger I love, it's unique" Misato said that with Nagisa was also active as a native Japanese speaker in a club at Unila. Food and tourist attractions are also a favorite choice for them, respectively. If Eli likes rendang (meat cooked with cocounut milk) and fried rice, Nagisa likes coffèe and yellow rice. It is different about Michal, master student majoring in International Relationship at Matej Bel University, Slovakia, that his favorite meal is tempeh(fermented soyabean), that he don’t have in his country. Meanwhile, for tourism, Mia liked beach the most, and her favorite is Kiluan Beach. Soun Savon is also happy because in Lampung there are many monasteries.

The foreign students studying at Unila claimed that they learn a lot of interesting life lessons that influence very much on their thinking and attitudes. One of them is as told Mia. "I became more responsible for studying abroad. I also learned about sitting cross-legged when we are together, because in my country rarely woman sitting cross-legged. Initially I get tingling, but later I used to it.” She said.

Learning Indonesian is their true goal from the Darmasiswa Program in Indonesia, no matter at which campus they are placed. One reason is to find a job in Indonesia. "I was very pleased to learn Indonesian because I wanted to work at the Indonesian embassy in Slovakia or working in Jakarta. In Slovakia now many students are interested in learning Indonesian," said Michal which was echoed by all.

Increasing Applicants for Darmasiswa Program

Darmasiswa program is a partial scholarship program for foreign students from various countries who are interested in studying Indonesian and Indonesian culture, such as music, dance, craft, and other traditional arts. Participants can choose one of the subjects mentioned above in various public universities and private ones that have been trusted by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud) to participate in Darmasiswa.

Darmasiswa Program that is opened each year by the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Bureau of Planning and International Cooperation (PKLN) demand continues to increase from year to year. This year, about 2,400 foreign students applied to the program participants. However, only 750 students from 77 countries who successfully passed the selection and placed in 59 colleges to follow the program for one or two semesters.

The Program which was first held in 1974 that, to date has been attended by 4,116 people from 97 countries. Initially, countries participating in the program only countries in Southeast Asia (ASEAN). But then expanded to countries in other continents were joined.Its main purpose is to promote and increase interest in foreign students to the language and culture of Indonesia. In effect, participants from various countries are increasingly aware of Indonesia with its potential, then followed a link or relationship as well as the availability of a more robust understanding among participating countries. For the Indonesian government, the soft diplomacy continues to be maintained in order to participate in the prosperity of the world by promoting the principles of trust and cooperation in various fields.

In Unila, Darmasiswa Program already excited five times since the academic year year of 2007/2008 when two male students from Germany and China to learn Indonesian with regular classes at the Department of FKIP Unila. The program is currently managed by the Unila BAPSIK Cooperation Division and has brought more than 42 foreign students from several countries such as Germany, China, Cambodia, Japan, Madagascar, the United States, Turkey, Poland, Slovakia, and Thailand to learn the language and culture of Indonesia. (Source: REAKSI: Media Informasi Unila Ed. II/2013).

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