Kuliah di Belanda Part 3: Ekspektasi vs Realita

Because it is almost the end of my master study, I feel like it’s fair enough to finally conclude something; to answer the very important question on how studying abroad feels, at least to me.

Untuk teman-teman yang sudah selesai; sedang menjalankan; baru diterima; atau baru terpikir kuliah di luar negeri, mungkin masih ingat hal apa yang pertama kali melatarbelakangi keinginan untuk kuliah di luar negeri. Atau mungkin, ada juga yang masih ingat kesan pertama yang didapat saat melihat orang lain mendapatkan kesempatan itu. Walaupun pada akhirnya aku memastikan untuk punya visi yang jelas saat memutuskan ingin kuliah di Belanda, jujur, bayangan-bayangan yang “indah” tentang kuliah di luar negeri bukan tidak menjadi dorongan. Bisa merasakan hidup di negara maju; belajar dengan orang dari berbagai negara; bisa jalan-jalan di Eropa; semua itu tentu saja ada dalam pikiranku. Apalagi kalau berhasil dapat beasiswa. Kalau kata anak jaman sekarang, “Nikmat Tuhan Mana Lagi yang Kau Dustakan?” hehe…

 

Alhamdulillah, ketiga hal indah yang dibayangkan di awal bisa didapatkan selama setahun kuliah di Belanda; mulai dari merasakan kehidupan yang lebih berkualitas dan teratur (pendidikan, transportasi, kebersihan, keamanan), kesempatan mengunjungi tempat-tempat indah di Eropa saat libur kuliah dan membangun network dengan banyak orang melalui kampus, magang dan kegiatan lainnya. TAPI….. lebih dari pada itu, ada banyak sekali tantangan dan hardship yang mendapat lebih sedikit perhatian dibandingkan dengan nikmatnya kuliah di luar negeri. I don’t want to generalize this, but from my own experience, I’ve always seen studying abroad being depicted / portrayed more as an extremely cool experience rather than as a struggle. Bukan berarti kuliah di luar negeri itu nggak menyenangkan. It is, but it is not only about having fun  Continue reading

Kuliah di Belanda Part 2: Being Accepted and Another Preparation

Halo teman-teman. Tulisan ini merupakan lanjutan dari bagian pertama tentang persiapan awal menuju S2 ku di Belanda.

 

Tes Bahasa Inggris

Kemarin, ceritanya bersambung setelah selesai memilih jurusan, universitas dan negara. Ohiya, satu syarat lagi yang biasanya cukup membutuhkan pengorbanan waktu, tenaga dan uang adalah tes kemampuan bahasa (IELTS/TOEFL). Waktu akan daftar ke Belanda, aku harus punya nilai IELTS minimal 6,5. Awalnya belum terbayang 6,5 itu kira-kira seberapa sulit. Tapi, melihat pengalaman orang-orang, sepertinya dapat 6 pun cukup sulit. Bahkan banyak yang harus mengulang tes lebih dari sekali, yang berarti semakin banyak uang yang harus dikeluarkan. Tapi untuk masalah ini, kita tidak bisa mengeluh dan protes. Karena, kemampuan bahasa ini bukan cuma jadi syarat, tapi juga jadi kebutuhan mendasar saat kuliah nanti. Continue reading

Kuliah di Belanda Part 1: Persiapan

Menulis ini setelah hampir bulan ke-9 kuliah di Belanda memang sangat terlambat, tapi lebih baik dari pada tidak sama sekali hehe. Dan baru hari ini, setelah tertimpa musibah sakit sampai pingsan di stasiun Utrecht kemarin (hiks), aku akhirnya punya waktu untuk diam di kamar dan berhenti memikirkan tesis dan pekerjaan di kantor. Memang ya sakit itu bukan hanya ujian, tapi juga kesempatan untuk me time walau sebentar.

Sebenarnya, ada banyak sekali message di Instagram, Facebook dan Twitter dengan pertanyaan yang sama: Gimana sih Kak caranya dapat beasiswa dan kuliah di luar negeri? Cerita dong. Kadang bingung membalasnya, karena prosesnya panjang. Mohon maaf juga kalau aku sering berakhir lupa membalas atau hanya membalas seadanya. Aku pikir ada banyak sekali blogpost yang bertebaran di luar sana tentang cerita-cerita sekolah di luar negeri, contohnya boleh baca punya temanku Alia yang juga sedang sekolah di Maastricht.  Tapi, aku akan cerita versiku sendiri agar bisa menjawab pertanyaan teman-teman yang langsung diarahkan padaku 🙂

Continue reading

Mediating Culture and ICT: Conflicts on Location-Based Application of Transportation Services in Indonesia

[A Re-post from my article on Institute of Network Cultures. Link: here]

Sedikit refleksi dari konflik antara Gojek/ Uber/ Grabbike dengan driver konvensional. Berhubung semester lalu dapat kuliah “The Mobile, the Social and the Urban”,  jadi menarik melihat konflik ini dari sisi inovasi teknologi dan budaya di mana keduanya kadang tidak berjalan bersamaan. Menciptakan sebuah ide cemerlang dengan tujuan yang baik (I am trying to be nice in conceiving capitalism) tidak hanya membutuhkan pengetahuan mendalam tentang teknologi itu sendiri, tapi tentang kompleksitas struktur, masyarakat dan nilai budaya di dalam ruang urban yang… “berantakan”. Ruang yang rumit dan berantakan ini seharusnya bukan hanya menjadi momok yang ingin segera dibereskan dengan teknologi, melainkan dipahami dan diterima terlebih dahulu.  Continue reading

As Time Passed By

Oh, hi.

It’s been ages since the last time I came to my digital diary.

First thing I did when I arrived here was; re-reading my posts again. Believe it or not, like always, I cringed and laughed each time doing it.

I am such a bad person that I would only come here either when I am so messed up with life or when I am super happy, relieved and excited. As for today, I am here because of the second hehe

Tracing back to my roller-coaster emotions drawn through my post after my first 3 months here, I was so stressed and overwhelmed back then. I felt so sorry to spam people around me with my tears and hard times. Some of my friends told me they were worried about me. It was indeed difficult. It was one of those times when I ended up asking my self “What am I doing here? Why did I come here? Do I deserve this?”

But in the end, one thing I was sure of was “I’m the one who should grow stronger”. My sister told me that no matter how difficult it is, “to be able to feel stressed because of study is a privilege”. That’s really true 😥

Now the first semester of my short one year program has ended.  Time flies so fast! I learned a lot not only about my field but most importantly about overcoming challenges. I made a lot of friends in classes. We studied hard together, laughed or went for a drink. We helped each other a lot. The closer we got, the more I realized that everyone has been struggling in their own ways. I’ve always perceived my self as the most miserable thing happened in class (haha) but that’s not true! (okay now I say this!)

If someone ask me again “is it really difficult to study abroad?”, my answer would still be “yes”. Well, it might be different for others. It was a huge responsibility, especially since I am here by scholarship. But as much as It made me stressed, it also made me grow. I enjoyed every little time spent here; both good times and bad times. I am so blessed to learn a lot of new and cool things (can’t really describe this right now. I will in another post!). In fact, I am really sad right now thinking that I will not have classes anymore. I will not feel the nervousness and thrill before classes anymore. I will not have a a discussion with my group-mates. I should’ve cherished those days more 😦

Another story today would be…..

I just sent an e-mail to my supervisor and second reader; I sent them the final version of my thesis proposal. It was a lot of hardwork! But seriously, I enjoyed every single time I spent for it! I think I’ve once more rediscovered my love for research. I used to really like it. For a while, I was doubtful. I was asking my self again if being a researcher was really my destiny (?). I looked at my friends who did various jobs for work. I felt envious and inferior (my acute problem). Is research even cool? -__- Funny enough, among all the courses I took this semester, the best results I achieved were for research courses. It was not a coincidence, I guess.

I am right now thinking to continue my PhD if I get a chance. Amen. Hmm… Should I? Although I know how much I will complain and cry about it later, I know it will make me stronger. And I know that once again, I could get out form there alive hahaha just like today.

For the next six months, I would do my internship and thesis. In May, I got a scholarshiip to participate in a field course research in Malta. I would have a chance to collaborate with students from other universities. Yeay! I am super duper excited.

Hope to fill this space with more stories. So that I would always look back at my ups and downs as just a normal part of this short life.

 

Utrecht University Library, Room 2.59

08-02-2017, 12.25 p.m,

Aini.

 

 

Talking to My Plants

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I’ve been so happy lately that I welcomed new friends to my bedroom; they’re my red roses and Jade Plant! I’ve never had any experience having a pet (besides my dad’s fish who died just after several months lol). And since I am not into animals in general, having to take care of other “living creatures” is at least exciting!

In fact, I treat my plants just like humans. I talk to them, sing with them and yell at them when I am upset (sorry, babies). It’s also funny when I realized that I invested time and expectations towards them. I would be disappointed when they started not to grow the way I wanted. It somehow resembled the relationship between parents and children?!

Of course, it’s never unfair for my roses and jade plant to be blamed. Hmm… the universe works in a more unpredictable way than my effort :p

I remember a song from Ben Folds, “Still”. The lyrics are beautiful. If my plants could speak, they might want to sing this for their owner hehe…

 

“Still”

I must give the impression
That I have the answers for everything
You were so disappointed
To see me unravel so easily
It’s only change
It’s only everything I know
It’s only change, and I’m only changing
You want something that’s constant
and I only wanted to be me
but watch even the stars above
things that seem still are still changing
Lala…. Lala…. Lala…… Lala….