UNAIR NEWS – This year, UNAIR is also included in USIPP (US-Indonesia Partnership program) 2016. The collaborative program between universities in America and Indonesia is an annual program participated by five universities, from Indonesia there are Universitas Airlangga, Universitas Indonesia, and Universitas Gajah Mada, while from America there are Lehigh University and Towson University. This year, USIPP has “Democratic Society and Religious Pluralism” as a theme.
Program held from May 29 to June 30 was participated by 12 students, 6 from Indonesia and the other 6 from two universities in America. One of the USIPP participants from UNAIR was Amalia Mastur, International Relations 2013 student.
The student known as Amel shared her stories participating in USIPP program this year. When she was in America, Amel and friends were invited to go round Baltimore, then in Washington DC they were welcomed by Indonesian Embassy. The journey then reached New York, Nine Eleven Museum and to Pennsylvania.
“It was interesting, because we now know why Indonesian people are deemed friendly, as we are indeed friendly. When we were in America, we rarely saw people smiling or offered us some help,” recalled Amel. “In Indonesia we discussed about religion, in America we discussed about racialism,” she added.
While in Indonesia especially in Surabaya, the students beside went on a city tour, the students in USIPP also had a discussion with UNAIR lecturers, such as one on cultural diversity of Indonesia and Interfaith Dialogue on Monday, July 7.
“When in UNAIR, they were invited to visit Heroes monument, then to House of Sampoerna, Ampel and they were accepted by US General Consulate in Jalan Untung Suropati. Actually it was a city tour, but it also showed our pluralism,” said Dewi Sartika, as UANIR International Partnership coordinator. “We also held a discussion, related with USIPP 2016 theme,” she added.
Dewi said that on Tuesday, June 28, USIPP participants were invited to visit Bromo Mountain. She explained that beside enjoying sunrise, they visit the place to have a discussion with the elders in Tengger.“There were more Hindu believers than Moslems, so we wanted to know pluralism from their perspective,” she said.
Dewi hoped that this annual program can improve relationship and cooperation of American and Indonesian universities especially UNAIR, as one of the participants.
“Because of the program, we got new partners and it was good for academic and students’ development. So students can be exchanged there. Second, we want to show them that our students have great understanding on other countries, such as America and Indonesia so students will be open minded with it,” she said.
Author : Dilan Salsabila
Editor : Nuri Hermawan