UNAIR NEWS – Participating in a student exchange is something that Nadya Allysa has dreamed of since early 2021. That dream finally came true when the student of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) passed selection of the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA) scholarship by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbud Ristek) and the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). IISMA is one of the independent campus programs that provide awardees the opportunity to study abroad for one semester.
Being one of a thousand people who departed in the first batch, Nadya said she was grateful that the road to her dream was made easier by the independent campus program. “In the beginning of the year, I had set my goals to participate in a student exchange in 2021. Apparently, in the same year, IISMA opened the first batch. At first, I never thought I would be qualified, but when it was announced that I passed it, I was very grateful,” she said.
Apart from the financial support, Nadya decided to apply for IISMA because this program also offers many host universities and cross-departmental courses. “In addition, the quota of a thousand students is huge. Other scholarships do not offer that many,” she explained.
After passing the selection, Nadya stated that the Airlangga Global Engagement (AGE) team was accommodating in preparing for departure. “Thank you very much to the AGE team for helping and checking up on the IISMA awardees,” she said.
In addition, FISIP as her faculty was also mentioned by Nadya as one of the most significant supports for the IISMA participants. “FISIP is also very supportive and helpful, especially in terms of documents and financial support such as quarantine needs which IISMA does not cover,” said the seventh semester student.
Through the IISMA program, Nadya has the opportunity to study at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. It is a matter of pride for Nadya to experience studying in the top 20 universities in the world based on the QS Ranking.
Over there, she gained a lot of new knowledge and experiences that she could not find in Indonesia. “The system here is hybrid. There are online lectures, but the time is flexible. We can watch the learning videos anytime. There are also offline lectures called tutorials, where small groups are formed to have discussion with postgraduate or doctoral students,” she said.
Unlike in a two-season country, in the United Kingdom, Nadya has to get used to checking the weather forecast and adjusting the clothes she wears so that she does not get cold.
“We need to adapt to the weather here because it rains more often. Maybe winter is about to come too, so the highest temperature here is sixteen degrees,” she said.
Being an IISMA awardee is one of the experiences and a new step for Nadya in education. Finally, this UNAIR Communication Science student hoped that this program would continue to make the dreams of other students come true and provide more knowledge and experience to Indonesian students. (*)
Author: Stefanny Elly
Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia