“I recommend studying abroadto all of my friends and all people who are thinking of leaving for a study abroad semester.”
Asta studied abroad at Udayana University in Bali, Indonesia during spring 2011. She comes originally from Finland and studied atSouth-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciencesin Mikkeli. Read her interview below.
Why you should go, too!
This report reflects my studies abroad in spring 2011. That time was the most incredibletime in my life and I enjoyed every momentwholeheartedly.After anexperience like this,I recommend studying abroadto all of my friends and all people who are thinking of leaving for a study abroad semester.
Everything is anopportunity to find out about different cultures and experience thelifestyle that’s not so easy to understand at first. It sound scary to leave foranotherplace for a whole semester, leave all your school at home, all your friends…But thinkabout what kind of experiences you will gain! Everything you left at home will be there waiting for you when you get back.
I’m sure that studying abroad never looks bad on your CV when you are getting a joband I’m sure you never get the same opportunity to get know people from adifferent cultureaseasily as whenliving in their own country.
Money is not a problem because youcan take a student loan if you want and you will also receive your regular financial aid, likeKELAinFinland. So if you manage living at your home countrywhy not in some other place?
The organization who organizes this study program is called Asia Exchange. The applicationprocess happened onlineand it was easy to follow. The website wasgood and very informative. You should do all your paperwork (get the documents for your application) as soon as you can so you’ll be set to go.
After filling out the application and attaching the documents, youwait and see if you areaccepted in the program. When you get the acceptance you can startlooking flights and that is an amazing feeling. Then you know that you are studyingabroad for the next semester.
When I decided to leave abroad I had lots of questions and was hesitant about some of the practical arrangements.I think the most helpful thing inthe beginning of the process was that I had many friends leaving abroad as well.
So we worked together quite a lot and we got good advise from other students whohad beenin Bali ayear before us. They gave us precious tips and helped us to get started.Of course our teachers were helpful and patient, too.It’s easier to leave when you know that school is supporting you.
Studies in Bali
School in Bali was different than what we are used to here in Finland. First week wehad different kind of ceremonies and exploring. That was fun and educating, we learnt a lot about the Balinese culture and people.
We had to be at school only 3 days a weekand some weeks we had extra excursions where we, for example, got toknow Balinese dance or visited localBalinese houses.
Subjects at school were Indonesianlanguage, which I liked the most, and Asian economy, culture and business/law. Yourtranscript from Bali includes the attendance rate,thenumber of finals and the grades you got from your courses.
Place in paradise
Bali. That’s what I call paradise. Bali is an Indonesian island between Java and Lombok.The provincial capital of Bali is called Denpasar. That was the place where we had our classesand we lived nearby Denpasar, in Kerobokan.
Bali’s main religion isHinduism. Nearly 92 % of Bali’s populationareHindus. You can see different kindof statues andmemorial places or altars in every road and in yards, everywhere. Thereis usually some incense and some food to please the gods. Local people may think thealtars are beautiful but sometimes they are not so, for examplewhen the stray dogs have had dinnerthere.
When I left to study abroad I thought living in a totally different culture would be very hard.You need to communicate in English all the time so youwonder whether yourlanguage skills are good enough. I’d say we have agood education system in Finland so speaking English was not a problem.Of course you miss your family and friendsbut luckily we have an Internet. And get a local number so your phone calls toFinlandare cheaper.
In Bali first you need to find a place to stay and then rent a scooter. That is the onething you must do if you want to move fromplace to place. But remember to be verycareful in the traffic because it’s horrible there. Wear a helmet always! That’s myadvice for a cheap health insurance.
Remember that locals think you are a tourist.Speak thelocallanguage (which you study at school) and try to be happy like they are. Ourteacher said on our first day at school that if you remember to smile, will survive here inBali!
In Bali there are so manybeautiful places and beaches – you cannot imagine it till you get there. Peopleare nice and the food is so good.In short,I <3 BALI.That slogan is well known in Bali becauseit’s much usedamong tourists.
I’m happy that I did went to study abroad. I loved Bali and I had so manydifferent experiencesthat I think my world view got a totally new page. Now I know why travellingis a passion for someone andI think I may be one of them.