The roofs of the Balinese temples with a foggy mountain in the background.

When Bali Steals Your Heart – Marvin’s Journey

From student to entrepreneur with Bali as starting point

Over the years Asia Exchange has enabled thousands of students to take part in study abroad programs in Asia. For some, the exchange has played a major role in defining their future career. Asia Exchange contacts former students in order to find out what they are up to now that their exchange is over. One of our students from previous years is Marvin Dreifert who studied in Bali. There are two major steps Marvin Dreifert describes to being the mark points of his life; moving to Bali for studying in the BIPAS-program the semester autumn 2014 was one of them.

A profile picture of a blue-eyed man smiling in Bali. After studying in Bali, Marvin decided to return and start his own business in Indonesia. Photo by Marvin / CC BY

Semester abroad on a beautiful island

Marvin always wanted to travel and see the world – an ordinary life did not feel like his thing. Studying abroad for a semester was something he was interested in. Instead of studying in Europe, he made a Google-search ”semester abroad on a beautiful island”. And that was it – Asia Exchange (AE) and Bali, Indonesia. AE had many interesting destinations and a wide course selection to offer, which enabled him to study also something else than only business courses. The cultural courses and the rich Balinese culture were something that really attracted Marvin.

The locals

An Indonesian woman is sitting in front of a temple in Bali. Marvin even got invited to ceremonies of the local friends he made. Photo by Tbel Abuseride / CC BY

When Marvin is looking back at his studying time in Bali, he remembers the time was “ridiculously awesome” and it was flying extremely fast. ”One semester felt like one year. So many ´first times´, new friends and experiences.” His main goal for the semester in Bali was to learn the local language, and the goal was reached very well by studying the language at the university, making local friends, and getting invited to their villages, homes and ceremonies.

Ready for more

A white beach with small rocks and a boat in Indonesia. After finishing school in Germany, Marvin hurried back to the island he had fallen in love with. Photo by Jannes Glas / CC BY

One study semester in Bali was not enough for this man who loved to dig deep into the local culture and life. His dream was to be creative while doing business and being the boss for himself. That´s why in addition to all the adventures and exploring he did in Bali, he also used the semester time for finding business partners to start his own business in Bali.

You might also be interested in: Dare to Dream, Live Your Dream – Studying in Bali

Marvin returned to Germany only for one semester, and after finishing that he hurried back to the island he had fallen in love with. Today he has his own start-up, local-based business; producing 100% handmade wooden watches and sunglasses in Bali. Doing business in Indonesia requires open-mind, and ability to be able to deal with the fact that things are working differently than they would in your home country. Nothing should be taken for granted and one has to respect the cultural differences.

Home in Bali

Four Indonesian woman are walking and working on a ricefield in Indonesia. Take the most ouf of your studies abroad. Don´t waste your time here! Photo by Sasint / CC BY

The first major step in Marvin’s life was getting independent and moving away from home in Germany. That time he might not have known that someday he was going to move out from Germany for good –and be based in Bali, instead. Of course, he will keep returning back to Germany to visit his loved family, but the home is now in Bali.

The encouraging words Marvin Dreifert wants to share with the future exchange students are as follows:

When ordering your nasi campur, instead of “rice” say “nasi”, and instead of “vegetables”, use ”sayur”. Don´t be afraid to use the Indonesian language daily. Take the most ouf of your studies abroad. Karma works fast in Bali. Don´t waste your time here, do something good with it instead. Be open-minded and try to understand the local culture, and then you will definitely have an awesome experience”

Find out more about studying abroad in Bali

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Follow Marvin on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marvjoo & www.facebook.com/jivanabealive

Instagram: @marv_jo & @jivanabealive

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