Interview about Gadjah Mada University
Where did you spend your semester abroad?
Yogyakarta State University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
How did you find where to spend your semester abroad?
Small stand at the university fair for people who want to study abroad.
What were the requirements for you to go to this place?
Doing a lot of administration yourself, motivation letter, grade list, part of ba program, and good command of English.
What was your favourite sightseeing there?
Was really inspired by the Merapi volcano. Also the small unknown island Karimunjawa was like walking in google images of paradise.
What was your favourite local food there?
Lontong with sate (sticky rice with lamb sate).
Was there many green spaces to relax?
If there is one word Indonesians are familiar with it it to relax. I don’t think there were any places where you could not relax. Even the university was a place to relax.
Did you practice any sports there?
Nope, sports are not really my thing. I did climb a lot of volcanoes, which caused me the necessary muscle pain.
Did you go out a lot? Where?
Yessss, we usually went to a club called Republic, in the more touristy part of Yogyakarta. Free entrance and alcohol for women!
What did you think of the university? The location? The buildings? The teachers? The study programme?
Quality wise, not comparable at all. Nevertheless, the staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. Also the campus had so many different place to eat and the buildings were actually quite cool.
How did it go financially? The accommodation? Food? Public transports?
Cheap cheap cheap cheappppppp. I think I made money out of my exchange. You could easily get a villa in a gated community with a pool and cleaning person for around 160 euros per month (so that’s what everyone did). Public transport, not advisable unless you want to be stuck in a bus that has never been cleaned, sitting on the lap of someone with someone else’s elbow in your eye. We rented scooters (that could go up to 140 km/hour) and for longer distances we took cabs or rented cars with drivers (again, insanely cheap).
What was the most surprising thing about this new culture?
I thought there would be still a lot of hatred towards the Dutch for the colonialist period, but I did not really encounter that.
What is the most funny word you learned in the new language?
Bule. This is what Indonesian people call foreign people and it literally means ‘albino'.
Hati-hati, means watch out, but it just sounds kinda funny so I just yelled it around for no occasion
What did you think of the workload?
Did you meet many international students?
Plenty! And literally from all over the world! Australia, Netherlands, France, Japan, South America. I certainly made a lot of friends!
Gradings are given on a scale from 1-10.
Points of interests
(not so many <-> lots of museums etc.)
Museums were not that good but culture was spread more subtly.
(only local food <-> great variety of restaurants)
Just really really tasty. Little too spicy sometimes for my taste.
(none <-> several natural parks/recreational parks)
Mind blowing and really diverse.
(limited <-> many options/extra courses)
Did not really look into this though.
(limited <-> many theatres/cinemas/pubs
Size of the University
(small <-> big)
Reeeaaally big campus. Biggest in Indonesia
(informal <-> formal)
Quite informal but with respect
(English suffices <-> Official Language)
At uni, English was completely fine but on the street really no one speaks English.
The study programme
(easy <-> difficult/intense)
(few international students <-> many int. students)
Location of the University
(hard to reach <-> close by)
Very central and easy to reach.
(expensive <-> cheap)
60 cents for an entire meal with fruit juice.
(difficult to find & expensive <-> easy & affordable)
Easy to find and cheap.