RSS

Tag Archives: AAS

Teaching High School Students in Blayney, NSW, Australia

As an Australia Awards Scholar, I had an opportunity to be involved in Indonesian Language Learning Ambassadors (ILLA) program. I decided to be a volunteer in this program. I thought it will be a good experience for me to teach high school students in Australia.

Blayney, is a rural town in New South Wales (NSW), about 4.5 hours by train from Sydney. It is a small town, only 3000 population, not so many people can be seen on the street. I went there last Sunday, 16 September 2018, with my volunteer friend, Steven. We took the train in the morning from Sydney, at 07.19 am and reached Blayney at 11.40 am. We walked from the train station to the hotel provided by the school. It took us only 10 minutes to walk to the hotel.

Sydney Central Station

Blayney train station

After checking in (which is an easy process, only one receptionist, and only 12 hotels room available), we walked around Blayney. So quiet, streets are wide, pedestrian space is big and empty. It seems like a ghost town. The great thing that I would not expect before is there are many cherry blossoms trees in Blayney. They were blooming beautifully during our visit that time.

Exghange Hotel Blayney

Cherry Blossoms in Blayney

Beautiful Cherry Blossoms

 

We stopped by at Hang Sing Chinese restaurant, the only restaurant I can find in this town. Our next itinerary was surveying Blayney High School before we teach the next day. It was quite easy to find the school, just a couple block from the restaurant. In fact, everyplace in Blayney is reachable by walking.

Blayney High School

After visiting the school, we came back to hotel and took some rest before continue exploring the town again. We walk around and then see Heritage Park in Blayney. The only tourism spot in the town.

Heritage Park Blayney

Me playing in the mouse house

I felt so grateful to be able to visit rural NSW, a rare opportunity given to an ordinary person like me. Who am I anyway can reach this part of Sydney. It was such a great blessing again from God. I can even watch so many stars at night, because it was so dark, not many lights, and it was quiet and peace at that time.

The next day, Monday, 17 September 2018, we came early at 08 am in the morning before the school start. We met all the teachers in the school before we entered our class, year 7 in this high school. In total, there are 6 sessions, but we only taught for 5 sessions. One session before the last one, we used for recess. The students were excited, a bit shy at the beginning, but felt curious and excited towards the end. Steven and I shared Indonesian geography, the islands, the language, daily conversation, and presented videos and photos of Jakarta and Surabaya, biggest cities in Indonesia. We also gave quizzes and give souvenirs to the students. In addition to that, I also brought Indonesian traditional clothing, batik and kebaya, and put them on students who want to try.

With Year 7 High School Students in Blayney

Under Cherry Blossoms tree in Blayney High School NSW

It was a very precious experience for us, and we are thankful also to Australia Awards and Asia Education Foundation to provide this opportunity.

First time carrying a baby lamb in Blayney

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 1, 2018 in A Sydneysider, AAS

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

New Year New Resolution – 2018

Happy New Year… that means another year in my life begin. I can still clearly remember my last year resolution: study more, travel often, pray always… and it’s true, if you believe in something, you will finally achieve that. I am now doing a PhD, something that I have never expected before. I thought doing Master was already a big achievement for me, as I am no body. Not even from a rich family who can send their children to study abroad. But yes, I can pursue to a higher degree again. Many thanks to my scholarship provider, the Australia Awards Indonesia, who give such training and preparation to the candidates. I found that I am more prepared, than my previous experience in doing my Master.

And yes, 2017, I travelled a lot. I visited Hong Kong for holiday, departed to Australia for my study. I even have time in between to go to Bandung, Yogyakarta, Lawang.. so much travel, but I like it. What I like the most in my travel time is I get new experience by seeing new place, meeting new people, trying different things, and these experience are useful for me as an architect and a lecturer.

I need to pray more, set Jesus as a centre of my life, than playing around in my social media. I felt so guilty for not fully putting my trust in Him. I worry a lot, of my study, my accommodation, my safety, my future, and everything. Yes, I am worrisome. I know that God will protect, will provide, and take care of me. Thus, I should leave all my worries behind. Romans 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.” Nothing is eternal, all I have is from God.

Therefore, in this 2018, I want to consider this also for a new year’s resolution. First, I want to lean to God more, and not count on myself. Second, I want to give more to other people surround me. Third, I want to spend less time for my social media. I think I start getting addicted and I don’t want to. Hopefully, this year I have many travels like last year.. as I always love to explore new places. I plan to visit all beaches in Sydney within 4 years, believe me I will. I am crazy about beaches.

Well, that’s for now.. I promise I will write more, when I am free. I must keep on writing to enhance my writing skills (definitely needed for a PhD student).

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 29, 2018 in A Sydneysider, AAS

 

Tags: , , , ,

Almost end of 2017

I have been here in Sydney, Australia for almost 7 months. Time flies and now the year 2017 will end soon, year 2018 is awaiting.

For some months here in Sydney, these what surprise me most:

  1. Sydney has winter in June to August, by contrast, Sydney has summer in December. That makes my Christmas no longer white Christmas.. but Hot Christmas instead. Christmas here is still merry, merrier than the one I used to have to. I like it when they have Christmas display, songs in shopping malls. Love Christmas always..George Street SydXmas
  2. Still about Christmas, here in Sydney, Christmas trees are everywhere. Not only in malls, but you can find them, at the street corner, at big squares, or wherever there is a park, there will be a Christmas tree, at different range from small to big size. Even more, there are Christmas lighting on streets and houses. Some streets have their houses decorated for Christmas. People can donate money, since the decoration is privately managed by the house owner.Christmas lighting eastern suburbs
  3. There are so many Chinese, Indonesian and Iranian in Sydney. Overall, Sydney is a diverse and multi-culture city. But since Chinese and Indonesian are so many, especially in Kingsford, there are so many Asian restaurants, from Chinese, Korean, Thai, to Indonesian restaurants. I don’t have any difficulties to find Indonesian food (nasi padang, martabak, bakso, pempek, indomie), but the price is of course more expensive than the one you can have in Indonesia. For example, one portion of Nasi Padang is AUD 11, though the portion is big enough for me, enough for twice of eating.
  4. Sydney has so manyyyyyy beaches.. I mean really really a lot of nice beaches. Along the eastern Suburbs of Sydney there are Bondi Beach, Bronte Beach, Tamarama Beach, Coogee Beach, Malabar Beach, Maroubra Beach, Little Bay, Congwong Beach. There are also Watson Bay, Parsley Bay, Rose Bay, between eastern Sydney and North Sydney. At Northern Sydney, there are Manly Beach, Shelly Beach, Mona Vale, Dee Why Beach, Avalon Beach, Whale Beach, and Palm Beach. There are still many small beaches which I can’t mention, and the good thing is, I can just go to those beaches within short time. The closest one would probably Coogee Beach, only 15 mins away from my home. Love loveeee those beaches, and I am so happy to live surrounded by beaches. They are so clean and have white sand beach (well almost all). I always collected small shells from every beach I visited (also from Indonesian beaches), just to hope that they would bring me back to the place.Palm Beach
  5. Sydney has traffic jam during peak hours (when people go to and back from office or after school). The light rail to Eastern Suburbs are now under construction, and hopefully by 2020 it will have operated. The mode of transportation in Sydney are varies: Bus, Ferry, Light Rail, and Train, but Sydney doesn’t have MRT like UBahn in Germany or Singapore MRT.Sydney Opera House
  6. Sydneysiders like other Australian, like to shorten many words.. and when they say it’s fine.. it will be “no worries”..”Hi how are you” are common when people greet you. And here you will just call your lecturer by name, only name, no title Professor, Mr., Sir. Etc.
  7. Sydney has up and down terrain like a hilly area. It is not flat or low land. That’s why my university has lower campus and upper campus, cause one is down below, and other part is reachable by stairs… lots of stairs..haha right now I get used to it. At first, it was very tiring and took me lots of time to reach the edge of upper campus from the lower campus. Now, in 10-15 minutes I can reach the tip. My campus is famous for “a thousand stairs campus” lol.UNSW

I guessed those are 7 things I can mention now about Sydney. I am planning to spend my New Year’s eve watching the biggest fireworks event and see how they light the Sydney Harbourbridge  and Opera House.

I wish 2018 will go smoothly as well.. and lots of travel 😊. I wish everybody will achieve their dreams.

All the best to you, my readers.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 29, 2017 in A Sydneysider, PhD life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Almost time for Aussie Land

Gosh.. time flies and it’s been almost one semester after my PDT training finished. This means my deferral period has ended and time for me to prepare everything for my departure. I am nervous, tensed and a bit worried of everything.

I received my visa on May 9th, and my ticket on May 12th from the Australia Awards office, exactly one month prior my departure date. At first, I did not worry too much about accommodation, but it turns out to be hard not as I expected.

My proposed campus provides temporary accommodation but with a very high price (ca 450-550 AUD). I had to change plan and search for a temporary accommodation myself. I used some references, like realestate, domain, even Facebook group, and also the students group. Lucky me to have friends there who I can ask with. Headache, searching for a place from internet was not that easy.  I hope to be able to find a place to settle down soon. I imagine carrying my heavy luggage and having to move from one place to another can be stressful. I wish I find suitable one soon.. please SYD be easy on me.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 20, 2017 in AAS

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

After 8 weeks PDT and 2 weeks PhD Extension 

Wow, two and a half months passed away so fast. PDT training was great, full of IELTS,  IELTS and IELTS plus academic essay 500 words and 1800 words. My teacher was from Greece, and she has never been to Indonesia, so she knew nothing about Indonesian culture and got surprises about the way people drive here, the food, the way people cross the street, and everything. My friends in PDT class were Master and  PhD awardee. We were close, since we spent most of the time studying together at IALF resource center.  Every 2 weeks we always had IELTS mock test, and at the last week, we finally had the real IELTS test. No matter how many times we practise the test, it was very challenging to do the real test. I think the test at that time was more difficult compared to the 4 mock tests. 

In between, our IELTS study, we had academic essay to do. The first was 500-word essay. It seemed that 500 words were not too much, but extra work like literature review made this work was a pressure to most of the students, including me. I was having difficulty of how to put arguments, counterarguments, and rebuttal. The second assignment was 1800-word essay,  where students should develop from their 500-word essays. Not only making the essay, we also had to present our essay in class. This practise was good especially because studying abroad will require students to do presentation most of the time. 

8W2 AAS 2017

In PhD extension program, which is given to PhD scholarship awardee, we were given basic knowledge of what exactly a PhD is, how to write a research proposal, how to present for confirmation stage, and what is necessary to success your PhD. Finding a good supervisor, time management, and love what you do are key points to finish PhD right in time.

PhD Extension Nov 2016

I learned a lot during this course, and I still need to firm my research topic, apply to my chosen university, and prepare many things before I leave. Hopefully, all start well will end well too.  

All 8 weekers IALF Jakarta AAS 2017

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 11, 2016 in AAS

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life in Pre Departure Training

Never expected that I will get into another scholarship, even more with two scholarship offers. Yes, I got two offers, one is from AMINEF Fulbright and the other one is Australia Awards Scholarship. After comparing the two scholarship scheme, I finally choose AAS. And here I am now, in Jakarta doing the Pre-Departure Training. I am not expecting leaving Indonesia soon since I have some works and responsibility. I am still struggling finding the right supervisor. Hopefully, I am able to find the right supervisor real soon.

My class for PDT started early in the morning at 7 am, and mostly ends at 1 pm, and some at 4 pm, with some home works. We are encouraged to visit Resource Center (library) after class, to do our assignments or just do some exercise. I got 8 weeks of PDT training in IALF, Jakarta. In my experience, IALF is the best place to prepare for IELTS. The classes are good and very cold in temperature. Some facilities available are: library, computer lab, student common room, auditorium for a guest lecture and group study room.

I hope to manage all the task and assignments, though it is very difficult for me. But I know one thing, God has made me go this far, thus I believe that God also will guide me to the way which is best for me.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 23, 2016 in AAS

 

Tags: , , , , ,