Jacqueline Angelina Kwari - Study Abroad Testimonial
Jacqueline Angelina Kwari completed the Study Abroad Program at the University of Adelaide as a recipient of the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA). At home in Indonesia, Jacqueline studies International Business Management at Universitas Ciputra Surabaya. In this article, Jacqueline has shared her experience living overseas in Adelaide.
What drove you to apply to be a Study Abroad student at the University of Adelaide?
To gain new cross cultural knowledge and experiences, to grow out of my comfort zone and to hopefully bring something new back to my community and home country. I was very interested with the courses that were offered at the University of Adelaide as well as the campus’ facilities and structure, which I had previously researched about before applying.
How did you find navigating day-to-day life in Adelaide?
I like how welcoming and calm the city is. Despite living in the CBD area, I believe that Adelaide has a very contrasting atmosphere compared to my city. Life in Adelaide was warm and easy. The locals are always so friendly and helpful when it came to giving recommendations or help whenever I was lost. I tried to walk everywhere in Adelaide because walking is not a big part of the Indonesian culture so it was refreshing to be able to walk anywhere. The weather, though not always supportive, also really helped motivate me to walk rather than take the occasional tram or bus. For me, the best place to go is either Central Market or Unley because those are the two locations where I feel like I’m not exploring as a tourist, and they offer plenty of different sights and activities.
What did you do in your spare time?
I mostly went out to dine in different restaurants and local shops that sold various foods from different countries/cultures. I truly appreciate the Adelaide food scene because it’s so diverse, there’s so many options and most if not all of them are tasty!
What do you like most about the University of Adelaide?
I like the services as well as the building itself along with all its facilities. I believe it’s the perfect size, not too small or big that it’s overwhelming. The services and support offered, be it for international students, counselling and even academic support, are all very useful to help make my study period much more effective and successful.
What did you enjoy about your academic experience?
I enjoyed the overall academic structure and way of learning. It was very different from my home university, and I was also able to make lots of new friends by interacting with them in both academic and non-academic ways. In Indonesia, I believe the academic system still heavily relies on textbook materials and mandatory, in person lectures. Only a small portion of that hour is dedicated to interactive group discussions and case studies. Personally, I believe that having collaborative discussions and reflections are much more effective ways to learn. In Australia, the assignments are also based on personal interpretations and arguments rather than solely relying on theories.
What type of accommodation did you choose to live in and have you enjoyed living there?
I lived in Scape Waymouth, student accommodation that has various university and non-university residents. I found the accommodation suitable, and I enjoyed living there because the people I met became close friends. The facilities were also well maintained and were appropriate. They also offer different activities throughout the month and it’s always a fun way to connect with old and new residents. It also happens to be a relatively close walking distance to the university.
What has been the highlight of your Study Abroad experience?
The main highlight has been the connections and friends I’ve made both within and outside of the university. I was able to create new memories with such friends who I remain in close contact with to this day, and I was able to explore the city of Adelaide with them.
What is a surprising moment you have had? What are the most unique or remarkable things you’ve noticed?
Some of the most surprising moments have been the small moments of culture shock, such as how friendly people are even when we’re crossing roads, the way most shops close during Sundays and Mondays, and how early shops close. It was quite remarkable to see how much Adelaideans value their quality time with families rather than focusing on the hustle culture which most cities and places do, even in Indonesia.
Tell us about your most challenging experience since your time here. What was the hardest adjustment you had to make?
The hardest experience during my time in Adelaide has only been the time management between academic and non-academic activities. Mostly because the weight and workload differed from my home university, I had to be more vigilant and smarter in dividing my time to make sure that I wasn’t solely focusing on academics but also having time to explore and make connections.
How has living in Australia changed you as a person?
One of the most important realisations I’ve had after my time in Australia is that I am able to be independent on my own in a foreign country. It has made me more open to new cultures and allowed me to change my habits, becoming more productive. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in Adelaide is that I am okay with being alone and I do not feel lonely for doing so. It’s really a matter of realising that I am capable of being on my own and that I feel empowered rather than feeling upset or down.
What advice would you give to others about South Australia? What makes you think ‘I wish I knew that before I got here’?
The only thing that I wish I knew sooner was how crazy the weather can be. I would say to make sure to pack for both summer and winter/autumn season. The thing with Adelaide is that the weather can change drastically from today to tomorrow, or even from afternoon to night. I would suggest packing appropriately and to have diverse clothing options.
Tell us your thoughts on the benefits of completing an overseas program.
It has prepared me earlier for my master’s degree as I am also planning to take it in Australia. I believe that my time in Adelaide has grown my confidence in living abroad as well as giving me the picture that I needed to reassure me before once again studying in Australia in the next few years. I’ve had new experiences that I was able to try for the first time and can never be done anywhere else (i.e. petting kangaroos, flying alone for the first time, etc).
Would you recommend a Study Abroad experience at the University of Adelaide? If so, why?
I would because the university really offers a wide range of studies and has an incredible range of services and support that would make you feel at home and welcomed. I also believe that the city is filled with the friendliest people ever, and the calmness and peace that I felt there can never be replicated anywhere else. It has just the right amount of “city” and “calm” that can be found nowhere else in Australia or perhaps even the world.