Yasuko Iwai: Thank you, Undiksha! Domo arigatou gozaimashita, Minasan! Terima kasih, Singaraja, Bali!

Yasuko Iwai, Mahasiswa asal Jepang Program Studi Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris di Undiksha

Singaraja – “Long life education” is the best expression for one of the Undiksha Foreign Students, Yasuko Iwai, from Japan who was born on February 14, 1963. At her age, 58 years old, she became the first foreign student who completed undergraduate studies at Undiksha. In fact, she completed her undergraduate program within 3 years 7 months and attended the  the 64th Undiksha Graduation Ceremony, Friday (26/3/2021), at the Undiksha Auditorium Building. This is her short story about studying at Undiksha.

“Finally, I’ve made it!  I am so grateful that I received a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Ganesha University of Education. I am Yasuko Iwai originally from Japan, I had two objectives that I wanted to achieve here in Singaraja, Bali. The first was to earn a bachelor’s degree and the latter was to acquire Bahasa Indonesia. The first one has been achieved now and I wouldn’t be where I am today without my lecturers, the administration staff of Undiksa, my classmates, and my friends in Singaraja.

I first took two courses in BIPA program to study Bahasa Indonesia for six months in February 2017 before becoming a regular student of English Language Education at Undiksha. BIPA program was perfectly suited to me. In my first course, I studied Balinese culture, traditions, and insightful information which a foreigner could not find either from a guide book or website as well, not only Bahasa Indonesia with Ms. Barus. This helped me tremendously to adapt to my everyday life in  Singaraja. In my second course, I studied a lot of vocabulary which I needed in University life as well as focused on academic writing in Bahasa Indonesia with Mr. Budi which became quite beneficial later during my study at Undiksha. I was so lucky to have Ms. Barus and Mr. Budi as my Bahasa Indonesia teachers also I always felt welcomed at BIPA office.

I enrolled in English Language Education Program in August 2017. I studied Pancasila, Natural science, Citizenship as well as the English language in the first and second semester. Despite my lack of comprehension in Bahasa Indonesia, my classmates were very supportive, A fond memory that comes to mind is when my classmate whispered what to say in a presentation on Pancasila.   After the third semester, I studied English education, such as a wide variety of English teaching philosophies, techniques, methods. Furthermore, we studied linguistics, literature, and also English in tourism as elective subjects.

Lastly, completing my thesis paper was challenging. I am so grateful to my thesis advisors, Dr. Wayan Suarnajaya and Mr. Ramendra for the extra time they have given me from their busy schedules in order to make me achieve what I needed.

I express my gratitude to all of the lecturers for all they have done for us, especially for creating an environment where we, the students can feel the freedom to imagine and express their opinions freely. I also would like to thank all of my amazing classmates. I did not take your kindness for granted.

Regarding my visa, I first stayed with my social culture visa for the first six months and was approved of a student visa for four years. Thank you, Mr. Pande, an International officer of Undiksha, the visa process went effortlessly I was also eligible to get a local driving license as well.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who supported me throughout my study and the beautiful people in Singaraja. I could not have made it without your help and support. Domo arigatou gozaimashita, Minasan!  I can not thank you enough. As I move forward into my second objective of improving my Bahasa Indonesia, I pertinently share one of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. (PR)

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