Almanda Arumdari is currently studying Economics and Development Studies on the ICC undergraduate foundation, SOAS University of London, and has applied via UCAS to study Development Economics at a UK university.
“Being on the ICC foundation programme is very different from all my past experiences. It is a new environment which is very diverse and the people I have met come from many different back-ground cultures. I have been taught to live independently, spend my time more efficiently and to try to reach and surpass my goals. Getting involved in SOAS and actively participating in classes has also enabled me not only to see things from different perspectives, but triggered me to think more analytically, and has therefore improved my critical-thinking and ability to solve any problems I might face in my everyday life. The ICC foundation programme has successfully developed both my academic skills and social skills to a level that will be really useful in the future.”
The reason why Almanda chose to study in the UK was because she saw her friends and siblings who were already living in the UK, and they seemed to be really enjoying it. They met a lot of people and became very independent. London's diversity also made Almanda chose this city. She was very interested in the culture and different people she can get to know by living here. She has thought that she would be able to meet people from all over the world and share experiences. She chose UK because the education system is different from other countries, and the students are encouraged to think outside the box, as analytical and critical thinking are very important and although it is challenging for her to read a lot of books and articles, she also found it fun and interesting. It is because she knew that the UK has a strong and stable economy and political system, she also feels safe and consequently, her parents don't have to worry.
For her, the best thing about the UK is the public transportation. She used to be very dependent on cars, just like other Indonesian. But now, she can go anywhere and anytime she wants without having to be worried about cars or traffic, because she thinks that the public transportation is really efficient and effective. She also thinks that everyone who tries the Tube or the bus in the UK will change their perspective about cars and feel they don't need one anymore. Moreover, travelling is one of her hobbies and she has been to several places in the UK, such as Oxford, the Lake District, York, and many others. Sometimes she also rented a car with her friends or went by train, which is very easy to do. It made her able to easily have a weekend break to ‘recharge her batteries’. For her, the people in the UK are very diverse and they treat foreigners very nicely. That is why since she arrived, she has really felt at home.