My name is Hindun Harahap, and I am currently studying for master’s degree in Public Policy at King’s College London. Prior to my study, I was lucky enough to be exposed to UK alumni network in Indonesia. I am astonished with their prominence in every sector in Indonesia. Addition to the fact that UK has a good reputation about their education system, I get to meet people who have managed to be successful years after their UK education. That exposure makes want to study in UK. It also helps to know that master’s degree in UK mostly take 1 year. There are even some programmes that spend less than 12 months to complete!
I chose my programme because it does not only offer theoretical aspect of public policy, but also the practical perspective. My experience in gathering all information about my chosen programme has also been very easy and smooth because the websites provide everything I need. I know that my programme provide workshop every week where we can meet experts and get insights about their professional career in policy making. The fact that King’s College London is in the central of London also has its own perks. I can get many access of information about important events, seminars, and networking opportunities.
In terms of academic life, I am really impressed with how thorough the lecturers in giving feedbacks for our assignments. They always have scheduled office hours so student can discuss further about the modules. I also enjoy student services that the university offers: health & fitness, career and CV advice, and free counselling. They even have matured and student parents support. As for living in UK, I really enjoy the weather and the transportation system. London, additionally, has various activities you can do for free: from museums and galleries, to seasonal attractions. I can never run out of options for things to do.
I think UK education can boost my competitive advantage during job hunting. The knowledge and networks I gained from policy making workshops, seminars, and career advices will give a significant difference in my qualifications. I already have few years working experience, so I hope I can apply to a multinational company or international organisation for a managerial position as a policy expert.
I think preparation and flexibility are two most important things to study in UK. Getting many insights and advices before going to UK is important, but every individual has different experience. The first few months can be challenging since I have to adapt to a new school and social environment. I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 2013, so going back to academic life can be really different than the last time I remembered. Thankfully I can always get advices from lecturers about my essays’ topic and outline. I also joined an academic writing session provided by university to remind myself about academic writing.
Moreover, I am joining the Indonesian Students Association in UK so I can have familiar surroundings as my support system. This helps me to sharpen my leadership skills and network with other Indonesian scholars. I do not want to limit myself in exploring new experiences, so I always schedule short trips to explore UK. One of the most memorable moments is when I joined a short home-stay program called HOSTUK. I visited a British family in the countryside of Cornwall. There was no public transportation or big stores. The population is very low and I learned about the simpler side of British culture away from city life like London. There was also lack of diversity in the country side but I am amazed to see how excited my host family to learn about Indonesia and our culture. It was only 3 days trip, but we still keep in touch until now.