After graduated from London School of Economics (LSE) studying Master of Development and Communication, I worked as journalist for Tirto.id covering issues of sharing economy, dissecting its socioeconomic impact to Indonesian society. Following that, I went back to my hometown, Palu, Central Sulawesi, to teach English and critical thinking to the local high school kids.
I really enjoyed the diversity and competitive academic environment in my peers which ultimately makes my UK experience. They, and nearly everyone I met in UK, was really kind and tolerant, thus I learnt a lot from and about them; something which has expanded my view of the world. To top it off, the vibrant nature of this city makes the overall experience even more unforgettable. You can find points of interests just around the corner, learn from the best minds who provide remarkable lectures and talks about various issues (from development, international politics, to media), chill at parks that are easily accessible, hop on and off many integrated public transports when exploring the city, or simply choose from a variety of tasty dishes from all over the world that are scattered around London.
The exposure towards various ideas relayed by people from different walks of life was really the highlight of my studies! I truly enjoyed the moments when we went on to openly discuss, debate, and practice various theories and concepts related to development and media even when we were having a nice Thai food for dinner. To add to that, there was an abundance of resources from which I extracted knowledge about development, a topic which i am passionate about. The department internship program, competitive but also supportive academic atmosphere, and renowned lecturers are the valuable experience that have supported my current professional endeavour.
My interest on the issue of development and empowerment of disenfranchised group, which has grown since my undergraduate days in Indonesia, was amplified during my studies in the UK. I got the chance to draw insights from many brilliant passionate lecturers, activist, and fellow students. Of the lectures that I attended during my time there, two that I remember the most: lecture by Amartya Sen, the nobel prize winner in economic science and Judith Butler, one of the most influential gender theorist.
Aside from my eye-opening studies, the serene and lively nature of the country was another striking characteristic that I’ll always remember. Parks are easily found amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, a place where my classmates and I hang out and casually talk about our day-to-day, the news or even plans after London. There was a time when we went out for a picnic on a warm sunny day; to simply enjoyed the view and weather, after exhausting series of exams. Libraries are also a uniquely nice haven in the middle of this vivacious context. I really enjoy my time studying there, where I am alone with my thoughts and knowing that resources to expand it are easily available in the rows of shelf that surrounds me.
Being in a place where art is highly regarded, I have come to enjoy (and now, sorely miss!) theater shows. A wide array of shows was available, showcasing impeccable stage sets, lines, actors, and stories that are so immersive each time a show ends, I return to my flat feeling giddy and profoundly satisfied. Book of Mormon got me laughing so hard, young casts of Matilda rendered me amazed, and a rendition of 1984 allowed me to experience the moments in the book vividly. Pleasant surprises are also abundant. There was an instance when I was walking from Botany Bay to Viking Bay, and out of sheer randomness, I stumbled upon the best place for tea and scones in Broadstairs. That place is now at the top of my list to be revisited.
Another important aspect that sets UK apart is the people that I have come to be acquainted with. I lived in a flat with 4 other people, from different walks of life originating from Nepal, Canada, Hungary, and Netherlands. None of us were from the same major, thus our occasional talks when we were dining to calm our midnight hunger or when we were taking our time to cook and enjoy breakfast were truly an interdisciplinary encounter. We were close, irrespective of our difference, to the extent that their presence was really helpful in stressful times because of the stories we shared and countless flat dramas which made my stay more colorful.