Darmasiswa Program is a non-degree scholarship program offered to all students from countries which have diplomatic relationship with Indonesia to study Indonesian Language and Indonesian’s culture. The program is organized by the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Students may join the 6 (Six) Months program or the 1 (One) Year program. The Six-Month program is a six-month scholarship program to study Indonesian language in selected Indonesian Higher Education Institutions. The One Year program is a one-year scholarship program to study Indonesian language and Art (traditional music, traditional dance, Indonesian crafts, tourism and culinary programs) in selected Indonesian Higher Education Institutions.
The main purpose of the Darmasiswa program is to promote and increase the interest in the language and culture of Indonesia in the eyes of foreigners, as well as to provide stronger cultural links and understanding among participating countries. It can be proved by the number of countries interested in sending students to participate in Darmasiswa.Each year, the students to participate in this program keep increasing, but due to limited funding, each year this program can only hold about 750foreign students. This year, they are not only interested in the arts andculture, but also Indonesia’s culinary. All participants are provided with a place to stay .STP Sahid Pondok Cabe accepted 13 participants from 7 different countries. All these students stay in STP Sahid dormitory.
STP Sahid Pondok Cabe, is located in Tangerang which is at the outskirt of Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia. Here you will experience the quiet and simple rural life, witnessing the green scenery of farm field and garden. However, in this area, you are able to find shopping centres, supermarkets, and fitness centre, local and international restaurants.Temperature a year round is 25-34 degree Celsius. The humidity may reach up to 70% in the afternoon.In this Campus, you will find a single building with administration office, library and learning centre located on the first floor. The Dormitory is a level above this administration office. STP Sahid has a cafeteria outside the dormitory building and the Securities are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensuring the privacy and security of the participants, staffs, and on-campus residents. The Dormitory consists of several rooms that are furnished with twin beds, an air-conditioner, wardrobes, desks and chairs. The dormitory has a living room that is equipped with a television, mini-refrigerator and a complete kitchen set including a microwave. It has internet connection which is available for 24 hours and laundry facilities are also provided in this Campus.
In 2011, STP Sahid Darmasiswa student comes from 7 different countries.
From Russia, we have Galina Kotelnikova. It was an 18 hour flight to reach Jakarta. 3 of the 13 students are from Budapest, Hungary. They are; Janka Szilagyi, Adam Hazi and Tamas Szuhai. It was a 16 hour flight from their Country.
Jakub Grabski, Oleslawa Grzesikowna and Anita Szymkiewicz are from Poland. Zuzana Grittersova is from Vranov nad Topl’ou, Slovakia.
Clancia Kamiha is a student from Madagascar. It was a 21hour flight to reach Jakarta.
We have 3 students from Cambodia; Monich Lougn, Sovannarith Yeun Nikolas and Vor Sarat. These three students have learnt Indonesian Language at the Embassy in their country before departing to Indonesia.
Lastly, Sophie Henry-Henderson is the only and the first student from Dominica to study at Indonesia. It was 26 hour flight to Jakarta.
Sophie Henry-Henderson explained, “Dominica is in the Caribbean. Indonesia isn’t really well-known in Dominica. But since Indonesia diplomatic relationship with Venezuela and Venezuela has a diplomatic relationship with Dominica, the news about the Scholarship got through and a memo was sent to the School I work in.”
Darmasiswa students help each other and look out for each other. Sometimes they do their grocery shopping at Giant or Carrefour via a public transportation, angkot together. They also tried taking the Trans Jakarta bus way to reach to mall destinations.
“I believe that the drivers of an angkot think the passengers are cats that have 9 lives because they drove so carelessly. But going by Trans Jakarta is much better; we’re able to calculate the time to arrive at the destination. Plus it’s air-conditioned!” – Said Galina Kotelnikova (A Darmasiswa student from Russia.)
Another Darmasiswa student, Sovannarith Yeun Nikolas from Cambodia commented: “It was my first experience going somewhere by an angkot. It’s a very nice transportation in Indonesia, the price is very cheap and is able reach to a lot of destinations but the driver never takes caution to the customers and they never obey to the Traffic rules. Going by Trans Jakarta is very nice, it’s clean, and fast and drives well!”
Staying in dormitory is very interesting. Sometimes language becomes a minor problem. One day, a Darmasiswa student was having a problem with the room key then went down to the Security who is always on duty 24 hours to ask for the key. They had miscommunication problem trying to explain the situation, but the security didn’t fully understand. But fortunately another Darmasiswa student helped by explaining by hand gestures, the security understood and the problem was solved.In the dormitory, not only the Darmasiswa stays there but students fromEast Nusa Tenggara (NTT) also stay in the dormitory.These students are from Program Beasiswa Unggulan (PBU). It is a Scholarship program declared by the Ministry of National Education Indonesia that accept graduates from Vocational School (SMK) Kupang District 3 with the requirements of the average value of the National Examination (UN) of at least 7.00.For majoring in Travel Tourism department there are 20 students from High-school and 3 students that are from Vocational Schools. For majoring in Hospitality department there are 33 students from high-school and 12 students from Vocational schools. There are a total of 68graduates of vocational school from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). So the total number of students staying in the dormitory is 81.In the dormitory, it is automatically organized, there are bed room rules decided by each room mates and since the toilet and the refrigerator is shared between us, everyone practices to share, co-operate with each other, and also to practice to be patience and take turns.
The kitchen utilities are always washed after it has been used. Since the Darmasiswa’s culture and rules are completely different from the PBU students from NTT, they slowly capture each other’s culture by trying to understand each other, communicating sometimes in body language or writing notes. Because of language problem, there are times where situation gets minor problematic.All of the students from NTT are active, happy-going early-birds; their daily activity starts by taking a shower as early as 5 a.m. whereas theDarmasiswa students are all still asleep at this time. The Darmasiswaaren’t used to this culture so they feel disturbed but the NTT students think it is normal and weren’t aware that at this time not everyone will be awake.This misunderstanding event was solved by our lecturer Mr Teguh Tri Utomo who is currently in charge of International Students Affairs in STP Sahid.On the positive side, sometimes a student from Darmasiswa mix in with the students from NTT for a casual conversation.
Not all of theDarmasiswa students are able to speak fluent English and only a few knows the Indonesian language. When Darmasiswa’s and NTT students communicate, the conversation can be described as “sendiri-sendiri” –said Feri Faot (an NTT Student living in the dormitory.) Meaning although everyone is in one room talking to each other, neither of our conversation connects, yet they are able to enjoy the moment.Both students from Darmasiswa’s and NTT are slowly learning and understanding each other’s different cultures. The dormitory is a good place to learn how to co-operate and understand each other, about the difference in cultures and religions and different habits. The dormitory is truly enriched with various cultures which gives everyone living here the chance to learn experience and witness the differences of the daily lives and activities from around the world.
By Sahasrakirana Narendradhipa