G’day mate, I am John and I wrote this story at the end of our conference in Bandung, Indonesia. To be honest, the conference far exceeded my expectation of what I imagine the ISC 2016 Conference would bring. I would like to thank everyone on the committee of UNPAR (Parahyangan Catholic University) due to their preparation was unbelievable and so welcoming.
We finished all the activities in just over a week and travelled to many places to experience slight differences within different regions. We visited five different places during the conference: Bandung, Padalarang, Yogyakarta, Magelang, and Wonogiri; all of which are on Javanese Island. I found the journey pretty exhausting, but the committee managed to do everything well to keep us satisfied; especially by providing food and drinks; I love that one.
In general, the way in which the committee treated us was so friendly and helpful. One thing I really love from this event is that this conference is more than a conference; it is the most multicultural conference I’ve ever attended. I never imagine that I would meet students from all around the world, make friends, and get involved with one another during the activities; that’s really amazing.
The conference itself focus on how to strengthen the living condition in rural areas and to increase the capacity of people living there. The main point is to minimize the gap between rural and urban areas as much as possible. We not only had lecture and group assignment during the conference, but we also visited some places as the case study; one of them is ‘Sarimukti’. It is a dump area located in Bandung and I never imagine that we would visit the place like this. We observed the living condition of people there which was terrible. But it is how they make a living and it is pretty hard to relocate them I guess. While we visited this dump area, we didn’t use any kind of mask; the reason was simply to smell and feel the same like they are.
Apart from this, I also loved the cultural performance session in the closing ceremony. Dances from five different continents (Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and Australia) were presented and such performances were so gorgeous. As Australian representatives, we not only performed a dance (men at work – land down under), but we also let the audience taste the vegemite on bread. Some of them asked, What’s this..?? And other faces looked different because of the taste.
Finally, I would like to thank Flinders University and in particular the Learning Without Borders (LWB) Team for supporting me with the scholarship and for giving me such a wonderful chance to attend the conference.
Johni Robert Verianto Korwa, a student of Master of Arts (International Relations) participating in UNPAR International Student Conference at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan in Indonesia in January 2016