BEFORE going back to their own countries, as many as 540 foreign students from 78 countries who have been studying at various campuses in Indonesia, will attend International Gathering at University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) on May 8 to May 11.
The 540 students were Darmasiswa scholarship holder from the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemdikbud RI) to learn language and culture of Indonesia. "This is part of soft diplomacy, they are prepared to be Indonesian ambassadors in various parts of the world," said International Gathering Committee Chairman Soeparto.
During the event, the foreigners gained strenghtening information of Indonesian language, culture, and tourism. Not only a briefing, they would also show various performances, such as regional singing, national songs and dancing. "The experience of presenting this Indonesian culture will be useful in their own countries, when they are invited to perform it at Indonesian embassy," explained Soeparto who was also UMM Assistant Rector in Cooperation.
eanwhile, the Event Coordinator Muhammad Isnani explained that the series of activities started with the walking of Darmasiswa participants on the first day, May 8 from the front of Joint Lecture Building (GBK) 2 UMM through Helipad UMM and ended at UMM Dome which became the main location of event. In the hall of UMM Dome, the opening ceremony was accompanied by Welcoming Dance Reog and Gita Surya UMM, as well as performances from foreign students such as mask dance, kecak dance, rebana dance, randai dance, and poetry musical. In the evening, the foreign students went to Batu City Hall to have dinner with the Mayor.
On Tuesday, May 9 the event continued with arts and cultural activities such as musical performances, dancing and single comedy by foreign student at UMM Dome Theater, it continued with a traditional game race at Heliped UMM. In the night held watching video blog (vlog) made by students of Darmasiswa participants and the announcement of the winner of vlog competition at UMM Sengkaling Kuliner.
As the Closing of the event, continued Isnani, on Wednesday, May 10, the participants were invited to explore the Mount Bromo. The foreigners would enjoy the sunrise at Pananjakan, Mount Bromo exploring, and watching the art performances of Pasuruan culture. From Mount Bromo, the students returned to UMM on Thursday, May 11.
Soeparto explained that UMM as the host of this prestigious event did not just appear as usual. UMM got a mandate from Kemdikbud RI since 2015. It was said by Soeparto based on various considerations, including strategic location, completeness of infrastructure and facilities and human resources. "This is an important point for UMM to achieve international recognition," Soeparto said.
To support this activity, as many as 85 students of UMM from various department took part to accompany (buddy) foreign students. Beside to add experiences, these buddies would have bigger chance in terms of international networking. "They would get credit points that would be a separate consideration when they want to follow the exchange or study abroad," Soeparto concluded. (naz).