|Foreign students and residents were working together (Photo: Special)|
Kevin, a foreign student from America has never imagined being able to experience life like a local in Indonesia. His rare experience got while participating in the Village Home Stay program from the Indonesian Language for Foreign Speakers (BIPA) University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM). During the week (6-11 / 7), they participated in the Community Service Program (KKN) as Indonesian students.
"This is the first time I have lived with villagers in Indonesia. As long as we are together, we explain our respective culture. On the first day, I was invited to clean the river. They explained why cleaning the river in Indonesia was very important. They want the environment clean as before, "Kevin said, interviewed (11/7).
The Village Home Stay program is the flagship program of BIPA UMM because it was only owned by UMM from 64 universities in Indonesia that received Darmasiswa scholarships. The twelve foreign students were placed in Sidomulyo village, Batu District, Batu City. They lived like villagers and live the habit of foster parents as farmers.
"Interestingly, we also follow the daily activities of our foster parents who are farmers both orchid, apple, vegetable and other farmers. We also cook Indonesian food, dance and make garbage banks, "Kevin said. After the program was completed, the participants were assigned to write a book about experience and comparison between a number of customs in Indonesia and their home countries.
Kevin was also interested when invited by villagers to learn how to cultivate crystal guava on organic plantations. According to him, this type of fruit was not found in his country, the United States. Especially in his country, most fruits were grown using chemicals. "Although I was not born to a farming family, at least when I returned to America was able to share information on good fruit planting techniques," he explained.
Dr. Arif Budi Wurianto, M.Sc. The Head of BIPA UMM explained, the purpose of this program was introducing more about culture and habit of Indonesian people. "Of course, this will be a very valuable experience for them. Hopefully with this experience, they, as ambassadors of culture and also tourism in Indonesia, can share it in their countries, "said Arif.
This program was a development of the Darmasiswa scholarship program provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia for foreigners whose countries had diplomatic relations with the Indonesian. The program, which has existed since 1974, was later re-developed by UMM by adding this program.(Win)