For Ashley Arzy, the history of Indonesia was seemed interesting. The post-graduate student of Ohio University, US, who was studying at UMM, was interested in learning the G30S/PKI. "The history about Soekarno and soeharto are interesting for me. Those gave many changes to Indonesia," said Ashley, who was taking Southeast Asia subject. Indonesia was now more democratic and self-opened, she added.
Ashley took her oppurtunity first she got the scholarship from Indonesian government, through Darmasiswa program. In 2008, through the same program, she studied iat University of Diponegoro, Semarang. Different from studying there, at UMM she felt the warm situation. "Studying here is more formal, dilligent, and neat-setting." said she.
Her experiences travelling a lot in some countries in Mexico, Belize, and France, served different impressions first she came to Indonesia. "In those countries, I only had my vacation. But it is different from Indonesia. I can learn about its language and culture. Indonesia has come to my life. My close buddies are also in Indonesia," said Ashley.
She explained further that UMM was impressed her. She thought it an Islamic university which had its own culture if it was compared with other universities. In her opinion, there was an unwritten rule in UMM. "About 80 percent of the academians here are wearing hijab. Hijab seems a culture here. It makes everything natural, polite, and great," she added.
UMM gave her oppurtunity to learn and broaden her knowledge about Malang and Indonesia. She was also given the oppurtunity to teach English as the native speaker.
Ashley had six months left in Indonesia nad she wanted to enjoy the various cultures of Indonesia. She alo was preparing her thesis about the impacts of Lapindo muds. Her thesis made her busy to dig more about that accident.
Ashley's experiences at classes made her enjoy gathering with the Indonesian students. It served her warmth situation. The students made friends with all people at the class. They lived and enjoyed their time together, even they were from different places. "As what Hanna feels, I think half part of me is here. I might be a Javanese girl," said she.(rwp/nas/t_ris)