Erasmus Mundus Society Care III

The last week-end in April 2010 became one of the most exhilarating week for Indonesian EMA members when they hold their networking event, titled Erasmus Mundus Society Care III: Giving back to the environment.

The idea of Erasmus Mundus Society Care (EMSC) dated back to January 2010, when several Indonesian EM alumni took initiative to organize two social events for orphanage community in Bandung and Jakarta. Both events ran smoothly and attained support from The Delegation of European Union to Indonesia and various donors coming from the professional network of the alumni.

EMA Networking Event (EMANE) is a scheme provided by EMA to to enhance communication among EMA members from different Erasmus Mundus Master Courses (EMMCs), including students and alumni from different years of the same EMMC.

Erasmus Mundus Society Care III: Giving back to the environment was organized by using EMANE scheme. It was scheduled for two days: 24-25 April 2010 at Pramuka island which is located approximately one and a half hour boat trip from Jakarta harbor. There were 16 alumni from 2005-2008 year of entry that joined this event.

On the first day, the alumni went for snorkeling to observe the coral reef community around Pramuka island as the basis for the coral reef restoration activity that would be done the next day. As home of the third world’s total corals, Indonesian archipelago has suffered extremely from fishing and bleaching due to climate change.

At night, the alumni gathered for the networking event. Various topics were discussed, among them were: the relation between the country and SEA chapter, EM promotional events to remote/rural areas, cooperation with other scholarships’ alumni, idea of doing coaching-clinic sometime in the second half of 2010, etc.

On the second day, the alumni went for the main activity of the theme “giving back to the environment”. The first one was sea turtles conservation where they release 3-month old baby turtles to their natural habitat. The second one was mangrove plantation. The re-plantation of mangrove can conserve the ecology and resume the initial function on mangrove forest in the ecology. The third one was coral reef restoration which provides shelter for most of the marine species yielding tons of resources for fishery.

This kind of networking event combined with real-life activities such as environment restoration gave unforgettable experiences for the alumni. In addition, the bond and network between the participants became much stronger which will benefit Erasmus Mundus, EMA, and the alumni itself for future cooperation.

Alumni Sharing Session: Indonesian EM Alumni Inviting Other Fellow Alumni Scholars

Following Erasmus Mundus Society Care activities in Jakarta and Bandung, the Indonesian EM alumni co-organized an “Alumni Sharing Session” with Center of Leadership Counseling for Strategic Human Resources (PPSDMS) Nurul Fikri. The event was held in Jakarta, last Saturday, aiming for the undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing their study further.

In order to present wider range of available opportunities, Indonesian EM alumni invited fellow alumni from other scholarships. On that Saturday morning session, five EM alumni with alumni from Baden-Wuttenberg, Stuned, NFP, and from University of Virginia came and sat together with one shared spirit, passion for sharing.

A presentation on activities and achievements of PPSDMS Nurul Fikri remarked the beginning of the event. Since 2002, PPSDMS has been consistently preparing their grantee students to be future leaders through their programs, which in this occasion is discussion on after-graduation activities.

This Alumni Sharing Session stands as a forum for dialogue between nine alumni and a group of potential students. Indonesian EM Alumni representatives (Mr. Efrian, alumnus of MScEF, 2006; Ms. Anggita, alumna of QEM, 2006; Ms. Rythia, alumna of QEM, 2007; Ms. Carroline, alumna of EMCL, 2007; and Ms. Irmanda, alumna of ME3, 2007) presented the Erasmus Mundus scheme and the application procedures for admission on 2011. The crowd’s enthusiast could be seen from the many questions raised during the Q&A session afterwards.

The other alumni also had the chance to tell their stories on the panel discussion led by Ms. Rythia. Ms. Vika started with her story on how her professor has recommended Baden-Wuttenberg Scholarship as a source of finance for her study in Stuttgart University, Germany. Another story comes from Mr. Aldy who was admitted to the University of Virginia, in the U.S. and awarded the scholarship right after graduation. A different story from Ms. Rani, an alumna from the Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP), saying that the she made her way to Netherlands after showing solid link between her background and the program she was interested in. Thereafter, Mr. Nuri explained that his scholarship, Stuned, comes from different source of funding than NFP, even though both are for the Netherlands.

In between their stories, the alumni implicitly recommended several actions which could boost their prospects. Responding to the questions from the floor, all the nine alumni offered handy tips from their very own experiences, in particular on the right timeline for application, the keys to a powerful motivation letter, and the strategy to approach the professors. It was also advised to link tightly the former academic background with the intended master program so that the gap is less, particularly, in the case of cross-disciplinary.

Furthermore, the crowd was continuously encouraged to creatively improve their English and any other languages not only from the book but also from daily practices. More importantly, it is important to be persistent in exploring all the opportunities. In the end of the session, executing a request from one of the audiences, each alumnus shared their personal motivation to attain the scholarship and what they believe as their personal strength to be finally selected for the scholarship.

The alumni are grateful for the opportunity to have shared their savoir-faire to the crowd seeking for scholarship opportunities and to, at the same time, have learnt from others.

Although Erasmus Mundus is one of the youngest education excellence nameplates, this pioneering activity has formed the first steps moving towards the big dream of contributing to the community for a better nation.