Masa Kuliah

Halo, balik lagi di Selasa Indonesia ๐Ÿ™‚ Minggu ini saya mau cerita soal jaman kuliah. Saya kuliah S1 nya di UI, di kampusnya yg hijau dan luas di daerah Depok. Masuk UI waktu itu sebenernya karena ngga ada pilihan lain, abisnya Almarhum Ayah saya lulusan UI terus dia bilang ngga mau bayarin kuliah kalau kuliahnya nggak di UI.. Hahahaha segitunya yah. Untungnya berhasil masuk dan lulus, walau sayangnya dia udah keburu nggak ada waktu saya lulus-lulusan :’).

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Our First Date

Do you remember your first date with your partner? My first date with the boyfriend actually happened after we were officially together… approximately 2 years after we first knew each other. Hahaha that’s a very long road for a first date, right?! :p

Well, by now you probably have known that we are a LDR couple. He’s in the US, I’m in Indonesia. It took us 2 years knowing each other until we finally met, thus explain the long road for a first date.

Looking at our situation, it’s actually a bit hard to have a first date. I thought we would never have the kind of normal “first date” (you know, the one where the boy picks up the girl, went for dinner and movies and such), so I specifically asked for a “date” while I was in the US. Hahaha. Yep, me and my fairy tales. :p

However, due to our packed schedule while I was there, we could only have the first date at the end of my stay, 3 days before my departure to Indonesia to be exact. So, does that still count as first date? Haha to me it does, well at least, let’s just call it our first official date night.

We were in Solvang, a small tourist city in Santa Barbara County – California as a part of our road trip. We spent the day wandering aroundย  the lovely townย  and found a restaurant which we thought interesting. It’s called Bit O’Denmark and it has a very classic European style. We thought it’s perfect for our “romantic dinner/first date” so we decided to come back later during the night.

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Image from:

Luckily, I just bought a dress and shoes in Target several days before and I had it on my weekender bag. My boyfriend had a decent sweater with him so he decided to wear that. That solved our apparel problem! Hehe. Since Solvang is a small town and we were based on the main road, we could easily walk to the restaurant. When we got there, the atmosphere was reaaallly romantic. It was quiet, the lights were dimmed, and there were not many people there, only us and 2 other couples. We ordered our meal and were chatting while waiting for our food when a group of men walked in.

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Image from:

Unlike us they were dressed casually. They were chatting loudly with language that we didn’t understand and went straight to the bar. Uhm, unfortunately the other guests have left when they walked in, so it was only us AND them. So we could hear their voice very clearly. Suddenly, they started to sing! Again, in a language which we didn’t understand. It’s like a march or something.

A “candid” picture of the group of men when they were singing.. :)))

We couldn’t help but looked at each other and laughed silently, because, come on, what a surprising “add-on” to our supposedly romantic first date! Hahahahaha. The singing went on for several minutes and when they finished, they had a toast then started to drink their beers. Not long after they finished drinking, they left and we had the restaurant to our own again ๐Ÿ™‚

So… that’s how our “official first date” went. Funny, but truly memorable, hahaha. Care to share yours?

Oh btw it’s 81 days until I get to see my boyfriend again! I shouldn’t be counting days but can’t help it.. Yaaayyyy! ๐Ÿ˜€

Challenge Accepted!

This is the fifth post in the โ€œChrista in the UKโ€ series โ€“ stories from the year 2009 and 2010 during my timeย living, studying, working and traveling in a small beach town called Bournemouth in South West England.

I still remember my very first “Strategic Marketing and Branding” class at Bournemouth University. We were put in groups of 4 and had to discuss about the future of TV. I was the only Indonesian in my class and also the only Asian in that small group. As much as I was very eager to learn and keen to succeed, I was confused. I did not know what to contribute to the group’s discussion. I thought I am outspoken enough as a person, but at that moment I felt afraid to say a word. My group mates were European students, they appeared much more experienced and more confident.

Of course they were more experienced, at least about the subject we were discussing. Back then in Indonesia TV was still the biggest media. It was still growing in Indonesia, yet in that warm classroom we were discussing about what is next after TV, how can TV survive the future in Europe. They are Europeans, so they must know what was being talked about. They were able to express their opinions and contribute to the discussion. Me? I was struggling to speak, I felt shy, I felt incompetent.

At the end of the session, I finally managed to express my confusion to my group. I was able to explain the situation in Indonesia, where I came from. I managed to overcome my struggle, but I have to admit that it was quite a rough start to my journey in getting a masters degree.

You see, going abroad obviously is very challenging. Behind the glitters of actually living abroad, there’s the learning process, which was very much different to what I experienced back home. It can be daunting, it can be stressful – Oops, don’t be discouraged though, it will be very rewarding in the end, you just got to go through it! ๐Ÿ™‚

How to succeed, then? I think, the key is having a careful preparation. Prepare as early as possible – by preparation I mean everything! Prepare to live in a different culture, prepare to study in a different learning environment, prepare to be homesick too, hehehe. Like I mentioned in this post, going to study abroad needs a lot of preparation. I consider myself lucky because I was able to adapt to the “foreign” environment quite smoothly. But still, now you know that I had my challenges. It was hard, but I managed. I wish I had more help though…

Btw, not long ago I had the opportunity to meet with EF‘s country manager in Jakarta. EF may be familiar to some of you for its language schools. But little did I know that EF also means Education First, a worldwide organisation which offers various study programs in many countries (They also run an English program in Bournemouth! ๐Ÿ˜€). What interests me is that they have a University Preparation program which can help future students to prepare before going to study abroad.

Of course there are also other sources of help, but I think the kind of programs that EF offer would be very much helpful in helping you to adapt – not only to the culture, but most importantly, the learning environment. Because at the end of the day, we all wish to be successful in our education, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Me, looking very relieved as this picture was taken after I submit my final assignment ๐Ÿ˜€