Kamis, 17 Desember 2009

One year study period in UNSW

My name is Aditya Wardhana. I am studying mining engineering as my major subject with 12106050 as my student ID at Institute Technology of Bandung. Beside studying, I am also a tutor for junior and senior high school student. Thank God I was given with a great chance to join Study Abroad Program (Mining Engineering) at UNSW for one year period. At the first time, it was very scary to realize that I have to go overseas alone. However, I did not realize that an amazing journey was being started. About this article, it is aimed that I am able to share some essential points. I always hope that there is a good point can be taken from here so that better achievement can be gained day to day.

Australia, as its name, is a western country. However, this idea was vanished when the first time I came to Sydney. I saw tons of Asian people include Indonesian. At the first two weeks, I did not feel that I was in Australia. The weather and people very similar compared with my city, Bandung. The most depressed thing that I learned here was to have a conversation with local people. They speak very fast. I did not even understand what they were talking. When I tried to get a SIM card for my phone, I talked like a Tarzan in a jungle by using gesture instead of English. At the first time the most recently sentence that I used is “Can you speak more slowly, please?” It was quite embarrassing and very stressful to getused to start a conversation. Fortunately, it was getting better and better afterward.

Australian white boys have several slang such as “How is it going mate?” or “G’day mate?” (which means “How are you?”), “Cheers mate” (which means “thank you”), “No worries” (which means “you’re welcome), and so on. They love to abbreviate a long sentence as well. For instances, instead of saying McD for Mcdonald’s fast food restaurant, they call it McKers. If they are saying “mosy” it means mosquito, “chuck” for chicken, “tini” for beer, and so on.
In terms of university, UNSW unilife has a quite similar with ITB. They have lots of specific community deals with religion, science, sports, musical, etc. They also have student’s court where they have their own president and their hierarchy much similar with KM ITB. Furthermore, in terms of mining student culture, there are two basic different was encountered, plagiarism and experience. We have known that cheating is a skill that student must have in order to pass the exam. Not only cheating, we (me as well) used to copy the others assignment and claimed it as ours. However, it is restricted to do that in UNSW. They use a program called turnitin to examine plagiarism for students work. Students who caught on plagiarism will get zero mark without excuse.

UNSW mining engineering students usually work in mining computer lab. They do work together, but they did not copy one an other. They enjoy the learning process together. Nonetheless, there is no perfect thing in the world, therefore not all of them do the thing that mentioned previously but what I am trying to explain is their learning style. Another plus point from UNSW mining engineering is that they have abundance of resource. UNSW library have a massive amount of mining references and as a student, we can easily access the electronic journal published by the other researcher. Therefore, they always have up to date information about the science and technology development not only for mining but also for the entire UNSW staff. It is very good for them who want to know more than that was given in the lecture.
In terms of lecture, the lecturer does not urge the student to come to his lecture. It is really up to you whether you want to go to the lecture or not. You are able to wear short pants and thongs to the lecture even for final exam. The lecturer provides all of the useful data and they told the student to use it for reference. The mining course structure is a little bit different as well. The basic difference is that they think the student can do “self learning”. Therefore they put the general mining knowledge such as mineral and processing in the second year, all of basic mining lecture in third year and left all of project based learning for the 4th year. In the final year, they integrate all of the mining course from second and third year by mastering the practical aspect of the lecture and several software package which is very useful in the field.
About their culture, they have very wide range different characteristics. Some of them are very diligent, well organized, and nice but not a few of them are in the opposite one. It can be concluded that their characteristics are similar to ours. Another difference encountered here is the way of having fun. They always have a party, which means alcohol, live DJ, house music and sex are included here. This is exactly the western culture. One interesting point is that the party is getting worse and worse nowadays. Nowadays, lots Australian high school students have a formal to celebrate their graduation. They hire a limousine, book for an expensive and luxury restaurant and get a teeth whitening which can cost around 4000 AUD. They never think to save their money. The government has already allocated for their superannuation by applying higher income tax. All they do are having fun to enjoy their life.

From my point of view, both Indonesian (ITB mining engineering) and Australian (UNSW mining engineering) have their own plus point. We have better relationship from one to another student and we called it family which I could not see much in UNSW. However, they have their dignity to show their understanding and solve the problem by their own work. The last point is the most important thing that I learned from UNSW. Let us start with a single step by minimizing plagiarism habit so that we are able to learn the beauty of studying.

“Learning is an iterative process with several improvement”

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