How I Met My Supervisor (HIMMS): Part 1

It won’t be about the so-called TV show of How I Met Your Mother (because I do not watch that). It is just because I heard the title so many times it becomes familiar. I will try to elaborate the story behind the first meeting between me and my Supervisor and how I could get him as my supervisor.

I chose Embassy Track so I did not have the urge to contact supervisor during the application period.

Yes, as we already know, we have two tracks of application in KGSP scholarship. The first one is Embassy track in which your application will go through Korean Embassy in your country first before it will be sent to 3 universities you choose. And the second one is via University track, in which you need to send your application directly to one university and make a contact yourself with the professor there.

I chose the embassy track because I did not have enough time to contact the professor and sent the documents overseas, to put that simply. But actually, not only for that reasons, in Embassy track you are allowed to choose up to 3 universities and I thought it might get me bigger chance to get in 😂

When you choose the University, do not judge based on the university rank only; topic is the most important thing as the decision point

But after I got accepted, the real problem just came. I haven’t gotten my supervisor or laboratory yet… And that was a big deal for me, as I will be working in a laboratory.

When I chose 3 universities I want to apply, I carelessly just chose based on the rank of the Materials Science Engineering (MSE) Department, not from the topics that I want to conduct during Master degree. Well, if I am allowed to make an excuse, at that time I haven’t gotten anything that catches my attention that much, I just want to conduct research about nanomaterials and that’s all, so that was why I did not really care about the topic.

But you guys out there, please do not make the same mistake as me. Do research on something that you like or important to you. So before deciding which university you will continue your study, have a deep and broad research about each laboratory and their specialties, and contact them to make sure they will accept you with their hands open 😇

So… I contacted the MSE Department to ask about supervisor, and they said I need to get permission to join the laboratory by myself.

After I got accepted and flew to Korea, I thought it would be wise to get the supervisor as fast as I could. Therefore I tried to contact the MSE department and ask about whether I should choose my own laboratory or the department already decided for me. Because some of my friends actually got their laboratories decided by the department.

But it was not an easy task. I contacted the official email of my department several times, but they did not reply for months. I got anxious and then tried to contact the office of international affairs of the Engineering department, telling that I have contacted my department through the official email but did not get replied. And turned out that I need to contact the coordinator of my department instead of the official email. I never imagined that it would be different… 😭

Okay so after I emailed the MSE department coordinator, she said that I need to get the permission to join the laboratory by myself. So from this point forward, the real journey began.

(For me) getting replied by a professor is a rare chance. Perhaps the profs have received so many emails asking to get accepted in their lab that they actually become sick of it…

So… after knowing the fact that I need to look for my own supervisor, I tried to open all the laboratories websites that I was interested in. Because in my undergraduate study I did research about the nanomaterials for solar cell applications, I tried to look for the same topic.

I got this one laboratory that I wanted so badly but the professor did not reply me even after I emailed him several times for months. I finally realized that perhaps he does not have any interest in me and I need to give up on him only one month before my new semester begins.

I began to look for another laboratory and then emailed another professor just to get rejected because he had finished the recruitment of new student last week. note that, LAST WEEK. I felt I was about to cry that time. Why I just late one week

“Why of all things it was just a week ago?” I cried in disbelief and started to blame the profs who did not reply my email for months (sorry for dragging you too…).

But trying to see it in a positive way, I said to myself that perhaps he was not your fate and I should look for another prof. But as I was running out of time and by the fear of getting another rejection, I frantically emailed another 6 professors all at once, with the hope that at least someone will consider me to join his lab.

Out of 6 profs I emailed, 2 profs replied me. But not as easy as it might be, they required an interview and reference letters. Yeah, life will not be so easy, right? 😂

So while I was asking for my colleague and teacher about the reference letters, I was also preparing for the interview and began to reread my undergraduate thesis and presentation ppt. Because for the whole year I did not study about my major at all, I needed to read even the basic definition of this and that. I really hoped that he will just ask me about my hobby and not something related to my research 😂

It turned out that I got my supervisor already since last year… Can you believe that?

I would need to do the interview on 17th of August after I move to Seoul. But before that, my friend and I decided to visit the department to ask about the academic matters. It was such a hot day and also my first time to step foot in Seoul National University. The university is considered big but just does not seem so big because the main road is small compared to the main road at Chungnam National University.

So after we arrived at the Department, we tried to look for the coordinator whom we always speak to in English. But turned out that she was not in the office until the next week. So with out broken Korean, we tried to speak with the other administrator about stuff and we figured out that actually, the laboratory has already assigned to us since last year! Our expression at that time was: wait—WHAT?! 😱😱😱

The administrator calmly told us the professor must have contacted you since last year, perhaps that we missed their emails or something like that but we strongly believed that no notification came to us. So she then tried to call the profs and they were not in their office (it was holiday period after all).

So we went outside with indescribable feeling—happy, shocked, anxious, excited, etc. Good thing was that we did not need to look for the laboratory by our self. But the disadvantage was, we did not know what kind of research we will do in that laboratory.

To figure out what kind of research that each of our laboratory does, we checked the websites right away after calming our self down. Our friend lab was about ceramics or polymer if I am not mistaken. And mine is about the spin dynamics and spin wave devices—which I do not even know what it is about…


…will continue in Part 2.



1:48 AM, 14th of August 2017, End of Summer

Chungnam National University Dormitory Bld. 5





What You’ll Miss after Leaving Indonesia

Hello, it’s been almost a year since I arrived in South Korea. It feels like I’ve just started to study Hangeul and suddenly 1 year has passed. Time surely flies!

During all these times, of course, there were numerous times in which I felt so homesick and wanted to go home because I could not get or see something that I could easily find in Indonesia.

So, if you want to study or live abroad (for this case is in Korea), here are 7 things that you will miss from our beloved country, Indonesia.

  1. Food

    Of course, FOOOOOOD! From various types of savory tasted porridge and soup, satay, nasi goreng, rendang, bakso, until all the oily yet delicious street snacks, I love them all! But unfortunately, I cannot eat all of that unless I go to an Indonesian restaurant. Here in Korea, they sell different types of herbs so we can only find Indonesian herbs in Asian food mart or Global market and some places like that. Even so, they were sold pretty expensively, so if you are planning to cook Indonesian food here, don’t forget to bring the herbs also!

  2. Halal Food

    Not as difficult as it is to find Indonesian Food, Halal food is pretty common in Korea because many middle east people also live here. What I mean by halal food does not mean that the restaurant got halal certification from KMF. Instead, they are either cooked by Muslim or said as Muslim friendly restaurants. Usually, Indian restaurants are labeled as Muslim friendly also. The problem is actually… the price. In Daejeon, the average price for one meal is 5.000 won, but for one plate in a halal restaurant, they usually priced around 10.000 won. I could not even live here with the KGSP allowance if I go there every day. So usually I only go there in special days. For reference, Korean chickens are not properly slaughtered. My teacher said that the chickens are beaten first and then are put into boiling water. Well, just to let you know…

  3. Mosque

    As we already knew, mosques are not common in South Korea where the majority of people are atheists. You would not hear adzan prayer as we have in Indonesia, you would have difficulty to pray because here and there are not clean, or perhaps you would just feel uncomfortable because people are looking at you. If you do not have any place to pray, look for a clothing store and pray in the fitting room 🙂

  4. Traditional Language

    Yes, I am referring to traditional language, not Indonesian language. Here you could find many of our people so you would not have any problem to speak in Indonesian. But if you do dear your traditional language, you might need to adapt yourself to just hear Indonesian and not Javanese or Sundanese (and the other language). And make sure you do not speak in your traditional language if your conversation is not also native to that language because they might interpret it differently (happened to me and my Indonesian friends like numerous times).

  5. Private Vehicles

    Cars are not expensive here, you may say they have similar prices as in Indonesia. But what makes Korean people prefer to use mass transportations is the high tax they need to pay every month for the car they have. My Indonesian senior told me that if you have a secondhand car (ex. won), then you need to pay another 500.000 won every month for the tax only.

  6. Family and Friends

    We could not agree more about this. Family and friends always play important role in our life because they are people who surround us. Therefore by the time we decided to move away, we know that we will miss them.

    Actually for my case, thanks to Video Call feature, I still feel so close with my family and friends, like they are only one hour away from me. But what cannot be denied is, we miss the moment with them on special days such as Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha, birthday, and also weddings. ㅠㅠ cannot help but cry inside.

  7. Cabe Rawit (The Real Chili)

    Even tho they put so many chili pastes in Korean food, it tastes different. Don’t expect it as the real spicy, as one of the characteristics of Korean food is actually sweet and spicy. Of course, you could still find spicy food here, but just don’t expect it will taste like Ayam Geprek or Sambal Bawang. So, don’t forget to bring your own sambal from Indonesia if you go abroad.

Those are all the Indonesian things I miss as I live here. I actually want to make an informative post but ended up sharing stories from my point of view.

I hope this post could give you insight about living in South Korea 🙂

Pengumuman dan Info Interview



Mohon maaf, dikarenakan kesibukan untuk persiapan ujian TOPIK, saya sementara tidak bisa membalas email maupun komen dengan cepat. Mohon pengertiannya 🙂


Untuk yg kemarin sudah mendaftar KGSP, semoga sukses dalam aplikasinya, dan sampai berjumpa di Korea!


Tambahan: dikarenakan banyak pertanyaan mengenai waktu pengumuman interview, saya akan menjelaskan sedikit tentang hal tersebut.

Sewaktu periode saya dulu, saya diberi kabar via telepon dan email bahwa lolos seleksi tahap pertama pada bulan Maret tanggal 14. Dalam emailnya juga disebutkan bahwa saya harus menghadiri interview pada tanggal 17 Maret 2016. Sewaktu itu saya mendapat kloter pagi, dari jam 9-12 dan harus datang jam 8. Jadwal interview akan diberikan saat sampai di embassy.

Good luck semuanya!



Kali ini saya akan menjabarkan mengenai FAQ KGSP yang telah ditanyakan oleh teman-teman semuanya. Karena mostly orang Indonesia, jadi postingan ini akan menggunakan bahasa Indonesia. Saya akan jabarkan dalam bentuk poin-poin sehingga lebih mudah dibaca 🙂

  1. Q: Bagaimana cara mendaftar KGSP Graduate?

A: KGSP ada dua track/jalur, pertama Embassy, kedua via University. Untuk Embassy, silakan buka website embassy Korea Selatan di Indonesia, dan klik bagian Pengumuman Kedubes. Kalau pendaftaran via embassy sudah dibuka, akan ada pengumuman disitu. Untuk melihat guideline tahun lalu, silakan cari post nomer 231 dengan judul: 2016 KGSP-Graduate Degree Scholarship.


Ada juga yang prefer untuk buka via dan buka bagian Scholarship >> KGSP. Infonya cukup jelas juga disitu. Tapi jika bukan periode pendaftaran, maka tidak ada link yang bisa diakses untuk download guidelines.


2. Q: Apakah sertifikat bahasa itu penting?

A: Pertanyaan tricky, tapi jawabannya sertifikat bahasa itu: penting nggak penting. Karena memang saat saya apply, tidak dipersyaratkan untuk mencantumkan sertifikat bahasa. Namun memang menurut saya, bisa jadi nilai tambah, jadi kalau kalian sudah punya, kirimkan saja. 🙂

Saya pribadi akan mencantumkan karena itu merupakan bukti tingkat kemampuan bahasa Inggris/Korea kita. Karena tahap embassy persaingannya lumayan ketat, jadi sewajarnya penyeleksi akan memilih berdasarkan dokumen yang diinput, semakin baik akan semakin besar chance untuk ke tahap interview.

3. Q: Seberapa besar peluang saya diterima?

A: Pertanyaan tersulit, saya tidak akan pernah bisa menjawab karena hanya kalian sendiri yang tahu 🙂

Saat saya apply pun, saya tidak ada bayangan sama sekali akan diterima atau tidak, karena saya tidak tahu kualifikasi saingan saat itu seperti apa. Daripada berpikir mengenai peluang, lebih baik mempersiapkan yang terbaik. Jangan berpikir kegagalan saat belum berperang. 🙂

4. Q: Dokumennya kalau bahasa Indonesia bagaimana mengurusnya?

A: Ini paling sering ditanyakan, hehe. Jadi untuk dokumen, pada intinya semua harus bahasa inggris/korea dan wajib disahkan oleh notaris. Jadi kriterianya begini:

  • Dokumen bahasa Indonesia: silakan translate dulu ke institusi yang bersangkutan (Univ atau Capil). Jika institusi tersebut tidak menyediakan jasa translate, silakan dibawa ke sworn translator. Setelah ditranslate oleh penerjemah tersumpah, dokumen difotokopi dan disahkan oleh notaris.
  • Dokumen sudah bahasa Inggris atau Korea: Cukup difotokopi dan dibawa ke notaris untuk disahkan.

5. Q: Jurusan ABC bagusnya di Universitas mana ya?

A: Silakan buka website-website yang menawarkan ranking universitas dari seluruh dunia. Lalu pilih major yang kalian inginkan, dan filter/saring untuk negara korea saja. Setelah itu, silakan buka masing-masing web universitas yang kalian inginkan, dan coba bandingkan topik risetnya dan dosen pembimbing penelitian. Biasanya untuk mahasiswa S2, mereka lebih mementingkan topik riset/supervisor daripada hanya berdasar ranking universitas.

Itu adalah part 1 untuk FAQ KGSP. Kalau ada yang ingin ditanyakan, silakan komen dibawah ya. Selamat berjuang, scholarship hunter! 🙂


Study Plan KGSP


Hello, pals, how are you?

During my stay in Korea, many people asked me about KGSP application, especially about what to write in study plan or future plan sections. It is actually something that you know very well but somehow difficult to make it as a plan or even how to start the essay. In my case, I also need to read almost all of the comments from a certain blog (made by Indonesian who already got KGSP scholarship) just to have an insight how to start the study plan. If I did not find it, perhaps I would just end up like SpongeBob and his essay.


So today I want to explain some tips about how to write study plan based on my experience. Please note that I will not share my own application because firstly it was my personal story and experience, and secondly because I do not want to limit your creativity and imagination in writing your own life plan.

  1. Divide your plan into terms, for example, you will be staying in Korea for 3 years, so you can make it as 6 school-terms plan. Create it as a bullet or numbered list because it will be easier to read, and do not forget to give emphasis for every plan that you think will have a great impact on your development during each term.
  2. Make it obvious and straight-forward. Do not make complex sentences in the application because it might be difficult for the interviewer to understand what you wrote.
  3. Show the connection between your study plan and your future plan. The study plan while living in Korea must be the foundation for what you want to achieve after finishing the study. It could be like joining some club activities or publish a journal and explain what impact they would have for the future.
  4. Do not forget that you will be staying to learn the language for 6 months or 1 year (depends on the Korean skills though), so you could also mention your eagerness to study Korean.

Well, for now, those all I could suggest for you about the study plan. If next time I had another tips or suggestion, I will add as a new post.

About the study plan, please make sure that you are really passionate about what you will do while staying in Korea or even in the future. I learned that in a few countries (usually far-far away from Korea), they have very low interest on KGSP, even only 2 persons applied and both of them get accepted (heard it from my fellow because it’s her own experience) and also their government even asked few students to accept the scholarship.

Okay, It might be a paradise for some of you who love Korea and are currently living in those countries, BUT for you who are living in Indonesia, or the other with high competition rate, you should show and prepare the very best of you. Because many people are also aiming for it, with all of them showing different educational background, experience, and also soft-skills.

The acceptance rate in Indonesia for my batch was 10/500, which means from 500 applications to the embassy, only 10 got the scholarship. But do not lose your hope before you face the battle itself. Fighting!


5 Tips for Future Plan (KGSP Application)

Future Plan

Hello all! Thanks for visiting my website. In this post, I provide some tips about how to write a Future Plan in KGSP application. I hope it could help you to have some ideas about what should be mentioned in the future plan.

Suggestion on how to write a future plan:

  1. Divide your plan into short term goal and long term goal. For example, the short-term goal could be your goals during 3 years period after obtaining your degree in Korea and the long term goal is what you will do after completing the short term goal.
  2. You should only mention what you truly want to do, and not because you think it will impress the interviewer. Because in the Embassy track interview test, one of the interviewers is a psychologist, therefore he/she would know if you are not telling the truth.
  3. It does not have to be something related to Korea or your home country. It is basically what you want in your life. The interviewer once said that they do not mind about what path you choose later because the scholarship does not require you to work in Korea or go back directly to your home country.
  4. It would be better if you could mention the reason behind your goal, such as personal experience or insight for a greater good. It will make the interviewer to have a better understanding for your passion or your dream, and why you really want to achieve those.
  5. Make it related to your study plan, because writing a completely contrary put no meaning for your study in Korea. For my case, I wrote in the study plan about how would I spent my 3 years in Korean to be a great scientist, therefore in my future plan, I mentioned my passion as a scientist and what I desire in the future while being a scientist.

Those are all that I could suggest for writing the Future plan for scholarship application, especially KGSP. If you have another suggestion or maybe a detailed question about the future plan, please mention in the comment section below. Thank you and Happy New Year 2017! 🙂


Is It Autumn or winter: What Did I Prepare for It

2016.11.10 – 11:00 pm.

Daejeon (two and a half hours from Seoul) is currently covered by yellowish red leaves as the autumn season is coming to town. The first week of autumn, perhaps in the end of September, was great. The weather was not too hot nor too cold.

But right after that, BOOM, we experienced the lowest temperature during fall season this year which is around -1 °C. Two days after that the weather became normal again. And yet yesterday, it hit around 0 °C. This pattern keeps on repeating even until next week. Therefore, many people here can be seen wearing winter jacket with a heat-tech suit, scarf and knit hat to prevent catching a cold during this unsteady season.

Well, me too…

As a newbie in this kind of situation, I prefer to use warm jacket covering my body than having a cold. Days before the prediction of a super cold day, I’ve already bought some winter jackets as the teacher warn. Two of them are a secondhand jacket (can be found near the Daejeon Station) and one new from Uniqlo. I also bought several sweaters to be used during not-so-cold days.

Gloves are also highly important because many times I could not feel my hand at all. They do easily get very cold, but the struggles just to take out the phone from my pocket was too real. Hence, I decided to buy one also from Uniqlo (the cheapest place with medium/pretty good quality).

But the must-have item during winter here is… HEAT-TECH!

I’ve already bought three pieces from Uniqlo and would still want to buy more since it is warm and thin (not like knitted clothes which take many spaces). They advertised it as a heat-generating clothing, light-weight high-tech fabric that actually creates heat to warm you up and keep you warm. It is actually really warm so I usually put some considerations upon wearing it, like in a day below 10 °C. One day, I didn’t realize that the temperature would rise up to 18 °C around noon (from 7 °C) so I innocently wore it. Unfortunately, in the last period of class, I could feel myself sweating inside the heat tech while saying to my friends several times that the class was too hot. Yeah, I ended up being too warm myself.

In addition to clothes, skin care is truly important in winter.

While living in Indonesia, I did not need high SPF lotion or hydrating skin care. But due to extreme weather change here, during summer I need to put SPF lotion to reduce (or blocked) the damage from the summer heat, and during winter I need to put many hydrating lotions to prevent skin cracked. That is why I bought some hydrating properties skin care, body lotion, and lip balm. I put it every day before going out and it does feel much better.

Okay, that’s what I prepared for winter. If you have some advice to face winter, please let me know in the comment section below! 🙂


Tips to Get Scholarship

Hello, readers! From this third post onward, I’ll (try) to use English since the scholarship I’ve tried were all international or worldwide scale (except LPDP), therefore I hope it could help not only Indonesian people but also international applicants. So in my first post, there is list of scholarship which I’ve applied, i.e. AMASE, FAME, and MaMaSelf (three consortiums in Erasmus+ Joint Master Degree), KGSP, LPDP (Indonesian Government Scholarship for Indonesians), Fulbright, and AAS. If you don’t know what are these grants’ requirements are or which university is available for every scholarship, please kindly search it in google first. If you cannot find about your inquiry, therefore feel free to reach me via e-mail 🙂

For a broad view about Master Scholarship, they all took around half year for a full procedure of enrollment. Therefore, applicants need to be prepared whatever the results are, and do not just try one scholarship! You’ll lose many chances! In my case, I applied for the maximum of 3 consortiums in Erasmus+ Joint Master Degree, and KGSP and the other, all in half year. Yes, it took many efforts, but you could apply for more than 7 grants in that period of time if you are keen on receiving a scholarship. People would say that you are selfish to apply for many scholarships at once, but who knows about our luck or fate? I applied many scholarships to Europe but ended up in South Korea, and I still feel so grateful because I believe that this is my fate. I didn’t take any other applicants’ chance because I get accepted first in KGSP (after rejected by Erasmus+ and LPDP). If you already passed the last round of a scholarship and then still apply because you want to go to a certain country, that’s what we call selfish. But if you still haven’t heard the last results, you could apply as many grants as you could.

So in this post, I try to elaborate the basic requirement you have to do to apply for a scholarship. Confidently say that this will make you get accepted is just overboard. It just depends on each applicant’s effort, luck, and fate. So keep trying, who knows the next scholarship will be your chance! 🙂

  1. English: Learn hard, practice harder

Many applicants asked me whether they should speak English well to get a scholarship or so-so is enough. The answer is quite obvious; you need to practice good English as we need to pass the interview test, though there are some chances to get accepted even with Basic English. I suggest not to play with luck as we don’t know what is ahead, so better to prepare the best as you could.

Practicing good English doesn’t always require you to take extra paid-classes, for me I didn’t take any preparation class because it’s too expensive. Here are some short tips to improve your skill:

  • Love English, therefore you could learn it happily and make it faster to absorb every material.
  • Follow English learning page/account in social networking service (SNS) and read interesting English novel. If you don’t know the meaning, please be curious and look for it. The more you read, the faster you learn.
  • Listen to English song and try to sing it, or watch English movie with English subtitle. I even go to a karaoke days before my IELTS test and watch the entire Breaking Bad serials during my preparation period.
  • Challenge yourself to use English. Made an English speaking club. My friend came with this great idea to hold a colloquium meeting every week where we could present and discuss something scientific to improve our speaking ability (credit to Fauzin Naimah and all colloquium member group). Another option is to join free English speaking club, there are many right now.
  1. Keep good GPA

They are saying GPA is not everything. It’s not everything, but every scholarship requires good GPA! If you are aiming for a scholarship, maintaining good GPA is a must.

  1. Make good connections

If you meet people who are great at your fields, keep good relationships with them. At least, you know where to ask a question if you cannot find it in google. Usually, they also publish some articles about the scholarship they got, so stay updated.

  1. Have good relationship with Prof or Lecturer

From my personal experience, I really encountered great benefits by having good relationships with lecturers in my University (many of my friends also did this). We usually had more chance to join International Conferences held by the faculty or major, even escorted very important individuals in our field of study (including took photos and had dinner together). Hanging around the influential people such as your Prof/Lecturers or their connection will broaden your view about your future career. Even more, you could put that in CV as you’ve joined national or international event held by your institution.

  1. Try as many scholarships as you can

Scholarship application period is usually around the same time, so better to apply those at once. Please keep in mind that every scholarship usually requires 3-5 selection steps, and you could get rejected in every step. So take every chance that’s available for you.

  1. Ask for opinion

Are you currently preparing your motivation letter or study plan? Or even CV and resume? Ask the other opinion about what you write. They could give you the perspective of a reader and provide some suggestion. Do not be embarrassed to make mistake in front of those you ask for help. Great people are busy thinking about their next step, not yours.

  1. Be confident with the path you take

When I applied for scholarships that took almost 8 months after graduation, I felt terrible because many friends of mine already got their first job. This is the time when you put everything in line, like a gambling as you don’t know are you going to obtain the scholarship or not after a half year of waiting. If you really aiming for a scholarship, you should dedicate yourself to it. Because the time people get accepted for a job, in some cases they forget their ambition to continue study. So don’t be swayed by it, it is your life and you decide the future (note: this is high risk, please consider everything first and ask for parents’ permission…)

  1. Get rejected? Great experience!

I got rejected for 3 scholarships already before being admitted to KGSP. I realize that because our first application proposal won’t be that great to grab the reviewers’ attention. But as we keep revising the application proposal, it will get better. Also if you have the chance to have an interview, go for it. That’s a great experience. (Anyway, the quota for Erasmus+ Joint Master Degree is limited, I heard it was around 10 people from worldwide for each consortium per year).

  1. GOOGLE is the source for (almost) everything

If you are looking for a scholarship requirement or guidelines, please do not ask the scholars! It’s something that you could easily find in google. Please do not as if it’s difficult to get accepted because obviously, it is! All scholars were hugely disappointed and irritated every time someone asked them about that. If even something easy you do not put effort on it, how could you pass the selection? There are many people out there who try their best before asking for help, it shows their endurance and perseverance. We hope that you are one of them 🙂

  1. Tough competition, so try your best to grab the ticket

Are you feeling satisfied already by being number 1 in your class or get best GPA in your major? Are you satisfied because you could speak English better than your classmates? No, you should not. We live in the world full of competition. In Indonesian, we call this by: di atas awan, masih ada awan. Keep in mind that there are many other people better than you, therefore you need to constantly improve your skill and ability. They are also aiming for the same scholarship, so be prepared to have your best ammunition before coming to the battling arena.

thanks for reading 🙂

KGSP: Pengalaman Pribadi

Halo pemburu beasiswa! Akhirnya aku ada kesempatan (dan keinginan) untuk menuliskan pengalaman selama mengajukan beasiswa KGSP nih. Sebenernya udah banyak artikel yang membahas mengenai tata cara pendaftaran KGSP, tapi demi memberikan gambaran selengkap mungkin bagi para pemburu beasiswa, aku ingin memberikan secuplik pengalaman selama mendaftar. FYI, artikel yang ini fokus pada pengalaman pribadi, dan bukan berisi informasi mengenai tata cara pendaftaran dsb. InsyaAllah artikel lain segera menyusul 🙂

Periode Pendaftaran

Sedikit cerita, setelah lulus pada bulan November 2015, aku buru-buru memfokuskan diri untuk mendaftar beasiswa. Tujuan utama saya adalah Jerman, luasannya adalah Eropa. Maka dari itu saya mendaftar beasiswa Action 1 Erasmus+ di 3 konsorsium berbeda (akan segera ditulis).

Pada akhir Februari itu, aku menunggu wawancara dari konsorsium FAME yang udah dijadwalkan seminggu sebelumnya. Namun, satu jam setelah waktu janjian, interviewer belum menghubungi via Skype. Dengan galau, aku pikir beliau membatalkan secara spihak (fyi, interview sudah gagal 2x karena cuaca buruk di Perancis).

Karena timbul perasaan “kepepet” dan ngebet tahun 2016 harus berangkat master, aku langsung ngebut membuat aplikasi utk KGSP. Beasiswa ini udah sempat di-list tahun lalu, tapi terpikir untuk mendaftar setelah insiden wawancara yg gagal. Walhasil dengan waktu yg mepet sekitar 1,5 minggu dari deadline, saya langsung cus nyiapin semua dokumen. Alhamdulillah karena sudah 3x apply beasiswa, dokumen saya langsung lengkap dan menulis motivasi, rencana studi, dkk saya selesaikan dalam 3-5 jam (pakai template beasiswa sebelumnya :p).

Banyak orang yg persiapannya matang bisa memilih antara mendaftar melalui Univ atau Embassy Track. Waktu itu aku langsung ambil embassy karena belum sempat kontak dengan prof di Korea, dan waktu yg tidak cukup untuk mengirim dokumen. Selain itu di Embassy track, pendaftar bs memilih hingga 3 univ, yg berarti peluang diterima lebih besar. Berkas kemudian aku kirim ke Embassy di Jakarta setelah mendapat surat rekomendasi dari supervisor saya di Jogja sekitar awal Maret 2016. Sisanya tinggal menunggu hasil apakah diundang untuk wawancara di Embassy.

Sekitar 1 bulan kemudian saat saya sedang di Sekretariat SBC (sbg volunteer), Ms. Lee dari embassy menelpon saya dan memberikan undangan wawancara seminggu kemudian. Ia mengingatkan untuk membawa beberapa berkas yang dirasa kurang saat administrasi (dokumen wajib dicap notaris dan diterjemahkan tersumpah). Alhasil saya langsung memesan tiket kereta sebelum harganya semakin mahal, hahaha.

Proses wawancara

Selama perjalanan Solo – Jakarta, saya latihan wawancara dengan sahabat saya yg turut menemani ke Jakarta. Salah satu pertanyaan yang diajukannya adalah: “Mengapa mendaftar KGSP padahal sebelumnya kamu les bhs jerman dan mendaftar beasiswa ke Eropa?

Jawabanku saat itu agak belepotan. Kemudian dibantu teman saya, kami sampai pada suatu jawaban:”Asal negara tersebut mendukung penuh perkembangan science dan teknologi, maka saya sangat willing untuk melanjutkan master disana.”

Demi tiket murah, kami sampai di Stasiun PSE pada pkl. 1 am. Saya pikir kami bisa menunggu dan bersiap-siap di Sta. PSE, tapi kenyataannya adalah banyak orang berpikiran sama! Ya ampun, saat itu sangat ramai hingga kami bingung mencari tempat kosong. Lebih buruknya, kamar mandi baru dibuka jam 4 pagi. Namun alhamdulillah, ada seorang nenek memberikan sebagian korannya untuk kami, jadi 2 jam akhirnya ngemper di depan alfamart PSE. Akibat ngantuk tak tertahankan, akhirnya kami keluar dr stasiun dan pindah ke Dunkin Donut.

Sesampainya di depan Embassy (naik GrabCar dan kena tilang karena nerabas jalan verboden), saya dan teman saya segera berjalan ke pos satpam. Tiba-tiba sahabat saya diusir keluar dan tidak boleh masuk! “Gila, terus dia nunggu dimana dong ya ampun!” hanya itu yg terbesit dipikiran saya, hahaha. Untungnya dia punya semacam headquarter-nya shg saya bisa wawancara dengan sedikit tenang. Jadi buat kalian yg sampai tahap wawancara, jangan bawa teman ke embassy yaa.

Sewaktu masuk ke ruangan tunggu, sudah ada 4 orang lain di dalam; ada yang pendiam, ada yg cheerful, ada yg pemalu, ada yg kayak putri Solo (suaranya lembuut banget). Kami bergiliran untuk mengenalkan diri dan saling share mengenai Korea. Total di ruangan ada 18 orang untuk kloter pagi, dan 12 orang di kloter siang. Keseluruhan pendaftar jalur ini adalah 479 orang (dilihat dari website embassy).

Singkat cerita, nama saya dipanggil setelah sekian lama (urutan 16 atau 17). Proses interview untuk saya dalam bahasa inggris. Namun beberapa teman ada yang ditanyakan dalam English+Indo, English+Indo+Korea, Indo saja, dan bahkan Korea saja. Jadi jika kalian sudah punya kemampuan bahasa korea, besar kemungkinan untuk ditanya dalam bahasa korea. Untuk kemampuan bahasa ini, sangat disarankan untuk menguasai speaking bahasa inggris dengan baik.

Berikut adalah cuplikan pembicaraan yang saya ingat di dalam ruang wawancara:

  1. Interviewer (3 orang) memperkenalkan diri, dan sedikit berbasa-basi mengenai diri saya. Waktu itu salah seorang bilang: “Wajahmu sangat familiar, apakah kita pernah bertemu?” yah intinya, mereka mencairkan suasana supaya saya tidak tegang. Jarak meja sekitar 3 m, dan meja diletakkan di depan interviewer. Jd seluruh postur saat wawancara akan terlihat.
  2. Pertanyaan inti langsung ditanyakan begitu selesai basa-basi. Seorang langsung menanyai saya:”Wah, univ yang kamu daftar bagus-bagus. Tapi kenapa kamu ambil material science?” jadi yg harus dipersiapkan adalah alasan major yg kalian ambil. Jujur aja, ngga perlu bertele-tele untuk mengembangkan indonesia kalo memang bukan itu alasan kalian. Waktu itu aku jawab intinya krn passion thdp perkembangan ilmu material. Jawabanku saat itu tidak terlalu mengesankan, ekspresi wajah mereka terlihat tidak tertarik, hahaha.
  3. Pertanyaan selanjutnya:”kamu dulu dari Kimia, kenapa pindah ke material?” yak, ini adalah pertanyaan umum untuk pendaftar yang cross-major, jadi harus dipersiapkan baik-baik. Intinya aku jawab kalau memang dari awal kuliah saya ambil minat material chemistry, jadi dibilang cross juga engga, karena materi kuliahnya sama. Bahkan UG thesis saya mengenai material chemistry.” Mereka angguk-angguk aja.
  4. “Kamu tau, aku sangat tertarik dengan study plan kamu yang sangat berbeda dari pendaftar lain. Kamu jujur mengutarakan ini itu, dan tidak menuliskan untuk bekerja sebagai A, ataupun menyebutkan untuk mengabdi pada negaramu.” Waktu itu aku mau jawab, tapi beliau lanjut ngomong lagi.

“Well, ini bukan berarti kami tidak terima krn study-planmu sangat berbeda. Bahkan kami sangat apresiasi perbedaan pemikiran ini, sangat unik. Coba tolong ceritakan mengapa kamu ingin menjadi B, dan bukan A? Ingat, menolak menjadi A tidak akan membuatmu gagal.”

Untuk pertanyaan ini, saya menjawab: Saya ingin mencicipi dunia profesional. Karena saat di dunia perkuliahan, mahasiswa hanya dihadapkan pada hal teoritis (seperti yg saya alami selama di UG) yang mana sangat tidak realistis. Kehidupan di dunia kerja sangatlah berbeda, sehingga saya juga ingin hidup dalam realitas, dan bukan teori belaka.

“Ya, aku paham itu. Jadi intinya kamu ingin bangun dan merasakan realitas yang terjadi sesungguhnya, dan bukan hanya teori?”

Tepat sekali, saya ingin memiliki lebih banyak pengalaman terlebih dahulu saat menjadi B, dan caranya adalah dengan bekerja di X, Y, atau Z. tapi ini bukan berarti saya tidak ingin mengabdi ke Indonesia. Beberapa tahun setelah mencari pengalaman, saya akan kembali ke Indonesia dan mengabdikan diri. Karena saya telah belajar secara profesional (bukan hanya teori), akan lebih mudah bagi saya untuk menerapkannya di Indonesia.

Jawaban saya ini membuat interviewer senyum-senyum :p

  1. Pertanyaan selanjutnya:”Kamu sudah pernah ke negara mana aja?”

Jawabanku:”tahun 2009, saya mengikuti semacam Youth Science Jamboree di Singapore. Di sana saya dikenalkan pada dunia science, seperti mengunjungi Museum The Body World, Waste Water Management milik Singapore, dan juga Science Center Museum. Hal lain seperti ke Sentosa Island dan menonton Song of the Sea, hehehe.” Penanya-nya ikutan ketawa.

“yang kedua, bulan agustus tahun lalu, saya diajak oleh dosen saya untuk presentasi poster di Australia, conference-nya bernama IMMS 9. Saya mempresentasikan karya tugas akhir saya, dan semuanya disupport oleh supervisor.”

  1. “Apakah sedang atau sudah mendaftar beasiswa lain?”

Jawabanku: saya telah mendaftar beasiswa Erasmus Mundus untuk ke Eropa. (lalu penjelasan sedikit mengenai konsorsium). Namun saya tidak diterima di beasiswa tersebut. Hehe

“It’s no problem. Tapi sebenarnya kamu mau kemana? Kayaknya kamu pengen ke eropa ya? Kenapa malah daftar ini?”

Jawabanku: saya tidak pernah membatasi negara mana yang saya tuju. Asalkan negara tersebut mendukung tinggi perkembangan sains dan teknologi, maka saya akan belajar di situ. Jadi mau itu di Jerman, di US, maupun di Korea, itu akan sama saja karena semuanya sangat supportive terhadap sains dan teknologi.

  1. Penutup: interviewer bilang padaku:”Oke, jadi intinya kamu mau melanjutkan master di materials Science di negara manapun yg supportive ya? Oke, InsyaAllah.”

Waktu itu aku bingung karena pengucapan insyaAllah nya tidak sejelas orang indonesia. Kalo ada yg pernah lihat DoTS dimana Joongki bilang InsyaAllah, nah itu sama persis. Akhirnya interviewer yg dari indo membetulkan pengucapan dan semuanya ketawa, gitu. Hahaha.

Wawancara berlangsung cepat, sekitar 30 – 60 menit. Saat itu aku diinterview selama 45 menit, tapi rasanya seperti 10 menit karena interviewer supportive dan easy-going (bahkan ke semua pendaftar). Untuk cara menjawab, usahakan selalu yakin dan menatap mata interviewer. Saat pertanyaan pertama, aku agak kaget krn sangat to the point, jadi terlihat nggak meyakinkan. Apapun jawaban kalian tidak ada yg salah, jadi pede aja 🙂

List pertanyaan yang diatas sepertinya belum lengkap, tapi InsyaAllah semua pertanyaan penting sudah disebutkan. Ini adalah beberapa pertanyaan yang ditanyakan kepada teman-teman saya:

  1. Mengapa memilih Korea?
  2. Mengapa pilih Univ A, B, dan C?
  3. Mengapa ingin berprofesi jadi A?
  4. Bagaimana pendapatmu tentang TKI di Korea?
  5. Apa yang mau kamu berikan ke Indonesia?
  6. Hidup di Korea itu berat lho. Kamu yakin bisa bertahan disana? Bagaimana?
  7. Apa yang kamu lakukan setelah lulus?


Terima kasih telah membaca 🙂

An Introduction

Life is a challenging journey in a stranger’s land. (Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash)


My name is Inna Yusnila Khairani. I came from a small city in Indonesia and was born in 1995.

This is my first time writing for this Blog, and yes – I am thrilled to see how will it go. As a normal person, leaving the comfort zone would never be a pleasure. But here I am now, trying for the first time to write a post and leaving my comfort zone is both exciting and uneasy. I was awoken by this amazing post from, entitled: You Will Always Suck at What You Do, Until You Do This by Cammi Pham. Better check that out if you need some intriguing motivation to try something new.

I would not limit the topic that will be posted here, but these might illustrate what you’ll find:

  1. Scholarship – Right, a scholarship hunter! I’ve tried 7 Scholarship in half year, including Erasmus+ (3 Consortium), LPDP, KGSP, Fulbright, and AAS
  2. Life in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) – I get a scholarship for Master and will be living there for 3 years
  3. Language – Love language, no barrier to communication
  4. Indonesia – Home country, always stays in my heart
  5. Research, Chemistry, and Materials Science Engineering – Reseach anytime, forming hypotheses and testify it
  6. and some other else…

Hopefully, the stories here could give you information and motivation about the path of life you choose.