SeoulTech International Summer School Program

Thinking about the 2013 STISS Program that has ended, it feels surreal now. Perhaps my mind is still travelling around, enjoying the most convenient city I’ve ever been to. I enjoyed every single second I spent with everyone there. Let me start telling you my story.

Over the past summer holiday, I had the privilege of participating in a summer school program in Seoul, South Korea. This program, the 2013 STISS is a cultural program designed by Seoultech for students who wish to improve their understanding of Korea. It offers various courses such as Basic Korean Language, Korean Music, Korean Movie, Korean Traditional Musical Instrument, and Taekwondo. And also, it gives the students opportunity to experience other korean cultural activities, such as Hanbok Experience, Making Traditional Mask, Field Trip to traditional Korean Village, and also watching Musical Performance (NANTA Show). This program has 3 terms, and I participated in the 1st one along with my 2 friends, Kinanti and Aini.

Not only were we enjoying the scheduled program, but we also had a lot of fun going around the city! Imagine, we never stayed after classes, we always got back to dorm at night. There were always some participants and volunteers asking us out every afternoon. We went to many places, tried a lot of various korean food and snacks, took loads of pictures, sang millions of songs, and danced till our feet hurt! You only live once, right?

Staying in another country is one of the most effective ways to gain insights about yourself since it forces you to live outside of your comfort zone. I had proven this over my 2-week stay in Seoul when I had to communicate and live with the other participants from various countries. I learnt to live independently and pay more attention to my surroundings. This experience also made me learn from the people in Korea, as they were extremely kind and eager to help me despite the language barrier.

Perhaps the most valuable thing that I got from my STISS experience was the amazing friendship. Staying and studying with participants from Taiwan, Mongolia, UAE, UK, Japan, and also the volunteers from Korea made me learn to value, understand, and respect our differences. Being friends with them gave me new ways of seeing and dealing with things through a different perspective. Most importantly, the bonds I formed with the participants have not only extended my network that will definitely help me in the future, but also given me an opportunity to have new family.

I will never be able to describe how much fun I had during this program, because it’s just too much, believe me. I am truly grateful for having the opportunity to get this incredible summer experience. And I would like to thank Seoultech and also the international office of Universitas Indonesia for giving me that. At first, I joined this program with a view to honing my english and filling my passport with new stamps. But turned out it also gave me insight of what to do in the future. It was brilliant, unforgettable on all levels.


    Me, Kinanti, and Aini. Got really bored at the waiting room so we took pictures!

    Arrived at SeoulTech!

    A treat by Jo A-Ra, our buddy! Ddeokbokki, twigim, and fries.

    Shikhye, rice drink. Very famous especially in the summer time.

    Oh you will love this. Pat bing su, or red bean ice cream, with fruits and almonds too.


    Kimchi, kaktugi, cucumber, masissoyo!!

    Hangang, with Audrey (Taiwan), Angeline (Malaysia), and Kinanti.

    Hangang, with Daiki (Japan).

    CHICKEN! Eating chicken has been some kind of "tradition" when we are at hangang

    NOREBANG (karaoke)! Koreans love singing, too much.

    Peter, Youngjae, Daiki, Aini, Sultan, and the most handsome guy on earth


    We really love taking pictures....

    Field trip to Korean Traditional Village

   Won, one of the volunteer!

    These two volunteers are very kind!

    And again.

    Surprisingly there was a dance floor at the gate of Seoul Tower at Namsan!!

    Look at the lady wearing with a giant disco ball haha
    on top of the tower with Aziz (UAE)

    Lotte world! Superb!

    The parade inside Lotte World, it was magical.

    It's princess Jasmine (?)

    Indonesians in hanbok!

    Doesn't it look like a movie poster or something? Just say yes

    Good time!!!

    Korean Traditional Instruments!

    Pictures after class!

    UAE guys are dominating....

    I miss her! My music seonsaengnim. She's super kind!!!!!!!

    Last music class with class 1!

    Hanging out with the volunteers~~~

    Yes. I danced at the closing ceremony. I can still feel the crowd cheering (lebay)

    Tanya from UK!

    That's all. I loooooooooove STISS 2013! Hope to see you guys again someday!


Thailand (2)

Oh my God I've been abandoning this blog for like a year. I'm so sorry hahaha there have been too many things happening lately, too many opportunities appeared and dissapeared. But luckily, I managed to grab one :p    after passing the selections, I have been accepted as a participant of The 2013 STISS Program in Seoul, Korea! I am going to depart soon in June. But that's another story. For now I will continue my postponed story about my journey in Thailand last year. So... here we go. Oh btw, since there's too much to tell and it would take ages to finish, I will just copy some interesting parts of my journal when I was in Thailand and paste them here. Alright alright

DAY 3 (Monday 2)
I met the teachers of Watpreampreech school! And there was one teacher that always helped me (even until now) that is the english teacher named Ms Jia. I called her Kru Jia (Kun Kru or Kru means teacher in Thai) and the students called me Kun Kru Hafizh hahahah.

with Kru Jia

My (Thai) Mom!!

This day, I thought I would start teaching at Watpreampreech school but turned out the teacher took me to Andres and Papi’s school just in case someday I feel lonely I will be able to go there by myself. Before going there, he told me some information about our school, how we learned thru the satelite, how the students have to clean the school every morning, and all that. He also taught me about the money used in Thailand, the coins and the paper money.

After that he taught me to take the bus, and motorcycle. I wrote all those instructions down in my notebook so I could remember them.
 So.... their school’s name was Wathamnavva school (?) I forgot. I then met Andres and Papi, and we had a little chat, then we had lunch together with our directors and the teachers of Watsamnavva school. We had... uhm, kwetiaw. Chicken kwetiaw if I’m not mistaken. Then me and my director went back to Watpreampreech school. And then I forgot what happened. Let’s just say the day has ended ._.

DAY 8 (Saturday 7)
UGH today was boring. Since I am staying here alone, I have no one to spend time with during weekends. Other interns, they already had plans with their teacher, relatives, and others. PLUS there is no other public transportation around my dorm, there’s only a bus which only goes to the market. Soooo I decided to go to this market this afternoon. Oh Ms Jia and Ms Kun have ever taken me there the day before so I remember how to get there. I bought broom, mats, food, and other stuff. Then I came back to dorm and did nothing. Til I realized I still had e-books that havent been read. So I read e-books until.....around 7 pm, some kids knocked on my door and I let them in. THEY TAUGHT ME SOME THAI WORDS! HAHA. So they brought a book full with pictures, they pointed to the pictures, I said the english words, they then said the thai words, I repeated, and they would say “yes, very good!” hahahaha so cute and sweet! Until around 9 pm they said goodbye. 

DAY 9 (Sunday 8)
Sunday and dont know what to do. Until at around 8 am these kids came again to my room and they watched videos in my laptop. At 12 I told them I wanted to sleep and after saying goodbye they got out of my room. But 1 minute after...... they knocked on my door and asked me if I wanted fried chicken or grilled chicken (in thai, of course and it took me long time to understand, I needed to ask my buddy and my other friend first) I even got helped by some people in a diner near my dorm. Then after I answered grilled chicken, the kids.......... WENT TO THE MARKET TO BUY IT FOR ME. I felt so bad cos I felt like I was taking advantage of them.... They were too kind.

And the owners of the diner asked me to sit on the chair inside the diner. They gave me sticky rice, dried squids, grapes, and more sticky rice. Are thai people always this kind? Haha. Oh and some of them said some melayu words like “terima kasih”, “jatoh”, and other words hahah I was surprised. Turned out one of them was Malaysian if I am not mistaken. And after the kids were back from the market, we went back to my dorm. And they ate all of my cupjok -______- which were supposed to be my breakfast for the next days.
 Theeeen the kids stayed until 4 pm and I said I was sick and I needed to sleep so they said goodbye, and after they got out of my room, I cleaned my room first because it was really dirty after the kids ate the cupjok. Ugh but they were nice kids. After cleaning my room, I took a bath, then tried to sleep. At around 7 I heard the kids knock on my door but I continued to sleep because I was reeeeally tired. But at 8.30 pm I let them in until 10 pm and I said I wanted to sleep again because the next day we all need to get up early for school.

DAY 12 (Wednesday 11)
I threatened some boys from grade 9 today. They came late and I said next time they came late again they would die and I would make their life miserable. Fortunately they laughed. But honestly I was a bit serious hahah jk. Oh btw, ONE LITTLE BOY FROM GRADE 3 GAVE ME A PIECE OF PAPER and there was a writing on it saying “Love kun kru Hafizh” HAHAH sweet. oh, my director cancelled my last class, because I need to go to Lotus dept store to buy necessary things so I could survive another week here. Cool. 

DAY 15 (Saturday 14)
Planning to go to future park today. Okay I thought  future park was part of ayutthaya but turned out it wasnt. And I just knew this when I had already been in the bus heading for future park hahah. I arrived at future park, directly went to a camera store, bought  this Panasonic Lumix TZ 20 which was actually 13990 baht but then I got discount so it was only 8990 baht. Then I bought a  16gb-memory card too so the total was 9580 baht. Then I realized I was starving so I went to a curry restaurant, ordered chicken curry while waiting for my buddy, Nan, who said would pick me up at future park. After eating I went to a bookstore, read some part of catching fire then Nan told me she had been at the parking lot. Then I went there, and found her with her sister and her girlfriend. 

Theeeen we went to a cinema, and watched the amazing spiderman. Actually after watching the movie Nan told me that her sister and her gf wanted to take me to a....pub? but then I decided not to go bcs the next day I would go to the floating market with kru jia therfore I needed to charge my energy. Sooo then we headed for someplace to have for dinner. Arroi. After dropping nan’s sister’s gf at her house we went to Nan’s house and I stayed there for a night. OKAY I gotta say this. Im so happy being at her house cause that day I had a really good sleep cause the room was super comfortable (it was nan’s brother’s) and the bathroom was great too haha. Nan’s family was also very nice, theyre kind and friendly. Finally met people who speak english :”)

DAY 16 (Sunday 15)
After having pasta for breakfast, Nan and her sister took me to hualomphong railway station to meet Kru Jia. We went there by MRT. So then after thanking Nan and her sister we said goodbye to each other. Here I met Kru Jia and her boyfriend. From hualomphong station we went to Ayutthaya station by train, of course. Oh and when the train stopped at Chiangraknoi station, Kru kun joined us.
We went to Ayothaya Floating market! Nice place. After having lunch there (btw the fish we had was sooo big) we went shopping around the market. The market was huge, lots of place to shop. There were bags, keychains, hats, t-shirts, food, drinks, I think we can find everything there. I found the things I wanted for my friends in indonesia. I bought pin too for my sister. I also bought a hat cause it was extremely hotttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt i was sweating like a pig. 

 Liat deh sinar mataharinya sampe bikin kayunya putih saking panasnya

 Sunny day~


There was a show too at the floating market. But we didnt watch it because it was in thai and I wouldnt understand a word. Oh there was a part of the show where some of the performers got on a boat and went round the market. I took their photos and one of them confidently pointed to my camera and gave me a pose hahaha. And then we bought ice cream, and other food.

Part of the show

 Es krim!

Then we went back to ayutthaya station and had to wait cos the train was delayed for one hour......... hffft. And finally after arriving at chiang rak station, we took the bus and said goodbye to each other.

DAY 17 (Monday 16)
As usual, I teach. But when teaching the 7th graders, suddenly there was an annoucement (in Thai, at first I dont understand but I heard some kids scream after hearing the announcement). Turned out, there was a disease at the school. Hand-foot disease. Then after lunch, the students were immediately sent home ANDDDDDD kru jia told me that the school would be off for the rest of the week.
.............should I be happy or sad? On one hand, its good to have some days off but on the other hand, I dont know what to do. Hhhmmmm.

When I told my buddy about this, she then told Vit (another friend from ABAC) and then Vit bbm me offering me to join her and her friends to go to chinatown on Thursday. OK WHY NOT. Haha thank you vit and nan!

DAY 18 (Tuesday 17)
Today I went to school cause the previous day kru jia said that I needed to come to have some more details about the school condition. Then I waited for 1 hour playing crazy taxi and downloading movies until kru jia said that she, with kru kun, kru sengasi, kru cek, will take me travelling around ayutthaya that day!!! Ahhaha

Then I asked for permission to put my laptop at my dorm first and also to take my camera with me. Thennnnnnnnnnnnn we went to ayutthaya historical study center! We arrived at a circle room with the lcd monitor on the round wall, and a movie about history of ayutthaya was played. It was a 360 degree movie haha cool! Then we went to another room that had lots of historical things in ayutthaya. Coolououoo.

 Ayutthaya Historical Study Center

After that we went to some temples and local markets! Bought ice cream, took photos, fun. But really hot that we had to cover ourselves with umbrellas hahaha.

Then we went to another market to buy me a shirt, that was a uniform for all teachers and students in ayutthaya. I will use the shirt on Friday at the seminar at chantaburi, with another interns and their school directors. Kru jia said that although the name was “seminar”, we would actually travel at chantaburi haha. Anyways, I cant wait for meeting my friends there.

After that we went to a restaurant called good view. It was a floating restaurant on chao praya river. The view was good, thats why its called good view. Here we laughed at stuff, kru sengasi asked me to call her mom. Sweet! Haha she’s a funny woman, she’s 59 but she looked like 40-ish cos she didnt have white hair at all. they asked me about my family and house and then I showed them the photos. Good moments. Im gonna miss them when Im back home.

Then we went back to school and we said goodbye and thanking each other. Funnn.

DAY 20 (Thursday 19)
OHHHHHHH SO EXHAUSTED. BUT I AM SOOO HAPPY. Today I met Vit and her friends at bangkok! So i tried to get to Chiangraknoi Station at 7 and I took the train, then I arrived at Hualomphong at 9.15. I ran to the mrt station, went to Sukhumvit, then went to bts station, went to chitlom, and I met Vit and her friends from Vietnam in front of big C at central world. You know what I am quite proud of myself for making it from Ayutthaya alone ha ha.

 Soooo first we went to a royal palace in bangkok (I forgot the exact name), IT WAS HUUUGE and beautiful! Exhausting. But fun. Oh btw I didnt wear trouser and I wasnt allowed to get in, so me and one of Vit’s friends named Trang went to borrow the trouser first, then we bought the ticket and we got in. We took a lot of photos. oh there was a miniature of angkor wat! It was made with amazing details. Other buildings were also really cool, like it was all made of gold (I dont know whether it actually was made of gold or not, but the color was golden and shinyyyy) then we saw the house of the king, which was really big, but no one was allowed to get in. Yah maybe to keep it clean.

After that we went to chinatown. We went to some temples, and we got 2 lucky charms! Vit said that we were so lucky to have them. The lucky charms were given by the monks themselves, and one of the reasons why we were so lucky to have these is because the monks rarely stop to give the bracelet. They usually pray for long long long time, and just stop for a while to give the bracelets to people. And we got 2! How lucky.

Then we went to another temple, we got a number randomly, and each number had its own forecast. Mine said that I would have to live in another country because it would be difficult for me to find a job in indonesia. I also would marry a girl from another country hahaha. I might not believe it but it was fun to know such things.

After that we had lunch, then I said goodbye to all of them. Before I went back, Vit gave me a keychain! Silver elephant. Cool. Then I went back to hualomphon train station and went straight back to my dorm. TIRED.

DAY 21 (Friday 20)

Hah I got up early because I needed to wait for Kru Cek to pick me up to join a seminar in Chanthaburi. So at around 5.30 I was already at school, waiting with uncle koh and his friend. At 6 Kru Cek came and took us to a place in front of bang pa in market, where I found albert asif victoria and april. Yeay finally, people who speak english.

Then then we got in the bus. Albert and Asif were in the 1st floor of the bus and April Victoria and me were in the 2nd. April and Victoria introduced me to one of their teachers at their school, P’Ay! She was my chairmate during this trip. She was.....trendy haha she’s kind and fun.


Okay so first we went to... a school in Chantaburi, an elementary school. Some people talked about something in Thai and of course me and my friends didnt understand so we sat in a circle and talked about random things, teased each others, and all.

Oh! I almost forgot, here, I met some people from adinda and crystal’s schools. They wore hijab. They were kind and fun. And they were fasting that day. I only can remember one name: Da. Other names, I cant remember :”’)

Oh after that we went to one place which had a beach so we went to the beach and did nothing, took some photos and were told to listen to a presentation but me and the others knew it would be boring so we decided not to come in. So we just sat in front of the building and...... asked each other “so we just wait here?” like a thousand times. Then finally the presentation was over and everybody had lunch. Not lunch, it was a cake. But delicious.

 with Victoria!


After that we went to some kind of sea world, but so small. We just came to see some fish in some tanks and then we went to another place.

with mom~

And FINALLY, we got to the resort where we would stay at night. It was located near a beach. So after arriving, i changed my clothes and then went to the beach with the others. We played for a while then april victoria asif and albert bought some beers :/ me adinda and crystal decided to go back to the beach and stayed there for some minutes. After that we went back to our room to take a shower. Then we came back to have dinnerrrrrrrr.

the drunken! haha look at albert's red face, it matches his tshirt.

While we were having dinner, some teachers went up the stage in front of us and sang some thai songs. The dinner was good for me. Seafood, I love seafood. Asif couldnt eat because he never had seafood in his country, he only had fish, not prawns, squids, and other seafood. So he stopped eating and went somewhere to continue drinking with april victoria and albert.

Me adinda and crystal went checking them cause we were afraid they were too drunk and couldnt come back to their room. But they were fine so we got back to the dinner place. OH, and Adinda and Crystal were forced to sing! Haha adinda sang thai song and crystal sang chinese. Coooool. Then all of us danced to the songs sang by the teachers. So fun!!!!!!! Seriously, even the teachers taught us how to do simple thai dance. Haha I had fun that night. After that we went to our room and slept.

DAY 22 (Saturday 21)
So I woke up and packed my bag because we gotta check out at 7 am. Oh I was fasting this day although I didnt have sahur. So when the others had breakfast, I just sat there and did nothing. After that, we went to see a dolphin show! The place was like gelanggang samudra in indonesia but gelanggang samudra was cleaner and looked more well maintained. Oh the show was really cool, really really cool. I wanna have a pet dolphin. Hahaha.

After that we went to see a waterfall. Okay here I almost got lost in a forest hahahahaha. So instead of taking a normal way to the big waterfall, we saw another way named “nature trail” and we took that way. We thought that way would also lead us to the waterfall but then we got really exhausted and we couldnt decide where the right direction was anymore so we went back to the normal way. Okay you know I was fasting and the nature trail was full of rocks and we jumped here and there, I was sweating, I couldnt control my breath. Haaaaah. But then we arrived at the waterfall and IT WAS SO COLD I WAS SO HAPPY. Huhu I was exhausted.

And then we headed somewhere for lunch.......... since I was fasting I then went to a store with Kru Da and others because they were also fasting. I bought lots of sweetened fruit. Then we went back to the school but we had to stop for dinner first at around 4 pm. I decided to wait at the bus because I as so tired and I couldnt eat anyway. After that we got back to school. Huhu. Fun,but exhausting.