Hearing the word “America” always cross our minds that who does not want to visit these developed countries. Rizaldo, an ITS student who came from the Department of Materials Engineering in 2017, is one of the lucky Indonesian students to visit the country. The United States Department of State has a program called the YSEALI Academic Fellowship, this program is specifically for young people of ASEAN member countries who show leadership character and care for the environment.
“The YSEALI program was held for 5 weeks in the range from April to May and was attended by 20 students from ASEAN countries,” Rizaldo continued.
“Since my first year, me. Equipped with experience from joining the ITS IO program in collaboration with NTUST (Taiwan Tech) to do community service in the Bulak district, I ventured to register for YSEALI, “Rizaldo said.
YSEALI is a program that is fully funded by the US government and even arranges for passports and visas.
“The first 3 weeks of activities carried out in Hawaii. We live in the East-West Center, University of Hawaii. On our early days we were provided with university philosophy and cultural exchange activities, such as learning Hula dances, cooking Southeast Asian specialties, and performing country-specific dances. There we also learned about how the Hawaiians manage their environment. Starting from waste treatment, urban planning, and integration with culture. Not just studying like college, when our program also makes a direct visit to its place. Like visiting eco-preneurs, having the opportunity to listen to pitching start-ups, meeting experts in their fields, and even acting to simulate legal processes related to environmental issues. Within 3 days we had lived with an American (homestay). At that time I had a valuable experience, following my first marathon. Besides that, outside of academic activities during weekends in Hawaii, we often hike, sail, snorkel, surf and culinary tours.
Learn the Hula dance
Discussion and presentation of environmental case studies
Experience Homestay with US citizens
Experience volunteering in Hawaii
“We spent one week later in California. Our first goal is to visit the University of California of Berkeley. We met with the professor there, and had the opportunity to discuss about his book. In addition, we had the opportunity to visit Yosemite National Park, to find out how America manages eco-tourism. Besides Yosemite, in San Francisco we visited the Golden Gate National Park. A national park adjacent to the metropolitan city of San Francisco. While in San Francisco we also sailed, to learn how much influence the city has on the marine environment, and to visit Autodesk headquarters to see technological developments in the field of software “.
Visit Yosemite National Park
Sail studying the San Francisco sea
Received a certificate from the US Department of State
“The last week we spent at Washington D.C. Here we visit the National Geographics magazine headquarters and meet with the person in charge of the US Department of State to receive a certificate completing YSEALI. In addition, we visited historic sites in the US, such as the White Houses, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Museum and the Capitol Building.
According to Rizaldo “5 weeks of experience at YSEALI in my opinion have opened my horizons to the world, and the opportunity to build connections with friends in ASEAN and the US”.
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