From Sumbawa to the world. This is the story of Sunsun Suhartini a UTS Alumna. Sunsun is currently living in the Netherlands doing her Master’s at Wageningen University one of the most prestigious universities in the field of Agriculture. Committed to food security she specialized in plant breeding and genetic resources. At that university, she is learning how to cultivate resistant plants to pests, diseases, and tolerant to drought, using conventional means (cross) and genetic engineering technology. After finishing her studies, she will put all the knowledge acquired throughout this experience into practice to find solutions to the issues that afflict our societies.
How similar or different is the study system in the Netherlands?
- In the Netherlands, we don’t know the semester system, but we use the system period. Where one year consists of 6 periods, there are long periods (2 months) and short periods (1 month). In Indonesia we do exams only 2 times, the midterm exams and the end-of-semester exams, here we have exams every period, so in one year there are 6 exams. Every period we usually can take two courses with a maximum of 12 ECTS (SKS)
How are the classes designed at Wageningen University?
- In addition to the lectures, there are a lot of group works on projects related to the course with a lot of literature discussion where we read journals and discuss the results of our reading with a larger workgroup. It is also very practical, we often go to the laboratory and do excursions to companies.
What are the perks of studying in Europe?
- One advantage of studying in Europe is being able to travel to nearby countries such as Spain, Switzerland, and Romania, among others, only by using the train or bus so the cost will be more affordable. Besides that, we can also learn about new cultures from diverse countries.
Of all the experiences lived, which one would be the most rewarding?
- One of the most interesting experiences I’ve ever had was being able to introduce a piece of Indonesian culture. I played “Angklung” (a traditional musical instrument from the Sundanese people) with the Wageningen team in front of international students.
Do you have any advice for UTS students that wants to study overseas?
– Yes, if you are a UTS students who want to continue studying abroad, don’t ever give up, everyone has the same opportunity to dream and fight for his dream. Although there will be many obstacles out there that make us want to stop fighting. Don’t give up. You can do it, as I did.