ASEAN in Today’s World (AsTW) 2016 was conducted on March 4, 2016 until March 18, 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Hosted by the collaboration of Kyushu University and Vietnam National University, AsTW is a two-week international study program with the target of university students around the world. This is a program in which participants are allowed to explore as many things as they want about ASEAN. And this year through BNEC, BINUS University was the only Indonesian university to be able to get the opportunity to send its representatives.
The host universities were open for a scholarship for this program and our members fortunately succeeded the selection. The total of the chosen participants was as many as 33; coming from Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Kamboja, and the dominantly Japan. This number also included 2 of BNEC 23rd Presidency’s Board of Management members, namely Yesemia (Marketing Communication – 2017) and Marisa Salim (Accounting – 2017) as the only representatives from an Indonesian university. In this program, students were given the opportunity to choose 2 courses from 2 kinds of curriculum, which were ASEAN Studies Courses, which included Current Affairs of ASEAN and East Asia, Food and Environmental Issues in Asia and Cross-Cultural Communication in Asia; and Asian Languages and Cultures, which included Japanese Language and Culture, Basic of the Language and Culture of the Host Country, and lastly, English.
Participating students were given the opportunity to learn about ASEAN not only from classes, but also study trips. “Study trips were included in the program, so it felt more like a refreshing trip for me rather than a short course program,” said Yesemia during the short interview about AsTW. The students were given 3 days of school and 3 days of study trip each week. During the short interview, Ha Long Bay and Mai Chau Village were highlighted by Marisa Salim, “I can’t even tell you which one left the best impression for me, since both of them were the best.”
The night before the last day of AsTW, the students were showing off their bonds with one another by forming a small party and giving out letters.
In this program, students were focusing in learning about ASEAN+3 which included studies about ASEAN countries, China, Japan, and South Korea. The courses gave the students the opportunity to discuss, approach, and explore ASEAN studies from various kinds of perspectives. The most exciting part was the opportunity given to gain knowledge, create bonds, as well as cultural exchange and exploration for each of the international student.
“It helped me gain knowledge in terms of intercultural competence, understand other cultures, and tolerate each other.” – Yesemia
“It gave me the chance to improve my network of friends and knowledge about other cultures.” – Marisa Salim