LEADERSHIP AND INFLUENCE
Since I was a kid, I had always been active to participate in organization, and one which attracted me was girl scout. It happened when I was in the 4th grade, I took part in every regional scouting activity, including camping. Scouting improved myself to be more independent and more courageous to face the problems. My leadership skills appeared when I was assigned to become the leader of my scout and took part in the provincial scouting competition in Bandung, West Java. At that time, I led my group and showed our skills in scouting in front of the other participants and the committee. I can’t remember if we won the competition, but what matter was that I could bring my school name and my society as well. It also developed my confidence to show up in the crowd of people.
I believe that scouting has affected me in my whole life where I like to challenge myself and travel to see different places. Then I decided to find another country to live and work and see how capable I am to survive.
Last year, I had a chance to live in Australia under the Work and Holiday Visa and work as an Au Pair. I lived with a family and was in charge to take care of the children while the parents were away. This time, my leadership was also challenged.
Leadership is not merely to pull someone to do what you ask, but it is about the skill how to gain trust from others. Working as an Au Pair really challenged me how to become reliable, so the family trusts you and how to become a good leader, so the children listen to you. I also have got an opportunity to influence them to visit my country by taking them to Indonesian Festival at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra.
Living overseas always thrills me, and I will not miss any chance to share my experience to other people. I know that memories can not bought and neither can experience, but all of them can be sought. So I write what I’ve undergone during my Work and Holiday Visa program on a blog to become my long-term memories. At first, I wrote it for fun, but the reality was beyond my expectation. I got several emails from my readers saying that they were really influenced by my stories. Some of them were really interested to join the program and follow the steps which I had written on my blog until they finally obtained the visa. Then I believe that from the small things I have done or shared, I have influenced some people to change their lives and challenge themselves to live overseas and survive.
In my opinion, the more I live in different places, the more I meet people and communicate with them, the more chances I get to improve my connection and networking.
As I am an adventurous person, I really like moving from one place to another. I have lived in four different cities in Indonesia and lived overseas twice.
I had a great opportunity to show my networking skills during the TEFL/TESOL Training which was held by the International TEFL Training Institute in Paris in 2014. I was one of the two nominees from a non-English speaking country. At that time, I was lack of confidence in speaking English, moreover it was my first time living overseas and met many people from different countries. I tried to catch the English language with varied accents and picked the words which I never used to listen.
The training itself required me to teach English to students around Paris and prepared all the teaching materials based on the students’ level. I used to teach English in Indonesia, but teaching overseas students was not that easy. I am a perfectionist and I want my teachings to be successful. So, I communicated with my native-English friends and discussed what to do for the classroom activities.
I had a 4-week training meaning that in that period of time I prepared the materials, I had discussions with the other trainees and I taught the students and supervised by the trainers. It really helped me a lot in building my confidence and also getting along with some other people I had never met before. This training has also widely opened my networking with people around the world and it is so exciting when I know that my friends are not only Indonesian, but also other citizens.
The same thing happened when I was in Australia, I participated in the English courses held by the community or the library in the suburbs in Canberra. These courses were attended by many people from all around the world who wanted to improve their English. We learned, we communicated, we also made friends. The courses were mostly a conversation class where each student needed to speak about every topic given in the class. I found them very helpful in shaping my knowledge, my confidence and my connection with people.
I also met some Au Pair friends with different nationalities and we gladly shared our culture to each other.
I was really thankful living in Canberra where the Indonesian and the other embassies are. I met the Indonesian ambassador several times and talked to him about my program. I also did informal interview with him every time he held a festival or a function.
Being a Chevening awardee would also expand my networking even wider. I would have the opportunity to work with linguists in UK and from all over the world and would also channel my skills on an international level.
STUDYING IN THE UK
As I graduated from an English Education Department, I believe that I am destined to be an English teacher, and I have done so for almost 7 years.
Teaching is not only a profession, but it is a life call. I really enjoy teaching as I enjoy looking out the children I am teaching. I like to see the process of how they receive the language and deliver it to the real life.
Indonesia is a non-English-speaking country and people are not used to hear or speak the language. This situation might hinder the students in using English to communicate with other people. Some of them are very reluctant and afraid to do so. The government has included English to the National Exams and the students are obliged to pass the test. English itself has been taught in every school since a long ago, but this hasn’t made the students confident enough to use it in their daily activities. English is just a subject at school, not to be spoken outside.
This issues have long affected me. I am really interested in figuring out what obstacles the students find in learning English.
Based on the above, I have chosen three programs of my preference:
1. Applied Linguistics, University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham is one of the leading centres for the postgraduate study of English language in the UK. The Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics itself scores highly for satisfaction in the National Student Survey. This is what made me interested in studying in University of Birmingham. One year ago, I collected some documents and submitted them to the admission. Few weeks later, they announced that they were delighted to give me an offer letter since I hadn’t got my IELTS and references. I was in Australia back then and it seemed not possible to fulfill all the requirements, so I deferred my offer.
As I went back home to Indonesia, I prepared all the documents needed including IELTS. Thankfully, I have obtained the IELTS results and the score suffice me to enter the university. I am now preparing those documents to be sent to University of Birmingham and really looking forward to having an LoA.
2. MA TESOL, University of Birmingham.
As an English teacher from a non-English speaking country, I surely want to become internationally certified. Taking a TESOL degree will help me engaged with all English teachers all over the world.
3. MA Applied Linguistics with TESOL, University of Sheffield.
Recently, I have searched that University of Sheffield is ranked 2nd in the UK for Linguistics by the Complete University Guide 2017.
Based on its website, The School of English is recognised for its expert academic staff who offer research expertise and supervision in a variety of sub-disciplines.
Moreover, University of Sheffield the degree in Applied Linguistics with TESOL, which means, it will satisfy my position as an English teacher as well as a Linguist.
Living and studying overseas might be so appealing for those who have dreams to change their own country. It is a great chance to observe other country’s resources, such as human resources, technology, culture and nature. Once you get back to your country, you have ideas to share the good that you have picked while you are staying.
Same thing happens to me, it has always been my dreams to live and study in an English-speaking country and UK has always been my favourite because its best universities. However, I cannot afford the tuition as well as the expenditure and I see Chevening can help my dreams come true.
As I am being employed at LP3I Polytechnic Jakarta, I would gladly come back and teach my students there, applying the skills and knowledge I have gained from my master course. Teaching English is my call and I have dreams to encourage my students to master the language, to travel and seize the world using the English language.
LP3I itself is a more practical school instead of an academic one. My students are motivated to get the skills to work after graduation, and I am aware that English is one of the most important skills the students need to catch. Besides teaching and learning activity in the class, I have supplementary activities in order to engage them more deeply in English. I have created online courses to increase their vocabularies and also journals to improve their writing skills. I would like manage these into a long-term agenda and would improve and supervise them frequently.
In order to become an active English speaker, I also would apply the language in the whole area of the campus where everyone must speak English, making an English-speaking environment.
Regarding to my position as an awardee, it is my honor to become a part of the Chevening scholarship and meet great people who can become future leaders of my country. I would love to participate in every occasion both the governments are holding.
Moreover, since I enjoy writing, sharing my experiences and ideas through my blog has encouraged people to follow the same paths as I did. Therefore, I would happily manage my blog and write what I have undergone to get the Chevening scholarship and to compile all the memories during my stay in the UK. I believe when I do such things, the youth would be more courageous and influenced to make their dreams come true.
I also believe that taking master degree in the UK will provide me best preparation to run the programs which I have planned beforehand.