Exchange programs at the University of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), especially at IGOV, are student exchange activities that are compulsory for students. The exchange program is in the form of academic activities. Academic activities are similar to lectures in Indonesia where everything is related to the teaching and learning process. Although this exchange is mandatory, there is still a selection process. This selection aims to determine where we will occupy the country or campus for exchange. Select through several stages, namely the registration, filing, interview tests with IGOV, academic selection, English language skills, and the last interview with IRO. Then based on the results of the range or test, the student exchange participant was chosen. And after being accepted as an exchange participant candidate must have more conditions, of course, passports, visas, and for students who are going to school in Malaysia must have an EMGS. EMGS (Education Malaysia Global Service) is a portal for students who will study in Malaysia. Besides, EMGS aims to get a Malaysian Student Visa.
In my opinion, the exchange in Malaysia is difficult and complicated, even though it is only a neighboring country with Indonesia. Why? Because to get a visa we need to wait for EVAL to reach 75% of EMGS which takes quite a long time and besides EMGS filling is also complicated.
My name is Aprilia iswardhani, I was one of the exchange participants last year. I exchange at Universitas Utara Malaysia (UUM) which is precisely located in Sintok, Kedah. I left on September 15, 2018, and arrived back in the country on January 12, 2019 yesterday.
When I arrived there, I still had to take care of a few more requirements as student mobility at UUM. Becoming a Mobility Program student at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) does not necessarily immediately go to college and feel all the facilities provided by the university are useless. Several steps must be carried out by a Mobility Program student at UUM first after arriving at UUM.
First, take care of medical check-ups. This is the first path that must be done as a Mobility Program student at UUM, which is to take care of the Medical Checkup at PKU, I am escorted by this team to PKU UUM. Anyway, this time is one of the buddies in the College of Government (COLGIS) management section of the Mobility Program in Colgis.
Using a kind of white Evalia car with a UUM Colgis character, he drove me to PKU UUM. Then, what is done when administering Medical Check up?
First, we must provide some requirements that must be brought in to be registered. These conditions include Passport documents, 1 × 6 cm passport photo, Offer Letter document, and money. Then many examinations were carried out such as eye tests, blood tests, urine tests, blood pressure checks, and so on. Not to forget the health of UUM checks the heart and lungs using X-rays. After that, I took the serial number to meet with the PKU UUM doctor and waited for the results. Alhamdulillah, the results were in good condition.
The second thing to do is get a bank check (Banker’s Check) at an Islamic Bank. This bank check is used as one of the documentation requirements that must be attached to the Multiple Entry Visa at CIAC, or the UUM International Office. Arrangements take place at the Islamic Bank Operators located at Varsity Mall, UUM.
Document requirements that must be taken in managing bank checks at Islamic Banks include Passport documents, Offer Letter documents, Single Entry Visa documents that are in the Passport, photocopies of previous papers, and also money of RM75 (for students from Indonesia). Students from Brunei, Thailand, and Japan only pay RM60.
Furthermore, Insurance and Matrix Management in U-Assist. One of the requirements in obtaining a Multiple Entry Visa is that every student must get an insurance document in U-Assist. But before arranging insurance, the status of the Mobility Program student at UUM must be activated first, but because all A181 Mobility Program students have been enabled, we students do not need to ask to allow it to themselves. We only need to submit an Offer Letter to be stamped as a sign that the registration status is active. Anyway, U-Assist is an office at UUM which is in charge of serving every student at UUM in conducting lecture activities and getting proper facilities at UUM, such as Visa & Student Pass, tuition, academic payments, etc. Well, here I make Kad Matrix (Matrix Card) and pay insurance. The matrix is used as my identity while in UUM and protection will be used if there are bad things experienced by a student. The matrix must be carried by each student every time because if UUM students want to feel the facilities at UUM are useless like entering Sport. The center and library must bring a Matrix Card. To get the Matrix, Mobility Program students only need to show the Offer Letter document that has been stamped and the Passport document stamped. After that, students will be invited to take a photo to make a passport photo of the Matrix.
The Single Entry Visa is a visa that can only be used for one entry just in a country, well if we want to return to the state of origin then go back to another country, then we must make a Single Entry Visa again. While the Multiple Entry Visa is a visa that we can use to enter and exit the country freely until a certain time limit. For a Single Entry Visa, the maximum limit for being in that country is 3 months, whereas a Multiple Entry Visa can be longer than that.
To get a Multiple Entry Visa, UUM students must deliver all documents to CIAC (The Center for International Affairs and Cooperation) or commonly known as UUM’s International Office. For Melayunya language it is known as “Center for Ehwal Things and International Cooperation.” One of the tasks of CIAC is as a liaison between students, staff, and UUM related to foreign parties. Then, what documents must be taken?
- Two (2) copies of the Offer Letter
- Two (2) copies of VAL (Visa Approval Letter)
- Two (2) copies of Passport documents (front face and Single Entry Visa)
- Two (2) copies of Medical Checkup report documents
- Two (2) copies of insurance documents
- Bank checks from Islamic banks
- Money in the amount of RM60 to pay for a Multiple Entry Visa
When this stage is complete, the document administration process ends for Mobility Program students. We only need to wait for the completion of the Multiple Entry Visa. For the information, later CIAC will contact the visa and passport collection (because the passport is being held by CIAC for making a visa).
The next step is Add & Drop Courses. Add-Drop usually lasts for one week, add-drop is useful for compiling the courses we take, but if within a week we don’t match the lecturer, we may exchange or replace it. And I made a public management course.
UUM is a campus in Malaysia that is famous for the nickname “Universiti di Rimba Hijau” (The University in a Green Forest). From the name alone, we already know that this university must be located in the northern part of Malaysia, precisely in the northern part of the peninsula of Malaysia (West Malaysia) which is full of trees and vast green land. The university which has the slogan “The Eminent Management University” is a 6th-ranked university in Malaysia, ranked 44th in Asia, and in the world ranks 101-150 best.
With the permission of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, I was given the opportunity to experience lectures at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) through the Student Exchange Mobility Program, to feel how to study here, understand how to establish relationships and friendship with various students from various countries, and learn culture in Malaysia.
One of the things that make UUM very wide is that there are a lot of student lodging buildings (inasis). Basics at UUM are divided into two types, namely inasis for undergraduate and inasis students for advanced program students (S2 and S3). Generally, the shape is like a flat (apartment) which is equipped with various kinds of facilities available. One inasis consists of 5 to 8 block buildings, 1 block consists of 3 to 4 floors, and 1 level includes 22 rooms, with 1 room used for 2 people. And in UUM there are 15 inasis or dormitory.
For facilities in inasis it self is quite a lot. Starting from inside the room there are 2 mattresses, 2 sets of study desk equipment (tables, chairs, blackboards, study cabinets), and 2 wardrobes. Then for the bathroom is outside, with each floor there are two bathrooms. The bathroom also consists of 3 washbasins, 3 laundry facilities, 3 toilet rooms, and 3 shower cubicles. Oh yes, each block building is provided with a washing machine 1 piece if there are students who are willing to use it, must pay. Also, each inasis has an official office, a hall (open hall), a food court, clothes drying, an open futsal court, and a basketball court.
The inasis I mentioned above is 15, and each inasis has a name according to the name of a particular company or foundation. Maybe it was because of the name of the sponsor who had funded the construction of the inasis building. The Inasis includes Grant, MISC, Proton, Petronas, SME Banks, Malaysia Airlines, BSN, TNB, Tradewinds, SIME Darby, Al-Bukhary Foundation, Maybank, Bank Muamalat, Bank Rakyat, and TM. I live in Inasis Tradewinds in block C with room number 336, so my room is on the 3rd floor. Oh ya, the block building of each inasis is distinguished between male and female, so men and women are not in a block building environment the same one. But there are also some inasis that contain all women, for example, Bank Muamalat, BSN and SIME Darby.
The lecture hall here is called by the Cluster College Board (DKG). Each DKG has several sub-buildings consisting of 2 to 5 floors, and each level includes of dozens of classes or called by the Lecture Room (BK), and each class can fit 40 to 200 people. Anyway, there are a total of 7 DKG at UUM.
For facilities on the BK, I admit it is beneficial in the lecture process here. Facilities include soft chairs, tables (sometimes there are also tables that include chairs), projectors, LCDs, a computer set, cold air conditioning, sound speakers, and a whiteboard, of course. Each DKG has its office too. There is also some DKG that have computer labs. For my own lecture, I was mostly in DKG 6. Not forgetting in each DKG there was a mosque, a canteen and a toilet of course.
The busy college must stay healthy and fit. How to take care of it is eating, resting and exercising sufficiently. Regarding sports, UUM has spoiled us by providing a spacious place called the Sports Center, or the Malay language is “Pusat Sukan.” Here there are lots of sports and sports facilities provided. You can try football with its extensive fields, archery, swimming, badminton, tennis, gym, futsal, jogging track, cycling, horse riding, golf with its vast areas, and so on. The gym itself is divided into two, namely an open gym and a closed gym, meaning there is a gym that is located outdoors and there is a gym in the room. Usually, a free gym is only provided with a few light gym facilities, the rest if you want a large gym you can choose a closed one. These sports center facilities are provided for FREE, provided you have a UUM student card.
Anyway, there is also racing at UUM. Sports is called UUM Go-kart. Do you know what a go-kart is? So, this sport is a car race with open cars like that. This sport is suitable to be played when playing together with friends. Only by using a student card and paying 5 RM, you can play for 5 rounds. You have to try it because this sport is famous at UUM.
UUM is very broad, what transportation do you use? Keep calm, UUM has provided public transit that is FREE to be used for all UUM residents. Transportation is a bus. You only need to wait on the bus stop which is located in several spots at UUM, then the bus will come and pick you up according to the existing route. For each DKG and the front of the chassis, there is a bus stop so you can just walk outside inasis. There are 5 bus routes, namely A, B, C, D, and E with each stop on the bus stop different.
Now for example, if late at night is there still a bus? Still, it’s only until midnight, even if the night is usually the bus just passes once an hour. And, if a holiday such as Friday, Saturday or red date is also a bus, it will just pass 1 hour. Besides buses, UUM has also provided a facility that is spread throughout the UUM area.
The facility is called “O-Bike,” which is an application device that is integrated with a bicycle. How to use it is to scan the barcode attached to the bike, then the lock will automatically open by itself. Oh yes, in using this O-Bike, you have to connect to the internet, GPS, and Bluetooth because this application will record all data when you use this O-Bike application, such as distance, travel time, completion time, and route, while For Bluetooth, it must be turned on because this is a link between applications and bicycles. But unfortunately, this application is only free for the first user, the rest we have to pay with a credit card to fill in the existing deposit.
When visiting the UUM Sultanah Bahiyah Library, this library is the only library in UUM with a large building and supporting facilities. But if you want to enter (even when exiting too), you must have a student card first. This is because when you register, you have to scan your card and the door will automatically open. Besides, to borrow books, you must use the student card. When entering the library, you will see lots of chairs. Apart from that, there are also many tables with several chairs around it. Oh yeah, this library has 4 floors, with the first floor is a reading floor (specifically for all books) and the 2nd to the 4th floor is a learning floor consisting of many chairs and tables. On the first floor, there are also many chairs to read, plus there are some soft chairs that are comfortable to read. Other facilities include Wi-Fi that can be accessed in every corner of the library, a water dispenser which is also free if you want to take water, some specific spots also have a computer and LCD screen monitor to discuss with friends to make it more comfortable. Which is equipped with cold air conditioning, and toilet.
Besides that, at UUM there is also a mall, namely varsity mall. There are too many shops here that are able to meet the needs of UUM. There are photocopiers, laundry, food court, supermarkets, bookstores, Islamic bank accountants, eyewear stores, stationery shops, hair cutters, clothing stores, laptop, and electronic stores, gadget shops, and so on. There is also a souvenir shop UUM here, so if you want to buy all the UUM knick-knacks in V-Mall, starting from a ballpoint pen, UUM notebooks, stationery, office equipment, wall clocks, UUM bags, clothes and t-shirts UUM, UUM towels, reading books, UUM jackets, and so on.
I besides calling it a forest, sometimes I also call it a zoo. Because UUM is a campus in the green jungle, there must be fauna living in it. But it is not left alone, because UUM has made its own captivity and is given food every day. What kind of animal? Animals that are kept by UUM include ostriches, deer, peacocks, chickens, and ducks. You can also feed the animals anyway. That is put in an area. Whereas those who live unattended are monkeys, cats, crows, monitor lizards, etc. Are there really monkeys? Yah right. Because UUM is full of shady trees, there must be monkeys who sometimes go around hanging from one tree to another even.
The impression of college at UUM is well, for me college here is quite challenging, tiring, but fun. Starting from disciplined rules that must be obeyed to clothes that are sometimes wet due to sweat that often flows because it is regularly exposed to the heat of sunburn, and that every day. Starting from the dress code. Unlike in Indonesia, UUM students must use proper attire. For men, they are required to wear a long shirt, long pants, shoes, and do not forget to tie. Yah, like an office man. Well, if women are given less freedom, the important thing is to be polite, to close their genitals, and to lose, and to wear shoes, of course. For Muslim women, they can use kurung clothes, regular Malay clothes for women. The important thing during college is that you cannot wear collared shirts and jeans, both men and women. Well, specifically on Thursday, friends at UUM sometimes wear batik clothes, because Thursday is a day of batik, but it also depends on the respective lecturers as well.
During college days, I had to use a bus as my transportation to my college building. From my room in the student residence (Inasis) which is located on the 3rd floor, I have to go down to the 1st floor and then go to the Inasis front stop bus. Then I have to wait for the occasional bus stop too. Sometimes it also has to jostle and even stand up because it doesn’t get a seat on the bus, or even can’t take a bus because the bus is very full of students, so I have to wait for the next bus to come. I feel it every day, going back and forth from Inasis to the lecture hall and vice versa. Coupled with the scorching weather and sometimes suddenly rain came which was able to test our patience as students. Even so, when entering the bus, it feels cool because it’s air-conditioned and when riding the bus we don’t charge a penny or free.
Then for the course, I took 5 courses for 15 credits. I made 4 classes related to my study program, and 1 is the compulsory subject for students mobility program namely Cross-Cultural Management (CCM). The class were held every Sunday until Thursday, for Friday and Saturday is a holidays. Also, UUM implements the Online Learning system, a website used by students and lecturers here in supporting lectures. To access the system, students and lecturers must have an account at the UUM Portal. A lots of messages and information in this UUM Online Learning, primarily related to lectures, because indeed all lecturers use the UUM Online Learning system so that starting from announcements, material courses, quizzes, and even online classes are also held in Online Learning UUM.
The comparison between schools at Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (Indonesia) with UUM is different. Malaysia is a cognate country with Indonesia, there are several similarities between the two countries. Even so, I had experienced a culture shock in terms of interaction, the teaching system, social relations, and food. At the first few months I missed Indonesian food very much. The teaching system there also prioritizes real value rather than the activity of students, and it is much disciplined there. What I like from UUM is that the atmosphere were far from the hustle and bustle of the city, perfect environmental conditions because it is in the middle of a hilly area covered with various trees and greenery. Besides that, educational facilities and infrastructure at UUM are very complete, such as comfortable classrooms, University buses, WiFi in almost all locations within the campus, student lodgings, eating places and sports centers and other entertainment facilities such as athletic fields, golf courses, kart, archery, swimming pool, gym center, zoo, spa, etc.
Oh ya, during the time at UUM, I participated in activities in the organization. One of them is the Indonesian Student Association (PPIUUM). PPI-UUM is an extension of the Indonesian Student Association of the Universiti Utara Malaysia, a student association for students from Indonesia. The activities are an outbound, bazaar, PRI (Pesta Rakyat Indonesia), etc. it was very exciting and fun.
And I also follow the activity held by PPA Colgis, which was to explore the campus and field trip to Tanjung Dawai. The event was attended by students from Japan, Brunei, and Thailand. (AI/AD)