10 New Bali of Indonesia (Part 2)

Mount Bromo, East Java

A lunarlike landscape of epic proportions and surreal beauty, the volcanic Bromo region is one of Indonesia’s most breathtaking sights.
Rising from the guts of the ancient Tengger caldera, Gunung Bromo (2392m) is one of three volcanoes to have emerged from a vast crater, stretching 10km across. Flanked by the peaks of Kursi (2581m) and Batok (2440m), the smouldering cone of Bromo stands in a sea of ashen, volcanic sand, surrounded by the towering cliffs of the crater’s edge. Just to the south, Gunung Semeru (3676m), Java’s highest peak and one of its most active volcanoes, throws its shadow – and occasionally its ash – over the whole scene.

The vast majority of independent travellers get to Bromo via the town of Probolinggo and stay in Cemoro Lawang, where facilities are good. There are other options in villages on the road up from Probolinggo. Additional approaches via Wonokitri and Ngadas are possible.

Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara

Mandalika, once a surfers’ best kept secret, now it has emerged as the island’s capital of leisure. Mandalika shouts heaven from all of its enchanting corners.
The special tourism economic zone boasts vibrant bars and nightclubs, thrilling racing circuits, exciting water parks, luxurious hotels and resorts, fascinating golf courses, rejuvenating spas, and plenty more; there’s everything for everyone at this 1,250 hectare paradise. The tourism industry in Mandalika is equalling its neighboring island, Bali. Mandalika is also a melting pot of tourists from all parts of the globe. Here, the tourism industry fused seamlessly with the unique and colorful culture of the local people that is still well preserved for generations.

Mandalika is also conveniently located near some of Lombok’s most outstanding beaches. These include Tanjung Aan, Kuta, Gerupuk, Serenting, and Seger Beach. From the top of the Merese Hill and Batu Payung Beach, you are presented with some of the most amazing panorama of Lombok. All kinds of fun water sports activities awaits at Kuta Beach. Those who enjoy swimming, surfing, and fishing can head to Gerupuk Beach, while those who prefer peace and serenity can head to Serenting Beach. For a one of a kind cultural experience, head down to Seger Beach during the annual tradition of Bau Nyale Ritual and join in the local festivity you won’t find elsewhere.
Blessed with a beautiful nature and enhanced by the hands of professionals, Mandalika is designed to make your dream vacation a reality. With all its exceptional splendors, a trip here will be unforgettable and will make you long for more.

Getting around in this area is quite simple. A public transportation vehicle called Bemo runs all over Lombok including Mandalika, and it will get you to most places. You can also rent a car, a motorcycle, or a bicycle. However, since most of the facilities in the area are within walking distance, you can simply walk or stroll as you enjoy the vibe.

How to get there? From Singapore and Malaysia, you can take a direct flight to Lombok International Airport, which is located not too far from Mandalika. Flights are also available from various major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali. From Jakarta, the flight will take about 2 hours, while from the nearby Bali, it will only take about 30 minutes. From Bali, you can also take a ferry from Padang Bai Harbor to Lembar Harbor in Lombok. From there you can take a bus or a taxi to Mandalika that will take about 2-3 hours.

Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara

On the westernmost tip of the Island of Flores, the town of Labuan Bajo, or also spelled Labuhan Bajo, sits peacefully with many wonders waiting for you to explore. Labuan Bajo was only a small fishing site that today has flourished to become the gateway to many exotic destinations in East Nusa Tenggara.

The extraordinary interest of travelers to the existence of the Komodo dragons who are locally called ora is a valuable alluring factor that amplified by its superb national park.
The Komodo National Park was listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1991. It is home to fascinating wildlife, both on land and underwater. The park consists of Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Padar Island and numerous smaller islands around them. Labuan Bajo is known as the city of sunset. You can find plenty of vantage point to enjoy every end of the day with a spectacular sky.

There are some interesting destinations that you can discover inside the city. The Mirror Cave is located only 4 kilometers away from Labuan Bajo. This cave was founded by Dutch archaeologist in 1951, who concludes that Labuan Bajo was once located under water.

The local name for the cave is Goa Batu Cermin. In some parts, you can see some stones with reflective character, thus become the name of this natural wonders.
Another stunning wonder you might also want to check out is Rangko cave. Have you ever swim in a cave-lake before? Here’s your chance!
You can also explore the paths to Cunca Rami and Cunca Wulang canyon waterfall! Bukit Cinta, Puncak Amelia, and Puncak Silvia are all vantage points, not far away from Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo. You can enjoy some spectacular view of the island and the open sea at sunset.

For the culinary feast, you can head right to Kampung Ujung and experience the delicious local food center for dinner time in Labuan Bajo.
Labuan Bajo becomes more romantic with the growth of that ideal holiday spot. Wooden cottages with thatched roofs camouflaged by shrubberies and towering trees up in the sloping township, overlooking an idyllic harbor, is the perfect elements of an unforgettable experience.

For some adventurers, Labuan Bajo can be that ideal getaway. With choices of land and sea to conquer, it is no wonder that Labuan Bajo is seeing more and more visitors coming every year. Try the liveaboard experience, where you get to live on board for several days, to visit gorgeous islands and dive into the stunning wonders of the ocean.

Wakatobi, South Sulawesi

WA stands for Wangi-wangi; KA is for Kaledupa; TO for Tomia; and BI for Binongko, and what do you get when you put all names of the islands together? The ultimate tropical paradise that lies at the heart of the world’s precious Coral Triangle, this is WAKATOBI!

Now a National Marine Park covering the entire Wakatobi District, it comprises a total of 1.4 million hectares, of which 900,000 hectares are decorated with different, colourful species of tropical coral reefs. For Wakatobi is widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species in the world. The islands are also famous as the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Here can be found fringing, atolls and barrier reefs and offer more than 50 spectacular dive sites easily accessible from the major islands. This is the habitat of large and small fish species, the playground of dolphins, turtles and even whales. Wakatobi alone is said to have 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species from a total of 850 of world’s collection, which, comparing with the two world’s famous diving centers, the Caribbean Sea owns only 50 species with 300 coral reef species in the Red Sea, in Egypt.

There are 4 islands in Wakatobi, which consists of Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko.
Wangi-Wangi is the perfect place to start your Wakatobi adventure. Whether you are a skilled diver, occasional snorkeler, or just a laid-back traveler, the adventure of Wakatobi begins here. Commercial flights fly to and from Matahora Airport on this island make it the perfect gateway to explore all the wonders of Wakatobi. Watching the sun rise majestically over the horizon while dolphins swim and jump around your boat could not be a better start to your adventure.

Kaledupa is perfect for your timeless serenity. Surrounded by mangrove forests and coconut trees, the island of Kaledupa boasts a quiet and calmer atmosphere compared to the other islands. The total tranquility is especially felt at the nearby Hoga Island which is the center for scientific and research undertaken by Operation Wallacea. Boasting crystal clear water, pristine soft white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and nothing but the sound of waves rushing to the shore, this is best as it gets in terms of a perfect getaway. There are two resorts on this small island: Hoga Dive Resort and Hoga Island Dive Resort. Electricity is available only from 6.00 pm to 12.00 pm, but then again, it’s a small price to pay for such an exquisite natural luxury. Hoga Channel and ‘The ridge’ near Hog are also among some of the best diving spots in Wakatobi.

Next, Tomia. The Third Island of Wakatobi, Tomia has been a famous dive site for more than 10 years. With over 40 dive sites that have been named and mapped with easy access to most of them, the island of Tomia has already established its name among divers worldwide. Among the many, Roma’s Reef is a must among veteran divers as a challenging yet beautiful site. Almost resembling a big city, Roma’s reef is very busy with vibrant underwater life. Here, you can find schools of Giant Trevalleys, sea snakes coming up from the sea floor, turtles gliding by majestically, as well as various colorful fish dancing among the soft corals. The privately funded Marine Preserve in Tomia, the Wakatobi Dive Resort offers exclusive packages including direct flights from Bali to the resort’s private airstrip.

Beyond its waters, Tomia also offers a great overland adventure. The warm greetings of the local people will welcome you at the Patua Fort. The fort is considered the largest among similar fortresses found throughout the islands that once served not only to provide protection against invaders but also as the center of the settlement. What made this unique, is that the fort here (as well as other forts throughout the islands) are not built in European style with high cemented walls, but instead, the structures are made from piles of coral rocks that are distinct to the region. Aside from the fort, the local villagers also have a very unique attraction of climbing up the stairs on traditional bamboo stilts.

And the last one, Binongko is the land of blacksmiths. Binongko, the Bi or the last syllable of Wakatobi , and the furthest island of the group, offers its own special experiences. Again you will be greeted with the warm hospitality and friendliness of the local people. A lovely traditional welcoming dance is performed by a group of young girls accompanied by the traditional gambus music when a group of tourists visit the island. Binongko is actually the reason why the islands were once known as ‘Tukang Besi’. Simply translated, TukangBesi means iron workers or blacksmiths. And Binongko is the island where you can find these really skilled blacksmiths. Here you can observe how steel is forged, shaped, and sharpened using traditional techniques that have been passed on down generations. Many even consider that knives and parang (machetes) produced on Binongko are the best in Indonesia. Off its shores, Binongko also offers excellent snorkeling and diving experiences with plenty of magnificent underwater splendors to enjoy.

You can get to Wakatobi by plane to Bau-Bau. Airlines flying to Bau-Bau from Jakarta, Bali or Surabaya are Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and Sriwijaya Airline. From here you must take a boat to Wakatobi. The Wakatobi Dive Resort operates Charter flights so they can pick up passengers from Bali arriving direct on the island of Tomia.

Morotai Island, North Maluku

Locals who still remember World War II would tell visitors that back in 1944-145 Morotai was a hive of military activities with tens of sorties roaring daily from aircrafts taking off and landing at airstrips along Daruba Bay,endless stamping of thousands of military boots marching across the island, and navy ships anchoring daily carrying supplies and reinforcement. For Morotai back then, was the strategic base of the Allied Forces from which they attacked posts in the Philippines and Borneo in their fight against Japanese forces during World War II.

Now the government plans to make Morotai into an economic hub and gateway into Indonesia from the Pacific Ocean. Morotai will be developed as a fishery, tourist, trade and services center.

The island of Morotai has now been designated as one of Indonesia’s Top Priority Tourist Destination for intense resort development.

Located north of the larger island of Halmahera in the province of North Maluku, the island of Morotai has a number of great beaches and interesting diving spots. The largest town here is Daruba in the south. To Morotai’s north are the Philippines, to its east the Pacific Ocean. Not much remains to be seen from those hectic World War II days, except for a number of interesting wrecks to be explored underwater.

A lone statue of General Douglas MacArthur on the island of SumSum near Daruba serves to remind following generations that this famous general, best known for his words “I will return”, once made Morotai his military base. Nearby at Kao Bay in Halmahera a half submerged Japanese wreck named the Tosimaru can still be seen from shore.

A shack filled with memorabilia of World War II collected by a private citizen and known as the Morotai Museum can be visited to remind visitors of those terrible war days, which will hopefully never occur again on this planet. Besides serving as US and Australian military base in WW II, the island of Morotai later also served as base for Indonesian forces in the liberation of West New Guinea from Dutch colonization.

The best way to get to Morotai is on your own yacht or liveaboard, which will ensure your easy access and accommodation.
The nearest airport to Morotai is on the island of Ternate. Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, and Sriwijaya Air serve regular flights to Ternate. From here you must travel overland to Tobelo, in North Halmahera, then take a ferry to Daruba on Morotai. The sea journey takes around two hours.

10 New Bali of Indonesia (Part 1)

10 New Bali of Indonesia

Recently, Indonesian government has announced the development of 10 new tourist attraction across Indonesia that will be developed for tourism. The government hoped that in the future, these new areas can be a major destination for tourists like Bali.

Lake Toba, North Sumatra

Located in North Sumatra, Lake Toba is a volcanic lake known for the beauty of its nature.
This volcanic lake is the biggest in Southeast Asia, with 87 kilometres long, 27 kilometres wide, and located 904 metres above the sea level with depth reaches 505 metres.

It was formed about 80,000 years ago by a colossal volcanic eruption : the caldera that was created eventually buckled under the pressure and collapsed in on itself, the high-sided basin that remained filling with water to form the lake. A second, smaller volcanic eruption, 50,000 years after the first, created an island the size of Singapore in the middle of the lake. This island, called Samosir Island, is the cultural and spiritual heartland of the Toba Batak people and one of the most fascinating, pleasant and laidback spots in Indonesia.

You can reach Lake Toba from the city of Medan, the capital of North Sumatra. From Medan, Lake Toba can be reached from Kualanamu Airport. from Jakarta, the airlines that can be used to reach Kualanamu Airport are Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Citilink, Batik Air, and Sriwijaya Air.

Tanjung Lesung, Banten

Located in Banten, this beautiful beach is located adjacent to the Ujung Kulon area, Banten, and belongs to a protected area namely the Tanjung Lesung Special Economic Zone. Although this beach is not as famous as Anyer Beach or Carita Beach, Tanjung Lesung Beach is no less charming for tourists. This beach will usually be much quieter on Sundays than on Saturdays, therefore you should prepare the right day before deciding to visit this beach.

As one of the beach resorts located far from cities, Tanjung Lesung is highly recommended for those of you who want to find peace. Boring daily activities and various problems sometimes make chaotic thoughts, so that occasionally we need a vacation to momentarily refresh our minds.

There are some car routes to Tanjung Lesung Beach. The first one, from Tangerang. The route will be Tangerang – Serang – Pandeglang – Labuan-Panimbang -Tanjung-Lesung. Using this route, This route is closer than you have to pass through Coastal North Coast through Anyer and Carita.

The second one, from Jakarta, you can take Jakarta – Merak highway – East Serang highway – Serang – Pandeglang – Labuan-Panimbang -Tanjung-Lesung. Or alternatively, from Jakarta – Merak highway, exit through Cilegon – Anyer and Carita lane – Labuan – Tanjung Lesung.
For some people who have visited several beaches in Banten such as Carita Beach and Anyer Beach, you should not miss the beach located in the Banteng area, Banten, this is because there will provide a beach view and natural beauty that is not inferior to other beach destinations.

There are some activities to enjoy here, such as :

• Enjoying sunrise and sunset : Not only can you enjoy the beach and the swish of the waves, this place is predicted to be the right tourist destination for those of you who want to watch the sunrise and sunset behind the child of Krakatoa. Usually some tourists who want to hunt for sunrise moments, they do it while exercising around the beach area such as jogging.
• Enjoying the beach from the pier : The pier at Tanjung Lesung Beach is the place most hunted by tourists, mostly young people. In addition to enjoying the beauty of the beach from the pier, this place can also be used for fishing. But for those of you who have a hobby of fishing and want to fish on this beach you should bring your own fishing gear from home because there is no rental of fishing equipment in this place.
• Snorkelling : For those of you who have a hobby of watching marine life, Tanjung Lesung Beach is certainly the right beach to channel your hobbies. With diving, you can see the beauty of the underwater because this beach is the location of a coral reef conservation area.
• Art performances : on the day of your arrival at this beach there will usually be performances of art such as debus to dance. These shows are often done at night, so for those of you who want to spend the night in this coastal area by setting up tents with friends, you can watch this show.

Kepulauan Seribu, DKI Jakarta

“Kepulauan Seribu” literally meaning: the Thousand Islands, yes, the same as the popular dressing we put on salads! Here, in fact, this is the name given to the many tropical islands scattered in the Bay of Jakarta.

But only very few people know, that here are exactly 110 islands only, that together form a District, encompassing the Pulau Seribu National Marine Park in the province of Jakarta. This cluster of islands forms a splendid nautical getaway that ranges from a mere half hour to a three hours’ boat ride from the north coast of the capital city.

Here, around 20,000 people live on 11 islands only, while all others are either uninhabited, are privately owned or are a restricted nature sanctuary. The islands are a snorkeling haven and watersports playground in particular for the inhabitants of the metropolitan city. During holidays, domestic tourists throng to the islands to have fun under the sun on these many recreation islands.

There are some islands that you should visit :
• Bidadari island : Pulau Bidadari is the nearest island to Marina Ancol ferry port, and is only 30 minutes away by boat, where you can instantly enjoy the photogenic site of Fort Martello, that was built in the 17th century. The island has a marvellous collection of rare trees growing naturally on its fertile soil.There are the Peace Trees (baringtoniaexelsa), Sentigi Trees (pempisacidula), Black Wood Trees (diospyrosmaritama), fruit trees and mangrove trees that are superb resources to study. Floating cottages are favorite places to spend your holiday on the island. Unwind and sink your feet in the sand. Donot miss to get a taste of the local scrumptious seafood dishes that come fresh from the blue water.
• Ayer island : Pulau Ayer resort offers vacationers the choice to stay either on floating cottages or on land in villas designed along Papua traditional details. The resort was developed in the 1950s, and was the retreat for Indonesia’s First President, Soekarno. Complemented will all kinds of vacation facilities such as restaurants, arcade zone, karaoke, playground, sports field, and large swimming pools , these are among fun watersports activities to be tried out on this island. Located only only some 25 minutes from Marina Ancol, the island is one of the favorite destinations for families and large group gatherings.
• Onrust island : Pulau Onrust is a small island that hides a historic Dutch fortress and other remains from the Dutch colonial times and now functions as the islands’ museum. The name ‘Onrust’ comes from the Dutch word meaning ‘Unrest’. Nonetheless other sources mention an alternative possibility, that it may be derived from a Dutch aristocrat named Baas Onrust Cornelis van der Walck . The island’s history dates back to the 1800s. In time it changed function several times, from being an important shipyard of the Dutch East India Company, VOC, to becoming a weather station, a sanatorium, a Hajj quarantine, and even as a prison for notorious criminals. Therefore the island holds many traces following its long history.
• Pulau Macan : Pulau Macan or Tiger Island attracts honeymooners as an eco tourism destination, famous for its romantic huts. Here huts are built in natural style, so that you may truly feel as if you are on a secluded private island away from civilization. Some of the huts are so positioned to allow visitors to catch the best sunset view. You can even plunge into the clear ocean waters just a few steps from your comfy bed. Located 1.5 hours away from Marina Ancol, Pulau Macan offers exciting watersports such as canoeing, windsurfing, snorkeling and diving.

Tanjung Kelayang, Bangka Belitung

Tanjung Kelayang is one of the most beautiful beaches in Belitung, a beach recreation center that periodically stops hundreds of yachts from overseas in the Sail Indonesia event. This place is also a port used by tourists to do island hopping tours that are most in demand by tourists coming to Belitung. This beach is located 27 km north of Tanjungpandan city.

Tanjung Kelayang has been known by the local community as a place of recreation since long ago. The most interesting sight is a small island formed of large granite stones located approximately 800 meters from the end of the beach. The shape of the stone resembles the head of a bird, that is what makes the name of this place as Tanjung Kelayang, where Kelayang is the name of one type of bird. Residents around named the stone shaped like a bird’s head with a more special name, namely Batu Garuda.

The east coast is the entrance to Tanjung Kelayang, here there is only white sand, no granite on the beach. From there visitors usually walk along the coast approximately 300m to the north, where granite rocks can be found, scattered along the tip of the peninsula and also on the surface of the sea. One of them is shaped like a bird.

Meanwhile the West side beach has a different view. The length of the beach is not along the East side because on the West side there are more granite stones. The view of the unit from the west coast is 3 small islands, about 700m from the shoreline. Combined with large granite rocks scattered on the surface of the sea, the scenery on the West side is more attractive, especially at sunset. The best place to enjoy views of the West side coast is from the top of the granite rocks at the end of the peninsula.

Borobudur Temple, Central Java

Borobudur Temple is located in Magelang, Central Java. It is the biggest Buddhist temple in the world.
The Sailendra dynasty built this Largest Buddhist monument in the world between AD 780 and 840. The Sailendra are the ruling dynasty in Central Java at the time. It was built as a place for glorifying Buddha and a pilgrimage spot to guide mankind from worldly desires into enlightenment and wisdom according to Buddha. This monument was discovered by the British in 1814 under Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles, it was until 1835 that the entire area of the temple has been cleared.
Borobudur built in the style of Mandala which symbolizes the universe in Buddhist teaching. This structure is square shaped with four entry point and a circular center point. Working from the exterior to the interior, three zones of consciousness are represented, with the central sphere representing unconsciousness or Nirvana.

NAILA 2018 Award Night

NAILA 2018 Award Night was successfully held on Friday, November 9th, 2018 in Monash Conference Centre. The National Australia Indonesia Language Awards (NAILA) is an annual speech competition held by AIYA (Australia Indonesia Youth Association) that rewards and fosters the development of Indonesian language learning in Australia at all levels. The event was opened by Mrs. Spica Tutuhatunewa, the Consulate General of Indonesia.

This year, NAILA has diversity as its theme of competition. The event was opened by Ms. Sally Hill, the founder and director of NAILA. This year’s competition was judged by a panel of VIP judges, which consists of Mr. John McGlynn (the founder of Lontar Foundation), Mrs. Svida Alisjahbana (chairwoman of Femina Group), Ms. Jane Ahlstrand (Lecturer of Indonesian language at University of New England), and Ms. Yacinta Kurniasih (Poet, writer, Indonesian Studies lecturer at Monash University).

 

The awards are categorized into several categories from primary to People’s choice. The awardees are representatives of all states in Australia.

 

The awardees are :

  • Blake Johnson – Primary Awardee
  • Kayla Burnett – Junior Awardee
  • Sreeya Das – Middle Awardee
  • Rya Hwright – University of Melbourne Asia Institute Senior Awardee
  • Ellen House – Australia Indonesia Centre Tertiary Awardee
  • Bryanna Wilson – Executive Awardee
  • Iven Manning – Wild Card Awardee
  • Tom Mckenzie – Deakin University Teacher Awardee
  • Andrian Liem – Native Speaker Awardee

NAILA is a good chance to improve your Indonesian language skills and speech. According to Ellen House, The Australia Indonesia Centre Tertiary Awardee, “NAILA is an amazing opportunity to improve your Indonesian language skills. So, I decided to prepare my speech and joined NAILA 2018.”

At the end of the event, the committee announces the winner of the People’s Choice (group) Award, which won by team Aku Cinta Indonesia, and they announced the  second winner of each award categories.

This year’s NAILA 2018 has been great, the awardees and participants made a good job. can’t wait for NAILA next year!

Writer : Levina Tabita

A Story from Niken

Hi everyone! My name is Niken (@nikenpriscilla). I am a final year BSc. Student, majoring in physics at the University of Melbourne and I am delighted to share about my passion.

Growing up, I always have huge curiosity and interest in understanding everything on a deeper level. I came across Carl Sagan’s Cosmos when I was around 15. His work incredibly touched my nerdy soul such that I was left in tears. To me, the idea that we are insignificant in the grandiose of the universe was very humbling and mesmerizing.

During my time in Foundation Studies, I decided to choose physics as my major. I was worried about my future employability, but many people supported me in pursuing this passion. So I followed through. Right before university, I received the Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship. And thus my physics journey started.

I quickly realized physics majors bring hard-work to a new level. I struggled in lectures and spend tremendous hours in decrypting and writing assignments. My confidence level declined steeply due to being around super smart and dedicated people all the time.

In spite of that, I didn’t stop learning. Through networking and cold-emailing professors, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at Melbourne Centre of Nanofabrication, the largest nanofabrication facility in Australia. I investigated the structure of nanoparticles and thin films to generate a transparent device that gives out different colours when illuminated through. The remarkable support I obtained from my supervisors led me to successfully produce the effect. I also got the chance to present my research to the Reserve Bank of Australia, University staffs and postgraduate students. I became more and more confident in myself.

My experience at ACEx also rekindled my passion for physics and sharpened my interest in nanotechnology. I can’t wait to do more exciting experiments, like the Summer Research Scholarship from Monash University this year on nanodiamonds! Hopefully, I will be able to continue my physics adventure in Master of Science next year.

I know there are many obstacles that we face daily as an international student. I hope my story could encourage you to pursue your passion, whatever it is. It’s a pleasure to share my love for physics and science, especially to my fellow Indonesians. If you have any young family members or friends that have similar interests, do not hesitate to reach out and let me know how I can help 🙂


By:
Niken Priscilla, a final year Bachelor of Science student majoring in physics at the University of Melbourne.

Weekly Article – Doing Master’s Degree in Australia

Are you planning to study in Australia? If so, you are currently in the right place. Australia offers a high-quality education for both undergraduate and postgraduate degree in various fields of study. By the end of this article, you will get useful tips for preparing your study in Australia, particularly from graduate student’s perspective.

Let’s start with understanding the type of degree itself. After finishing an undergraduate degree (bachelor’s degree), we can continue our study to pursue a postgraduate degree, such as Graduate Diploma and Master. However, there is a different type of master’s degree in Australia and Indonesia. There are two types of master’s degree in Australia: master by coursework and master by research. By doing postgraduate coursework, you will have a set of course program like an undergraduate degree but with a deeper understanding and critical thinking. The duration of study can be one year, 1.5 years, or 2 years, and will be started on February (summer intake), July (winter intake), or both. Meanwhile, you will have no lecture in postgraduate research (you can have some required classes, in some cases) because you will do your proposed research within a specific timeframe. Instead of studying for three or four semesters like postgraduate coursework, a student enrolling in master by research will have a different working schedule as approved by the supervisor. In addition, some coursework programs also offer project or thesis for those who want to do the combination of coursework and research studies.

After understanding the difference between postgraduate coursework and research, have you considered your choice? Along with the explanation about the types and duration of postgraduate degree, here are some great tips for you to consider before and during your master study in Australia:

  1. Read the university’s website thoroughly, especially about your program, course lists, duration of study, fees and scholarships, as well as entry requirements.
  2. For those who want to do master by research, start finding a research topic, write your proposal, and contact the potential supervisor. For those who want to do the combined master program, it is also beneficial to identify the topic and supervisor in advance.
  3. Once you arrive in Australia, take workshops to help you adjusting with learning system in Australia. Some sessions such as getting started at ‘uni life’, library tour, and learning tips from student advisors are recommended to do in your first week here.
  4. Almost all academic stuff can be accessed online, including learning materials, learning resources, and lecture recordings, so computer literacy skills are vital for your academic life in Australia.
  5. Attend and participate actively during lectures and tutorials, as well as finishing the reading list before the class will be helpful to get more benefits from your study.
  6. Plan and revise your schedule. Once you enrol for your semester, you can access the complete class schedule and the list of your assessment as well. You can start planning your learning schedule based on them.
  7. Balance your life. Allocate your time to be away from your learning materials and assignments, then choose activities as your interest. In Australia, you have plenty of chance to do volunteering, travelling, networking, even getting a part-time job (please refer to your student visa for the working hour limit). Don’t forget to include these activities in your schedule.

It is widely known that doing a master study is demanding, but trust me, it is manageable.
Make a study plan, get involved in leisure activities, and enjoy studying in Australia!

Writer : Hesti Retno Budi Arini

Treating Stress as a Friend

Have you ever felt anxious one day before your exam or got stressed when you have to submit many assignments in a week? But do you know what is ‘stress’ and how can they occur? In biological terms, stress refers to the effects that a person feels after failing to respond to an event properly. The after effects can be physical, emotional, or combination of two. Furthermore, a report from the Government of South Australia (the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, Multicultural SA, and the Department for Health and Ageing) described some issues related to international students’ the determinants of stress. They mentioned problems in financial, accommodation, and employment can cause health issues in international students. Academic issues, language difficulties, and discrimination also significantly affect students’ well-being.

Stress is not a spontaneous thing, but it is developed through three stages: the initial alarm (producing more adrenaline), the resistance stage (trying to cope the stressful event), and the exhaustion stage (the first occurrence of stress’ symptoms). Loss of concentration, headaches, and elevated heart rate are the common symptoms of stress. Some people also have a short temper and loss of appetite when they get stressed. Moreover, the untreated stress is a potential factor of long-term diseases because the unbalanced hormone levels may induce depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal problems. So, how can we deal with stress? Let’s try these three sections!

General Tips on Stress Management

Stress management can be done through a set of habits, as mentioned by the Health Service of the University of Michigan and the Stress Management Society:

  1. Do mind relaxation and treat yourself well

Allocating your time to do some hobbies and listening to your emotions are the basic things to start managing your stress. By listening to our emotions, we will be likely to calm our mind and identify what kind of action that we need to deal with stress. Having a proper rest (including sleep as well) and do some social interactions are also useful for helping our mind works properly. Mind relaxation can also be achieved by doing meditation and prayer.

  1. Be positive!

A negative way of thinking will be an obstacle in our normal thinking and decrease our self-esteem as well. So, instead of criticising yourself, look at your work and list some possible solutions, then start finishing them.

  1. Build some activity plans with realistic goals

The list of academic activities (and assessments, too!) is usually delivered at the beginning of the semester, which is helpful to set a weekly plan. This plan should be flexible and manageable, otherwise you will be trapped in a tedious life. Your plan should not include only academic stuff, but it’s better to also put ‘road trip’, ‘volunteering’, or ‘watching a movie’ in your plan. Don’t forget to consider your professional goal of life and your capability in setting your academic goals, since the realistic goals will help you to reduce stress.

  1. A healthy life is essential

Having a healthy eating pattern and doing some exercises are the basic healthy lifestyle to maintain body and mental health. Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes are also recommended since they are likely to exacerbate your stress.

  1. Seeking help

Once you feel the stress’ signs and symptoms, get help from the appropriate care. Australian Medical Students’ Association has listed some mental health services available at universities, such as mental health monitoring program and mental health first aid.

Healthy Diet Plan

The Stress Management Society described several poor eating habits that commonly follow a stressful life, including skipping meals, fast food consumption, and excessive food picking. These habits can induce more stress and bring adverse health effects since they can disrupt hormonal balance, cause weight gain, elevate blood sugar, and lowering body immune as well. So, what kind of food that is helpful for avoiding (and managing) stress?

  1. The first principle: fulfil the necessary nutrients

Your body needs a range of nutrients to be healthy; however, no single food that contains all nutrients. Thus, you need to consume various foods that provide energy and macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well.

  1. What’s next: try to be balanced

A balanced diet is not merely completing all kind of nutrients, but also considering the food quantity. Nonetheless, it is usually uneasy for students to consume a nutritionally balanced diet. So, the first thing to do is managing your eating time become three times a day with two or three snacking times. This diet management will provide adequate nutrition and prevent you to consume extra foods when you get stressed. In terms of food type, complex carbohydrates (e.g., grain, pasta, vegetables) and proteins are the recommended energy sources, while fruits and yogurts can be the healthy snacks.

  1. Here are some nutrients that can reduce your stress
  • Vitamin B (a range of food types including meat and poultry, dairy products, soy, and vegetables)

All types of vitamin B are essential for the metabolism of your body and controlling your nervous system.

  • Proteins (both animal and vegetable proteins, e.g., meat, dairy products, and tofu)

Protein is important for body tissues, immune systems, and other metabolic functions.

  • Vitamin A, C, and E (a range of food types including dairy products, colorful fruits, and vegetables)

These vitamins are antioxidants that can minimize oxidative stress inside your body.

  • Magnesium (dairy products, meat, fish, and green leaved vegetables)

Magnesium is needed for muscle relaxation and regulating heartbeat, both in a normal situation and under stress.

  1. Start lowering your consumption of caffeine, trans fats, and sugar

A small amount of caffeine (e.g., coffee, carbonated beverages) may stimulate your brain; however, too much caffeine is associated with stress and anxiety. Moreover, consuming caffeine under stress will drain your B vitamins. Meanwhile, excessive consumption of fats and sugar is the determinant of obesity and noncommunicable diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

  1. Again, leave your cigarettes and alcoholic beverages

Some people argue that smoking can reduce stress; however, the disadvantages of tobacco products are related to numerous adverse health effects. Similarly, a small amount of alcohol is also believed as a heart protector. In fact, consuming alcohol under stress will trigger the release of adrenaline, causing nervousness, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Managing Your Study Life

It is not uncommon to face a lack of motivation and get stressed during your study. However, it is still manageable, and you can try these tricks provided by Oxford Royale Academy and Youth Central:

  1. Read with purpose

When finishing a stack of reading materials, set a couple of questions so you will have something to get from that reading. Writing a synthesis based on your reading will also help you to revise your reading.

  1. A study group is beneficial

Studying with some friends will be a good place for discussion, sharing information, and social interactions as well.

  1. Learning is a process

It means that you need to do learning regularly as your habit in a well-planned schedule, instead of revising all learning materials only during the SWOT Vac. Also, managing your learning stuff (e.g., recordings, notes, lecture slides, and past exam papers) can help you to find it easily.

  1. Try a range of different learning methods

A certain way of learning may be suitable for your friend, but it could be ineffective for you. Instead, it is recommended to find your own method. You can try studying with the help of your favorite music or listening to the recording of your lecture while traveling around. Both tips no. 3 and 4 will be the best way to keep your study motivation since you can identify your best study time, the time limit of your focus, and your favorite way of learning.

  1. Knowing all about your exam

To reduce stress during the exam week, you have to read thoroughly the description of the exam itself. For example, the type of your exam, the covered topics, even the date and location of your exam.

  1. Asking questions

Once you get issues while studying or preparing your exam, see your lecturers to clarify your confusion or contact the learning advisors to assist you.

  1. Do the exam carefully

You have already revised all learning materials and brought all the required stuff, so the only thing you need to do is finishing your exam. All good exam preparation that you have done will help maintain your concentration and stay calm during the exam. Start your exam by reading the instruction and all questions carefully, answering the questions that you’re convinced first, and allocate some time to review your answers.

To conclude, stress is a common thing in study life, but it is also manageable. Stress does not occur spontaneously, so you can minimize it by managing your academic life and leisure time. Consuming a nutritionally balanced diet and maintaining mental health are also important. Lastly, a set of good study habits will help you to treat stress as a friend.

 

References:

  1. The Stress Management Society and Bodychef. Combating stress with a balanced nutrition diet. 2009. Available from: http://www.mhit.org/assets/combat-nutritional-stress.pdf
  2. Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, Multicultural SA, and the Department for Health and Ageing. International student health and wellbeing: a health lens project. The government of South Australia; 2013. Available from: https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/c6a74e00408cbd439e18be222b2948cf/International+Students+Health+Lens+Project-Final+Report-PHCS-HiAP-20130730.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE-c6a74e00408cbd439e18be222b2948cf-lSjWj2u
  3. AMSA Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Committee. Current university student mental health interventions: a global perspective. Australian Medical Students’ Association. 2013. Available from: http://www.amsa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AMSA-SMHW-Global-review-of-Student-Mental-Health-Interventions-Report.pdf
  4. University Health Service of the University of Michigan. Ten things you can do for your mental health. University of Michigan; n.d. Available from: https://uhs.umich.edu/tenthings
  5. Oxford Royale Academy. How to study when you’ve lost motivation: 8 sharp tips to get back on track. Oxford Royale Academy; 2017. Available from: https://www.oxford-royale.co.uk/articles/tips-studying-motivation.html
  6. Youth Central. Top 10 exam tips. Youth Central; 2018. Available from: https://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/study-and-training/help-with-study/how-to-study-better/top-10-exam-tips

 

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