From left: Rina Goto, Mitsuki Sasaki, Kaito Kitami, Kako Makino, Ayaka Kumode [AIMS students in Fac. of Agriculture UGM 2016/2017]

Rina Goto [Ibaraki University, Japan]:

This Studying abroad was a very special experience for me!! Thanks to all the wonderful teachers and friends I have met

Mitsuki Sasaki [Ibaraki University, Japan]:

I could learn a lot of things and make great friends that I will treasure forever. I think that it is really good that I participated in AIMS program.

Kako Makino [Ibaraki University, Japan]:

I could learn not only knowledge about agriculture but also many things in this AIMS program. The experiences in UGM were so exciting for me. Everything was my first time. I appreciate my teachers,  friends, and all people I met in Indonesia. I can never forget the memories. Thank you very much.

Kaito Kitami [Tokyo Univ. Agriculture and Technology, Japan]:

My life and social interaction in UGM matured me as if plants grew up fast in tropical area like Indonesia.
Ayaka Kumode [Tokyo Univ. Agriculture and Technology, Japan]:
I learnt friendship and understanding others’ difference and more about… understanding of different cultures and countries…

In Prambanan Temple


Visiting local market in Jogja. Courtesy Ani Widia


Farewell party with buddies


An activity with orphans. courtesy Desi Utami


Nihlah Chalidah, Fisheries Department 2012


When I heard about the AIMS program, I instantaneously realized that it was the gate that will help me attain my goal; after spending 6 months in Thailand, my expectation about the program turned out to be right. AIMS program shaped me not only to become a better person but also a better leader because as an exchange student, I was put in an environment very dissimilar from what I was used to, which inspired me to challenge myself in order to take the most out of my experience.
Completing this exchange program has impacted on my future in following ways. The first one is new lifelong friendships. These have been formed not only with my wonderful dormitory mates but also with people from classes, fellow exchange students and others. Now I feel comfortable approaching strangers and find it easy to form new friendships. The building of my interpersonal skills will help me greatly in the future as I feel like I can now communicate easily with anyone.
The second one is my career goals. This exchange program has given me the time to decide exactly who and what I want to be. Travelling has given me a sense of wanderlust-I feel as if I need to be in a career that allows me to work anywhere in the world.
The third one is personal growth. Having the opportunity to travel overseas has given me greater awareness of my own national identity. It has also allowed me to widen my perspective and become self-sufficient. I am now always thinking about things from a broader point of view. My world has been expanded significantly and with it I have expanded as a person. I am much more self-aware and already feel more confident and independent than before.
Overall, being an exchange student is a journey of self-discovery and personal growth filled with unforgettable memories. I strongly recommend you to join AIMS program and try immersing yourself in a culture that you are completely unfamiliar with!

Nihlah Chalidah, Fisheries Department 2012
AIMS Program Kasetsart University, Thailand
Period: August 2015 – January 2016

Wismayanti Ginasari (UGM)

My name is Wismayanti Ginasari (Gina). Im 4th year undergraduate student in Microbiology of Agriculture. Joining AIMS Exchange Program  selection was my best decision I ever made. I like learning new things, including foreign language like English and Japanese. At that time, I just want to apply what I already got from studying Japanese in senior high school and English as well. Then, I got direct testimony from my friends who joined the AIMS program last year that made me want to join this program and do the best for the selection. And Alhamdulillah I got my choice to study in Japan for 5 months. Alhamdulillah..

To live and study in Japan for 5 months was one of my best experiences I ever had. That was my first experience to go abroad, and I went by myself. At the first day, I was so worried because im the only one from UGM to join AIMS program in Japan, whereas there were so many students from other universities. Eventhough everyone was new, but I could adapt fast. In welcome party I met and had chit-chat with my friends from Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and of course Indonesia. They were very welcomed, and friendly. At that time, I also had to give comments and share impression when I came to Japan as representative of each university. In total there were 54 international students and divided into 3 universities. They were Tokyo Mestropolitan University (TMU), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT), and Ibaraki University. And I joined in Ibaraki University. In first early 3 weeks we lived in Tokyo to join lectures and field trips in TMU and TUAT. Then the remaining months we lived in university that we chose. In the end of this program was every university turn’s to come in Ibaraki University to join wrap up program.

In Ibaraki University, there were 7 AIMS students. They were from UGM (1), Sriwijaya University (2), IPB (1), and Kassetsart University (2). We had Classes and 3 Laboratory works. The classes were about regional sustainability like sustainable agriculture, disasters adaptation and mitigation, and other international issues. We had special class, so only AIMS students who joined this class, and sometimes Japanese students also joined. These classes were held in English. We did many group discussion and individual or group presentations. In laboratory works, we could chose the laboratory and topic by ourselves. We had 1 month for 1 labwork, and one Japanese student helped us as tutor. Every end of month we had to make presentation infront of our lab members, other sensei (lecturers) and their lab members. This program really improved our ability to speak in English and improve our public speaking softskill. Not only improve English, I also improve my Japanese by joining Japanese class. This class was very useful to help me speak in Japanese with my lab members and give useful information for international students.

By joining this program I could learn many things from Japan. They have good cultures. They are very punctual, discipline, and smart-hard worker. I could see these good cultures were taught from elementary school, and of course from their family. When I came in Ryugasaki Elementary School for introducing Indonesia and teaching Indonesia Traditional game, the elementary students very smart, cheerful, discipline, and independent. They will be quiet after their teacher speak. They have to clean school by themselves, so they will be more care with their school environment. They also have to everything they need by themselves like taking lunch and washing the dish. Those good cultures I also saw from my Japanese friends. In there we also had chance to come in international event like eating dinner together, sharing, and studying about other researchs.
I made so many connections with sensei, international students, and also Japanese friends. Sensei in here were very welcomed and care with us. Our  international students also kind, sometimes they came to our final labwork presentation. Our Japanese students also very kind, they helped us to adapt, do research, and sometimes go outside together. This was very good chance to have many friends with different characters. I can learn how to adapt with different culture friends. One of my lecturer said, “Go abroad, learn their culture, take the good things, but keep our real culture”. That’s my really short resume of my experience in Japan. I want to say thank you very much for everyone I met in Japan, for your help and kindness. Big thank you for Ministry of education in Indonesia, Faculty of Agriculture, and Ibaraki University for giving this chance for me.

Citra Recha Sari in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Being an exchange student in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) was the best experience that I ever had. My name is Citra Recha Sari, an undergraduate student at Agriculture Faculty, Universitas Gadjah Mada. I had studied in UPM for 4 months. I had chance to be the part of Asean International Mobility Students (AIMS) Program with another students from Turkey, Khazastan, Japan, Thailand, Brunei, and Australia. It was not just go to school and make a good grade in exams, but it was about how to deal with something new and explore it.

It was the first time I go abroad and I was alone. UPM staff picked me up in Kuala Lumpur International Aiport and sent me to the dormitory. Over all, everything was good. But it might be better if there was a student representative from Malaysia who will accompany the international student, so they would not fell lost at least in their host university. More over, at that time UGM sent only one student to UPM, so in other words I had to do everything and adapt with the social environment by myself. And in the first day I touched down in UPM, there was no staff who let me know where is the place I could find the food. I explored the campus area by myself and I was lost. It became my best teacher if I have chance to go abroad again, which I should bring some foods and buy a phone card in airport, just for anticipate the worst.

For the next one week, I already knew the other exchange student who participated in AIMS program. But we did not got any identity from the host university, so we could not use the campus facility like bus campus. So we went everywhere by foot. And when the school started, I got many Malaysia friends who care and can help me if I need something. Beside that, the lectures were very kind. They took care of me, either my health or my study. I could adapt very fast and enjoy the whole of my time in Malaysia. My classes were fully in English. I did my practical in laboratory as well as in field trip. I could travel around the Malaysia with my classmate while we were doing our fieldtrip. I learned how to ride the tractors and I did it.

There were some students in Indonesia who studied for their bachelor, master, or even postgraduate in UPM. They are joined in PPI (Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia). They were not only friends for me, but also family. They asked me to join in any activities for international student and helped me to enjoy the Malaysia as well. Further more when I got problem in VISA application for international students. I registered my student visa in UPM’s  international office before my social visa was expired which was cost around RM 610. Actually that procedure should not be more than one month to finish, but until one month before my study duration ended, the visa has not finished yet. It happened for all of exchange student for AIMS program. We were asked by immigration staff to come to the immigration office often, but the result was all of us have to pay around RM 1100 because of stay in the Malaysia without visa. That problem was so complicated and disturbed our study. We did not come to the class because we have to come to the immigration office.

Finally around one week before my flight back to Indonesia, my visa had finished. But I was shocked when I saw the special letter from the immigration office which I could not opened. There was no visa sticker on my passport and I had to pay RM 1100. I and other exchange students made a letter to the head of UPM international office to take care of this problem. We did the discussion about the problem and finally we got the satisfy decision which was UPM gave us refund RM 1100 because it was not our fault for the visa problem. All of exchange student had already followed the procedures that were asked by UPM international office about visa application. It might be there was a mistake of the submission for our visa by UPM international office to the immigration office.

Those problems made me learn many things, how I was dealing with the people in a good way and worked together with another exchange student to solve the problem. Even though I got the problem in visa application, it did not reduce my great time for being an exchange student. I explored Malaysia with all of my friends, made a good networking with other students from any part of the world and up until now we still keep in touch. It showed when I went to Japan last two months, my friend who joined AIMS program in Malaysia came to meet me. Also with my lectures from UPM, they still caught me up in facebook only to know my study and my condition. It was good to having a marvelous time in Malaysia and nothing could change it.  Big thanks for all of Universiti Putra Malaysia staff (included my professor who always took care of me), for my beloved friends in Malaysia who helped me enjoy Malaysia, and for DIKTI and Universitas Gadjah Mada who gave me chance to have such a great study abroad opportunities in Malaysia.