This week we’re joined by our AIYA NSW Chapter President, Febe Amelia Haryanto, who is also an awardee of Australia Awards Scholarships year 2017. Febe who is currently on her last year in completing the scholarships, making the most of the remaining time to encourage Indonesian students to apply before the scholarships close on the 30th of April 2019. Through the Q&A session, Febe shares her insights into Australia Awards Scholarships through her experience, yuk cari tahu!
About Australian Awards Scholarships (AAS): is a scholarship given by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to applicants from Australia’s partner countries in line with bilateral and regional agreements. AAS provides opportunities for people to undertake full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study at participating Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions. Further details could be found here.
Q: Can you tell us more about yourself and the exciting work you’re doing?
A: Hi everyone! I am currently on my second last semester at UNSW Sydney, taking Master of Commerce program with a dual specialisation in Global Sustainability & Social Enterprise and Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Prior to coming to Australia, I was working for a social enterprise in Indonesia called Javara.
As I have always been interested in youth and socioeconomic development, I volunteered as a teacher in remote areas by joining a leading educational NGO in Indonesia for one year. Sent to Tanimbar Islands, I worked together with the local stakeholders in developing evidence-based sol
Q: How did you come across AAS?
A: I used to dream about studying overseas for various reasons. I wanted to experience how it’s like to be exposed to other cultures, knowing how it is like to live in a different country and how things work there. Since I don’t come from wealthy family background, I did a lot of research of which scholarship can facilitate me to go studying overseas. Some of my friends also got this scholarship and encouraged me to apply.
Q: Why did you choose AAS and not other scholarships?
A: It offers a lot of benefits compared to other scholarships. It pays your full tuition and on top of that, they will help you prepare your uni-life by providing a pre-departure training. There you’ll improve your academic writing, presentation, discussion and ultimately English skills. This is really helpful for me as I have left uni for years. Other than that, given the proximity, Australia and Indonesia have strategic relationships as well as cooperation in many sectors. This including business and development, which can give me a lot of networking and collaboration opportunities that I can tap into in the future.
Q: How was the process in applying for AAS?
A: Apply online at https://oasis.dfat.gov.au by 30 April. You’ll get notified of the selection result by July. If you are invited for an interview, then you will go through an interview selection test as well as IELTS test which would be held in July/August. The result of your application will be given around August so it takes around 6 months.
Q: What are the main contributions in succeeding your application?
A: (1) Knowing what you want and why you want it (this includes which university and which major you are going to take). So, spend a generous amount of time reflecting and doing research. It’s very important to have a clear idea of how the study you’ve taken can contribute to your personal and professional aspiration.
(2) Knowing what the scholarships wants: what qualities the scholarship committees look for; what expectations they have from the awardees once they finish their study with the scholarship. This helped me in preparing my applications especially in making essays.
(3) Have all the required documents ready in advance by: (a) translating all the required documents, (b) taking IELTS test early, (c) asking for recommendations letters at least one month before. Spare some extra time in getting these documents ready as they involve third party to process them.
Q: What are the additional benefits you’ve received?
A: Supplementary Academic Support (SAS), you can use to pay for extra courses that are relevant to your study. For scholars from Indonesia, there are a lot of On-Award Enrichment programs that you can join (usually through a selection process), like attending conferences or seminars. You also get a lot of strategic networking opportunities which potentially support your future career, like meeting other scholars, alumni or experts/practitioners in your field of study or work.
Q: In your final year of completing the scholarship, looking back to yourself then, how did the experience nurture/shape you?
A: Not only does that help me improve knowledge and skills in my field of study, but it also develops other crucial soft skills that I believe needed in this 21st century like cross-cultural awareness, problem-solving and critical thinking skills through involvement in both on and off campus activities. I also learned to become more appreciative and open-minded because people here generally are too. Lastly, I’m also inspired by how some things work better here and can’t wait to apply what I’ve seen and learned and contribute to the social and economic development of my country.
Q: Useful tips you’d like to share?
A: Be genuine in answering the questions on the application form. You are the one who knows about why you choose the university, why you want to do the course and most importantly what you want to do in the future. Research, research and reflect. Prepare early 🙂 Also, have some people you trust to review your application.
Q: How do you think the opportunity given to Indonesian scholars by Australia government help both countries in the bigger picture?
A: We are going to be the future leaders in our field of study and/or work, and as we build and develop linkages and networks throughout the scholarship experience, it would be beneficial in developing collaboration between two countries in the relevant field later.
Q: Why do you think others shouldn’t miss the chance?
A: Australia Awards is really supportive and generous. Besides, the future is in Asia and Australia generally has a strong focus on Asia so there’ll be a lot of strategic collaboration opportunities from research to practice in many sectors.
Q: Studying abroad not always fun and games, what are the challenges you faced that perhaps you wish someone had told you?
A: Hmm, this is a good question. I guess the challenges I faced is pretty common for people: weather (when winter it’s just way too cold because of the constant wind!), food (I can adapt quite quickly because I was excited trying many different dishes here, but there are times when I just miss my mom’s home made food), Attending one of the on-award enrichment programs as part of the scholarships (sometimes people speak too fast here and it does not sound really clear :p)
Q: Your future plans and anything else you’d like to add?
A: Contribute to the social-economic development, particularly by supporting the ecosystem for social enterprise to grow and thrive 🙂
Thank you Febe for sharing with us!
For any of you who would like to know more about AAS,