The Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of Andalas University held the 2015 International Indonesian Forum for Asian Studies (IIFAS). The event, which was a first for the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences to organize, was held on the 29th and 30th of September at Andalas University’s Limau Manis Convention Hall. The 2015 IIFAS set the theme of the regional and international effect of the ASEAN Economic Community. The event also included a tour of the city of Padang and demonstrations on Minangkabau’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Author: Norman Joshua
Some people consider Chicago as one of the coldest cities in America. Others say that it is the windiest. However, Chicago is widely known as one of America’s center for creative industry and arts. Indeed, there is a selection of art and photo galleries in Chicago, and you will never run short of events such as movie screenings, theatre shows, or music gigs. Nevertheless, one of the most renowned is The Art Institute of Chicago, which is located on 111 South Michigan Avenue. Boasting a collection of approximately 300.000 artworks, this museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago.
September was a very busy month for ISRSF! On top of our endeavors at UI and Andalas University, we also attended the US Graduate School Fair 2015. This event was organized jointly by the US Embassy and LPDP. It was held twice, first on the 17th of September at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jogjakarta and at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and @America, Jakarta on the 19th. The fair was held because currently only 20% of LPDP awardees get accepted at universities in the United States. With that in mind, the US Graduate School Fair’s goal was to increase acceptance rate of Indonesians, especially to top tier universities.
In celebrating Indonesia’s 70th Independence Day, Andalas University’s Faculty of Cultural Studies organized a national seminar titled, “70 Tahun Merdeka: Kebangkitan Indonesia dan Perkembangan Nasionalisme di Dunia Melayu.” The seminar was held between the 7th and 9th September 2015 at the Convention Hall Universitas Andalas, Kampus Limau Manis, Padang. The seminar also included a tour around town on the last day to sightsee the national heritage sites of Padang. It was a fun and educational experience for all of us, and ISRSF was there!
The search for the 2016 Arryman Fellows continues as ISRSF headed to the University of Indonesia from the 17th to 19th of September for the UI Career and Scholarship Expo XX. The event, which is held twice every year, is intended to facilitate fresh graduates in starting their careers, either in getting themselves their job or going for higher education. Not only for UI graduates, the UI CSE XX was also open for public, which resulted in a high number of attendees to fill up a packed Balairung for three straight days!
Grant Park was the first stop for Norman and Shindu as they attended the Tastes of Chicago, an annual culinary festival that celebrates the city’s diverse culinary selections. There are hundreds of restaurants, stands, and various other kinds of food vendors from all over the Windy City. They also got to taste some Tamales and Paletas popsicles, which are authentic Mexican foods.
After being unveiled at the 2015 Arryman Symposium, this year’s fellows, Sindhunata Hargyono and Norman Joshua are on their way to Chicago. Both of them have departed for the Windy City on July 1st via South Korea. While there have been a number of difficulties in the US Embassy Consular on issuing visas to enter the States, the Arryman Fellows were few of the lucky ones and got their visa fast-tracked because they have to depart by the first of July. Hence, in 24 hours their visas were issued and go they went to Chicago.
Since I started describing myself as an “independent scholar and freelance writer” over 35 years ago, I’ve always had difficulty explaining to Indonesians what being a scholar means.