This article is published as a part of MUN Spotlight, a special series dedicated to schools and MUNs from around the globe. The aim of this series is to introduce the conferences and their attendees to our MUNPlanet audience and beyond. Today we're taking you to Indonesia for a special interview with Edo Setiawan and Cindi Feronika, students of Universitas Siswa Bangsa Internasional. They visited Belgrade this May to attend the Third Digital Business Forum. You may read their impressions in the interview below.
MUNPlanet: Hello, there! How are you? Please introduce yourself to our community?
ES: My name is Edo Setiawan and I am a student from Indonesia. I came to Belgrade thanks to MUNPlanet. I came here because I saw the opportunity for personal development which will lead me to to become a professional diplomat in the future. I encountered the news of the Digital Forum on MUNPlanet, and as I am a management student, I realized that this forum would be a great opportunity to improve my existing, and acquire some new skills.
CF: My name is Cindi Feronika. I am also a student from Indonesia, majoring in accounting. Not to repeat what Edo just said, I felt similar to Edo first time I read about the forum and decided to apply.
MUNPlanet: There are thousands of conferences, but why did you come to Belgrade? Why did you trust MUNPlanet that this is a good opportunity? What was your train of thought?
ES: Honestly, one of the biggest reasons that influenced my arrival to Belgrade is a travel to Europe. It was my dream to come to Europe since I was very young. First chance I saw the opportunity, I grabbed it and came to fulfill my dream. In Belgrade, I was able to see this European environment, and beat the myth in which people from my country claim that Europeans are ignorant. People in Belgrade are as friendly as it gets.
MUNPlanet: It’s extremely expensive for students to travel like this, but how did the two of you do it?
CF: It is very expensive! The flight alone from Indonesia all the way to Europe is a lot combined with all the money we had to spend here. We started looking for a sponsorship in February. We made a proposal and made a list of about a hundred companies in Indonesia. We emailed all of them but still ended up without any funding.
MUNPlanet: So, did you have any support from your professors or did you do it all by yourself?
Since we didn’t get any sponsorships from the corporate sector, we turned to our teachers seeking help from them and various student organizations for student loans. names of universities and organizations missing
MUNPlanet: How many students do they support in one year?
CF: We have many sponsorships from the government, universities and companies. Companies give sponsorships for events and conferences hosted by students. University scholarships mostly apply to seniors. The government provides many sponsorships, but we didn’t get any of them as we didn’t fit the requirements.
MUNPlanet: How is MUNPlanet perceived in Indonesia?
ES: MUNPlanet is very famous in Indonesia, especially among University students. I have many friends in Indonesia that have had an opportunity to go abroad thanks to this community.
MUNPlanet: How did you first hear about it?
ES: Our friends told us. They told us to come to MUNPlanet, sign up and then search through numerous conferences for the one that suits us the most.
MUNPlanet: Do you think that MUNPlanet will grow in Indonesia?
ES: Most likely, yes. They have even created a group similar to MUNPlanet to communicate in a University conference.
MUNPlanet: Do you have any advice for other people that are interested in attending the conferences? Why should they try to go and fundraise like you did to travel to other countries?
CF: I strongly advise all young people around the globe, especially University students, to try and go to conferences. You need to apply to as many conferences as you can because when you graduate from university, most of the companies seek for experience that you can get as a participant in different conferences. Don’t worry so much about the scholarships. If you are a good student, you will get one from your University or the government.
MUNPlanet: Did you guys enjoy Belgrade so far? What is something that was the most surprising to you?
ES: In Indonesia, we use public transportation almost all the time. It is a bit strange that people walk here this much.
MUNPlanet: Is there something about this trip that didn’t fulfill your expectations?
CF: The only thing that comes to mind is the weather. I can’t believe it is so cold in May. Today, though, the weather was pretty good.
MUNPlanet: How about the conference?
ES: There is much less participants than I expected, but you should always choose quality over quantity!
MUNPlanet: Do you have anything to add?
ES: University students, get out of your comfort zone, discover new things. It will be good for your future, for your career, but your personal development as well.