Group photo: My classmates and our dear teachers

Hi! I’m Yen from Vietnam. I am a Master’s degree student at Nagasaki University, Japan and an intern at SEAMEO RECFON. Let me share with you my impressions and experiences as a participant in SEAMEO RECFON’s post graduate course on Introduction to Nutrition Anthropology on 11-22 December 2023 as part of my internship.

What impressed me about the course?

The first thing that impressed me was the enthusiasm of the course lecturers and assistants to support all students throughout the course duration.  I was also impressed on the diverse study methods applied in the course such as group discussion, group work, presentations in class, interactive lectures, flipped classrooms, field visits, JIGSAW method, and more. With these various methods of learning, I appreciate the hard work that the lecturers have to do to monitor and give very specific advice to each group and individual.

I believe that graduates of this program will possess excellent presentation and brainstorming skills. The course encourages students to express their opinions freely, fostering an environment where the teacher doesn’t dictate but instead facilitates students’ ideas. Because of this, I found my confidence growing, allowing me to present my thoughts clearly. The program’s emphasis on group works, documentation through presentations, and Q&A sessions creates a dynamic learning environment, making the Master in Nutrition Science Program at the University of Indonesia and SEAMEO RECFON an outstanding choice for pursuing Post Graduate program in community nutrition in Southeast Asia.

I am pleasantly surprised that English is the primary language of instruction during the course sessions. I am also surprised that Indonesia can offer a course in English. Even some textbooks that are published by SEAMEO RECFON are also in English.

Experiences that I will cherish

Being the only foreign student in the class, I was surrounded by Indonesian classmates and teacher coordinators, Nevertheless, I didn’t feel left out during break times when they speak in Bahasa Indonesia because they always try to translate for me, even apologizing when they couldn’t translate some local words into English. They actively communicate with me to share common interests and exchange information about each other’s cultures. During lunchtime, my classmates treat me like a small girl, always assigning at least one person to help me buy food and explain about food and the culture behind it.

My classmates extend their support beyond the university setting, taking me on explorations around Jakarta during weekends and holidays. We visited Kota Tua (Old City), Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Block M, and even attended a music concert. At every turn, they make an effort to immerse me in Indonesian culture and customs. I haven’t felt any isolation or loneliness living in Indonesia as a foreigner.

The Post Graduate Course at SEAMEO RECFON not only provides knowledge but also fosters friendships with wonderful Indonesian companions.