A total of 25 UGM international students from various countries participated in the Explore Gunungkidul program.
The program, organized by the Gunungkidul Regency Tourism Office and the UGM International Office, took place over two days, October 21-22, 2023.
Explore Gunungkidul aims to introduce international students to the beauty of tourist destinations in Gunungkidul, as well as explore cultural diversity and local values through a series of engaging activities.
Thus, in addition to studying at UGM, international students also have the opportunity to learn about local cultural aspects.
On the first day, the international students engaged in soft trekking in Nglanggeran Village and workshops on batik making and traditional dodol snacks in Wunung Village. They were also introduced to “jemparingan,” a traditional archery sport typical of Yogyakarta.
The second day was filled with a traditional dance workshop and followed by activities at Kalisuci, which included cave tubing—floating down an underground river inside a cave using inner tubes.
During the cave tubing, the international students were treated to exotic cave and river views, experiences not commonly found in their home countries.
The international students participating in this program appeared enthusiastic about engaging in every activity. One of them was Laurane Lagae, a French international student currently on an exchange program at the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.
It was her first time visiting Gunungkidul. She was delighted with the various new experiences she had never imagined before.
“Yogyakarta is truly exceptional. I can feel the natural beauty of Gunungkidul, and it’s delightful to learn about local culture, such as batik and traditional dance here. Thanks to the UGM International Office and the people of Gunungkidul for providing this experience,” Lagae said.
Through the program, the Gunungkidul Tourism Office hopes that UGM international students will have a positive tourism experience, thus aiding in enhancing the tourism image of Gunungkidul on the international stage and increasing the number of foreign tourists visiting the regency.
Author: Agung Nugroho