YOGYAKARTA- Around 250 foreign students from various countries, such as Germany, Australia, South Korea, the Netherlands and China, were eager to watch Saman dance performed by students of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences in UGM Ghra Sabha Pramana (GSP), Thursday (6/10) afternoon. The foreign students are attending the University Orientation for Foreign Students (UOFS) 2011 that was opened directly by the UGM Rector, Prof. Ir. Sudjarwadi, M. Eng., Ph.D., by beating the gong. Accompanying the Rector are the representatives of Yogyakarta Tourism Office, Executive Secretary, Drs. Djoko Moerdiyanto, M.A, and Head of the UGM International Affairs Office, Dr. Eng. R. Rachmat A. Sriwijaya, S.T., M.T.
The UOFS 2011 event aims to provide information to foreign students to everything that would support the academic activities at UGM as well as life during their stay in Yogyakarta. In addition, UOFS also introduces and provides an understanding for foreign students on campus environment and UGM values through presentations of UGM international scale programs.
In the event, the UGM Rector expects the UOFS activities can enhance the understanding and experience of foreign students during their study at UGM. Thus, not only academic experience can be gained, but also non-academic experience, including the experience of living in the city of Yogyakarta as a city of culture and tourism. "There are formal and informal learning activities that will enhance your social experience at the same time during the study here," said the Rector.
The Rector also mentioned about the activities that can be performed by foreign students at UGM, including international service learning programs that have been running so far. With these programs, a caring attitude can appear from inside the students towards the environment and people around them. "Thus, there is synergy between disciplines that can benefit the community," he said.
Earlier, the Head of UGM International Affairs Office, Dr.Eng. R. Rachmat A. Sriwijaya, S.T, M.T, accompanied by the event coordinator, Maya Septriana, S.S, M.A, said the number of foreign students studying at UGM keep increasing every year. Currently, at least there are 1300 foreign students from all over the world enrolled in UGM and among them are 250 freshmen class of 2011. The increasing number of foreign students has been in line with UGM efforts in its commitment to become a World Class Research University. "This is also demonstrated by the success of UGM to achieve the 80th rank in Asia and 321st of the world according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ranking 2011/2012," Rachmat said.
Rachmat added that most of foreign students at UGM take courses in the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Business, and Faculty of Law. Some of them are taking degree, either S1, S2 or S3 and non-degree programs, such as exchange program within a period of several months. UGM cooperation with parties abroad is quite many. Until recently, UGM has established cooperation with 50 countries and 40 universities, with 350 agreements having been agreed.
The event also featured the products of UGM entrepreneurs, such as pottery from the manure waste, mushroom burgers, ice cream made from rice bran, home spa, and souvenirs, such as jacket with the symbol of UGM. Some testimonials are also given, including one performed by an alumnus of the DREaM program in 2011, Swantje H., student from Germany. DREaM is an UGM annual summer activity program consisting of public lectures, tutorials, internships at national and international NGOs around Yogyakarta, short community service, and social events.