Discovering the Journey of Sarah Natasha: A Glimpse into Her IISMA Experience


Embarking on the adventure of studying in a foreign land is a dream cherished by numerous people. For Sarah Natasha, a lively student in the English department at Universitas Gadjah Mada, this dream became a reality through the esteemed International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA). Let’s explore Sarah’s journey, dreams, and the profound influence her time at the University of York had on her.

Sarah’s journey began with a serendipitous discovery of the IISMA program through her department’s students association (IMAJI) social media account. Aiming to provide students with a global perspective, IISMA caught Sarah’s attention, especially as it offered a full scholarship to study abroad, a dream she had nurtured for a long time. Supported by her parents’ encouragement to join the program, Sarah’s decision to apply was fueled by her desire to explore the world and pursue academic excellence in an international setting.

Selecting the perfect university was a big deal for Sarah, especially with so many excellent choices provided by IISMA. Though she was initially unsure, a last-minute decision ended up defining her entire journey. Getting all the necessary documents ready turned out to be tough, dealing with lots of letters and financial details. Luckily, being in the English department made writing the essay easier, and the interview, despite initial worries, turned out to be quite manageable.

Sarah’s participation in the IISMA program expanded her awareness of global issues, emphasizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Her group’s focus on food waste during the pre-departure SDG program ignited a passion for combating environmental challenges. In her host country, Sarah and her group contributed to social causes by donating clothes, home, and kitchen equipment to organizations like the British Heart Foundation and the Indonesian community. The experience highlighted the significance of giving to those in need, even for items considered insignificant for her.

The enchantment often associated with studying abroad faded in comparison to the reality Sarah faced. Yet, the true essence of the experience lay in the profound learning journey, encompassing academic growth and adaptation to a new environment. Sarah discovered the precious nature of the memories she created with newfound friends, emphasizing that the value of her experience transcended the picturesque images shared on social media.

Sarah’s journey through the IISMA program showcases the complexity, challenges, and invaluable lessons inherent in studying abroad. From navigating the application process to contributing meaningfully to SDGs, her story exemplifies the transformative power of international education. As Sarah continues her academic journey, her experiences serve as inspiration for others aspiring to embark on their own global adventures.

Considering the need for good preparations, Pusat Bahasa FIB UGM plays a crucial role in facilitating students to achieve their goals of studying abroad. The center provides a free comprehensive annual language programs that are tailored to meet the language proficiency requirements of various international universities. Through intensive language courses, students enhance their English language skills, ensuring they meet the necessary standards for admission to overseas academic institutions. Additionally, Pusat Bahasa FIB UGM offers guidance on standardized tests, such as TOEFL and IELTS, which are often prerequisites for admission. The center also assists students in developing essential communication skills, cultural awareness, and adaptability, preparing them for the challenges of studying in a foreign environment. By fostering a supportive learning environment, Pusat Bahasa FIB UGM plays a pivotal role in empowering students like Sarah to successfully pursue their academic aspirations abroad.