Life is full of chances, choices and unpredictable challenges. Speaking of chances, I still remember on Thursday, 29 November 2018 right at 8.14 a.m. , a message from the coordinator of my batch was blasted on my batch WhatsApp group informing the offer of Airlangga University Student Exchange Programme. I was in the class with my friends and they asked me to check the information. I read the message, went “oohh” for 3 seconds and just ignored it. It sounds interesting as I passed the requirements but at that moment I think that I was not ready for it. To be honest, I was scared for something new and to get out of my comfort zone. My best friend who sat beside me was so excited. She said that she wanted to go and asked me to just submit my name and try my luck. I was taken back however I decided just to go for it.
10th of February 2019. That was the date of my flight. It felt like a dream. I cannot believe myself. I am going to a totally new place, not for holiday but to live there for a semester. To cope with new environment, unfamiliar faces, differemother tongue and to experience a student life in Surabaya, Indonesia. I told myself thousand times no matter what happens, I will never regret on my own decision to be away from my family, home, friends and UiTM. I arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 3 in the morning and looking at my parents excited faces. They told me that they know all is well, everything will be alright and I should be happy to study at new place, a well-known university. Dr. Rafizah Abu Hassan, Dr. Siti Hafsyah and Dr. Norazlina were there to brief all the exchange students and our families. I was so touched and grateful as it was 6 in the morning and our respected lecturers came all the way from home to send us off. The assurances that I received stored a little faith in myself. At that exact moment, I know that UNAIR
will be amazing and I am going to have so much fun there.
Johana, Batrisyia, Laila and I were greeted with warm welcome from our buddies, Humaidi and Akbar as soon as we arrived at the Juanda Airport. We were taken to our home at Surabaya, Griya Tamu Airlangga. To be honest, I was quite surprised. It is located nearby the Universitas Airlangga and it would take less than five minutes to reach the university by walking. My room is so comfortable and all the staffs are so kind and make us feel like home. I was paired with my bestfriend, Johana as my roommates and I know this is a good beginning for us.
On the next day 11th of February 2019, we started our student life in Universitas Airlangga. We met with Madam Yuni and Pak Kukuh, the law lecturers in UNAIR and Pak Kukuh introduced us to Annida, one of our buddies. Annida is also one of our classmates in International Trade Law along with Sasti. We started the day with Jurisprudence class by Professor Peter Mahmud Marzuki. At first, I was overwhelmed but we received warm welcome from him and we really enjoyed every class sessions with Professor Peter. We take three subjects in UNAIR which are Jurisprudence, International Law and International Trade Law. At UNAIR, the lecturers teach the
students by team-teaching. In International Law class, the subject is teached by Dr. Iman Prihandono, Dr. Koesrianti and Dr. Intan Soeparna. Dr Koesrianti and Dr. Intan also teach us in International Trade Law along with Madam Nilam. At first, it was quite hard for me to cope studies because all the subjects are something new to me. However, as time passes by, I really enjoy all of the classes here. The lecturers are really helpful and caring and the classmates are friendly and welcoming. We also had the opportunities to make new friends around the globe by joining educational trip to Banyu Wangi held by Airlangga Global Engagement.
Living in Surabaya made me realize that Indonesians are really friendly. Eventhough I tried to speak Indonesia language with them, they still recognized me as Malaysian because of my accent. They are always excited while saying “Dari Malaysia? Upin Ipin ya?”. That never fails to make me laugh. They recommended places to visit, to buy cheapest souvenir and their foods. They make me feel like home.
Now here I am, far away from home. I am at a totally different place, different faces, cultures, languages and whatnot. Enrolling in an exchange programme at Universitas Airlangga that never in the first place I thought I would join. It is really happening and unexpected. But that is life. It bring you to places. I am more than grateful to have this opportunity and I would like to thank my family, law lecturers from UiTM and UNAIR, Griya Tamu Airlangga staffs, buddies, Johana, Batrisyia, Laila and my classmates for this amazing memories. This experience was the first of a long list of very interesting experiences that will change my life forever. Most of which I never thought I would have. It is not easy to live here but I am up to any challenges. This journey is one of the best thing that ever happened in my life. One thing for certain, I am going to miss this place once I come back to Malaysia. Definitely, UNAIR has a special place in my heart.