Contributor: Maroof Ahmed | Editor: Dadi Darmadi
On the evening of April 18, 2023, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII) hosted an event titled "International Iftar with UIII" that brought together students from various prestigious universities in Indonesia, including Universitas Indonesia (UI), Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah, Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), Binus University, President University, Universitas Gunadarma and Universitas Pancasila. The event aimed to foster a sense of unity and understanding among students from diverse backgrounds, and to showcase UIII's commitment to nurturing global citizens.
The evening commenced with an inspiring speech by Prof. Dr. Komaruddin Hidayat, Rector of UIII, who shared his personal experiences studying abroad and urged the students to embrace the challenges and opportunities that come with such an endeavor. "As pioneers of this institution, our goal is to create a golden chapter in the lives of our students, helping them grow academically, personally, and professionally," emphasized Prof. Dr. Komaruddin.
Magello, a student in the Faculty of Social Science from the Philippines and the moderator for the event, then initiated an engaging panel discussion where international students had the opportunity to share their experiences and insights gained while studying at UIII. Among the panelists was Maroof Ahmed, a student in the Faculty of Education from Pakistan, who expressed admiration for the university's advanced facilities and teaching methods. "The use of smart boards, projectors, and LEDs in the classrooms creates an entirely new digital experience. The teachers here employ a variety of innovative teaching methods and the use of visual aids that have fostered my personal and academic growth," said Maroof.
Fatima Zahra, a student in the Faculty of Economics and Business from Morocco, shared her reasons for choosing Indonesia as her study destination and the benefits she has enjoyed as a UIII student. "The availability of various lifestyles, from peaceful to busy, and natural places to bustling cities, made Indonesia an ideal study destination for me. UIII also provides support to students who wish to present their research in conferences, either in Indonesia or abroad. The university covers expenses and assists with visa issues as well, ensuring students can focus on their academic goals," explained Fatima.
Alifia Adha, a student in the Faculty of Islamic Studies from Indonesia, delved into the social aspect of studying at UIII. She described her experience in making friends and expanding her network at UIII, and compared it with other Indonesian universities. "A significant advantage of studying at UIII is the shared dormitory, where students from around 22 countries live together. This has enabled me to learn about other students' cultural practices and religious observances. Therefore, I would rate the university 8.5 out of 10 in terms of my social experience," said Alifia.
Lastly, Ararat Kostanian, a student in the Faculty of Social Sciences from Armenia, spoke about his favorite place at UIII and commended the university's administration for their unwavering support. "My favorite location at UIII is the daycare, as it offers a great facility for my child and demonstrates the university's commitment to supporting students with families. The administration at UIII has been accommodating, particularly when it comes to finding off-campus housing for me and my family. They have been helpful in ensuring we settled in quickly," explained Ararat.
Overall, the International Iftar event was a testament to UIII's commitment to building bridges and fostering an atmosphere of unity and understanding among students from diverse backgrounds, and to nurturing global citizens.