UIII Students Reminiscing History Through Old Depok City Tour

March 07, 2023

Contributor: Kante Hamed  |  Editor: Supriyono

At the end of the odd semester break, students of the Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII)—both local and international—were brought to be jovial on the Depok City tour held on February 28, 2023, by the university’s International Office.

Being a satellite city of the metropolis capital Jakarta, Depok—where the university is located—provides numerous historical sites which have mesmerized the tour participants. Indeed, the educational recreational tour is aimed to introduce UIII students to the faces of Depok in the past.

“It was a worthwhile vacation that gave me the mental energy I needed to begin my second semester as a master's student at the Faculty of Islamic Studies”, expressed Ibrahim Youssef, a foreign student from Togo.

The tour started from a water courtyard dubbed Tengah Kali Ciliwung, a river under the old Panus Bridge. This is the river whose presence is crucial as it becomes the starting point for the anticipation of possible floods in the city, and capital Jakarta. It is, therefore, subject to the control of the water level.

The next stop is the city’s first-ever post office, after which continued by strolling to the second-oldest historic telephone tower, and ended at the residence of the 5th former Depok head that was built during the colonial period.

“It was a very nice opportunity to see that this residence kept its structure and has not experienced any change, one of its descendants was present and the students were able to take pictures with him,” noted Kante, a student from the Ivory Coast.

The tour continued to the Gemete Bestuur & Chastelein Monument and Cornelis Koffie served as a venue for conversations and discussions during colonial times but was later reorganized to become a hang-out venue among the locals to drink coffee. The tour also visited Europese Lagere School, which was a primary school of the colonial time used to teach the Dutch language.

From there, the tour went on to the historic homes in Certe Depok. Yet, the students only got a chance to visit the oldest one—The Oldest House of Depok—that is still standing and retains its original 1,800-year-old features. This is located right next to the Immanuel Church, a Protestant church constructed by the Missionary Colons.

“Many different ethnic groups call this city [Depok] home. The trip taught me how important a sense of community is in this city,” expressed Husein Amiri, a foreign student from Afghanistan.

The tour finally ended at the YLCC Office, which is a former pastorate. In a room filled with spotlights, the students enjoyed the dissemination of the old sites with presentation slides. After enjoying some snacks, they returned to their homey students' apartments—filled with beautiful memories of Depok, a city that is old but gold, and now home to hundreds of local and international students at UIII.