In a cultural exchange initiative, the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya, in collaboration with the University of Nahdlatul Ulama Sidoarjo, organized a vibrant Cultural Camp from October 1 to October 4, 2023. The event aimed to foster cultural understanding and language exchange among international students, with a special focus on engaging Darmasiswa Students.
Three Darmasiswa Students, Jitendra Kumar from India, Manas Gupta from India, and Shin Dongho from South Korea were among the enthusiastic participants. The primary objectives of the program were to immerse these students, along with their international counterparts, in the local community. This immersive experience aimed to facilitate language learning in Bahasa Indonesia and foster an appreciation for the rich customs and traditions of Indonesia.
The Cultural Camp featured a diverse range of activities, providing the students with a holistic understanding of the local culture. One of the highlights was the visit to local Islamic Boarding Schools, where students had the opportunity to interact with scholars and gain insights into the Islamic way of life. This experience not only broadened their cultural horizons but also deepened their understanding of the local Muslim heritage.
The participants also visited local high schools, where they engaged in various cultural exchange activities. Traditional dances were practiced and performed, showcasing the rich tapestry of Indonesian performing arts. The Darmasiswa Students, in turn, introduced elements of their own cultures, fostering a two-way exchange that contributed to a global cultural mosaic.
One of the most captivating aspects of the camp was the introduction to traditional music instruments. The students not only observed but actively participated in learning how to play these instruments, providing them with a hands-on experience that transcended language barriers.
The genuine excitement and enthusiasm displayed by Jitendra Kumar, Manas Gupta, and Shin Dongho were palpable throughout the program. Their willingness to engage with the local community and immerse themselves in various activities demonstrated a genuine interest in learning about Indonesia’s customs and traditions.
Reflecting on the experience, Jitendra Kumar shared, “This Cultural Camp has been an eye-opener for me. Interacting with the local community, learning about their way of life, and participating in traditional activities have enriched my understanding of Indonesia. It’s not just about language; it’s about embracing a whole new cultural perspective.”
Manas Gupta added, “The warmth and hospitality of the people here have made this experience truly memorable. I feel more connected to Indonesia, not just as a place, but as a cultural treasure trove.”
Shin Dongho expressed gratitude for the knowledge gained, saying, “I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Cultural Camp. It has been an invaluable experience, and I leave with a deeper appreciation for Indonesian culture and its people.”
In conclusion, the ITS Surabaya Cultural Camp successfully achieved its objectives by fostering cultural exchange, language learning, and mutual understanding. The engagement of Darmasiswa Students, along with other international participants, exemplified the transformative power of such initiatives in creating global citizens with a rich tapestry of cultural experiences.