Hi, everyone. My name is Irma, currently I am applying scholarship from Indonesian government. Please kindly review and give constructive feedback on my essay. This is the first time I made an essay and apply scholarship, so I really clueless on what kind of a good essay should be written. To be honest, my essay already reached the world limit and I really need advice on what part should I must and must not put in my essay. Thank you!
So, this is the essay prompt:
Write Statement of Purpose (max 1000 words) which explaining about the contribution that you have been done, currently doing, and your contribution plan for your communities/profession or in your workplace later.
The essay must include:
- Describe about yourself
- What is the contribution you have done, currently doing, and your contribution plan for your communities/profession or in your workplace.
- Your dream about Indonesia in the future
- How to reach that dream.
WORKING AS AN AMBASSADOR OF INDONESIA
By: Maria Nirmala
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" My kindergarten teacher asked me. Then I said "I want to be a teacher". I remembered that question was asked to me when I was still in kindergarten school. I have always been fascinated witnessing the process of learning and teaching experience since I was a little girl. In my opinion, teacher has a power in making changes in other people's lives. My very first experience as an educator started when I was helping my chair mate teaching Math for her test. I remembered the rewarding feeling I have had when she told me she got a good score on her test. From that moment I always knew someday I would working in education sector when I grow up.
Besides education, I found another thing I passionate about during my time in high school, which is foreign language. During this time, I have learnt some foreign languages subjects from my high school, such as Germany and Japanese languages. Therefore I decided to pursue a foreign language degree for my undergraduate studies, specifically Russian Studies because at that time I thought there are still not many Indonesian people who have skills speaking Russian and I also admired Russian authors for producing many incredible and fascinating novels.
During my undergraduate studies, I am grateful I was able to make some contributions align with my passion in integration of foreign language and education area through my academic life and extracurricular activities. In the classroom, besides taking compulsory studies, I also took some elective studies in other foreign languages and cultural subjects. Whenever I took another foreign language classes, I always become a tutor for my closest friends, since my grasp of understanding foreign language is always faster than them. Meanwhile, outside the classroom, I joined Student Association of Slavic Studies, where my role in Student Relation Division was actively announce regarding scholarships opportunities to my fellow colleagues, especially for those who came from poor economic backgrounds. I was also became a mentor for Russian students who were doing an exchange program to Indonesia. I had the opportunity to teach them Indonesian language and introduce Indonesian culture through field trips to historical places, like Museum Nasional, Kota Tua and other places in Jakarta.
I am grateful I was able to explore some opportunities working in education sector since 2014, started as teacher assistant in International Schools, educational advisor at EF English First Indonesia and currently as Indonesian Language Teacher for expatriates in SIB School of Language Jakarta. It is truly a self-discovery and I have found a profession that I truly enjoy, which is teaching Indonesian language for expatriates. This is the profession where I truly feel I am doing something valuable to my country, which are introducing and sharing about the language and the culture of Indonesia to the international community.
I was also an active member of Indonesian Heritage Society, a non-profit organization offering the opportunity to promote and learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia to international community in Jakarta. In this organization, I volunteered as a librarian, where my role was to assist member registrations, inform about upcoming activities held by the organization, and also to assist members who wants to borrowing books and resources in the library. I also participated in study group session where I had the opportunity to study and sharing among international members regarding Indonesian traditional foods. By joining this organization, I have seen how abundantly and enthusiastically international members who came from different countries, to learn more about Indonesia and its culture. This experience made me more motivated to introduce and promote Indonesian language and culture to be known internationally through my profession as Indonesian language teacher for expatriates.
According to PriceWaterhouse Coopers' report, Indonesia is predicted to be among the twenty one nations that have the fastest-growing economies and will be among the world's biggest economies by 2030. One of the factors that can determined this situation would be the number of foreign investors in Indonesia. Moreover, with the trend of ASEAN Economic Community, which officially enacted at the end of 2015, the amount of expatriate workers staying in Indonesia is continuously improving. One of the requirements for them to have an employment in this country is they need to have a certain proficiency speaking Indonesian language so they would be able cooperate well with Indonesian workers. With this condition, my biggest dream Indonesia would continuously grow economically and become one of the fastest developed South East Asian countries in the world and Indonesian language would also be known internationally, just like China.
I would like to be the person who can contribute in making Indonesia to be known to the world by working as Indonesian language teacher for expatriates. From my experience, I realize cultural barriers is one of the obstacles in teaching Indonesian to foreigners. I am expose working in international environment where I met and taught students who came from different nationalities and culture and have their own values, beliefs, and perception of how they see things. This cultural differences could affect the activities of teaching and learning between language teachers and students and it could create a misunderstanding during the lesson. This misunderstanding could lead a failure in lesson delivery for the teachers and consequently, the students could misinterpret in acquiring the language that they learn. Another obstacle I found is the difficulties foreigners have in acquiring and understanding Indonesian language culturally. They often perfectly understand Indonesian language grammatically, but they still made many mistakes on which the right language applied in some certain contexts.
That is why I want to study Master of Intercultural Communication at Graduate School of Education University of Pennsylvania because it is a perfect program for studying the intersection between communication, culture, and how it applied in language teaching and learning activities. When I have finished my study, I would like to apply the knowledge I have gained to my profession as Indonesian language teacher for expatriates. My plan is to share and train another teachers who specifically interested with this field. Five years after I graduated from my master studies, my plan is to build a language school, which specifically offers Indonesian language and culture course to international community living in Indonesia.