Despite travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogakarta, Indonesia has partnered with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) to pursue a shared mission through a teaching, research and mobility program for students and staff.
The two institutions, partners since 2017, organized a virtual engagement program for student mobility which enabled an exchange between students in consular and diplomatic affairs from the DLS-CSB School of Diplomacy and Governance (SDG) and in international relations. of the UGM. This made it possible to officially attend the Cooperating School’s online courses during the entire first trimester of the academic year 2021 to 2022.
UGM Representative Yovadila Yozie Syamsubar, Minor in Global Politics and Security, attended a total of eight courses in the Consular and Diplomatic Affairs program of DLS-CSB, while pursuing her research interests in social topics such as than race, sexuality and gender. .
She studied International Relations, Introduction to Political Geography, International Security Issues, Selected Readings of Philippine History, Western Civilization, History of Eastern Civilizations, World Geography, and a seminar-workshop on gender mainstreaming tools.
“I really enjoyed Benilde’s inclusive environment,” said Syamsubar. “Besides being Indonesian, I am also a Muslim. Therefore, there was great concern that the mixing would be a little difficult. In the end, I was wrong.
“Studying at Benilde has enriched my knowledge and my appreciation of a country other than my own,” she added. “My teacher of selected readings in Philippine history acknowledged that I had little or no experience on the subject and even offered to do an individual session instead. This situation really showed that the people I met in Benilde were all very kind and considerate.
The initiative also enabled Benildéens to follow several courses at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the UGM.
They have attended lectures on international humanitarian law, conflict analysis and transformation, humanitarian actions, violence in global politics, the political economy of globalization, political corruption in a global context, development political economy and global social movements.
DLS-CSB delegate Aieshah Koleene Balmori also expressed how accommodating the UGM is towards the Benildeans. “We had a buddy system with their network of international students and the faculty helped us adapt to their environment,” she said.
“As a person who wishes to be a diplomat, this is an incredible opportunity for me to learn about the culture and the system of another country,” she said. “I not only gained valuable knowledge in international relations, but I also acquired new skills in diplomacy and helped me improve my adaptability and critical thinking skills. “