The Jakarta Globe has profiled various Indonesian students who are about to leave their country to study abroad in the United States. A total of 25 fresh graduates out of among 226 students who formed the first batch of graduates from the Sampoerna Academy in Malang, East Java, are leaving to study abroad at various universities in the United States. The remaining 201 graduates have been accepted to prestigious national Indonesian universities, such as the University of Indonesia, Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta and the Bogor Institute of Agriculture.
The Sampoerna Academy is run by the Putera Sampoerna Foundation and operates four schools providing full three-year scholarship for underprivileged students to complete their high school educations. All students must undergo a five-stage application process (which includes written academic tests, interviews, team-building exercises as well as home visits to ensure they were actually underprivileged) to determine they were academically gifted and possessed leadership qualities.
The 25 students were given pre-departure orientation courses, including how to manage their finances and various other lessons linked to daily life as a Indonesian study abroad students. They also spent one week in a crash course on adaptation which even included staying in an apartment to simulate the lifestyle they will face while studying abroad.
How many of these study abroad students will ultimately end up as returnees verses members of the Indonesian Diaspora? That remains to be seen, but given the job market and the visa situation in the United States, there’s a pretty good chance that most will end up returning to Indonesia to help grow the Indonesian economy.