Misa Xirinda’s Journey to Indonesia
Misa Xirinda, BINUS University’s first-ever Mozambican student, shares her journey on how she came to study here, along with her first impressions of coming to Jakarta, Indonesia.
What made you choose to study in Indonesia?
My first choice was actually to study in countries that speak Portuguese, as my home country’s official language is Portuguese too.
My choices were Brazil, Mauritius and Portugal.
I eventually chose Indonesia despite it being a country that does not speak Portuguese at all, due to its affordable living costs. I also wanted to experience a country that is different as I want to step out of my comfort zone.
Go big or go home, right?
What were your first impressions of Indonesia?
It’s hot. *laughs*
I mean, I’ve done a bit of research on the country before coming here, and I know that Indonesia is a tropical country. I thought that the weather wouldn’t be that different compared to Mozambique, but the humidity plus the heat takes some time to get used to.
And how are you adapting to Indonesia so far?
Well, to be honest, it was hard to adapt at first.
The language barrier is the biggest issue, I would say. I’m used to always speaking Portuguese, and now I’m in a new country that doesn’t speak Portuguese at all.
The food here is also quite different to back home. I noticed that Indonesians eat a lot of rice and chicken? *laughs* But I’m starting to like the food, I was a bit scared to try new dishes as I’m used to ordering foods that I’m familiar with, but Indonesia has pretty delicious food, like nasi goreng (fried rice), and ayam bakar (grilled chicken with sweet soy sauce).
I also noticed that the Indonesians are very friendly people.
How was your first day of class at BINUS UNIVERSITY?
My first day of class was a bit daunting for me, cause I am taking the Computer Science program, and I had little prior knowledge of it at all. I had no idea what programming really was, or what it involved or anything in between.
Luckily, the lecturers were very nice and patient with me and were willing to teach me 1-on-1 on some of the things that I didn’t understand. They helped me out a lot.
I heard you were invited to the Embassy of Mozambique to meet the Ambassador, how did that go?
Yes, I went there accompanied by 2 other BINUS staff, and it was a great experience.
They even invited me to a Christmas dinner last year, and I got a Christmas present. They made me feel like I was a part of their family. It helped with my homesickness a lot because I finally get to speak in Portuguese with other people other than my own family members or friends back home.
Speaking of homesickness, how are you dealing with it?
I try to call my family every day by video call to talk to them and tell them how my day went.
Growing up, I’ve always been very close with my parents, so it was a bit hard to be thousands of miles away from them. But I know that they’re happy for me to pursue my education at BINUS.
I also still chat and call with my friends from back home too.
Any words of advice for those reading and considering to study in Indonesia and BINUS University?
Just do it! I know it can be scary to be away from your family and friends and live in a country that is very different from your own, but it’s a great experience.
I get to meet many people from other countries that I don’t think I’d have met if I studied in my home country. You’d also make a lot of new friends that are in the same situation as you.