Universitas Sumatera Utara Shines Bright with 15 Outstanding Students Selected for Prestigious IISMA

iisma 2024

data iisma

In a remarkable achievement, 15 students from Universitas Sumatera Utara have been honoured as recipients of the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (Fully Funded) for the year 2024. This prestigious accolade highlights their exemplary academic prowess and promising potential on an international platform.

Hailing from diverse academic backgrounds, these exceptional students represent various faculties including the Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Economics and Business, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.

Securing this esteemed recognition has granted them the invaluable opportunity to embark on a transformative academic journey, as they are slated to pursue a semester of study across renowned institutions spanning Taiwan, Australia, France, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Thailand, and the United States.

Their selection underscores not only their dedication to academic excellence but also the university's commitment to fostering global engagement and promoting cross-cultural exchange. Universitas Sumatera Utara takes immense pride in its achievements and remains steadfast in its support of its academic pursuits.

As these students embark on this enriching venture, they are poised to represent their alma mater with distinction, furthering the university's reputation for producing exceptional scholars poised to make meaningful contributions to the global community.

From classroom to culture: the unforgettable IIsma experience in south korea

Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA) is one of the most highly anticipated and prestigious programs Merdeka Belajar - Kampus Merdeka offers. Christoffel Tambunan, a Computer Science student from the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, managed to secure his place as one of seventy-seven awardees to Hanyang University, South Korea. Through this opportunity, he can experience how it feels to study in an international setting for one semester and immerse himself in South Korea's rich culture. During his studies at Hanyang University, he could choose which courses he wanted to attend besides his major. Apart from Natural Language Processing, he took courses such as Contemporary Korean Studies and a digital marketing nano degree program on consumer behavior, content creation, and digital marketing. By taking these courses, he better understands how South Korea came to be now and how having multiple options causes different outcomes of consumer behavior and decision-making. A remarkable moment during his studies at Hanyang University was when the Professor selected and played his video assignment during the Contemporary Korean Studies lecture. He made new friendships with local and international students, which lasted even after returning home to Indonesia.

He and other IISMA Hanyang awardees held an Indonesian Culture Exhibition near the Hanyang Plaza to introduce Indonesia's rich culture and delectable cuisines. In this cultural exhibition, they have a WARMINDO (Warung Makan Indomie), where people could try different flavors of Indonesia’s famous instant noodle brand, Indomie, and drink various Indonesian drinks. Additionally, they have a booth for Indonesian souvenirs, such as wayang, batik, sarung, and other souvenirs. They explained where each souvenir came from, their use, and why they are meaningful to Indonesians. Coming from a Bataknese family, he also gave a precious souvenir to his fellow international friends and Professors, Ulos. It meant a lot for him because he introduced and explained his culture to people who had been a significant part of his academic and personal journey.

Becoming an IISMA awardee was an eye-opening moment for him. He gained so much knowledge that he could not obtain before in his major, which would be helpful for him in the future. Throughout his IISMA journey at Hanyang University, he has become a better and more independent student who strives for excellence. Being an IISMA awardee is an excellent opportunity for students to experience studying in an international setting, develop themselves, and make new friends from Indonesia and worldwide.


Universitas Sumatera Utara Business Administration Student Excels in Austria with Prestigious Ernst Mach Grant

In a testament to academic excellence and global collaboration, Feilicia Garcia, a distinguished student from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences majoring in Business Administration at Universitas Sumatera Utara, has been awarded the prestigious Ernst Mach Grant by the Austrian Government's OEAD (Austria's Agency for Education and Internationalisation). This grant facilitated her enrollment in an enriching one-semester program at FH Joanneum Graz, Austria, a renowned University of Applied Sciences. Feilicia's journey of academic exploration began when she received the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA), allowing her to study at the esteemed University of Sydney in Australia, ranked among the top 20 universities globally. Undeterred by the challenges of international mobility, she returned with a wealth of experiences and furthered her educational pursuits through the Ernst Mach Grant.

The opportunity arose due to the strong collaboration between Universitas Sumatera Utara and FH Joanneum Austria, fostering a global academic exchange platform for students like Feilicia. During her semester at FH Joanneum, Feilicia actively engaged in three intensive courses, each carrying a weight of 5 ECTS, totaling 15 ECTS. The academic aspect proved to be intellectually fulfilling and personally transformative. Feilicia seized the chance to connect with peers from diverse backgrounds, establishing a global network and exchanging cultural perspectives. Professors at FH Joanneum, with exceptional expertise in their respective fields, played a pivotal role in shaping her educational journey. Feilicia's coursework included international marketing, Cross-Cultural and Entrepreneurial Perspectives, and an introduction to B2B marketing and selling. Each course provided a unique lens on various aspects of business, enhancing her analytical skills and broadening her understanding of global markets. Beyond academics, Feilicia embraced Austrian culture wholeheartedly, forging connections with local friends and networking with peers worldwide. The diversity of characters, backgrounds, and cultures enriched her experience, allowing her to learn from others and showcase Indonesia to the global community.

Reflecting on her educational chapter at FH Joanneum, Feilicia expresses gratitude for the valuable insights gained and skills honed during her time in Austria. With a commitment to sharing and applying her newfound expertise, she aspires to contribute actively to the broader global community. She aims to make meaningful contributions and foster collaborative growth in the dynamic realm of international business. Feilicia Garcia's success serves as an inspiration, highlighting the positive outcomes of international collaboration and the transformative power of academic exchange programs. Her journey exemplifies personal and professional growth potential from embracing diverse perspectives and engaging with global academic communities.



Julkifli Simanjuntak, an Ethnomusicology student at Universitas Sumatera Utara, felt honored and happy as he began the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) program at the Indonesian School Kuala Lumpur (SIKL). This opportunity was more than a pleasure; it was a profound responsibility that struck a deep chord with him. Julkifli was grateful to contribute to the Kuala Lumpur Indonesian School and considered the MBKM program a beacon of cultural understanding, particularly in promoting awareness of North Sumatran heritage, with a particular focus on the Toba Batak tribe. Julkifli's journey would not have been possible without the fantastic assistance of Universitas Sumatera Utara, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, and INTI International University, which enabled this profound cultural interaction. Julkifli Simanjuntak aims to revolutionize how Batak Toba musical instruments are introduced to Indonesian school students in Kuala Lumpur at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He specifically focuses on the instruments of the Toba Batak tribe, including the Toba Batak Sulim and Hasapi, both of which originate in North Sumatra.

Julkifli has found this initiative incredibly exciting since it allows him to directly present and teach students these instruments, the Sulim and Hasapi. He intends to increase their awareness and appreciation for Toba Batak culture by sharing these sounds and rituals. His objective is to instill a sense of musical appreciation in young brains. Julkifli's guides on this journey were the Sulim Batak Toba and the Hasapi Batak Toba, two traditional instruments woven into the rich tapestry of Batak culture. His goal was straightforward yet profound: to offer these instruments to the children, allowing them to discover their own melodies and stories. First, he introduced the blowing techniques for playing the Sulim Batak Toba. He demonstrated fingering techniques and then discussed the scales connected with playing this traditional instrument. It was mentioned that the Sulim Batak Toba is usually played at weddings and funerals along with the Batak Gondang. Intrigued by the Hasapi Batak Toba's rich tradition, he taught the children how to play the instrument. The skills for playing the Hasapi Batak Toba include holding, picking, fingering, and musical instrument scales. Each step revealed made the children's faces light up with excitement, their hearts humming with the music they learned to coax from the strings.


Humanity Project: Universitas Sumatera Utara Students in the MBKM Program Teach Indonesian Primary School Children in Malaysia with INTI International University Collaboration

Kimsang Silalahi, an enthusiastic student majoring in Computer Science, was ready to embark on a new experience when he enrolled in the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) program at Sanggar Bimbingan Kuala Langat in Malaysia. This notable effort strives to address the educational obstacles experienced by primary school-aged children in Malaysia who cannot attend school due to their stateless status. His involvement with the MBKM program exemplifies the program's fundamental values, including self-mastery and networking engagement. The "Education for All" initiative focuses on giving primary education to Indonesian children in Malaysia who are frequently denied access to formal schools. These children's stateless status prevents them from being eligible for enrollment in Malaysian schools. In contrast, the capacity of Indonesian schools in Kuala Lumpur is limited, leaving thousands of children without access to education. His dedication to humanitarian causes aligns perfectly with their mission to alleviate the challenges stateless Indonesian children face in Malaysia. Together, they can make a significant difference in the lives of these children through education. His visionary assignment at Kuala Langat in Malaysia not only echoes the essential values of this system but also injects tech-savvy enthusiasm into the learning environment.
The project focuses on Indonesian children in Malaysia who, due to their stateless status, experience severe impediments to accessing formal education. Emphasizing primary education, the initiative seeks to bridge the educational gap for children of primary school age, setting the groundwork for their future development. Recognizing the limited capacity of Indonesian schools in Kuala Lumpur, the project aims to accommodate and provide quality education for many needy Indonesian children. Education is a powerful tool for empowerment, and the project believes that by imparting knowledge, these children can break the cycle of disadvantage and positively impact their communities. Kim emphasized his pleasure in being part of this crucial initiative, stating, “Education is a fundamental right that every child deserves. It is disheartening to witness the struggles faced by stateless Indonesian children in Malaysia. By participating in MRPTNI's Education for All initiative, we aim to make a tangible impact in the lives of these children and provide them with the opportunity to build a better future”. Through strategic collaborations with neighborhood organizations and the unwavering guidance of the Universitas Sumatera Utara and INTI International University, Kim aspires to instill a sense of technological literacy within the immediate network. The purpose is not only to improve the lives of youngsters but also to emphasize the potential of this system in molding compassionate leaders with holistic information, including basic Computer Science standards.


MBKM Program Teach Indonesian Primary School Children in Malaysia with INTI International University Collaboration

MBKM Program Teach Indonesian Primary School Children in Malaysia with INTI International University Collaboration2


Student-led Humanitarian Project Empowers Underprivileged Children in Malaysia

Muhammad Naufal Zain, an industrious undergraduate student majoring in Nursing Science, is poised to make a meaningful difference in the lives of underprivileged children in Malaysia by participating in the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) program. His devotion to community engagement and passion for education drive his initiative at Sanggar Bimbingan Subang Mewah and Srimuda. The MBKM program, launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, developed the MBKM program, which encourages students to seek individual learning experiences, explore multiple fields of knowledge, and develop critical thinking abilities. Naufal's project represents the program's ethos by providing educational resources, basic skills training, and character-building activities to underprivileged children in need.

Naufal stated, "The potential within each child inspires me, and I am committed to providing them with the tools they need to succeed". Through collaborative efforts, he believes he can positively impact their lives and empower them to achieve their dreams."

Naufal studies at INTI International University and enjoys the new experience of studying abroad with a different learning system. He is also passionate about educating Indonesian children. He hopes that by sharing his knowledge and experiences about Indonesia, he can help the children feel proud of their homeland and encouraged to contribute to its growth.Supported by Universitas Sumatera Utara and INTI International University, Naufal's project aims to foster a nurturing environment where every child can thrive intellectually and emotionally. His humanitarian initiative underscores the program's goal of transforming higher education institutions into independent campuses, encouraging social responsibility and community involvement.


Student led Humanitarian Project Empowers Underprivileged Children in Malaysia

Page 1 of 12