Alvin Jusman is an international student from Jakarta, Indonesia. He is studying a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Accounting), and is currently in his third year of study.
Alvin shares with us some insight on what it’s like being an international student at ANU, and life in the residential colleges.
What was it like coming to Australia from Indonesia as an international student? How did you find the transition?
My transition from Indonesia to Australia went pretty smoothly. The ANU and its facilities and support system have definitely helped me a lot in the process of adapting into this new environment. I also discovered that people here in Australia are really friendly and easy-going, which made it even easier for me to find my sense of belonging here.
I think that as a new student, attending the orientation week would be very beneficial as students get the chance to tour the campus, make new friends, and also discover more about what ANU offers.
Tell us about Canberra. What do you do in your spare time?
As the nation’s capital, Canberra is very organized and has beautiful sceneries. It is quiet and very conducive for students to focus on their academic progress. Yet, there are always exciting events and activities happening in the city; for example during the winter there is an outdoor ice skating rink in the city centre and also the National Multicultural Festival celebrating Canberra’s cultural diversity.
During my free time, I try to stay active by going to the ANU Sports gym on campus, go for a run around the lake, or play sports such as soccer with friends.
Have you participated in any student clubs or societies?
In 2013, I was involved with AIESEC finance division. At AIESEC, we worked collectively in a team to track other departments’ effectiveness and efficiency using some of our key performance indicators. I’ve also applied some of my accounting knowledge that I learnt from my lectures when preparing quarterly budgets for each department.
Last year, I also got involved in the executive committee of ANU ASEAN Society where I served as the Director of Marketing. The Society aims to show the cultural and social side of Southeast Asia by holding food festivals and public lectures, in an attempt to enrich Southeast Asian cultural literacy and understanding at the ANU.
What are your career goals?
My short-term plan after graduation is that I’m planning to work in Australia in the finance/accountancy field for a couple years while at the same time doing the Chartered Accountant (CA) program to get more qualified.
As the ANU accounting program is accredited by the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, upon receiving my degree after my graduation, I would also be able to enter the CA program directly.
What advice would you give to someone who is a new student at ANU?
Be proactive and get yourself involved in clubs and societies that interest you! Through this, you get to meet new people, build a network, and also at the same time you can develop and enhance skills that you can’t learn inside the classroom like communication and leadership skills.
Tell us about the advantages of doing a flexible double degree at ANU?
It gives students the opportunity to combine their undergraduate program with other disciplines from any college at ANU. For example, a student can enrol in a program of Bachelor of Science and Commerce if they want to.
This flexible-double degree program would definitely help students like me that aren’t sure which degree they want to pursue. If students find out later that they don’t like one of the degrees that they’re doing, they can always switch to a single degree and the previous course credits will still be counted.
Tell us about the experience of living on campus. Would you recommend it to other international students?
I definitely would recommend living on campus to any students coming to ANU, including the international students. I’ve been living at Fenner Hall for two years now, and I love every second of it. Fenner is self-catered, meaning that residents prepare their own food in the communal kitchens. If students don’t want to cook, there are also alternatives of fully catered residential colleges.
Living on campus is very rewarding, I get the chance to experience diverse cultures and forge life-long friendship with people coming from different parts of the world.
The community here is very welcoming and there are weekly social, arts, and sports events where residents can mingle and get involved.