UGM Buddy Club

As long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed having intercultural interactions. The reason? I don’t know for sure, but perhaps it is because I have been moving around from one place to another, so witnessing cultural diversity has always amazed me.

This semester I finally joined a club that has caught my interest since long time ago, which is the UGM Buddy Club. Basically, all the UGM students within this club will be local buddies and will be paired with international buddies who are having one/two semester(s) abroad at UGM, and then we as the locals will try our best to help and assist them as they are adapting with the new culture, customs, values in this foreign country. We would also might be needed to help them with the practical matters such as helping them to find some place to stay, routes from dorm/kos to campus, where to go to find this and that, where to eat, etc.

One local buddy at least would be paired with two international buddies, and to be honest I don’t even know how they decide the amount of buddies each local buddy has, because in my batch #6, the numbers are quite random, starts with 2 buddies and the biggest number was 5 international buddies. Most of the buddies got two to three, but for me myself, I got 5 international buddies consist of Japanese, Dutch, German, and French (yes, it sounds like a lot) but I’m not even mad, I’m actually happy to got a lot haha.

Many asked me whether I’m tired or not for having 5 buddies – sometimes 6, but for me it isn’t tiring because they all are nice so it doesn’t feel like I’m working or they become my burden, but I feel like they’re my friends, so of course there’s no tiring feelings.

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Welcoming Dinner UGMBC #6

The official meeting actually took place last Saturday, on a Welcoming Dinner at Food Park UGM, and also we had a Campus Tour few weeks ago that the agenda was that we cycle around UGM to show them the facilities that they can access e.g library, cafetaria, gym, etc. However, we were advised to have a meeting before that, so during the dinner there won’t be any awkward moment anymore haha, so I did.

The first buddy that I met was my Dutch buddy, and we met on the second day of her arrival. Although I was really excited, but still, I don’t know why but I was quite nervous as well to meet them, her and her boyfriend. I was really afraid that we couldn’t get along well, or I might not meet their expectation of a buddy should be (I know, I overthink). But then, nothing bad happened, at least according to what I feel. I picked them up at the guesthouse, then we went to the Office of International Affairs of UGM and we started talking a bit informally – with jokes, and such. Then, we searched for a kos for them to stay, and after we found it, I introduced them to the holy gudeg Bu Amad. I spent a lot of time with them on that day,  we talked about many things; Jogja culture, the Netherlands, language, religion, etc. It was great, they are really nice, open-minded, and fun to hang out with, I really enjoyed my time with them. A day after that, we also went to Malioboro and ended the long stroll with some McD ice cream, then we met again few days ago to catch up, and we met again during the Dinner, and it seems like we always have things to talk about, which is nice.

The second buddy I met was Kako, my Japanese buddy. She’s really cute, one of the cutest girl I’ve ever met. Other than that, she also really polite, and she shows a lot of mm… gratitude (?) I mean she says a lot of thanks to me during the day, while I felt like she’s the nice one and I didn’t really do anything, because she has found her kos before she met me. So, on that day, I went to pick her up at her kos that was nearby the campus, and turns out she brought me some souvenirs from Japan, and again I feel bad for not having anything to give for her 😦 Then we had lunch at Jejamuran, the famous restaurant that served mushrooms in many ways – satay, gulai, omelette, crispy, sweet and sour style, etc. The foods were really good, I was so happy while eating it, but what makes me even happier is that she really enjoyed it as well! After the lunch, we went to Jogja City Mall to do some grocery shopping, and she asked me about all the tropical fruits at Hypermart that she has never seen before, or the same fruit but looks a bit different compared with the ones in Japan. After that, we went home, and met again yesterday at the Dinner.

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The third buddy I met was my French buddy, we finally met during a Campus Tour of the Faculty of Social and Political Science. After meeting at the campus, we went out initially to find a place for her to stay (like a kos) and some of her friends also came with us, but I know that most of kos has some regulations that even burdensome for an Indonesian like me, such as night curfew at 10pm, and also she doesn’t really like the idea of guest isn’t able to sleepover at her place – if it’s possible, she has to pay more. So, we decided that a kontrakan would work for them, luckily she found that already so it was solved! After that we had lunch, because some of them are vegan so we ate Gado Gado bu Bagyo with such big portions, then we went home. We met again few days ago accidentally, during lunch at the FISIPOL canteen, then we ate together with other international students.

The fourth buddy that I’ve just met yesterday was a German girl, who surprised me because she replied my first whatsapp with Bahasa Indonesia haha. Turns out that she’s been learning the language and was also living in Indonesia for quite a while. I invited her to the Welcoming Dinner so that we can meet, but for some reasons she couldn’t come, but we made a plan to meet the day after for late lunch. So we went out to have some Italian foods, and she turns out to be really fun to talk with. We arrived at 4 pm, and left at around 7.30pm, quite a long time for a lunch eh? Because time went really fast that I didn’t even check my watch or phone haha.

My last buddy is another Japanese, but he’s the one that has the least contact with me, he only replied me in two emails. Luckily, we finally met during the Welcoming Dinner days ago and he actually really noticeable – so tall, long hair, and speaks quite well Indonesian. After I realized that he speaks Indonesian that well, I understood why he didn’t reply me much, because I think he has everything figured out and well-prepared. Even though he might face some difficulties, I believe that he could just ask anyone nearby with that skill of Bahasa Indonesia without really need my presence. However, I still told him that if he needs anything, he could contact me right away.

So, I think this is all my post about UGM Buddy Club & my personal story of being a buddy. I am happy tho that all my buddies are nice, warm, and enjoyable to talk with. I’m looking for some more adventures with them in the next UGMBC monthly events. Yeay!

 

 

 

 

 


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