54 students of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) have a student exchange program for a semester in Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, China, South Korea and Taiwan. The students will depart to a target country in January or February.
Rector of UMY Dr. Ir. Gunawan Budiyanto, M.P. stated that the exchange program is an action of UMY to confront ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). “I have not allowed any activities, as seminars, discussing the AEC since participants will only get little knowledge and a certificate. We have conducted programs to bolster students to study abroad and to invite foreign students to learn at UMY. Indeed, I believe that when having an interaction with foreigners, information and cultural exchange occur,” he declared at a pre-departure orientation of the student exchange program on Thursday (10/1) at Building of Graduate School of UMY.
Gunawan told the students that they are ambassadors of Islam, Indonesia, and Muhammadiyah. Students who will stay in a country with a few Muslims should show values of Islam and Indonesia and give Islamic preaching through their thoughts, statements, and behaviors. “When you are abroad, you may not be embarrassed that you are Muslims,” advised Gunawan.
Additionally, the students are from a number of faculties, namely Faculty of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Language Education. They will study at Asia University, Universidad Jaume, Tamkang University, Sun Moon University, Universiti Utara Malaysia, SIAS International University, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Islamic Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Thammasat University, Maejon University, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, National Central University, and Capitol Technology University.
Meanwhile, Director of International Affairs Yordan Gunawan, S.H., MBA, M.H. informed that all students got scholarships from UMY. He advised the students to leverage their time, be active in joining activities and behave. “You are representatives of Islam, Indonesia, and Muhammadiyah. You have to be able to provide information of them,” he maintained.