Over 1,600 Indonesian Students Embark on International Exchange Program through IISMA

More than 1,600 undergraduate and vocational students will be sent to participate in an exchange program for one semester, funded by the Indonesian government through the Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA) Program. The launching of the IISMA participants took place on Tuesday, May 9th, at the Auditorium of Building D, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek), both in limited offline and online formats.

“We sincerely hope that you can make the most of this opportunity to enhance your competence, broaden your global perspective, and contribute to building our beloved nation into a great nation,” said Sri Gunani Partiwi, Acting Director of Learning and Student Affairs, to the IISMA participants.

According to Sri Gunani, one semester is not a long time. Therefore, the students must plan well and make the most of the semester by engaging in beneficial activities, so that they can fulfill their roles as ambassadors of the nation while acquiring knowledge and valuable cultural experiences for their personal development.

“In a short semester, optimize your time by studying diligently and gaining valuable experiences, as those experiences will be beneficial for you now and in the future,” she added.

Echoing the same sentiment, Beny Bandanadjaja, Director of Academic Affairs for Vocational Higher Education, also urged the students not only to enjoy their learning experience abroad but also to share the positive aspects they gain as inspiration for other students and contribute to advancing the nation.

“We hope that the IISMA students will not only return and forget about their program abroad but also share the positive things they have gained with their friends who have not been able to go. In the era of human resource development, we hope that by 2045, Indonesia will truly become an outstanding country,” said Beny.

The IISMA program, one of the flagship programs of Kemendikbudristek, is part of the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) policy and has been implemented since 2021 for the Bachelor’s degree track and from 2022 for the Vocational track.

In its first year, the program attracted 2,546 applicants, which nearly tripled to 7,501 applicants in 2022. The program reached its highest number of applicants in 2023, with 9,116 registered undergraduate and diploma students as prospective participants.

The selected IISMA participants, after going through a series of selection processes, come from 31 provinces in Indonesia. Among the students chosen for the IISMA program in 2023, there are 53 recipients of the Smart Indonesia Card (KIP)-College scholarship, 5 recipients of the Bidikmisi scholarship, and 2 recipients of the Higher Education Affirmation scholarship from Kemendikbudristek.

Rachmat Sriwijaya, Head of the IISMA Program, explained that among the list of foreign universities that the IISMA participants will attend, there are names of top-ranked universities in the QS World University Ranking’s top 20, such as the University of Cambridge, Yale University, and Nanyang Technological University. “In addition, this year, the Group of Eight, consisting of eight universities in Australia, and various other universities have joined as well,” he added.

During this launching event, a joint commitment was signed between the participants’ home universities and Kemendikbudristek to support the implementation of the 2023 IISMA Program. Before departing overseas, the IISMA participants will undergo a series of preparatory activities, such as technical guidance from the IISMA team, LPDP, and travel agents during the Pre-Departure Briefing (PDB) and orientation sessions by the Indonesian Embassy regarding studying abroad. These sessions

will cover topics such as the embassy’s role and functions, regulations, social and cultural life in the destination country, and other important information.

“On behalf of all the IISMA awardees, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in making the IISMA program a reality. Since its inception, this program has transformed the hopes of students into a golden opportunity for the younger generation to gain global insights, academic and non-academic experiences, and international networks, which are the aspirations of many Indonesian students,” said Nurhaliza Inayah, a student from the University of Indonesia who will participate in the IISMA Program at the University of Liverpool.