Student Life

Cancelled classes during the semester

During our semester classes were cancelled a lot of times. Often it was the case that we would go to university and then find out that a class was cancelled.

The reasons why a class was cancelled were diverse, sometimes a teacher was out of the country or had a ceremony to attend. Sometimes there was a holiday in Bali.

At the beginning we were very annoyed about cancelled classes. But with time we learnt to understand the culture in Bali better and could therefore also have a better understanding for the people.

In Switzerland your appointments are your number one priority and it is very rude to be late and to not show up at all is an absolute no go. Here in Bali family and tradition are the most important for the people and give importance to their live. So for them it’s just normal that a store is closed or classes are cancelled because of a ceremony.

Once we just accepted that that’s the way thing go in Bali we could deal with the situation much better.

Nonetheless the frequency of canceled classes this semester was not normal and we even received an official apology letter from Udayana University.  It is also important to mention that we had to do an assignment for each class that was cancelled.


How to get a student visa in Bali – December 2018

As a student in Bali you need to get a Social Visa. The maximum length of stay in Indonesia with a Social Visit visa is 60 days.

So that means that you have to extend the visa during the semester abroad. There is a Visa office on the BIPAS (Bali International Program on Asian Studies) campus.

The process goes as following, you bring your passport to the Visa office and pay the fee of approximately CHF 40.00 For every additional extension you have to pay the same fee again. For the first extension an appointment will be arranged by the visa staff at the immigration office in Jimbaran. Then you will receive a message via Whats App, when and where you should appear at the immigration office.

We had to wait for more than an hour at the immigration office before fingerprints and photos were taken for the visa extension. Thereafter, the visa is valid again for the next 30 days and needs to be renewed several times until your semester ends. For the further extensions you do not have to appear at the immigration office and you can just visit the visa office on the university campus. The passport is kept at the Visa office during the extensions. Good to know, in Indonesia everything takes a bit more time and you need patience.

The Indonesian visa process will change in 2019. More information will follow soon on the asia exchange webpage.

Balinese compound excursion – November 2018

This week we had an excursion to our professors Ardika’s house to see a traditional Balinese compound in Denpasar.

The layout of the Balinese compound can be associated with the concept of Tri Angga – the three parts of the human body:

  •  hulu – head
  • pengawak – body
  • teben – feet

Kaja (north) and Kangin (east) is considered as hulu or head, body is in the center, and Kelod (south) and Kauh (west) is feet.

The Balinese compound consists of many buildings namely: family temple, north pavilion, east pavilion, west pavilion, natah in the center, kitchen, rice granary, entrance and a wall in the front of the entrance. The compound is normally surrounded by a wall (panyengker).

It was very interesting to see how our professor from here lives. It was surprising how many animals he has and also a bit of a culture shock to see that he keeps them in little cages and they make noises the whole time.

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Cultural workshop – October 2018

One our first cultural workshop we bought traditional costumes on the local market in Denpasar. The goal of this workshop was to improve our Indonesian language skills and to bargain a fair price. This workshop was mandatory for all international students. First of all we had a little Indonesian refresher at the campus. The following sentences were essential for our shopping trip on the market:

Saya mau membeli …
I want to buy…

Berapa harganya?
How much is this?

Mahal sekali!
It is too expensive!

Then we visited the local market near from the campus. The market was full of other students and the pressing heat was really hard to handle. We had one hour time to find our graduation costumes for the ceremony in december. Fortunately some really sweet local students supported us.

We have paid for the full costume with five different dresses pieces about 200’000 Indonesian Rupiah (CHF 14.00). It was a good deal. After the shopping trip our lecturer and some local students showed us how wear the traditional costumes. Specially for the boys was it a challenging task.

You gonna find our shopping results on the pictures below.

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First school days – September 2018

We’re glad to give you our first impressions of the orientation days and our first school day. The university has started on the 5. september 2018 with the “campus chill out day”.  We get in contact with our fellow students and had workshops like yoga or “how can i drive a motorcycle”. We enjoyed the music and the indonesian lunch picnic in the campus garden.

The other two days were orientation days on the campus in the capital city denpasar. The beginning was a very formal cermony with the traditional balinese opening dance – it was stunning. We are from 13 different countries and we are the only international students from Switzerland.

We received many information from the asia exchange organisation and from the university. For example: How can we extend our visa? What can we do, if we have the dengue fever? How can we dress proprely for the university (the dresscode is very strict)? All the provided facts were very useful for us.

On our first schoolday we had two courses in the morning “indonesian history” & “indonesian language”. We have to learn 50 new indonesian words per week and after our first indonesian lessons we were able to build sentences by ourselves. For example:

Selemat Pagi!
Guten Morgen!

Saya makan nasi untuk makan pagi.
Ich habe Reis zum Frühstück gegessen.

Saya tinggal dengan Isabelle di Uluwatu
Ich lebe mit Isabelle in Uluwatu.

Dia bersenlancar pantai di Kuta.
Sie surft am Strand von Kuta.

Sampai jumpa!
Auf Wiedersehen!

Our indonesian teacher (the dean of the university) is very strict, it is forbidden to speak with each other during class. But we are optimistic, that we can speak the language fluently after this semester abroad in Bali.

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