Indonesian students pose with alum Setyanto P. Santosa outside the International Center
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Visiting Alumnus Brings a Piece of Home to MSU Indonesian Students
On May 19, the former president of the MSU Alumni Club of Indonesia, Setyanto P. Santosa, visited campus and attended a meeting with the Indonesian Students Association. He was in the United States for a professional conference in Washington DC.
Santosa served as President of the MSU Alumni Club of Indonesia from 1994 1996 when he served as the CEO of Telkom Indonesia, the biggest telecommunications company in the country.
After three decades, Santosa noted that though a lot of changes have been made on campus, the maintaining of historical buildings made his return visit easier and friendlier. In spite of the time that has passed, he was surprised to find that it was, no problem to find my way around; everything is still very familiar.
As part of his visit, more than a dozen members of the Indonesian Students Association met with Santosa at the International Center, to compare their experiences as international students. Lively discussion ranged from reasons students chose MSU to the challenges they faced in coming to the U.S.
It was the best university for my major, noted more than one. Another referred to the value of an MSU education as compared to other universities. Parental concerns also ranked highly among Indonesian students coming to the U.S. to study. Many MSU students were able to allay concerns by maintaining connections forged with other members of the local international community.
I have an uncle who lives in Novi, commented one student. Another was received by the host family that had also made her mother feel welcome as an MSU student. More than one was referred to MSU by parents who have also attended.
Santosa encouraged students to reach out and build connections with hosts families and other members of the local community to ease the transition. He commended the students on their choice of universities, reminded them that they are representing Indonesian culture and essential to internationalizing the MSU community.
MSU is actively working to recruit more Indonesian students, says Anne Schneller, Coordinator of Sponsored Student Recruitment. New scholarship programs in Indonesia, funded by the Indonesian government and by the U.S. Agency for International Development, for example, have resulted in the admission of new master's and doctoral students in Public Policy, Educational Administration, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. These students bring excellent academic backgrounds, and also add to the diversity of MSU's student body.
For more information on international alumni clubs, visit www.msualum.com/clubs/international.