Kemahasiswaan Indonesia di Australia

Oleh : Agdiosa Manyan*)

Banyak orang berharap untuk mengenyam pendidikan di luar Indonesia. Saya pun tidak terkecuali, namun dari sisi lain saya juga ingin merasakan pendidikan tinggi di Indonesia, untuk mengetahui perbedaan mendasar dari segi pendidikan yang membentuk para lulusannya. Salah satu jalan untuk memenuhinya adalah program double degree yang dimiliki oleh Universitas Indonesia. Dua tahun dijalani di UI dan dua tahun selanjutnya di universitas mitra di luar negeri.

Berawal dari situ, saya pun memulai dua tahun pertama perkuliahan saya di UI, mengambil jurusan Teknik Mesin. Saya merasakan kerasnya iklim pembinaan yang diterapkan oleh Fakultas Teknik. Iklim yang menurut banyak orang ketinggalan jaman karena dipenuhi oleh teriakan, baris-berbaris dan tugas-tugas bertumpuk yang harus diselesaikan dalam waktu singkat. Tentu saja semuanya memiliki maksud, membentuk pribadi saya yang sekarang, yang tahan oleh semua tekanan mental yang lahir dari kehidupan perkuliahan.

Tidak membutuhkan waktu lama bagi saya untuk menemukan ketertarikan pada kehidupan di luar kelas yang jenuh, salah satunya adalah kehidupan organisasi kemahasiswaan. Langsung aktif pada tahun pertama, saya tergabung pada Ikatan Mahasiswa Program Internasional BEM FTUI dan aktif pada banyak kegiatan, mulai dari diskusi, olahraga, sosial, pergerakan mahasiswa dan salah satunya adalah ikut dalam aksi menuntut turunnya Gumilar Rusliwa Sumantri, Rektor UI pada saat itu, yang dijerat kasus korupsi Perpustakaan Pusat UI. Begitu luar biasa bila mengingat bagaimana negara kita dapat diubah melalui reformasi yang diawali dari pergerakan mahasiswa, bagaimana saya harus bisa menjalankan peran sebagai mahasiswa yang tidak hanya belajar namun dapat memberikan pengabdian kepada masyarakat.

Dua tahun pun berlalu dan semua hingar-bingar kemahasiswaan UI harus saya tinggalkan untuk melanjutkan pendidikan saya di Queensland University of Technology (QUT) di Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Melanjutkan tren yang sama, saya berusaha mengikuti beberapa organisasi mahasiswa yang ada di QUT. Disini mereka memiliki QUT Guild, yakni badan mahasiswa utama yang berada di atas semua organisasi mahasiswa yang ada di QUT. Satu hal yang sangat kentara dibandingkan dengan kehidupan berorganisasi di UI adalah lebih santainya kegiatan organisasi di sini. Mulai dari orientasinya yang lebih bersifat bersahabat dan memperkenalkan kampus kepada mahasiswa baru, juga dengan acara-acara mereka yang kebanyakan berupa party atau social gathering. Jangan salah, saya senang dengan acara-acara tersebut karena menambah koneksi dan teman yang saya miliki, namun ada kerinduan untuk dapat berbagi iklim kemahasiswaan yang kental dengan rekan-rekan yang sepemikiran.

Saya sempat bergabung dengan Engineers Without Borders. Mereka adalah organisasi mahasiswa yang memiliki tujuan menggunakan pengetahuan engineering yang diperoleh untuk memberikan kontribusi kepada masyarakat, mulai dari pembuatan ­water filter straw, prosthetic leg, hingga kunjungan kepada negara-negara berkembang untuk membantu membangun infrastruktur. Pada salah satu workshop yang saya ikuti, sang pembicara baru saja menghabiskan winter break­-nya untuk membantu pembangunan di Myanmar. Lalu ia berbagi kisah mengenai keadaan masyarakat di sana, keadaan lingkungan dan pemerintah mereka yang menurut saya amat sangat mengingatkan saya kepada Indonesia. Di titik ini saya sadar, orang Australia saja bisa sangat peduli terhadap negara orang lain, maka haruskah saya menjadi orang yang paling peduli mengenai keadaan negara saya sendiri? Ya! Jika saya harus berkontribusi pada masyarakat, maka saya harus memajukan tanah air saya. Saya harus membangun tanah kelahiran saya.

Melalui pemikiran tersebut, saya pun bergabung dengan PPIA Pusat. Saya sebelumnya sudah banyak terlibat dan membantu pada acara-acara PPIA cabang dan ranting, namun tidak pernah terlibat penuh di dalamnya. Kesempatan itu tiba dalam bentuk penawaran dari teman baik saya, Melissa Nursalim. Dalam pembentukan pengurus PPIA Pusat 2013-2014, Melissa terpilih sebagai Wakil Ketua Bidang Human Resources Development. Melalui pengalaman berorganisasi bersama di Pesta Rakyat, acara terbesar PPIA Queensland, Melissa merekomendasikan saya menjadi anggota PPIA Pusat dan mencalonkan saya sebagai calon Ketua Kongres PPIA selanjutnya. Tentu saja ini adalah kesempatan yang tepat bagi saya untuk bisa membuka peluang agar dapat berkontribusi lebih untuk Indonesia dan juga mengenal orang-orang Indonesia terbaik yang sedang berada di Australia.

Setahun lebih sudah kini semenjak keputusan saya untuk bergabung dengan PPIA Pusat. Salah satu keputusan terbaik yang pernah saya buat. Saya diamanahkan menjadi Ketua Kongres PPIA XXI di Brisbane pada bulan Juli 2014 yang Alhamdulillah berjalan dengan lancar. Saya jadi memiliki banyak teman baru dari seluruh Australia. Saya pun dapat sekali lagi merasakan iklim kemahasiswaan Indonesia di Australia.

 

*) Penulis adalah mahasiswa Undergraduate jurusan Mechanical Engineering pada Queensland University of Technology dan State Officer pada Sekretariat Jenderal II PPIA Aktivis 2014-2015.

 

 

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