Meet USINTEC April 2016: Irfan Rifai

We have a new worker in USINTEC! This is a good opportunity to learn a little bit more about our dear friend Irfan.Irfan

Q: What’s your name and background (where are you from, age, school history, etc.)?
A: My name is Irfan Rifai. I am from Indonesia and I am 40 yrs old. I’ve gotten my Master’s in Education from Flinders University, Australia, and my Bachelor degree in English Language Teaching from IKIP Semarang/ UNNES, Indonesia.
Q: How did you find out about USINTEC/OSU?
A: I learned about OSU and USINTEC from their website, as well as their Facebook pages and my friends told me about them.
Q: What major/degree are you pursuing at OSU?
A: I am currently pursuing my PhD in Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood (RLEMC).
Q: How is your time in the States? What are some of the hardest culture shocks? What are some the best memories? How has your adjustment been?
A: I have just been here for 8 months. My period of adjustment has been made easy with the support from the university, USINTEC, and the incredible Indonesian community.
Q: Is there any advice you would give to current or future students?
A: Buckle up and get ready for an exciting academic roller coaster! Get support and  find out how to get one when you first get here.
Q: How do you like working for USINTEC now?
A: I love it. Meeting and interacting with Faculty members in the non-classroom situations and helping other international students  are some of the most valuable experiences I’ve had.

Teaching Award 2015

Teaching Award 2015


Risa has been awarded the USAID Scholarship administered by US – Indonesia Teacher Consortium (USINTEC) in 2013 to accomplish a master’s degree in the US. She received her degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where she studied Teaching and Learning with a specialization in Science Education. Upon her graduation in 2014, she returned to teach in Junior High School 3 in Pontianak, West Borneo. Because of her passion in teaching, learning, and sharing, Risa applied for the Teaching Award on the regional level for her city. After several tests such as teaching practice, interview, and best practice presentation, she was selected to represent Junior High School teachers in Pontianak to compete at the Province Level. In this level, there are 13 Junior High School teachers from the districts in the Province of West Borneo who will participate to be finalists at the national level. The event at the Province level is more competitive, but she was nominated to represent West Borneo on the national level. The Teaching Award in the National level was held in Jakarta in November 2015. At this event, all teachers have the opportunity to receive direct instruction about the government’s policies in education from The Minister of Education and Culture, Anies Baswedan, Ph.D., and they also attended Teachers’ Day in Istora Senayan, Jakarta with the President of Indonesia, Ir. H. Joko Widodo. The best part about being one of the finalists of the National Teaching Award is that she met and shared experiences with other fellow teachers from across Indonesia who are bright and inspiring teachers. As a result of her achievement, the Mayor of Pontianak, Sutarmidji, M.Hum gave her an Umrah Trip Award, a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia next year. Risa also enjoys being a volunteer and currently is involved as a mentor in the USA Mentorship Program, a platform where Indonesian graduates of U.S. colleges and universities guide young Indonesians who want to study in the United States.

Congratulations Risa!IMG_2038


Meet USINTEC March 2016

Last year in 2015 we had 4 Master Degree graduates! They are all back in Indonesia now using their degrees in awesome ways. Yet we asked them some questions about their experience, and their responses are recorded below.  Graduates 2015


  • What’s your name and background (where are you from, age, school history, etc.)?
  • How did you find out about USINTEC/OSU?
  • What major/degree did you get at OSU?
  • How was your time in the States? What were some of the hardest culture shocks? What were some the best memories?
  • Is there any advice you would give to current or future students?


Arsianti Dewi I am Arsianti Dewi Kilas Sinar Nurani. I am from Boyolali, Central Java. I am 25 years old. I attended my elementary, junior and high school in Boyolali. I got my bachelor degree at Semarang State University. Then, I joined the dual master’s degree program (1 year in Indonesia and 1 year in the United States). I received funding from Directorate General of Higher Education (DIKTI).

I found out about USINTEC and OSU from one of my friends that suggested me to apply for the dual master’s degree program.

I got my Master of Arts degree at OSU. My major is RLEMC (Reading in Early and Middle Childhood).

I had a great time in the United States. The hardest culture shock was the weather. I come from a tropical country which has only two seasons, rainy and dry seasons. During my time in the United States, I had to deal with the extreme temperature especially during the winter. This was the hardest part about living in the United States. Another culture shock I experienced was about giving tips. I needed some time to get used with this culture. I often calculated my bills several times before deciding how much I should give for tips.

I have many great memories during my study in the United States. I met very nice people. I met people from around the world. I learned something new from them. Moreover, I met many Indonesian people who are very helpful in the United States. They are like my family who are willing to open their hands whenever I need help. Also, I did traveling to some places with my friends in the United States. Moreover, I joined the lottery trip offered by the Office of International Affairs. In this trip, I visited some historical places during civil rights movement. It enhanced my knowledge about what was going on in the United States during civil right movement. By traveling, I could see the United States not only from the glamorous side, but also from the historical side.

For current students, I would suggest to them to join the lottery trips being offered by the Office of International Affairs. It will enhance their knowledge about the United States. Also, it gives them opportunity to make friends with both International students and American students at the same time.




Kiki DenhasI am Kiki Denhas. I am originally from Rembang, Central Java, Indonesia. I was born in Rembang, November 28, 1989 and spent my childhood in Rembang. Moreover, I went to elementary, junior, and high school level in Rembang. Then I moved to Semarang to pursue my undergraduate program in 2008. I finished my undergraduate program majoring in English Education in April 2012. Right after that, I had an opportunity to work as a teacher in an international school in Rembang for one year (2012-2013).

In September 2013, I decided to work in the graduate program by registering myself in English Language Education in Semarang State University. At the same time, I got a chance to work at one of state universities in Semarang, namely Semarang State Polytechnic.

As time went by, one of my best friends was accepted in OSU in Dual Masters’ Degree Program. She then told me to try to apply for the same program at OSU through USINTEC. As she shared her experiences studying at OSU, I was so excited to give it a try.

My hard work paid off when I finally heard the news from one of USINTEC staffs that I was accepted. I was enrolled in College of Education: Teaching and Learning, majoring Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood. I started my program in January 12, 2016 and finished in December, 2016. I joined the Autumn Semester Commencement which is one of the best things I have ever had in my life.

Being in the States for about 12 months has been full of precious moments for me. I did not dare to dream about the States or even visit it until I finally stepped my feet on the main land. I learned a lot from many people I met throughout my “journey”. In terms of education, I learned the way my advisor, professors, and campus staffs to help cope with the students. They are very professional and helpful. They do really understand that I was an international student who had some challenges especially in communicating by using English and cross-cultural understanding. Therefore, they seem to be so very helpful and friendly. My classmates were very helpful too. I never felt discriminated against during the learning process. I even still keep in touch with some of them. The only thing I struggled with was the “reading culture”. That was the biggest challenge for me. I was not accustomed to read loads of articles in Indonesia. However, the learning process in OSU made me read at least three articles for each course. I remember one night I cried for not being able to cope with some articles.

Dealing with my “hardest culture shock”, I would say that for those who want to continue their education at USA especially in OSU, brave yourself! They should be prepared for being able to deal with many articles during the learning process. It might take tears and blood, but believe me, it is worth doing in the end. I feel so blessed that I am now accustomed to read.




Dwi Amalia PutriMy name is Dwi Amalia Putri. But, people call me Lia. I am from Tegal, a small city in Central Java. In 2007, I did my undergraduate at Semarang State University (UNNES). I took English Education as my major. Still at the same university and the same major, I continued my study to pursue a master’s degree in 2012.

Before I knew about USINTEC/OSU, I heard some of my friends got the scholarship to USA because they joined Dual Master Degree Program. They told me about the program and suggested me to open the USINTEC website.

I studied in Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood.

The first time I came to the USA was in January 2015 and it was winter. I had no idea what winter looked like, so it was surprising for me to feel the cold. From someone who comes from tropical country where it always feels like summer all the year, I had to make myself sure to keep warm every time I wanted to go outside.

My best memory is when I graduated from OSU. I feel like it’s true that hard work pays off. Studying at OSU was really challenging because I had to deal with some papers, readings and many assignments. But, with the great facilities that OSU has like the libraries and the access to many journals, I was able to finish all of the assignments. So, thanks OSU for all the great experiences that I have.



Winda KusumaMy name is Windhariyati Dyah Kusumawanti, everyone calls me Winda. I am 25 years old. I come from Banyumas, Central Java. I finished my bachelor degree in educational field. It is a Bachelor of Education at Semarang State University. Education is my passion; in this case, I do love teaching. For me, teaching is so priceless. It is not only about transferring knowledge but also constructing students’ behaviors and characteristics.

My passion of educational field brought me on my way to The Ohio State University. The very first time I knew USINTEC was when a friend of mine told me about Dual Masters’ Degree students of Semarang State University and The Ohio State University through USINTEC. Then I searched for more information about it via After getting more information about USINTEC, it triggered my passion since it closely related to the educational field. Therefore, I had consultations with some lecturers in Semarang State University who were also involved in that program. After some consultations, I learnt a lot about the procedure of application process in order to achieve the precious opportunity to study at The Ohio State University and through USINTEC.

Under the remarkable advisor Dr. Christine Warner, I got a Master of Arts (MA) in 2015, in Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood (RLEMC), Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.

When I arrived at the United States for the first time, it was in winter. Since I came from the tropical and sunny place of Indonesia, I got bad experiences due to the first experience of the cold in winter. The cold irritated my skin because I also have sensitive skin. Then, after I made more protection for my skin, the skin problem got better. Truthfully however, the snow in winter was extremely beautiful except for the cold.

The best memories that I got were wonderful experiences and meeting extraordinary people there. Lots of wonderful experiences and people deeply contributed both academic and personal matters of my life. I learnt a huge number of valuable knowledge for my career and future life.

Overall, having precious experiences at The Ohio State University teaches me to live the dreams and passion with real action. No matter the obstacle, the matter is how to deal with it. It reminds me of the experiences during the selection process to get the funding. Although it was a very long process, it is very important to dream high and keep climbing to reach the dreams. Do the best and God will do the rest.


Philippines Visit

Dr. Stein recently took a trip to Indonesia and the Philippines and at the end of it he visited the Philippine Normal University (PNU) which you can check out on their website here. And for the interview of Dr. Stein on his trip there, you can read that here.

Showcase: Batik

We are proud of our Batik especially after UNESCO designated Batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009. The showcase of USINTEC displays some items of Batik as a part of promoting Indonesian culture.

2015 Indonesian arts and culture scholarship

Are you interested to learn Indonesian culture and arts in a deeper way? This scholarship enables you to live and learn from the most renown traditional artists with other international students from all over the world. The program will be held for three month period of time (March 2 to June 15, 2015) in several locations: Bandung/East Java, Denpasar/Bali, Makasar/South Sulawesi, Solo/Central Java and Surabaya/East Java. The deadline of application is October 31, 2014. For further information, click this link.

Show case: Masks

As an effort to promote Indonesian culture, there is a show case in Arps Hall that is used to display some artistic items from Indonesia. We start this new academic year to present some masks and wood sculpture. We do hope that these items could help attracting more American students and professors to visit case_mask