July, 8 2023 a group of students have been dispatched to Loei Province, Thailand to carry out an Internship and Community service program for four months. This program was attended by several joint universities namely Muhammadiyah University of Sidoarjo, Muhammadiyah University Gresik, Muhammadiyah University Sorong, Muhammadiyah University Palopo, Muhammadiyah University Ponorogo, and Madura University.
This program is implemented with the aim that students can apply their knowledge to elementary school students and gain teaching experience. With sincere intentions and accompanied by high enthusiasm, these students are expected to be able to create bonds between individuals and the environment as well as cross-border communication.
This internship program is the result of collaboration not only between universities but also a collaboration with several elementary schools in Thailand. The students, who are the majority from the English language education study program, go to Thailand with the mission of introducing English to students at the school in an interesting and enjoyable, way.
There are 14 students from a combination of tertiary institutions who will be assigned to teach in several schools. One of the students, Riza Mafiroh, an English Education student from the Muhammadiyah University of Sidoarjo, said at the opening of the program at the school, “Thank you for accepting me so well at this school, I am very happy and grateful to be a part of this school. I hope my presence here can have a good impact, both on students, teachers, and the environment. I want to be able to share the knowledge that I have so that it can be useful and can be used in the future for positive things. Hopefully, I can help students and teachers here to feel more confident in speaking English.”
The students teach English with an interactive approach and are also assisted with the use of multimedia, including games and songs in English. This aims to change students’ perceptions of English which is often considered difficult and boring into something interesting and fun.
The Principal of the Elementary School at Ban Nonkokkha School, Sirimongkol Nuanma, participated in responding to a monthly meeting, “The presence of students here makes us very happy. Apart from being able to apply English to communicate, students can also learn English with students from Indonesia in a fun and interesting way.” He said with a smiling face.
Accompanied by teaching activities for these four months, students also have the opportunity to get to know the culture and tourist attractions in Thailand with the aim of enriching their experiences personally. This can also increase the intimacy between students with the environment and mingle with the local community, attend cultural events, and taste Thai specialties.
Dr. H. Hidayatulloh, M.Si, Chancellor of the Muhammadiyah University of Sidoarjo, also expressed his pride. “Thailand is not the number one country in the world. Thailand is not a big country. But, to do something big, it doesn’t mean you have to go to a big place. But you can go to any country and do something big. If you can give progress to society, giving your knowledge, means you have invested in humanity.”
It is hoped that this internship and community service program will continue to grow and provide sustainable benefits for both parties, connecting more students and students on a mission to improve their English communication skills globally.
Disclaimer: This whole of article is created and made by Riza Mafiroh based on her recent journey. Review and Edited by LKUI