1. Please give a brief introduction of yourself.
Hello, I am Mutiara Maknun from Indonesia. I am currently studying International Management in Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia.
2. How did you start interning at VANK?
It was the first time when I was offered by a friend who was working as the member of AIESEC Brawijaya at that time, and she offered me a program named Global Youth Ambassador which gives an opportunity to have a kind of internship program in overseas. As I search about VANK after applying to this program, I see that VANK has good aims in promoting Korean histories, places and people. Which are the things that I want to know more about South Korea.
3. What was the best part of working at VANK?
The best time working at VANK is the time when I am with the VANK’s team can make a great change in the work we do. As VANK working in promoting the Korean history, change or add additional information in Wikipedia and other important websites, I feel honour to be part of this organization. They like to help each other and treat each other like family.
4. What were your duties as an intern?
I have the task to find some similarities and difference between Korea and Indonesia. Even we born in the same Asian country, in some specific field, Korea and Indonesia has huge differences. However, the culture and speaking manner are somehow the same. Beside that, I need to search about Indonesian websites which introduce about South Korea and correct some mistakes on the website. Furthermore, VANK has many websites and it is an honour to have a chance to translate them in Bahasa Indonesia. As these days Indonesian citizen are really interested in South Korea’s culture, it will be nicer for them to know Korean more from all of the VANK’s websites.
Lastly, they also ask me to present about Indonesia and its history and culture to get a deeper understanding about it. They said that Indonesian people speak many different languages and live in diversity environment which makes it interesting.
5. What have you gained from your experience as an intern?
As it is the first experience for me to have an internship, I can have a chance to see how a working environment will be like in the future. I gain many new knowledge about Korean’s history and culture. Especially Dokdo that I never heard before and comfort women issues in Korea which is seem to be still going on, with the Wednesday protest in front of the Japan’s Embassy, while in Indonesia the issue is rarely to be discussed.
6. Describe some of your short-term and long-term goals.
My short term goal is I will go back to Indonesia to finish my last year in University. I only have one semester left to have my graduation next year hopefully and then I might have to start working soon. The long term goal that I have for now is I will keep teaching Indonesia and Javanese language to my students as my hobby and part time job.
7. Before you came to Korea what was your impression of Korea?
The first thing that I know about Korea is that KPOP is really popular these days in my country and I heard the way Korean people work has high professionalism. They are as hard working as Japanese. Korean cosmetics are also globally well-known for their good quality and the plastic surgery is common.
8. What do you think about Korea, now that you have been here for 7 weeks?
Due to my departure in the summer time, I think simmer in Korea is so humid. But other than that, I really like Korean foods and the portion is really big. I like the way Korean likes to have a dessert such Bingsu after the main meal. And Korean people are nice and helpful even on the street. They give me some direction even some of them can’t speak English well.
Furthermore, I like the fact that Korean people appreciate their culture, and many museums and historical places are taken care really well.
9. What is your most memorable thing about Korea?
The most memorable thing is the time when VANK members and I go to Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was my second time I visited there, but the time when VANK’s members and I went there, we need to wear Korean Traditional Clothes, Hanbok, to have such a Hanbok campaign for the high school students. I like that kind of cultural activities which let me explore more the Korean cultures.
10. Is there any last words you would like to say to VANK?
First of all, thank you for having me in this kind of wonderful family. Thank you for helping me a lot and being nice to me for the past weeks I have been working here. It was really nice to experience such a different culture even still rooted in the same Asian region. I appreciate all the effort that VANK’s member did here in order for me to feel more comfortable and let me learn and practice my Korean more. Unconsciously the time flies and I need to go back, but the memories remain and if another day we get another chance to meet again, I will happily say hello for the second time.