We toured the campus of UMSU with our buddies, Cut and Arika in order to familiarize ourselves with our new environment and learn more about our host school.
It was a very memorable and valuable experience because we were able to compare our own universities with that of another country, as well as realize many things about the education system of Indonesia.
We first visited the building for the Education students and saw some of the classrooms. They were clean and well organized, with adequate technology and lighting. Each classroom had its own air conditioner and projector as well as consistently working electricity that could help professors conduct lectures smoothly without disruptions or technical problems. As for the chairs, they looked well maintained and were free of damage and vandalism, thus allowing students to study and focus without being distracted or feeling uncomfortable. The class populations were also not crowded and overpopulated, since just around thirty students occupied a single room. Overall, the classrooms were well maintained and allowed many opportunities to maximize learning and lessen difficulties with the students’ learning environment.
The building itself was also roomy and had sufficient facilities, such as guidance offices and a micro teaching room. There were benches that allowed the students to rest and sit down while waiting for their classes, and there were no crowded hallways that we had to pass through.
After visiting this building, we also walked around the buildings for the other schools of the campus, as well as various small gardens and fountains. The greenery around the campus helped make the atmosphere relaxing and stimulating for the students, and it also helped lessen the possibility of pollution within the campus. As for the buildings of the other schools, they were also well maintained and not too distant from one another. These buildings were big enough to accommodate an ample amount of students and had facilities that were useful to the students’ fields of study. The School of Engineering’s building, for instance, had laboratories on the ground floor. This location allowed the students to work in a spacious environment, as well as evacuate the laboratory conveniently in case of emergencies.
We also visited the library building and the library director and his colleagues. It was very well equipped and had sufficient air conditioning, which allowed the students to study in a relaxing and conductive environment. There were computers that the students could conveniently use to access the library’s digital database, as well as other online academic services. These computers had no problems with sudden software crashes or weak internet connection and thus did not cause any disturbances or disruptions within the library. The bookshelves were very neat and organized, and contained resources for various disciplines such as business and engineering. There were no misplaced or disarranged books, which made it easy for the students to look for and retrieve any books that they needed. The chairs and tables in the library were also comfortable and free of damage or vandalism.
Another part of the campus that I also observed were the bulletin boards. I noticed that while many of the bulletin boards had colorful designs and lots of printed information, there were other bulletin boards that were empty or had few information to provide. There were also other bulletin boards that had falling pieces of paper or scattered decorations. Though I could not understand Bahasa Indonesian, I could see that some of the bulletin boards presented information about school activities and articles for the students to read. The school publication’s bulletin board, in particular, had the opinion articles of their editorial board posted for the convenience of the other students. Perhaps when many of the students come back for their classes and many of the school organizations have more active members, the bulletin boards will be maximized.
Overall, I can say that UMSU is a university full of the ingredients needed to have a conductive learning environment: modern gadgets, comfortable and well-maintained chairs and tables, adequate air conditioning, lack of noise pollution and garbage, and a very kind and accommodating faculty. Even though it is a relatively small school, it has still taken advantage of its resources to provide quality learning facilities to its students.