A music, book, travel and Coca-Cola enthusiast, Christina Juwita is also the cofounder of a popular blog. Her involvement with Indonesia Mengglobal, a portal to inspire, encourage and support Indonesians to pursue education abroad, grows out of her desire to help others by sharing her own overseas study experience in England. Christina shares with us her favorite blogger on Indonesia Mengglobal, why she thinks Jakarta is like a plate of gado-gado, and the secret to getting a table at a fancy cafe in Jakarta.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born on Christmas Day – that explains my name — and raised in Jakarta. I have left the city twice, though. Once was during my early childhood when we moved to Caracas, Venezuela, because of my father’s work. The next time I moved was for graduate study in Bournemouth, England.
I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Indonesia, majoring in business administration. In England, I got my master’s degree in advertising and marketing communications at Bournemouth University. Now I’m working in the marketing department of Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, a Coke bottling company. Working in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry has been my goal since college, so I’m very passionate about my job.
I’m a music enthusiast, I love to travel, I enjoy good books, and I’m also currently active in Indonesia Mengglobal.
Tell us about Indonesia Mengglobal.
We are a group of Indonesian students and alumni who are excited to share our experiences of studying abroad. The team started with two Stanford University students, and has now become eight-person-strong team.
We started through a blog, indonesiamengglobal.com, in 2012. Now we have expanded to become a forum, have hosted two seminars and a coffee chat between US schools’ alumni and prospective students, as well as participated in seminars by other organizations.
Currently, we have around 60 contributors from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. We hope that we can help many Indonesian students who wish to study abroad by sharing our own experiences, and we always welcome discussions through our blog and forum.
Jakarta is like a big bowl of gado-gado! Different ingredients mixed together as one. You can find people from everywhere here. You can find almost everything here.
You know how gado-gado doesn’t look very appealing with all the ingredients mixed together as one, but it tastes really good? Jakarta is like that to me. It is chaotic, very crowded — not to mention the really annoying traffic — but it’s my hometown and I love it.
Tell us what you think is the most interesting story on Indonesia Mengglobal.
We are lucky to have so many contributors with such interesting stories to share on our blog.
My personal favorite would be Alice’s “Road to Harvard” Series. Alice is one of our contributors, currently enrolled at Harvard University.
Before I read her posts, I used to have questions like, “How do people get into Harvard?” “What does it take to become Harvard student?”
Alice’s series of posts tells us about her experience of getting into Harvard, in a very interesting and elaborate way!
Tell us something you know about Jakarta that most people don’t.
Nowadays you can find fancy cafes and restaurants mushrooming in Jakarta, especially in the South and Central areas.
They’re so hip that it’s almost impossible to get a seat there on weekends even if you make a reservation a week ahead. But not if you do it in English! That’s a little secret that me and my friends discovered.
Are there now more students studying abroad because of Indonesia Mengglobal?
Well, we don’t have exact statistics for that, but we often get replies on Twitter and Facebook as well as direct e-mails saying that what we do actually helped [students] in their application process.
We recently received a thank-you e-mail from a senior who has been reading our articles. She told us that she’s been accepted into Brown University and our articles really helped her during her application process.
Feedback like that really, really makes our team’s day, and we hope we can help as many people as possible.
What’s your favorite spot in Jakarta?
Definitely the Kemang area! It’s not far from where I live, and you can find almost anything there.
I know the traffic can be pretty bad on Friday and Saturday nights — I try to avoid it at those times — but come on Sundays and visit the small shops and cafes in South or East Kemang, you won’t be disappointed!
I usually start with a nice brunch, followed by a stroll in the mall or Aksara Bookstore, then just chill at one of the coffee shops.
What’s next for you and Indonesia Mengglobal?
We’re both aiming high! Indonesia Mengglobal’s vision is to be the main portal for Indonesian students planning to study abroad.
We are planning to host a couple of other offline events, such as seminars or coffee chats, and we really hope that we can reach as many as possible!
We hope that there will be more contributors from more schools or countries, so that we can share as much valid information as possible.
Personally, I want to see more Indonesians studying abroad. And apart from that I’d like to travel more. I have several travel plans already for this year.
Christina Juwita was talking to Angelyn Liem.