Being a Student Teacher in Malaysia: Ulya Darajati’s Story
University of Muhammadiyah Purwokerto (UMP) is in progress of improving its quality to be World Class University. One of the ways to get that achievement is by developing international cooperation with institutions in other countries. This effort is reflected in the initial program ‘International Teaching Practice’ held in collaboration between Teacher Training and Education Faculty UMP and Fakulti Pendidikan, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). The program is held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia starting from February, 14th 2017 until 14th March, 2017. There are 15 students of FKIP UMP participating in this program. From 15 students, English Education Department sent 8 students from batch 2014to join the program.
During the program, we stay in the dormitory of UTM. We are also facilitated by a car and a bus for transportation. In the weekdays, We go to school to practice our teaching skills. The students of English Department are divided into two schools; SMK Taman University 2 and SMK Skudai. In SMK Taman University 2 we go to the school in morning session while in the SMK Skudai we go to the school in afternoon session. The schools selected by UTM and they are good schools. The students in the school come from different races; Melayu, Indian Thamil, and Chinese. In the weekend, we can travel to some places such as Johor Bahru, Melaka, and Kuala Lumpur.
Students from each race and nation have their own characteristics. So, we have to be able to adapt with the different characteristics. We also have to learn Malay language to communicate with people. Language is the most difficult one to adapt; we have to communicate in English if we cannot use Malay. This is a very great challenge for us English students to improve our language skill. In the teaching and learning process, students in Malaysia are very smart. They can speak English well. We should prepare a lot of fun activities in every teaching. It builds our creativity and hardwork. If we do not prepare any activity, we will not able to organize the class. So far, the teaching practice runs well. It is shown by the letters from our students that they are very happy being taught by teachers from Indonesia.
Finally, we feel very lucky to join this program since there are so many great experiences. We would like to express our sincere thanks for the lecturers of English Education Department, International Office Affairs, UMP, and UTM for giving us the chance. We hope the program can be held again in the coming years.