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Showing posts from 2018

A Day in the Life of Bunda in Brighton

Bunda, means Mother in the Indonesian language, is what my daughter calls me, at least until two months ago, before she starts calling me Mommie or Mama (with that British accent), following what her friends at school call their Mom. Children are indeed resembling a sponge, they are very quick in adapting to the surrounding environment. Nevertheless, I am still a Bunda, perhaps the only Bunda in Brighton. My daily life in Brighton, in general, is filled with studying, seeing beautiful places (even only the autumn/winter trees and Victorian-styled houses) and doing mom's duty. It is not exactly the same, some days feel longer and some days feel easier. This routine I am about to tell is probably the normal one.

It starts in the morning with preparing for my kid's and my own breakfast, and sometimes my packed lunch if I have no chance to go home for lunch on that day (even though my house is inside the campus!). Usually, I just reheat the foods I have cooked the night before. Af…

The Five Best Things about University of Sussex

How is it like to study at the University of Sussex? In this blog post, I would share the top 5 best things about this university where I am currently studying at, which might help prospected students to generate a decision. In the beginning, I was thinking to write positive and negative aspects of it in one article, similar to my last post About Brighton, but then it was going to be a long article. Therefore, I split it into two pieces: this post focuses on the jolly side, while the other dark side (ho-ho) is covered in the latter post (not necessarily after this one).

My first impression about the University of Sussex was how they welcome international students warmly. When I arrived in the UK for the first time in Heathrow Airport on 16th September 2018, just when I walked out the arrival gate, the university greeted me with someone holding the university signpost. She and other students standby there that day (and the day before) were sent by International Student Support (ISS) to…

About Brighton

It has been almost 2 months since I arrived in England in the middle of September and started living in Brighton. Brighton might not be known so much by people outside the United Kingdom (UK), and some people might even mistaken it with Brighton of Melbourne, Australia. Located on the seaside, Brighton is a small resort town about an hour train ride to the south of London, which is a favorite holiday destination for Londoners. Brighton and its neighbor Hove are towns, but together they form a city called Brighton & Hove (yeah, easy) started from year 2000. It is going to be my home for the next one year (minus 2 months) while I am studying a Master Degree in one of the universities in Brighton. So, what can I say about this new home of mine?

What I Like About Brighton

The first thing I like in Brighton is its laid-back atmosphere. Like the usual vacation town, people here are so relaxed and easy-going. Minority and foreigners, including Moslems, are very welcomed. My husband admitt…

Membuat Medical Certificate untuk Visa UK

Salah satu syarat dokumen untuk mengajukan visa UK non visitor adalah surat kesehatan bebas Tuberculosis (TBC). Surat atau sertifikat ini harus dikeluarkan oleh klinik-klinik yang sudah ditunjuk (Approved Clinic), jadi tidak bisa di sembarang rumah sakit.

Berikut list klinik nya di Indonesia:
RS Premier JatinegaraRS Premier BintaroRS Premier SurabayaRS Premier Bali Yang paling dekat dari rumah saya adalah RS Premier Jatinegara. Sebelum mendatangi langsung, saya mendaftar dulu via telepon ke nomor 1500908. Awalnya saya telpon tidak diangkat. Lalu tidak berapa lama mereka menelepon saya balik ke nomor yang tadi saya pakai buat telpon kesana, keren juga RS Premier Jatinegara ini.

Staff nya kemudian mendata nama dan tanggal lahir yang mau medical checkup, dan menjelaskan syarat-syaratnya:
Pasfoto 4x6 sebanyak 2 lembar dengan background biru (biru apa saja)PassportHasil scan xray atau medical checkup setahun terakhir jika ada (tapi akhirnya tidak dicek juga)Uang sebesar Rp.690,000 untuk 1 Me…

Membuat Surat Referensi Bank untuk Visa UK

Salah satu syarat dokumen untuk pembuatan Visa Student UK adalah Surat Referensi Bank (Bank Reference Letter) dan Rekening Koran (Bank Account Statement) milik pelamar (kalau biaya sendiri) atau milik parents/guardians (kalau disponsor oleh parents/guardians). Sebenarnya dokumen ini tidak wajib, apalagi bagi pelamar yang mendapat beasiswa penuh. Bagi saya yang dapat beasiswanya parsial dan sisanya ditanggung sendiri, saya butuh menyiapkan dokumen ini kalau-kalau nanti diminta. Surat ini biasanya berisi no rekening kita di bank tersebut dan jumlah saldo nya, termasuk rekening tabungan dan rekening deposito. Kalau reksadana atau saham lainnya tidak bisa.

Berapakah saldo minimum yang disyaratkan? Kalau tinggalnya di luar London, living cost setahun atau disebut juga maintenance fee untuk 1 orang adalah £9135. Kalau berangkat sendiri, jumlah saldo minimum yang harus ditunjukkan adalah maintenance fee + tuition fee. Kalau bawa keluarga (suami/istri dan anak) atau dependant, tambah lagi den…

List Dokumen Visa Student UK

Berikut ini list dokumen yang diperlukan untuk proses pembuatan Visa PBS (Point Based System) Tier 4 / Student UK, yang saya dapat dari IDP.

Paspor baru dan LamaMedical CertificateXray CertificateIjasah (Indonesian & translation)Transkrip (Indonesian & translation)IELTS, jika di CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) diminta untuk dilampirkanAkte Lahir (Indonesian & translation)Kartu keluarga (Indonesian & translation)KTP (Indonesian & translation)Fotokopi
Appointment ConfirmationPrint out one line visa application formMedical CertificateXray CertificateLetter of Sponsor from Parents/Guardians (kalau case saya ini surat dari Suami)Copy SIUP, NPWP & TDP (jika sponsor/parents/guardians punya perusahaan)Surat keterangan kerja sponsor (jika sponsor bekerja)Bank Reference & Bank Statement asliPaspor (halaman yg ada foto)CAS StatementIjasah (Indonesian & translation)Transkrip (Indonesian & translation)IELTS (jika di CAS diminta untuk dilampirkan)A…

The Letter from Hogwarts

Today I got a good news from the small island. All those hard works and prayers have paid off. Alhamdulillah. Thank you so much Allah for your blessing.

One Day Trip to Shifen and Jiufen from Taipei

Shifen and Jiufen are traditional old towns both located in New Taipei City, the northeast side of Taipei City. Even though they were belong to different districts: Shifen is in Pingxi, Jiufen is in Ruifang, but they are quite nearby and can be visited in the same day. However, moving from Shifen to Jiufen or vice versa by public transportation is not so easy. I did some research and found that we need to take a train from Taipei to Ruifang Station then train to Shifen then train back to Riufang then bus to Jiufen, with some trains have low frequency. If you missed one train, you have to wait for another hour.

Since Jiufen is my most anticipated place I'd love to visit in Taiwan, I did not want to spend unnecessary time during commuting so we could have a lot of energy when roaming around the place. Therefore I booked a tour in Klook. It was practically a transport rather than a tour, because once we got into the area, we were free to go around the place by ourselves and would mee…

A Day in Yangmingshan National Park Taipei

Taiwan is famous for its mountainous and natural scenery. About 53 times smaller than Indonesia, this country has 9 national parks in total. One of them is located on the northeast side of Taipei downtown, and accessible to visit in one day from Taipei City with public transportation. It is called Yangmingshan, named after a scholar from Ming Dynasty, and Shan means mountain in Chinese (similar to Korean's San). The place is good for seeing cherry blossoms, enjoying hot spring, and hiking. 

Since I came here in the middle of May, there was no longer cherry blossoms insights. We also did not intend to dip in one of its hot springs, since it was not too cold anymore. Furthermore, hiking was not an option for us who are traveling with a small kid. What we did was strolling around the park enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views. The place is quite friendly for baby with a stroller and elderly with a wheelchair.

What to See
Yangmingshan has a lot of scenic spots. The complete list …

Booking Travel Deals in Klook

My recent trip to Taiwan has introduced me to a new travel platform that I might use often in the future. It is called Klook, which offers amazingly variant types of travel packages, especially in Asian destination, including activities and transportation. This post is not being sponsored, it is purely a review of my own experience using Klook. Here are the 3 packages I book in Klook when visiting Taiwan.

'Unite Traveler' 4G SIM Card (TW Airport Pick Up) for Taiwan
Except for posting on Instagram, I really need an internet connection for finding my ways around Taipei. Either I buy a SIM card with data connection or rent a wifi modem. Usually, people traveling in a big group prefer renting wifi more than buying SIM card because then they can share the connection. However, if you only travel by yourself or with another (adult) 1 person, like me and my husband (and our kid), buying a SIM card is cheaper. Klook offers many choices of Wifi and SIM card.

Panduan Aplikasi Visa dan Ijin Bebas Masuk Taiwan untuk Turis Indonesia

Negara Taiwan yang disebut juga Republic of China (ROC) memiliki territory sendiri dan berbeda dengan mainland China yang bernama People's Republic of China (PRC). Taiwan tidak punya Kedutaan Besar di Jakarta, melainkan sebuah kantor perwakilan dengan nama Taipei Economic Trade Office (Teto) yang berlokasi di dalam kawasan Senayan Central Business District (SCBD) seberang Mall Pacific Place.

Dengan bermodalkan semangat mencari Tao Ming Tse tiket pesawat dan persyaratan lainnya, saya mendatangi kantor Teto tersebut untuk apply visa Taiwan buat saya, suami dan anak. Masuknya dari pintu belakang gedung dengan menukar kartu identitas. Sesampainya di Lantai 17, dokumen saya diperiksa terlebih dahulu oleh petugas di bagian depan pintu. Petugas yang baik hati tersebut memeriksa setiap halaman paspor saya dan menemukan ada Visa Korea.

Petugas: "Ini pernah ke Korea?"
Saya: "Iya pak, tapi visa nya udah expired 2 tahun lalu."
Petugas: "Bisa gratis ini, ga perlu apply vi…

Meet Rokki: Air Asia In-Flight Entertainment

Low-cost carrier means a boring flight? Not anymore. Some AirAsia flights now offer its passengers a free in-flight entertainment using your own gadget called Rokki

What you need to do is to switch on the wi-fi connection in your smartphone or tab, and connect to FREE AirAsia ROKKI Wi-Fi. Voila, you can enjoy music, videos, and games. Although I am not interested in any of its videos and movies, I quite enjoy its music. There are few categories of music such as Classics, Pop and Korean music with about 20 songs each.

You can also read the news and shop online. Since it's a Malaysia airline, most news is about Malaysia though. While for the online shopping, I think it is not a big catch because who wants to wait for 1 month to get the items delivered to your home? And the price is not as cheap as Alibaba / Aliexpress.

As an online-savvy, the most feature I love is the free 2mb chatting plan for BIG members. BIG is the AirAsia membership program where you can collect points everyt…

Spring Festivals 2018 in South Korea

Korea Selatan selalu seru dikunjungi di musim apa saja. Apalagi di saat musim semi sekarang ini karena ada banyak sekali festival yang diadakan masyarakat setempat untuk merayakan naiknya suhu udara yang mulai menghangat (tapi tetap berasa dingin bagi kulit Indonesia, hehe). Yang paling banyak dicari oleh turis, baik lokal maupun mancanegara, adalah festival bunga-bunga yang mulai bermekaran seperti sakura, azalea, tulip dan lain-lain. Tapi ternyata festival selain bunga juga cukup menarik loh.

Tahun 2012 lalu saya pernah membuat peta 2012 Korea Spring Festivals. Dari 20-an festival waktu itu saya hanya sempat mendatangi 4 festival, dan di tahun 2016 mampir ke 2 festival musim semi yang lain lagi. Saya pun jadi kepikiran untuk membuat peta 2018 South Korea Spring Festivals. Berikut ini peta yang sudah saya buat di Google Maps untuk merangkum titik-titik festival musim semi seantero Korea Selatan. Ada sekitar 22 festival selama bulan April dan May 2018, tidak termasuk di bulan Maret ya…

A Long Weekend Getaway to Lampung

Lampung is a province in the southernmost tip of Sumatra Island in Indonesia. it is the first part of Sumatra to encounter when crossing Sunda Strait from Java Island. Like usual seaport area, Lampung weather is very hot, even in rainy season. In February, the temperature was around 28-30 degrees. The capital city Bandar Lampung is one of the cities where you can enjoy sea and mountain together. The city is passed by the Barisan Mountains, a row of mountains stretched along Sumatra Island end to end between south and north. If you find a city with mountains view fascinating, like I do, then you should come to Bandar Lampung.

How to Get to Bandar Lampung From Jakarta
There are 2 ways to go to Bandar Lampung: by the air or by the sea. The flight from Soekarno Hatta Airport to Radin Inten Airport in Lampung takes about 1 hour. It sounds like a short trip ya? However you have to take into account the time you have to check in before departure, usually 1 hour for a local flight, not includ…

WTM: Tempat Wisata di Sentul City

Di Jakarta kita tidak akan pernah melihat pemandangan perbukitan. Well, kadang bisa sih melihat siluet Gunung Salak pagi-pagi banget saat cuaca cerah di area Jakarta Selatan dari gedung berlantai tinggi. Tapi berapa orang sih yang kantor atau apartemennya di gedung tinggi Jakarta Selatan dan bisa nongkrong disana pagi-pagi buta? Yang jelas bukan saya, karena saya tidak pernah melihat Gunung Salak (atau bukit apapun) di Jakarta.

Tempat terdekat dari Jakarta untuk menikmati perbukitan adalah Sentul. Kalau dulu Sentul terkenal hanya dengan sirkuit balap nya, sekarang area tersebut sudah semakin berkembang dengan banyak kompleks rumah bagus, restaurant enak dan tempat wisata keluarga. Walaupun masuk Jawa Barat tapi jaraknya cuma sekitar 50km dari Jakarta, jadi bisa pulang pergi 1 hari kesana tanpa perlu menginap. Bisa jadi pilihan untuk menghabiskan weekend tanpa harus ke mall. Berikut list tempat yang pernah saya datangi di Sentul dalam beberapa kali visit.

Hutan Pinus Gunung Pancar
Ini …

Relaxing Holiday in Banyuwangi

My last trip in 2017 was to Banyuwangi, the easternmost tip of Java. This trip to Banyuwangi was very relaxing for me. Not in terms of slow pace but because I did not need to research too many details about the destinations in our itinerary. Usually, in my family, I am the one who planned everything before and during traveling because you know... I am a Libra... I mean, I like to organize. However this time we booked a travel agent to guide us around, so we got a driver and a guide + photographer. Why? Even though still in Java island, I considered Banyuwangi was very remote, detached, isolated and so difficult to get around without local people, especially if you travel with elders and small kid like us. Been there now, I would say that... yeah, you need local people, but only for some places. Here is the detail of our 2 days journey in Banyuwangi.

Jawatan Perhutani Benculuk
Have you been dreaming to visit Lord of the Rings kinda place? If New Zealand is too far away and too expensiv…