Dikka Kartika did a certificate in international business communication at Pierce College in 2011-2012. Since she returned home to Indonesia, she has served as an Education USA advisor, sharing her knowledge of U.S. higher education with other students interested in studying in the US. She is currently studying Korean and planning to apply to universities in Korea. Here she shares how her experience in the CCI program helped prepare her for her role at EducationUSA.
After I completed the Community College Initiative Program in 2012, I started to work as an EducationUSA advisor when I went back to Indonesia. EducationUSA is a network of hundreds of advising centers supported by the U.S. Department of State. An advisor is responsible for providing accurate, comprehensive, current, and unbiased information on the U.S. higher education system. We assist students in providing complete information on higher education in the U.S. and guide them in finding the best-fit higher education institutions for their particular personal and professional needs. The advising process is done in various way (i.e. one-on-one advising, group advising, through email or by phone and social media).
As an EducationUSA advisor, I also implemented educational advising programs aimed to raise awareness about U.S. higher education throughout the region. This consisted of giving a presentation on schools and universities, participating in education/career fairs/seminars/and workshops, conducting specific educational events such as post-fair events and pre-admission orientations. During the CCI program, I took classes in business communication and I had to give presentations regularly; therefore, I gained skills in public speaking and became accustomed to giving presentations in public. When I had internship in a non-profit organization during the CCI program, I was given a chance to represent the organization during an event. Through this chance, I learned and implemented my knowledge in customer service and public speaking, which I had also applied during my service as EducationUSA advisor.
I found talking with students who are interested in studying in the U.S either through one-on-one advising or online advising very enjoyable. I have been particularly happy when I have been able to help the students to find their right-fit universities and help them in the application process.
Having the opportunity to study in the U.S., I am glad that I was able to witness how committed U.S. colleges are in providing an enjoyable learning experience by offering a variety of excellent academic support services such as tutoring centers, writing centers, international student office, etc. Through this one-year experience, I gained knowledge about the U.S. higher education system. I was able to share my knowledge and experience about studying in at a community college, its advantages, and how it is different from universities with students who are interested in pursuing higher education in the U.S. I am also glad that during the program, I was able to actively join volunteer projects and college clubs, which have also shaped my world outlook and broadened my perspective as I dealt with people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.