Experience Changes Lives

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Abdouli Jonga

My name is Abdoulie Jonga from the Gambia, West Africa. Currently, I have finished the master degree program in Disaster Science, at Universitas Syiah Kuala.

Disaster is one my interest areas since it is a natural phenomenon that can give certain effects in our live. Disaster is unavoidable and catastrophic events in which all hands most be on deck to reduce its risk.

“Your place of destiny determines your success in life”, I believe this saying can change my fate and help me achieve my visions. That is why I decided to enroll myself to study at Universitas Syiah Kuala with scholarship from the university.

During the study, I actively participated in several academic activities and visits along with friends. I went to the Pulo Aceh, Sabang Island, Takengon and Tsunami Museum, also I took part in academic programs, such as the invitation of online conferences during the Covid-19 pandemic and others. Through activities I have learned certain things that I could not obtain in class.

For the thesis writing, I conduct a research about the level of effectiveness and management capacity of Flood Risk Reduction in the Gambia: A Case study of North Bank Region, under the supervision of Dr. Ella Meilianda, S.T., M.T as my 1st Supervisor and Dr. Nizamuddin, M. SC as my 2nd Supervisor. They did guide me through online consultation.

A time frame is always created for me at any time I consulted my supervisors in concern to my thesis matter. The constructive comments from them made my research better. I do not have any reservation for their commitment and competency in guidance and support during my thesis writing.

During the thesis presentation, I was examined by Prof. Dr. Azmeri, S.T, M.T. as my 1st examiner, Dr. Ir. Teuku Alvisyahrin, M.Sc. as my 2nd examiner and Dr. Ir. M. Dirhamsyah, M.T., IPU as the Head of the Seminar. It was a challenging moment for me, and after that with their high level capacity, they assisted me with a significant contribution for my thesis writing process and its development.

In addition, since the university has a high standard of writing process, my thesis must go through several confirmations process by the academic office, where the plagiarism, journal or conference publication in concern to my thesis was observed properly before the endorsement for the final defending of my thesis.

Here I experienced my thesis proposal and seminar were done online due to pandemic of covid-19, but the most important things is the thesis final examination, which was done offline. It did make me feel so much excited and challenged which finally I got “A” point and officially graduated in 2021.

I can say that I do not only gain academic knowledge but I also learn how to share and interact with people with different background and origins. Therefore, Universitas Syiah Kuala is the right place to pursue an academic career without any alteration due to its atmospheric environment.

Further, what I need to share as a foreigner is the living in Aceh and my interaction with natives. I found the Aceh societies are friendly and curious-but-interested to strangers. I found they are generous, God fearing, like to help people, honest, which has change my well-being as a student with a free mind to learn comfortably and has improve my social character as I continue to share and socialize with people in harmony and peace as I always feel like in my own home, as you will always see an Acehnese people with a smiling face with no stress.