6 International students from 4 different countries in Universitas Gadjah Mada went to Banggai Kepulauan, Central Sulawesi on Saturday, August 5th 2023. This series of events is part of the UGM KKN International and is summarized in a program titled Summer Course: Travel with Experts.
“Welcome to Banggai Kepulauan, thank you for taking the time to explore this area. Hopefully, the knowledge that will be acquired here will be useful for the future.” said the acting regent of Banggai Kepulauan, Ihsan Basir, SH., LL. M, during his welcoming remarks to international students at the Banggai Kepulauan.
This series of events was carried out by Universitas Gadjah Mada in collaboration with the Regional Government of Banggai Kepulauan to provide education about Sustainable Development Goals. The discussion on SDGs in this event covered various objectives related to Banggai Kepulauan, namely natural resources and their relations to SDGs. Several issues focused on the development and environmental conditions, starting from challenges and opportunities for agricultural technologies at Pantai Manggalong, and geospatial aspects of the coastal area at Luk Panenteng Village, to discuss one of Pertamina’s CSR programs at Kokolomboy Kehati Park.
Besides discussing SDGs issues, 6 foreign students were also invited to participate in the process of planting mangrove trees on the coast of Bungin and upgrading the local food products in Ombuli Village. This event is not only a lesson for the international students but also for the local students of UGM who are doing their community service (KKN) in Banggai Kepulauan. This event increases awareness and understanding of SDGs in local and international communities. Thus, awareness of environmental preservation can increase with the cooperation of elements from both local and international communities.
“I experienced so many new things there, and apart from that I learned a lot. I learned things from the experts who traveled with us and explained their expertise with the help of real practical examples around us, but also from the UGM students who were already in the area. What I enjoyed the most was the interaction with all the inhabitants of the different villages and how welcoming and kind they all are. It is hard to put everything in words but it really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Sietse Stoelinga, a student from The Netherlands.