Cross-Cultural Friendship was built again during a visit by the delegation of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) on April 2-3, 2018. This was part of reciprocal collaboration between SBM ITB and FHNW and the second time and year it happened. Similar to last year, this was started with a couple of final-year undergraduate students of SBM ITB (Aldilla, Kintan, Qinthara) flew to Switzerland in February to participate in the Intercultural Business Seminar week organized by FHNW.
This opportunity was made possible under the Cross-Cultural and Conflict Management (CCCM) course. Long story short, a reciprocal visit managed to happen, with the three ladies voluntarily helped in the arrangement.
On the first day (April 2), the visit began with the delegation of 24 students (with four accompanying lecturers) participating in the CCCM session (MBA class). With the majority of Swiss, one Dutch, and two Italian students, students were split into 10 groups, with each group having Indonesian counterparts. Each presented about Indonesia and/or Switzerland, exploring issues such as education, religion, government system and food as well as transportation. Following the session, the student delegates were joined by Indonesian buddies (volunteers), a mix of undergraduate and MBA students, for lunch and campus and city exploration. Gedung Sate and Braga became the spots they chose to visit. Then we came back to campus for a sharing session and coffee break.
The second day (April 3) was the day the delegation had to leave for Singapore. But we managed to visit Rumah Batik Komar in the morning to experience how Batik was produced. We learned about the principle of Patience in the making of Batik, which the delegates then understood as part of the intangible cultural heritage of Indonesia. The perception that ?factory? was associated necesarily with machine was gone. Rather, it was the understanding that humans played a central role in the making of Batik that became part of the realization.
Overall, the visit being part of the ExploreASEAN program organized by students of FHNW, it was meant to be a cross-cultural learning from both sides. The delegates continued their trip to Singapore and Vietnam before returning home.
Author: Andika Putra Pratama, PhD