Interview with APU Graduate, Iqra Anugrah

Interview with APU graduate, Iqra Anugrah

Interview with APU graduate, Iqra Anugrah

2011/12/26 Update

We had the pleasure of speaking with GSAM graduate Iqra Anugrah (Fall ’11) from Indonesia about his time at APU and where he hopes his experiences here will lead him.

As many international students would attest, the strong friendships formed with other international and Japanese students and shared memories seem to be predominant themes when former students look back at their time spent on the APU campus. These were some of the first things that Iqra mentioned when we asked him to recount some of the memories that he continues to reflect on and be buoyed by even now that he has left Beppu. He elaborated by saying that, “Any encounter with friends and people from a variety of backgrounds during my time at APU is another thing that I really like from my APU life.”

Iqra went on to say that it was this campus, with a student body from varied backgrounds, which he believes will help him when examining future career options. “Appreciation and understanding of societies in the developing world, probably the most precious thing that I got from my APU experience, will definitely help my future career in the world of academia, intellectualism, activism, and politics.” He also added that he feels that APU “transformed me into a global citizen who really understands what multiculturalism is.”

Upon graduating from APU, Iqra is confronted with the exciting decisions of a recent graduate which could include possibly going on to a PhD program, seeking work with an NGO, or working with the Foreign Service in his home country. His ultimate aims include becoming a university professor and a prominent intellectual in the area of political science while maintaining his devotion to activism and research.

When asked to give a message to current APU students, Iqra responded in the form of a true APU graduate by saying, “Try to see beyond your daily life and classroom experiences. Dare to think using your own wisdom and try new experiences. Try to find a balance – work hard, but play even harder. Eventually you will realize that you’re part of something much bigger than yourself, and it DOES feel good to make a difference in our world.”

Iqra led a very active student life at APU, participated in overseas conferences and was a regular contributor to the APU Times. We wish him all the very best and look forward to his future achievements.

News : Grand Performance wraps-up Indonesian Week with a Blast

rom June 29 to July 3, 2009, Indonesian Week, the third installment to the AY2009 Spring Semester Multicultural Weeks, was held. Indonesian culture was introduced through a range of events such as Indonesian film showings, traditional handicrafts and folk costume displays.

On the evening of Friday, July 3 2009, the Indonesian Week Grand Performance marked the end of Indonesian Week. It was held at APU Millennium Hall. People wishing to secure a seat formed a long queue in front of Millennium Hall that eventually reached the AP House pedestrian bridge.

Nevertheless, the 2-hour performance turned out to be well worth while queuing for, as the audience enjoyed a range of Indonesian singing, bands, dances and fashion shows, which were creatively interwoven into a flash-back story of a grandmother reminiscing her youth. The concept of Indonesian Week 2009 was different from previous Indonesian Weeks, and came about not only through the hard work of the core Indonesian Week Executive Committee, but also by the enthusiasm of all students who shared in the vision to make it a success.

After the performance there was a short encore performance of “Dangdut” in front of the Millennium Hall as a bonus for the audience, and everyone joined in to dance to the music.

The leader of Indonesian Week, Iqra Anugrah (APS2, Indonesia), commented, “Being one of the organizers for Indonesian Week was really an unforgettable experience. I faced a lot of challenges and difficulties during this whole process, but on the other hand I also found many people who were willing to help us and that is why we could succeed. It is really satisfying when I see how this event has met people’s expectations”.

Indonesian Week was an opportunity for Indonesia to be showcased around the campus and for non-Indonesians to become more familiar with Indonesian culture.

*Multicultural Week is sponsored by the Nakajima Foundation

Reporter, Student Press Assistant (SPA): NUGROHO Katarina Marsha Utama(APM3, Indonesia)

Perspectives on a New Era Symposium held at APU

On Saturday, November 21, 2009, APU has successfully organized the “Perspectives on a New Era-Japan, America and China” Symposium. This symposium was held at the Millennium Hall in commemorating the APU 10thAnniversary and Confucius Institute 3rd Anniversary.

The symposium invited Asahi Shimbun Editor-in-Chief and APU Visiting Professor, Funabashi Yoichi; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ORIX Corporation and APU Academic Advisory Committee Member, Miyauchi Yoshihiko; Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to China, Anami Koreshige; Dean of Faculty of Law, Keio University and Former President of the Japan Association of International Relations, Professor Kokubun Ryosei; and Founding President of APU and Professor of Ritsumeikan University, Sakamoto Kazuichi.

APU President Monte Cassim and Former Prime Minister of Japan and Confucius Institute Advisor Mr. Murayama Tomiichi opened the symposium by giving a few words in the opening remarks. The symposium was also attended by Former Governor of Oita Prefecture, Hiramatsu Morihiko.

The first session of the symposium began with keynote speech from Professor Funabashi. In his lecture, he mentioned future of the world lies in the Asia Pacific. America will continue to play an important role in the Asia. Nevertheless, we can see the rise of China and Japan as a sign that Asia is now ready to serve as the co-driver in global society. Therefore, he argued that cooperation will be essential in the future.

The second part of the symposium continued with panel discussions with Professor Funabashi, Mr. Miyauchi, Professor Kokubun and Ambassador Anami. The discussion was moderated by Profesor Sakamoto and dealt with three important international issues: world economic order, environmental and energy problems and the Korean peninsula. Most of the discussion time, however, was dedicated for international political economic order, particularly about the rise of China and its impacts to global economy, especially in post-crisis world.

Finally, the symposium was ended by question and answer session to the whole audience, which is not consisted by APU students only but Beppu citizens as well. The whole event was conducted in Japanese and simultaneous English interpretation was provided during the symposium.

Generally speaking, APU has been quite successful in organizing this program. Nonetheless, there were some complaints regarding the symposium from the students and audience. The most disturbing problem probably was the quality of English interpretation. Poor translation sometimes could change the meaning or content of the lecture. Moreover, the time provided for the panel discussion was inadequate. Not all of the topics assigned for the panel session were fully discussed. But after all, APU has proven its capacity as an international university by hosting this kind of event. In order to improve its role as an academic institution and contribute to society, we hope we can see more academic seminars and symposiums at APU, especially after ten years of its establishment.

Iqra Anugrah, APS ‘11

Published in The APU Times, 24 December 2009

Multiculturalism in APU: The Future of the World

Multiculturalism in APU: The Future of the World*

By Iqra Anugrah, APS 2

Congratulations on your entrance on APU! Hope that this small university located on the top of the mountain in Beppu will be your home far away from home.

There are a lot of good universities worldwide, with established reputations, great academic qualities, excellent performances and strong networks and links with other institutions, but why you end up in the middle of nowhere in provincial Japan? Probably the best reason behind your decision is the attractiveness of multiculturalism in APU.

This new university is founded on the fundamental principles of freedom, peace and mutual understanding. Why these three values and ideas have become the soul of university? It is simply because those three are the basic human natures that will drive our society towards a better direction. The first principle of freedom guarantees freedom of thoughts, speech and exchanging ideas, which will lead to the advancement of knowledge and thinking about our society and current situations within the academic environment. The second principle of peace is the prerequisite goal of freedom. Peace cannot be achieved without freedom, and freedom loses its essence in absence of peace. The last principle of mutual understanding is the framework for this whole concept. Free exchange of ideas toward perpetual peace can only be achieved in the environment which embraces the value of tolerance, pluralism and multiculturalism.

This is why APU is founded. By gathering domestic students and international students from more than 80 countries at the same time and same place, an epic society based on the values of freedom, peace and mutual understanding can be achieved. Perhaps we may not see the result immediately, but if we imagine in the next 5, 10, 50 or 100 years, it is also not impossible. Our society will be driven by the dynamic, young, talented and skillful human resources with high degree of open mindedness and tolerance to other cultures, which will lead to a peaceful and prosperous world, a world with trade and growth instead of war.

By entering APU, you will see multiculturalism in every sphere of your life-when you are enjoying AP House, attending lecture classes, doing circle activities or even in daily lives. Yes, this is a newly established university, but it does not mean it has nothing to support your future and dreams. You can be a part of change for world’s future, by defining and shaping university culture based on the framework of multiculturalism. This highly multicultural environment will offer you infinite opportunities, from art performances and traditional festivals to academic seminars and international conferences, so do not waste your time here at APU, but make it the best of your life. Friendship and knowledge that you will get at APU will be beneficial for the society beyond Asia Pacific.

So, welcome to APU. This is not the end of your achievement, but rather, this is the beginning of your future pathway. Let us enjoy our time during learning in APU, let us nurture our friendship, expand our networks, advance our knowledge and broaden our horizon. This is an investment for our future, which will reap fruit of a free and peaceful world with mutual understanding. Let us optimize this rare opportunity. Live APU life the most!

*Published at The APU Times Vol. XI April 2009, an independent student newspaper of APU