Pre-Academic Training (PAT) is the training event for recipients of USAID PRESTASI scholarship, in preparation for their departure in the fall 2014. Pre-Academic Training are divided into three activities, namely English language training, statistical training and leadership training.The PAT opening ceremony took place in two locations on October 7-9, 2013. During the opening of the first day, Chief of PRESTASI Party, Mira Sambada reminded all scholars not to lose track of their initial intention of joining USAID scholarship PRESTASI program and to always be optimistic. Participants must remain confident with their commitment, because it will be a strong motivational tool during critical moment or when facing obstacles in the middle of the study.The number of applicants’ scholarship program this year reached more than 800 people from all across Indonesia. After going through a vigorous selection process, USAID then nominated 31 scholars where 27 of them will undergo master’s degree program in the United States, and for the four others will study in Indonesia. The selection process does not have a specific quota for candidates from any particular province or region; it does, however, take more consideration on gender equality and disadvantage areas.
Kuswanto, a member of the USAID scholarship alumni association called the ALPHA-I, were present at the event. He introduced the vision, mission and ALPHA-I latest activities before he shared some of his experience during his study in the United States. Kuswanto who graduated from Colorado State University says that students in the U.S. are required to consistently read lecture materials in order to think critically when discussing, or arguing in a debate with the faculty or among fellow students.On the second day, the PAT opening followed by exchanging experiences with three members of the ALPHA-I who have just returned, namely Christanto Yudha (an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh), Kharisma Dinar (an alumnus of Tufts University) and Fauziah Asnely Putri (an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University). They explained more in-depth information regarding registration processes, personal experiences, and the “do’s and don’ts” during the Master’s Degree program in the U.S.On the last day, the scholars performed a series of English proficiency tests, such as TOEFL® Institutional Testing Program (ITP), Test of Written English (TWE), and interview test. USAID as the donor of the PRESTASI II scholarship program is a U.S. Government aid agency in promoting social and economic development to the United States partner countries. Through PRESTASI II program, USAID will increase leadership capacity of professionals in Indonesia to encourage and reinforce the development of human resources in Indonesia. *******