Monday, October 9, 2017

Kembali ke Eropa, dengan Erasmus+ Lagi

Library at Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Trento, Italy

Mungkin ini yang namanya susah move on.

Saya harus mengakui semenjak pulang dari Eropa, pengalaman selama pertukaran pelajar di Italia terus nempel di kepala saya. Mau makan malam di kosan, saya teringat tiap malam masak dan makan bareng teman se-asrama. Kalau mau nyebrang jalan di zebra-cross, saya teringat sewaktu di Eropa kendaraan pasti langsung berhenti. Lagi kuliah, teringat suasana kelas yang super aktif dan responsif. Lagi dibonceng Rifqi di motor, jadi ingat dulu pernah melamun di bus di Trento karena waktu itu nggak nyangka saya udah cukup lama di tempat yang jauh dari rumah. Di saat-saat kaya gitu, saya akan nepok pipi dan bilang ke diri sendiri, “Get a life, Mei! You’re home now!”

Should I come back?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Graduation #2

It is the day when my name is being called
When I walk to the stage
When I receive a folder with university logo on the cover
When I get my hand shaken by the Dean
When I walk to my parents and kissed them on their cheeks
When my mother cries

Dear my parents,
thanks for bringing me up with loves,
showing my little me how to dream,
guiding me to be independent,
and letting me take decision for myself.
Today I present you a little gift. 
A fruit from the tree you planted and we grew it together.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Graduation #1

mixed feelings behind that smile
Soon after I came back from Italy, I dedicated my time completely for my bachelor thesis. There wasn’t any other wish but obtaining my degree. I set up my plan to start working in August 2016 and do the defense in February 2017 so I can graduate in May 2017.

After discussing the topic with my supervisor, we both agreed to do research in deep learning in speech recognition. Speech recognition (ASR) was new to me. Although I’d learnt a few things about spoken language technology in Trento, I didn’t learn ASR in detail. So, I needed more time to fully understand the concept before declaring my research statement. I worked on the case of speech impairment, dysarthria, so I’d gotta learn a bit basic linguistics, the impairment itself, and the differences between people with and without dysarthria. And the method I used, deep learning, was actually a recently effective method used in many classification tasks. Hard to understand the concept but easy to build with tool (and tutorial). But, come on, I didn’t want my thesis looked as crap so of course I didn’t just follow some tutorials on internet and make a shallow report. I also tried to analyze the method I used.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Buon Viaggio: 2 days in Tuscany

This post has been in my draft for too long. I should have posted its since, well, more than a year ago :v Time may pass, but memories last.

Maliha and I visited Tuscany on 20-22 Nov 2015. We left Trento on Friday aftenoon by Blablacar. Oh Blablacar is so amazing! We only spent 15 euro for Trento-Florence while it would cost us more than 30 if we took train. Then we would use this service quite often. I'll talk about this service in another post.


Since it was already dark when we reached Florence (a.ka. Firenze), we spent 2 nights there with a whole Saturday was spent to explore the city. Florence is the capital city of Tuscany and considered as the birthplace of Renaissance [source: wikipedia]. It has 2 most famous art galleries, Uffizi and Galleria dell'Accademia. Based on preliminary research done by Maliha, it seemed not possible to visit both galleries in the same day because both are big and famous and have too many visitors and we would waste our time in line. So, basically we must choose one and we decided it would be Uffizi.

Uffizi is open at 8 a.m. and we planned to reach it around 7.30 to avoid the long line. It was the earliest visit I had with Maliha :v And right, we were the second and third visitors after a Korean guy. Thank God I had an apple for my breakfast.

It was an amazing place full of typical Renaissance art, such as sculptures and paintings. I can't talk much about it because I'm not an actual art observer. But there you can find paintings by Botticelli, Michaelangelo, and even Da Vinci. One of the good things was that we were allowed to take pictures inside the gallery.

A hall inside Uffizi

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Pengalaman IELTS: belajar otodidak sampai tes

Untuk teman-teman yang punya rencana untuk melanjutkan studi di luar negeri, IELTS dan TOEFL bukan lagi hal yang asing. Ya, skor dari salah satu tes tersebut menjadi syarat utama kebanyakan universitas dan beasiswa studi di luar negei. 

Sepulang dari Italia tahun lalu, saya berencana untuk segera menyelesaikan skripsi dan lulus paling lama Agustus 2017. Layaknya mahasiswa tahun akhir, saya juga diliputi rasa bimbang apakah ingin lanjut sekolah atau kerja setelah lulus nanti. Sewaktu di Italia, saya banyak bertemu orang-orang yang lebih dewasa dan memberikan saran untuk kehidupan setelah lulus. Saya sendiri juga mengamati kehidupan perkuliahan Master di Eropa, dari sisi materi perkuliahan, mahasiswa, lingkungan, dan sebagainya. Sehingga, saya cenderung ingin lanjut sekolah dulu sebelum benar-benar meniti karir. Dan hal tersebut alhamdulillah diamini oleh orang tua, terutama mama yang sangat pro saya lanjut kuliah saja.

Dua hal yang saya targetkan untuk rencana kuliah saya: saya langsung lanjut kuliah setelah lulus (Tahun Ajaran 2017/2018) dan kuliah di luar negeri. Nah, untuk tercapainya kedua hal tersebut berarti saya harus gencar mempersiapkan aplikasi, mulai dari nyari universitas, program master, beasiswa, persyarata, bla bla bla. Saat itu saya belum punya sertifikat IELTS atau TOEFL yang masih berlaku yang berarti saya juga harus belajar untuk tes. Saya sudah berencana untuk belajar IELTS dari bulan Agustus 2016, tapi memang butuh trigger untuk benar-benar merealisasikan rencana. Karena akhirnya saya baru mulai belajar di bulan Oktober :v 

Kenapa IELTS dan bukan TOEFL?

Memang kedua skor ini berlaku di banyak universitas di seluruh dunia. Akan tetapi, basis IELTS adalah British  English (BE) dan TOEFL adalah American English (AE). Walaupun sebenarnya saya lebih terbiasa dengan AE daripada BE dan katanya tes TOEFL iBT lebih murah daripada IELTS (sekitar Rp 2,5jt vs Rp 2,8jt), saya punya alasan sendiri. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Berbeda dengan abang saya yang pernah melihara berbagai macam hewan, sebut saja kucing, ayam kampung, ayam teletubbies, ikan cupang, ikan mas, siput, dan lain-lain, saya tidak pernah punya binatang peliharaan. Saya bukan pecinta binatang, termasuk kucing. Kalo nanya mama saya, dia akan bilang selera makan saya langsung hilang kalau tiba-tiba ada kucing yang mendekat. Dan itu benar.

Saya bukan benci, hanya tidak biasa. Ketidakbiasaan itu sedikit demi sedikit luntur karena berteman baik dengan manusia-manusia yang freak pada kucing dan aktivitasnya, sebut saja Yusra, Maya, dan Rifqi. Saya jadi mulai berani elus-elus punggung, kepala, dan leher. Tidak lebih dari itu.

Rifqi dan saya dari dulu memang punya rencana memelihara kucing, dengan hak asuh 100% berada pada Rifqi. Intinya, saya belum siap pelihara-peliharaan. Lalu mulailah Rifqi menjejal foto, video, stiker (dan apapun itu) berbau kucing dan anak kucing, yang harus saya akui super lucu dan susah untuk berpaling, kapan pun dan di mana pun.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Target List 2017

Bukan resolusi karena bikinnya bukan di awal tahun :v Ini cuma beberapa hal kecil yang ingin dijadikan komitmen untuk ke depannya, karena merutinkan diri tidak semudah mengucapkannya.

Sebagian jawaban dari pertanyaan pada postingan sebelumnya,
"what would you do if you weren't afraid?"

1. Lari total 10 km per minggu.

2. Baca 20 buku sepanjang tahun.

3. Nulis jurnal perjalanan segera setelah pulang.

4. Meningkatkan kemampuan bahasa asing, harus dibuktikan di akhir tahun.

5. Ngoding tiap hari.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Buon viaggio!: Sono a Milano

This was my first ever solo traveling in Europe. This story may have been outdated but still worth to read :D Unfortunately, I lost the pictures on my old phone, so I'm only gonna attach some available pictures.

It was my second visit to Milan after the first touchdown at Malpensa airport on my arrival in Italy (read the story here). October 2015 was the last month of MILANO EXPO 2015. I already had planned to visit it since September but I doubted the cost I would spend on the visit.

I didn't want to miss any lectures, so I planned 3 days trip during weekend. I could spend one day at Expo and 2 days for strolling around Milan. I calculated the expense would be €29 for Expo ticket and around €60 for return ticket if I went by train. Not including the accommodation and food and other expense, well, that's too much. That's why I kept reconsidering the trip.

I told my Italian friend about my plan and he suggested me look for Expo ticket on Groupon because there might be cheaper ticket sold for only around €10 - €20. And he was right. I got a ticket for €20 so I could save €9. Yay! Also, in early October, Flixbus, a German low-cost bus travel, opened their new stop in Trento, and promoted Trento-Milan route for only €1! HAHAHA but I was late to get that promotion but still could get €9 for one-way. Much cheaper than the money I should have spent for train. For the accommodation, thanks to PPI network, I was allowed to stay with Kak Ica and Kak Anin, Indonesian students at Politecnico di Milano. So, I marked October 23 - 25 for this Milano trip!