Indri: Creating international friendships

In 2011-2012, Rahmi “Indri” Hidriani attended Pierce College as a participant in the Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI).  Here she updates us on what she’s been doing since she returned to Indonesia and reflects on the friendships she created in the United States. She also offers advice to future NWCCI students about how to make the most of their time in the United States.

It’s been six months since you graduated from the NWCCI program and returned to Indonesia. What have you been doing since you returned home?

Since I went home, I got a wonderful job three months after I returned home. I am a digital designer at a media company, which plays a role in the  Indonesian government’s public relations activities.  It is a communication consultancy based in Jakarta.  I feel so grateful because the working environment in my office is very warm and friendly.

Tell us about the friendships that developed as a result of your time in the United States. 

Making friends in USA was a life changing experience for me. It was the best experience in my life and I am grateful to God to have had this chance. First of all, the months in the US were crazy at many different levels. We had to adapt to the education system in the United States and to learn a new culture, which was stressful for us.  At first, we really did not get along each other. But we quickly grew to be a family.

Pierce students_ropes

Indri joined NWCCI students from around the world for a team building activity at the beginning of her time in the United States.

I made genuine and sincere best friends, who I call “sister and brothers from another mother.” My first big brother is Megeshen Naidoo (Mugs), a funky man from South Africa who balances life in study and party. My second big brother is Kinng Azhar (Nizam), an Indian guy who loves dancing a lot, and is also a professional photographer. I even had a mother, Naida Yasub, a Pakistani lady who loves cooking and always made me laugh. They all took care of during my year studying in the USA. They helped me when I was in trouble, taught me when I made mistakes, and guided me when I was lost. We spent time together, laughed together, fought together, partied and studied together. We are a multicultural family, which was born at Pierce College. Although we are now are now in different countries separated by oceans, our emotional bound is still strong.

We even made a promise not to lose contact with each other after we all returned home. One day, when all of us have became very successful people in our countries, even when all of us have grandchildren, we will meet up again. We created and built that dream, and we have a strong faith that the dream can come true in the end. Our friendship is the most precious thing in our life.

NWCCI students at Pierce College show off traditional clothing during International Education Week 2011

NWCCI students at Pierce College show off traditional clothing during International Education Week 2011

How did participating in the NWCCI program benefit you personally and/or professionally? 

My digital design skills have developed a lot since I participated in the NWCCI program. I am passionate about becoming an expert and a professional digital designer or animator in the future. Before I came to USA, I didn’t know anything about these skills at all, but after one year of studying in the US, I can get job easily. I am now working as a digital designer in my country.

I also became a more independent person as a result of participating in the NWCCI program. My life skills developed a lot, for example, survival skills like learning new cultures and how to adapt in a new place with new people from around the world. I learned also that time management skills and hard work, which is very important in USA. Americans always did an awesome job in my classes because they worked so hard and this motivated me.

Do you have any advice for new or current students?

Indri celebrates being on the winning team at NWCCI field day in June 2012

Indri celebrates being on the winning team at NWCCI field day in June 2012

Study hard and make your country proud of you. Gain knowledge and experiences as much as you can, learn new things by traveling as much as you can. Find balance in your life.Make a time table and never delay your assignments. Spend time with your new family here because those precious moments together won’t ever happen again. Have a strong vision for what you want to achieve in your time in the United States. Never quit when you face difficulty. Last but not least, trust yourself that you can do it, that you are unstoppable. Keep fighting for your dreams!

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