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    Fulbright Research Presentation – From the East to Java, a Journey to the Center: Experiences and Processes of Educational Migration in Indonesia

    Christopher Foertsch 1Join us at the upcoming Fulbright Research Presentation by Mr. Christopher Foertsch on the topic of Education which will be held in cooperation with UNIKA Atma Jaya on November 17.

    Presenter: Christopher Foertsch (Fulbright Student Researcher 2016)

    Home institution: Oregon State University

    Host institution: Universitas Kanjuruhan Malang

    Summary of the Research: This paper explores the experiences and processes of migration for young people from Eastern Indonesia who come to Java for higher education. Based on qualitative interview data recently collected in “education cities” in Java like Yogyakarta and Malang, as well as in students’ native islands in the provinces of Nusa Tenggara Timur and Maluku, this research describes the quest for education of increasing numbers of students from isolated inland villages, coastal towns, and medium sized cities on islands such as Flores, Sumba, Timor, and the Kei Islands who move to the “Center of the Country” in Java. Students from these economically disadvantaged and culturally distinct regions of Indonesia seek knowledge, economic opportunity, and an enriching experience in a new environment where they can meet and interact with people from other parts of the country and enjoy the benefits of an urban lifestyle. Also importantly, they report wanting to use the education they receive in Java to benefit their families and communities, both specifically and generally. Individually, a son or daughter who is able to successfully “merantau,” to travel in search of opportunity, will not only bring economic benefits to their family, but also prestige in the eyes of their neighbors and community. The journey of educational migration to and from Java takes years and substantial investment, and it is not without risk, despite high hopes for personal and community benefits. Their number has increased dramatically in recent decades, with important implications for a culturally—but also economically–diverse Indonesian society.

    This event is open to the public. Visit https://fulbright-timor.eventbrite.com for registration.

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