Poppy Arsil

Country: Indonesia
Degree: PhD in Agriculture
Faculty: Sciences, Engineering and Technology
Scholarship: Home Country

What did you study at the university?
I won a Dikti scholarship to study for a PhD in Agriculture.  At home, I teach farm management to local university students.

What was your area of research?
I wrote my thesis on consumer behaviour in relation to local food in Indonesia.

Why the University of Adelaide?
A friend of mine studied his higher degree here and recommended it to me.   He told me about the universities prestigious reputation and its position within the Group of 8 universities in Australian.

Was the international Bridging Program useful to you (IBP)?
Definitely, my English language skills for academic purposes improved a lot.  The program enabled me to fulfil the admission requirements of a student from a language background other than English.  It also helped me to learn the differences between the education system and student environment in Indonesia and Australia.  From this program, I learned how to avoid plagiarism and develop my academic writing skills.

How long did your studies take?
I submitted my thesis after 3 years and 2 months. I am currently waiting to receive my results.

Before I came here, none of my work had been published. Now, I have had two papers accepted for publication.

Poppy Arsil

What is the most valuable thing you have gained from your studies here?
I have learned how to write a paper for publishing purposes.  Before I came here, none of my work had been published.  Now, I have had two papers accepted for publication so I have gained some great research skills and hope in the future to be able to obtain an overseas research grant to continue researching into areas of interest.

How easy was it to bring your children to Adelaide?
I came here as a single mother with my eldest son. Initially, my youngest son stayed in Indonesia with my husband but came to join me for my final year in Adelaide.  I had to manage my time very carefully to fit in study and the needs of my boys.  I studied at night a lot because I had school pick-ups and other commitments to my children during the day. To any parent looking to take up this opportunity, I would warn that juggling full-time study and kids by yourself in a foreign country isn’t easy, but the long-term rewards for yourself and your children make it worthwhile.

Did your son enjoy going to school in Adelaide?
Yes, he did.  There were only a few Indonesian children in his school so most of his friends were Australian.  He didn’t speak much English when we first arrived, but now he is fluent.  Speaking English is an invaluable skill for his future.

What do you think of Adelaide?
Adelaide is a relatively quiet city compared to Indonesian cities and even to Melbourne or Sydney, but it is great for study and for young families.  Adelaide is more affordable and easier to get around than other larger cities.  Studying here as an international student is challenging, but you can achieve your potential in terms of research skills, writing and publishing.
What will you miss the most about Adelaide when you return home?
I will miss the food! Adelaide is a city with a diverse cultural mix and sensational food. We will miss Italian and European cuisine such as pasta and pizza, Middle Eastern food such as kebabs and delicious Thai food as well. We will also miss the many interesting places to visit in South Australia, such as Hahndorf, Kangaroo Island, and the beautiful white sandy beaches. Two places I will miss badly are Rundle Mall and Central Market.