Reverse culture shock

According to Wikipedia, “reverse culture shock (a.k.a. “re-entry shock” or “own culture shock”) may take place — returning to one’s home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above” (the original culture shock).

And here, I want to share the reverse culture shock I had to deal with after coming back to Indonesia two weeks ago. It was not such a big shock though, since I was not in Indonesia only for 9 months and I was still in contact with Indonesian people that reflected the culture.


Just a random picture of my city

However, here I will share the shock that are not only in term of culture but also in the other terms. There are four shocks I will talk about: (literal) culture, time, weather, and food. So, here they are!

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Just a quick announcement

First, for those who don’t read my last blog post till the end and have no contact with me in social media, I have been back to Indonesia since 12 days ago! Whoa, it feels so weird to be back and live my old life again. Although it is so hot here and I got a bit reverse culture shock in the beginning (I’ll just write another post about that), I guess I am doing fine. I met a number of friends, ate some Indonesian food, went to some places, did a project – all good.


Back to Indonesia!

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Going back


I was thinking about what excuse I should make for not writing any post for quite a while. But then, I think I don’t have to make any excuse. It just happened. I couldn’t write anything because things were happening so quickly that I couldn’t even take a break. Not only things were happening so quickly, but also mood were swinging so easily. Anger, excitement, sadness, fear, stress, disappointment, love, pride, happiness. All of them slipped into our life and played in our heart alternately in the last weeks.

It started with the stress and anxiety given by the block week that sucked a lot of people’s energy physically and mentally, which might be followed by disappointment. Although block week had finished, the academic life was still challenging as practice IAs and IOCs were haunting us. Then, I was personally burdened by the rush I experienced during (the preparation of) the fundraising for my project “Urban Nomadizing” and my mangrove tree planting project since I had to gather the money before the end of May.

In the midst of the rush, the mandatory outdoor weekend provided me a stress reliever when I was biking down a hill in the Black Forest with 800 m elevation drop only in 15 km and also serenity when I was biking through a straight path in the middle of the pine forest with flowers on the sideway like in the romantic movies. It gave me satisfaction as well because everything was perfectly done, especially by the help of a teacher, Angus, who kindly accompanied us.

After both generations got rid of their academics, the atmosphere was turning into something different. The air was filled with positivity, complemented with the bittersweet smile cherishing the last moments together. Second years show, last party, last house meeting, watching movies together as a community, closing ceremony, appreciation night. Happiness, pride, love, gratitude. Those moments and emotions were so beautiful.

Then came the stage for sadness. Monday morning that is well-known as the worst part of the week got worse when we had to give our last hug and say our goodbye to the second years and even worse when the rain completed that mournful morning. That night, emptiness came along. The student village that used to be filled with students’ madness suddenly turned into a deserted graveyard. Half of the people were gone.

The time where we were independent from the second years arrived: disorientation week. Working in the Klostergarten, university presentation, sustainability planning, etc. Nothing much to say about that actually as it was only a series of activity to prepare the next year. Nevertheless, I am glad that in that period, specifically at last night at school, I was able to close the first chapter of UWC experience in a smooth way by jumping together into the pond, washing our soul to get prepared for summer break.

And here I am. Laying my back to the airplane’s soft seat, optimizing my biggest carbon emission of the year by enjoying the facility and the food while turning the draft of this post into something decent. Now I am going back to Indonesia with a blended feeling. Excitement? Yes, for sure. But somehow my heart is already filled by the longing of the campus and Freiburg environment that have been my second home in the last nine months. It is weird, to leave home for home.

Yeah, I am heading my first home. I am going back.

With love,
Bayu Ahmad

P.S.: As I am publishing this, I am already in my room! Pictures will be added later🙂

The summer break is on its way

Heidelberg photo

Spring has sprung @ Heidelberg

Spring has sprung. Flowers are flourishing all over the places. A herd of sheep delightedly enjoys the weather, grazing together with the lambs next to the students’ houses. A ray of sunshine enters the students’ rooms, inviting them to enjoy the warmth outside and to forget the importance of sitting on their desk in the midst of their study. “We cannot go,” they say to the sun. “Please understand me; IB exam is here.”

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For the zero years


Are you a zero year who wanders around trying to know every single thing in the UWC you are coming to? Are you a zero year who adds a bunch of strangers in Facebook who you think you will be friend with? Are you a zero year who is excited to enjoy all of those UWC experience as promoted in the advertisement? Well, before you get excited like a valence electron in an atom when it absorbs energy (haha chemistry jokes), here are some suggestions you might need from me as an experienced first year (LOL) to calm yourself. Enjoy!

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I swear

I just realize that I haven’t written anything for this blog for two weeks, but I already published a post in the other blog about renewable energies in Indonesia and another post about International Women’s Day. However, I also realize that I always say that I am busy or there are a lot of activities here, but I don’t know whether it is only my perception or it is just UWC things. But I swear this time that the last two weeks were really eventful.


Vegetarian Dinner for One World Challenge!

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Such An Eventful Week

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I and the students here just had a group 4 or science project last week. And as my school has a special focus on sustainability, the main theme of this science project in general was “Renewable Energy”. It started from Monday morning until Thursday morning, and then it was continued with the second Extended Essay (crying) seminar and a University day in the following day (crying again). Finally, on the weekend, we had the second host family weekend of the year! (no crying this time) Wow, such an eventful week. (avoid using the word “busy” as it is actually a part of IB student life haha).


The only picture I took in the last week — welcoming the springs (and hoping it will come soon for real)

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Playing in the cold!

Winter is almost finished, but still, not yet. There were still things to do, but they have just been checked because of… Snow Day! It was five days ago, February 16th 2016, in UWC Robert Bosch College. There was no more snow around here since decades (LOL, just kidding, only few weeks), but it was still cold and there were still some snow in the surrounding hills. So, Snow Day could and did happen, which actually had been threatened to not happen, if there was not enough snow.


I know I didn’t look good, but it is just as a proof I did it :p (PC: Hasan E. Muhammad)

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