Name: Shafira Nuralifa Santoso
Faculty / Grade: College of Asia Pacific Studies, 3rd year
Affiliation: Upcycle APU (Instagram: @ upcycle.apu) & The Kaiwa Podcast
Fira, who is a 3rd year APS student, helped start a project named Upcycle, which is an APU supported project that aims to educate students in her home country, Indonesia, regarding sustainable waste management habits. Fira, and her two friends, also started a podcast talking about student life here in APU called “The Kaiwa Podcast”. Let’s hear her inspiring story of how she got involved in these two projects!
【What are you currently studying at APU?】
Currently, I am registered as an ED student, however, I plan on graduating with a Tourism and Hospitality major. Why? Well, I have major interests in the two topics because my future dream is to create development through tourism.
【What is your story behind creating The Kaiwa Podcast?】
My story begins in high school, where I was an active contributor to my high school’s student council. Mainly, I helped in creating programs that would enhance student’s academic life and provided a medium for students to voice their opinions. When I came to APU, I looked for a similar student body, but never found one. At first, I wanted to start a student council here in APU, but I was never permitted to continue. After a while, one of my colleagues approached me and asked me to help her in starting a podcast that would provide a space for students to voice their opinions; as it had always been my goal to do so, I decided to help her. Now (re: at the time of the interview), we have already published four episodes, and more are currently in the making.
【What was your main objective in creating the podcast?】
Our main objective is to create a space where students can voice their opinions, share stories, and be inspired. Especially in our current situation, in which the pandemic has affected deeply, I feel like a lot of people, especially new students, do not have seniors to whom they can look up to, so this podcast is here to give them that kind of guidance.
【What do you love about The Kaiwa Podcast?】
Well, one thing I love about this podcast, is that we currently have three hosts, providing the podcast in both English and Japanese. This means that we are trying our utmost best to be inclusive and make sure that everyone can get as much as possible from our podcasts. Also, at the end of each episode, there is a summary that is done in the opposite language, so listeners who want to listen and check their comprehension of the podcast may do so. You can check out our podcast on Spotify.
【Can you tell us more about your Upcycle project?】
Upcycle, is a project B (official APU supported and funded projects) that my colleagues and I started. This environmental project aims to link Indonesian schools with local waste banks and educate Indonesian students on the importance of garbage separation and sustainable waste management. Previous to the pandemic, we had many things scheduled to have been done by now, but the pandemic has caused a restraint in most of our activities. Currently, we are proposing to schools and have partnered up with local waste banks. Also, inspired by the MCW (Multicultural Cooperation Workshop) class, we plan on linking international students and local Indonesian volunteers to help facilitate our project. Due to the pandemic, we are progressing slower than we expected but we hope to attain more of our goals in the future!
【What is the biggest challenge you faced in doing these two roles?】
I am part of the main committee in both the project and the podcast, so I think time management has been a struggle for me. Sometimes, I have to divide my attention between the two and I feel like I am not giving them both my all. However, think it’s a learning process, as I practice as I go. I don’t think there is one method to solve time management as everyone has their own portion of what they can or cannot do. Personally, I have learned to solve this by setting my priorities straight, and remember, practice makes perfect!
【What drives your motivation?】
Well, I love challenging myself, and I feel like I do not have a limit of what I want to do. Sometimes I feel like it’s not entirely a good thing, where its quantity over quality and I don’t give my all to each, but I have always had this drive to try as many new things as I can. I also try my best to keep myself busy and productive, now all this has become more of a habit.
【What are your future goals?】
As I have previously mentioned, I aim to create development through tourism. My plan is to gain experience and study in New Zealand. Why? Because I think New Zealand is such a great example of the development and tourism combination. My long-term goal is to become a social entrepreneur, create a tourism agency that creates tour packages for people to volunteer. I call it, “Voluntourism”. I think this kind of tourism can simultaneously stimulate the economy while contributing to people.
【Are there any advice you would like to give to the readers?】
You only have four years here in APU, remember to make the most out of it. Also, remember that university is one door away from real life where you take independence in the path that you choose, so go out there now and try everything! If you haven’t danced yet, go dance! If you want to try a new sport, go do it! If you’re thinking of making a project, why not do it now? Because no one is stopping you here. Make use of APU’s very diverse and multicultural environment, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it!