Monday, November 19, 2018

Interview with Ayu Nuarida: A Woman for All Seasons

Ayu Nuarida, a Yogyakarta native, recently received a one-year "working holiday" Australian visa, renewable for a total of three years. The conditions of her visa require working in either the hospitality or farming industries. As you might expect, she was quite excited, naming Tasmania, Sydney, and Darwin as potential destinations.
At Gelato Matteo in Semarang
Q: You were born and raised in Yogyakarta

A: Yes. 

Q: What do you like about Yogya?

A: Everything is pretty, cozy, and cheap. 

Q: What's something people don't know about Yogya?

A: Everyone comes to Yogya because of the temples, but neither city is technically in Yogya. Prambanan is half in Yogya, half in Klaten (central Java). Borobudur is in Magelang. 

Q: From the time you submitted your application, how long did it take to get your Australian visa? 

A: Only one month, but getting the necessary letters from police (criminal record check) and an interview with the Indonesian immigration department took several months. So even though I received my visa acceptance in November, I started the process in July.

Q: Wait, the Indonesian immigration department interviews you for an Australian visa?

A: Yes. The department gives one thousand letters to Indonesians to go abroad. Maybe next year, the quota is higher. The age must be under thirty. To work abroad, I need the permission of the Indonesian government.

Q: What is the Indonesian government [in partnership with the Aussie government] looking for? 

A: Passport valid for 18 months, bank account showing 5,000 Australian dollars, a minimum score of 4.5 on the IELTS (English competency test). You also need a college degree of at least three years' study or to be an active student with at least two years of study. 

Q: What is your educational background?

A: I attended public schools from 6 until 17 years old. From 14 to 17, I chose to attend a vocational high school to study computer networking. I expected to work right after high school. 

Q: What did you do after high school?

A: I was working and traveling [in Indonesia]. Then I started college at 22 to study Batik [Indonesian design and dying process on clothing] and fashion. 

Q: What made you attend college, and how much did it cost?

A: I was bored, and I didn't have any goals. Also, people would treat me differently when I told them I wasn't well-educated. For the Australian working holiday visa, I needed a college diploma. Tuition fees each year were 4 million rupiah [275 USD] and the diploma required three years full-time study. 

Q: What do you expect in Australia?

A: I expect to make a lot of money, which will allow me to travel to Europe. My dream is to have a place selling Batik [clothing] somewhere in the world. 

Q: Why are you interested in seeing Europe? 

A: Europe is far from Indonesia. I'm a tropical girl, and I want to see the four seasons. I've never seen snow before. Even in Australia, I can see four seasons, but the four seasons in Europe are different than the ones in Australia, right? 

Q: I don't know--you'll have to tell me later. But many countries have four seasons--what makes you so interested in Europe? 

A: I like the Nordic countries because they speak English, have good healthcare, and I've heard nothing bad about them. 

Q: Did you hear about Norway's 2011 mass shooting targeting immigrants? 

A: Yes. It can happen anywhere. 

Q: What are you most afraid of when you relocate to Australia? 

A: I'm afraid I'll be jobless or I won't find a job quickly. I'm also worried how quickly it will take to adapt to the weather because it's not the tropical climate I'm used to. 

Q: Sounds like you're both eager and scared to experience the four seasons. It's always easier if you know people in a new place to help you adapt. Do you know anyone in Australia? How do you expect to make friends?

A: I know a few people, but I haven't kept in touch with them. [Pauses] I really don't know how I will make friends [in Australia]. 

Q: The Australians have a reputation for being friendly, so it should be okay. What is your impression of Australians?

A: I only know about Hugh Jackman and Mel Gibson, the actors. I think Australia will be totally different than Indonesia. 

Ayu's mobile screensaver

No comments: