Food Tech student to participate in int'l confab in Indonesia; lone participant from R8
Thanja Janna Niña S. Mercado is set to fly to Indonesia on Saturday, February 4, 2023, to participate in UMAP Discovery Camp 2023: The Globe (Global Bound & Exchange) Discover Indonesia on February 5-17.
This activity is a joint program collaboration between two academic institutions in Indonesia, the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya & Universitas Islam Sultan Agung (UNISSULA) Semarang.
The international conference aims to provide UMAP students the insight about Indonesia through exploration of Surabaya and Semarang, giving the students insights and experiences related to technological development in society, city development, culture, art, food, and social interaction.
Mercado is a 3rd year Bachelor of Science in Food Technology who makes history as the first student in Sothern Leyte State U who will take part in a face-to-face international short-term program.
During the height of the pandemic, there were already students from the university who joined various international conferences online.
According to the website of the UMAP organization, ITS will expose participants to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4-8-10-11-17 in Surabaya City, particularly the City Council for Population Administration and Civil Registration, City Office for Education, and City Office for Cooperation and Micro Enterprises.
The program offered by ITS will provide SDG-related courses, site visits to government offices, case studies, projects, and technologies for achieving sustainability after the pandemic. The participants will also be given opportunities to learn Indonesian traditional instruments and martial arts.
On the other hand, UNISSULA will provide a seminar on SDGs 4-5-11-16 in the context of Semarang City, particularly related to Semarang as a peaceful multi-religion city, resilient city and community, and the role of women as front liners against the pandemic.
Student participants will further be provided with basic Indonesian language classes, batik shirt making, and a traditional dancing course.
When asked about what made her decide to apply for the program, Mercado said that she enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures.
“I was hooked when I learned what the program offers, and I am not just excited about experiencing this adventure but it is also about applying what I will learn in this program to help the people in the communities that SLSU serves and give back to the society,” Mercado added.
It was on December 2022 that Mercado applied for the UMAP program and only had three days to prepare the needed documents.
Through the guidance of Mr. Rey Comabig, Head of Student Development and Services, Mercado, however, was able to submit all the requirements but on the deadline itself, which she described as a “nerve-wracking experience.”
Out of 20 qualifiers from around Asia and the Pacific, Mercado is the only student in Eastern Visayas who qualified to participate in Discovery UMAP Camp Winter this year.
Over a hundred applicants showed their interest in joining such program and two students from Southern Leyte State U made it to the top 54 qualifiers. However, only Mercado made it to the final cut.
University President spearheading the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar
Mercado underwent a pre-departure and orientation seminar on January 30, graced by the University Officials and her parents.
“I am excited to meet the participants from other countries in person. I look forward to touring around Indonesia while learning about the country's approaches to various societal issues,” Mercado said.
Joining Southern Leyte State U are students from West Visayas State University, Cebu Technological University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Central Luzon State University, and Tarlac Agriculture University.