Voices from Alumni vol.6

Fall in Love to Saijo

Voice of Siti Maimunah
[December 2016]

Hello, my name is Siti Maimunah and most of my friends knowing me as Mai Ghozali (my popular name) or just simply call me “Mai”. I am from the Indonesia capital city, Jakarta. I had been at Saijo for almost five years to pursue my master and doctoral. My master had been completed in September 2009 and since I fall in love to Saijo, I returned back to continue my doctoral in October 2012 and it was finished in September 2015. However, I still had a chance to stay longer about six months after my graduation to be a visiting researcher at Kaneko Laboratory – IDEC.

Now, I am working at Ministry of Transportation (MoT), Republic of Indonesia to be a senior researcher on land transport. I have been working at the MoT since end of 2003. Recently, I am busy on research related to the urban transport planning and the most updated issues related to transportation such as liberalization and developing green transports. In addition, I am also involved into the meetings of bilateral and multilateral cooperation of MoT of Indonesia including the bilateral meeting between Indonesia and Japan.

Looking back to my life in Saijo where is the unforgettable place for me. First time Visiting Saijo was at the end of September 2008. It was quite shocked since Saijo was a rural area and it was very different from my imagination. First day going to campus by bicycle which I never did for years and made me feel tired. At the beginning it was so unlikely, but after a month I was getting use and enjoy. When I felt I was falling in love to Saijo and it was the time to go back to my country. Fortunately, three years after I got a chance to return back to Saijo to continue my doctoral which was supported by a MEXT scholarship and this time together with my family. All of us become students. I and my husband were the Hiroshima University students and my kids were the elementary students of Mitsujou Shougakko.

Living in Japan especially Saijo gave me a lot of benefits from knowledge, experiences, networking, and always encouraging me to keep learning about everything. Balancing student life and social life is important to get all of those benefits. My experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of my biggest advantages. Moreover, the Japanese culture that is very discipline, spirit and respect affects my habits a lot. In total four and a half year I had been living at Saijo and it is quite enough to make all of me and my family fall in love to Saijo. Saijo become our second hometown and for sure all of us want to revisit Saijo sometimes. All memories in Japan especially Saijo will keep in my heart.

Hope the networking of Hiroshima University alumni keeps maintaining to share ideas, experiences and other things. Joining the events conducted by Hiroshima University makes me feel at home and it is always my pleasure.

Picture above: Enjoying snowfall at Boulevard Street, closed to my apartment

Picture above: I and my family wearing Yukata

Picture above: On my doctoral graduatin with my supervisor, Prof. Shinji Kaneko

Profile: Siti Maimunar

Former Hiroshima University Affiliation: Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation(IDEC)
Year:2008-2009 (Master Course), 2012-2015 (Doctoral Course)
Present: Senior Researcher at Ministry of Transportation, Indonesia