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Eight UH Mānoa students took part in the 2023 LuceSEA Field School workshop in Cambodia.

In a bid to foster cross-cultural learning, the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) welcomed four scholars from Indonesia and Thailand for the spring 2024 semester as part of an exchange. The four-month program includes participation in the Hawaiʻi English Language Program, refining scientific writing skills, and active engagement with the East-West Center and CSEAS communities.

“We are excited to host early career colleagues from Indonesia and Thailand this semester and engage with them on shared research interests,” said Miriam Stark, director at CSEAS. “We look forward to a fruitful visit and are grateful to the Henry Luce Foundation for this valuable opportunity.”

Navigating exchange

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From left, three of the visiting scholars from Indonesia and Thailand, Tansuda Jinai, Fatwa Faturachmat and Andi Vika Faradiba Muin.

Visiting scholars Tansuda Jinai, Fatwa Faturachmat, Andi Vika Faradiba Muin and Khemrat Panpanich arrived at UH Mānoa in January 2024.

For Fatwa Faturachmat, who holds a master’s degree from Hasanuddin University in Indonesia, the experience on the Mānoa campus has been eye-opening.

“The differences between my home country’s educational system and that of the United States are striking,” Faturachmat said. “Notably, the diversity among students in terms of race, background, and religion stands out. My decision to join this program is driven by a desire to enhance my skills as a research scholar, particularly in scientific writing for scholarly journals.”

Enriching cultural exchange

Last summer, eight UH Mānoa students traveled to Thailand and Indonesia with the LuceSEA Field School, a program that explores the dynamic socioeconomic and environmental shifts in rural Southeast Asian societies. The experience culminated in a workshop at the Center for Khmer Studies in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Building on this collaboration, CSEAS invited the Southeast Asian Scholars for cultural exchange at UH Mānoa.

In collaboration with the UH Mānoa Department of Geography and Environment, East-West Center, Khon Kaen University and Universitas Hasanuddin, this initiative aims to create a vibrant and dynamic educational experience. It is part of the five-year “LuceSEA Transitions: Environment, Society, and Change” grant awarded to CSEAS. The grant enables the paradigm to shift to focus on collaboration between institutions and scholars in the region.

Learn more about the LuceSEA program.

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