Being on exchange during a world pandemic, not many people can say that. Soonmi (Y3 IMEM) is one of those people, studying at London School of Public Relations in Jakarta. Dreaming of traveling around Asia, meeting new people and experiencing the wonders of Jakarta. Some dreams may not have come true, but others did.

Stay or leave?

When the Coronavirus was spreading rapidly around the world, Soonmi decided to stay in Jakarta. Not an easy choice of course, but Soonmi saw the situation getting worse in the Netherlands. At that moment, she felt she would be happier in Jakarta.

“The situation in Jakarta was still ‘normal’. I was afraid of going to a whole different home in the Netherlands.”

Soonmi was afraid to regret her decision. Getting a return ticket back to Indonesia, isn’t that easy after all…


Soonmi lived with her classmate in Jakarta, however, he decided to go back to the Netherlands. Soonmi didn’t want to live in quarantine in Jakarta. She decided to pack her bag and travel to Bali with a friend (Can we join, please?)

“Jakarta is a wonderful city if you can build a social life there, however, due to the Coronavirus it was only a depressing thought of staying in my small apartment every day.”

Soonmi is now spending her time in Bali, in an apartment with a beautiful view and THREE CATS!!! (Again, can we join please???)

Bali, the Coronavirus & cats

According to Soonmi, Bali is really relaxed under all circumstances. Some restaurants and stores are still open with the right policies.

“I almost feel guilty that I live so carefree in comparison to other people in the world.”

Still, Soonmi decided to stay at home as much as possible. She finds it important to not bring others and herself in danger. Soonmi does go out for groceries and sports, but just like many of us: Netflix is her best friend. The BEST thing about Soonmi’s apartment are the three cats that live with her: Spooky, Lorenzo and Sophie. Every night, Soonmi and her friend go out for a daily ‘cat run’. On this cat run they search for the three cats, so they are safe inside their apartment.

“They run and meow through our 17 square meter room. It’s so entertaining!”

Soonmi is the cat lady, we all wish we were at this moment.

Want to follow Spooky, Lorenzo and Sophie? IG: @threeridiculouscats

Soonmi a.k.a. cat woman

We could argue that Soonmi is the biggest cat lover on the planet. Which brings us to the best day of her life.

One night, Soonmi stumbles upon two tiny kittens. After crying of cuteness, Soonmi started to look for the owner or mother. Unfortunately, the cats were lost and all by themselves. She decided to bring them to her apartment, but her landlord didn’t want more cats. Soonmi released the kittens and went back home. She did feel like something was wrong, so she went back to get them, but they were nowhere to be seen. After searching for hours, she found the kittens, took them to her apartment and called an animal shelter. Soonmi and the kittens had a wonderful sleepover. The next day, she brought them to the shelter. It was a painful moment, but they are safe now.

“Saving these kittens was the best moment of my life!”


Soonmi thinks Indonesian people are super sweet and kind.

“They are sometimes that sweet, that they will always say yes because they don’t want to reject you.”

This is really different from the Netherlands, as Dutch people always say whatever they want to. There are obviously cultural differences, but Soonmi experiences them in a positive way.

London School of Public Relations

Soonmi studies at the London School of Public Relations in Jakarta. Before the Coronavirus, Soonmi experienced the teachers and students as super kind. The school did everything to make the exchange students feel comfortable. The school took them to a villa, a tour of the city and many more. Also, every exchange student got a buddy, who teaches you everything about life in Jakarta.

The Coronavirus, did mess up the organization of the school a bit. The communication is a bit slower, but nobody saw this situation coming after all. Just like everybody else, LSPR is doing the best they can!

Online classes

Soonmi enjoys the online classes, however discussions about interesting topics is a bit harder. She does try to connect with international people as much as possible. The online classes are still interesting according to Soonmi. Online classes in Bali, sounds like a dream.

The most interesting course

Soonmi finds Global Media the most interesting course. This is about all media in relation to cultural differences around the globe. Soonmi is really interested in the assignments, but they are quite easy compared to assignments of BUAS. Also, Soonmi has open book exams (can we have those, please), which are quite easy but she is still learning a lot of new things! P.S. I hope you are reading this BUAS.

Tips from Soonmi herself

1. Really think deeply about your decision of going abroad. Many students follow their friends however, you need to be mentally prepared for this. I sometimes found it really hard to be on my own, I am glad I had my friends!

2. Jakarta is really nice, however, be prepared to travel through Asia as Jakarta can get boring after a while.

3. DON’T forget your vaccinations and remove your wisdom teeth before going!!! (Sounds like Soonmi has some experience with this)

“The best thing I have learned here, is that everything can be fun when the right people surround you!”

Hopefully, next year, the situation has changed a bit and you guys can go to Jakarta and follow your dream.

Do you want more information about Jakarta, Bali or London School of Public Relations? IG: @soonmivd