By Jean-Jacques Sene, Associate Professor of History, Global Focus Director
The name Indonesia, from the Greek language “Indian Island” or “Island of India” refers to a captivating archipelago made up of some 17,000 thousand islands! If total land and sea areas are factored in, it is one of the 10 biggest countries in the world. With a very diverse population of more than 250 million inhabitants, it stands as the largest Muslim nation of the planet.
The choice of Indonesia as the country of focus for next year’s Global Focus is a particularly important one for our academic community and its affiliates. For one thing, Chatham University belongs to the very small circle of institutions involved in the U.S.-Indonesia Partnership Program for Study Abroad Capacity (USIPP) sponsored by the New York-based Institute of International Education. The consortium includes only 6 universities in America; and Airlangga University, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bogor Agricultural Institute, Gadjah Mada University, the Indonesian Institute of the Arts/Yogyakarta, and the University of Indonesia.
The choice of country is also always motivated by the opportunities to engage with individuals and groups with strong connections to that area. The very dynamic Indonesian community in Pittsburgh has responded enthusiastically to Chatham’s invitation for a strong partnership.