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Wiwin Hartini


Hometown: Medan, North Sumatra Province, Indonesia

Major: Electrical Engineering


Languages: Bahasa Indonesia, English


Hobbies: Making and editing videos, reading or listening to audio non-fiction books on a variety of subjects, tutoring, listening to music, learning new languages, and experiencing new cultures


Biography: When I was 6 years old, two foreigners stopped by our front porch.  They handed me a little vocabulary book with pictures.  This became the start of my curiosity about the world. Indonesia has about 17,000 islands and my mom and dad speak and taught me two of the ethnic languages along with the national language.


In 2014, I entered a national contest and won a scholarship from the US Department of State to come to the US under the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Program with other 85 students from Indonesia. I attended Washougal High School in Washington near Portland Oregon for one year. I experienced the American culture and was given opportunities to give 17 presentations about Indonesia and Muslim culture at schools and churches. The exchange program changed my perspective about the United States.  I became more open minded and curious about other cultures and people.


I returned to Indonesia in 2015 to finish high school and in 2016 my American host family invited me back for college with an offer to sponsor me. My host mother & father had been exchange students and wanted to give back to the community by helping students with their education. Studying abroad had always been my dream, and through my American family, I learned that no matter where we are in the world, we can always make a difference in our own way. Inviting me back was one of their ways to make a difference and they have become my inspirations.


I went to Clark College in Vancouver, WA for 2 years and transfer to Portland State University as a junior in 2018. I am now a senior studying Electrical Engineering. At Clark College, I worked as a tutor and volunteered as an International Peer Mentor. PSU has given me opportunity to work as a tutor at the ECE Department, a student support at the PSU Capital Projects & Construction, and a student blogger for PSU Chronicles. The people I’ve met are great mentors, and through ICSP Program I would like to give back the kindness I’ve received. I want to continue learning about other cultures and share information about Indonesia.

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