Conference,  Travel

Future Leader Congress 2018

On September 16th until 19th, I did my very first conference in Bangkok, Thailand. How I ended up there, is a funny story. I wanted to try a new thing. Back when I was in high school, I joined the Debate Club, now I’m planning to do Model United Nations (Model UN) instead. I’m going to attend my very first Model UN also in Bangkok, Thailand on November 3rd-6th. The thing is, I have no idea about Bangkok nor Model UN, and then I saw this program showing up at youthop.com, I thought to myself. “Hmm, Bangkok, in United Nations Conference Center, with less participants“. It sounded like a warmup to me. So I applied and thankfully got accepted.

There are 2 options, program fee only or program fee with accommodation. Since the last time I went to Bangkok was back when I was in 4th grade of elementary school, I opted for the accommodation option. It seemed like a good idea, until I realized that it was not really.

Pre-Departure

After the Letter of Acceptance arrived in my e-mail, I knew there are many things I need to arrange myself. The four big things were; (1) Airplane tickets, (2) Airport assistance from my place to Soekarno Hatta Airport, (3) University permission, (4) Clothings!

So, the first thing I did were printing 5 copies of the Letter of Acceptance so that I can give to my lecturers as it would be impossible for me to get the faculty’s permission since my university is quite strict regarding these kind of things so I wished my kind lecturers would be more understanding.

So I told them about everything and they gave me permission! I was really thrilled.

Next was plane tickets! I knew my time was quite limited since I have classes to attend. So I bought the tickets on the D-Date of September 16th, I bought the earliest arrival at 6.30 AM so I’ll get some time to do my assignments while waiting for the opening ceremony at 6 PM. I bought the return ticket on the 19th at 7 PM so I won’t be rushed in the morning to go to the airport and whatnot.

Just a pro-tip guys. Don't be like me. Arrive at least a day before the program starts and depart at least a day after the program ends. It'll save you plenty of sleeping and resting time.​

Airport assistance was one of the hardest things to solve. My departure flight was at 6.30 AM, it means, I need to be at the airport at around 3.30 or 4AM, which means, I should leave my place at 3AM in the morning. It would be hard to get a taxi at that time, of course grab is out of the question. However, my housemate, kak Kevin Marcelleo was kind enough to drop me off to the airport at that time! Of course, he was accompanied by another house mate, named Bang Adiputra Kaban and their friend, kak Arthur Argantara. The last things to figured out was, clothings! The dress code is strictly business formal attire and I had nothing to wear! I left all of my suits and blazers back in Medan, my hometown. I had no formal heeled shoes! Thankfully my friends came to the rescue! We knew it was shopping time and we had a great time shopping.

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One day before the day, I went out to get my self a facial and manicure and pedicure. I really had no idea why but it felt like a great way to warm up before the days that were coming. After all those, I went to go shopping (again). I bought several things ranging from new chargers, earphones, until to re-buy several skincare products. Then, I went home to pack all of the things and planned to sleep before the tiring travel.

Right before I waned to go to sleep, I had a sudden meltdown, I didn’t even know why. I called my twin sister but she didn’t respond so I went out of my room and saw my house mates looking at me wondering what happened to me. I told them “I don’t know” and they asked me to go eat out with them. So instead of sleeping, I went out to eat with them.

Day 1: Sept 16th, 2018

I showered at midnight and fell asleep at 1 AM only for the alarm to wake me up at 2 AM. After unplugging all of my gadgets, I changed my pajamas into a presentable clothings and woke the boys up. Then we directly headed to the airport.

I arrived too early. But it’s better than arriving late. I hate being rushed by anything so it doesn’t bother me to wait rather than to rush.

I checked in and put my 17.7 KGs worth of baggage (your girl got many things to bring y’all), then went passed the immigration. I met with kak Karisha Alifputri, a senior from my university whom I’ve never met before but also went to attend the conference. Then I met with Selli, the girl who’ll become one the people I was closest with.

We went into the plane and could barely close my eyes during the flight. Maybe because I was terrified or excited or it could be both.

Landed at around 10.15 AM, me and Kak Karisha went to the bathroom first before went to the immigration who was really warm-hearted.

We met many other delegates and that was when I first met Yuha, a Malaysian who worked for the program who eventually is a cool and funny man.

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We waited for around an hour to wait for some other delegates to land and went straight to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel at around 11.30 AM, we could only check-in at 1.30 PM, I had around 2 hours to do my assignments and work around some things I needed to work on about. So I went to the hotel restaurant/bar and ordered some food. It was a great Spaghetti Bolognaise. There, I met more other delegates named Andre and Subash. After it was time, I checked in and rested for like 15 minutes and went directly to the gym.

I spent around 1 hour at the gym and then I went back to the hotel room and took a shower, did my makeup and then went to Hirzi’s room and that’s when we met Iwan, one of the closest friends. We then went and wait for Ridho and Selli to come and then we went to the hotel’s ballroom for the opening ceremony. On our way there, we met Hem Kumarran, another Malaysian whom we met on the lift, after a really awkward silence.

During the opening ceremony, we got a Diplomacy 101 conducted by Mr. Nazrul Azizi, then, of course, it was time for pictures!

Day 2: Sept 17th, 2018

I woke up at 5.30 AM and went to take a shower. After that, I put on some makeup and go get changed. The Sukosol Hotel had a buffet breakfast and they even serve sushi as breakfast! I love the sushis and their smoked salmon! After breakfast, we headed directly to the United Nations Conference Center, and we had many distinguished speakers. Mr. Dino Patti Djalal, Mme. Florine Eppe Beauloye, Mr. Dong Chan Kim, Mr. Ankit Kawatra, Dr. Gamal, Ms. Safaath. Those are the speakers who shared their experience in life and what they’ve done to help achieve the UN SDG 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We also got to eat lunch at the United Nations Conference Center cafeteria, it was such a pleasant experience honestly. You get to learn a lot from the experience, meeting like minded people, while also get to have fun with your new friends around the world!

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The conference stopped that day at 5PM, I went back to the hotel and go get changed as I wanted to go to Chinatown to eat at a Chinese restaurant. I went there with a friend, we ate and talked for around 2 hours and then I went to Speakeasy rooftop bar with some other delegates. We had a few drinks and fun chats about many things in life.

Day 3: Sept 18th, 2018

Again, breakfast and what not. Straight headed to UNCC and it was time for the group presentation. I chose the education council as it was what define me and what I do the best. Everything ended at 2.30 PM and I went to hotel to get ready for the closing ceremony, awarding and cultural night. I didn’t get to win any awards at this time being, but it’s okay.  On that night, we got to see many beautiful performances from all around the world, and of course, pictures!

After the closing and endless pictures, we went to Khaosan Road and went to a bar.

Day 4: Sept 19th, 2018

As a delegate who paid for accommodation, I supposed to be able to join the tour, but I didn’t go because I was so tired and I haven’t even packed my luggage. So I stayed at the hotel and eventually, two of my friends, Aditya Poddar from India and Abdul Ahad from Pakistan (who were roommates at that time), also didn’t go to the tour and so we had breakfast together and talked a lot. Then it was time to go home. I didn’t want to go home. I had too much fun during the whole 4 days I was there, meeting friends from all around the world. I don’t even know when I’ll see them again. But I know I must. I have to.

Thank you StudEc International for making this event and giving opportunities to all the youths out there. I’ll totally go again!

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