Cheery 2013!

Hello all!

First post in 2014, i will write about my 2013 review πŸ™‚ Although it is a bit late since it is already the January the 12th. But, whatever, i have just came back from a family holiday to Bali and Surabaya πŸ™‚

So 2013 was such as challenging year, let’s see what had happened πŸ™‚


Experiencing Winter and Summer at Japan

One of the most exciting experience is to feel winter and spring in Japan. For Summer it was just hot, (really) hot, and i also did not have a chance to see any fireworks (due to my final report experiment). So I played ski with my laboratory, got bruises everywhere, but it was fun.


winter snow!

winter snow!

ski ski ski! :)

ski ski ski! πŸ™‚

And during spring time, i had the chance to see Sakura in Kyoto and Osaka with my sister. Totally beautiful!


beautiful sakura at 倧ι˜ͺ

beautiful sakura at 倧ι˜ͺ

Not forget to mention visiting flower field near Fuji Mountain with my best friends. Totally astonishing!




Completing my Young Scientist Exchange Program

After a struggle, desperation, tears, and laughs finally I can complete my exchange program, Young Scientist Exchange Program at Tokyo Institute of Technology. It was a really good year with amazing new experiences, amazing friends from all of the world. I am really feeling blessed to be part of YSEP 2012-2013 πŸ™‚


with my Mom, Dad, little brother, host mother, and YSEP coordinator, Sato Sensei :)

it’s such a blessing to have my family on my graduation!

YSEP Certificate :)

YSEP Certificate πŸ™‚

with my laboratory members :)

with my laboratory members πŸ™‚

Oh, and I was selected to give a speech at the graduation ceremony πŸ˜€ unbelievable πŸ˜€


a Good and Brand New Musical Journey

2013, is a quite good year of music. I’ve lost something but i’ve learned so many new things and new experience. I am still inside Ammy Alternative String of course, which was fun. I also created Bandung String Trio II with my bestfriend, Syarif. We practically started everything from zero, and i think it is also a fruitful experience for me πŸ™‚ Oh, he was also kind enough to put me inside his band, Posmodernisme dan Akhir Filsafat (it was cool to be the only girl :D)

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I also learn so many kind of new genres and new atmospheres of playing music, thanks to several bands that have collaborated with me. I had more music jobs, and i have started working as a regular musician in Fresco Restaurant Hilton Hotel Bandung πŸ˜€

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Well, there’s always a rainbow after the rain. Just play music with your heart πŸ™‚


Examinations Year

This year I followed a lot of examinations and hopefully it all ended well πŸ™‚ I followed JLPT N4, Grade 5 ABRSM Music Theory, and TOEFL iBT πŸ™‚


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Scholarship Hunting Year

Well, this year is also a scholarship hunting year for Master and Doctoral Degree (probably altogether). I am right now in progress of 3 scholarship selections, and probably will apply for 2 more πŸ˜€

Of course I followed the selection of International Graduate Program A Tokyo Institute of Technology for Master and Doctoral Integrated Program, back there in Matsuda Laboratory, continuing my bachelor thesis. I have had the interview and apparently waiting for the good result to come πŸ™‚ I hope i can get the MEXT Scholarship πŸ™‚

I also followed selection of TOTAL Scholarship 2014 to study in France. I have passed until first interview and still waiting for a good result to come in February, whether i could go to the panel interview or not πŸ˜€

I followed Erasmus Mundus Lotus Unlimited Selection. My target was University of Groningen, studying biocatalysis and University of Ghent, studying human nutrition πŸ˜€ Up to now Β I have been pre-academically accepted at Ghent, hope everything will go smoothly πŸ™‚ For both the university and fellowship selections πŸ™‚


Being a (little) English Teacher

I also had started to work as an english teacher in Private English Program. It was tough since I teach general english and conversation class. I had to put a lot of efforts to make the class lively and exciting. My grammar is also not good so i have to learn a lot as well.

But I love this job, generally speaking I always love teaching and I want to be a good English teacher like my old TBI teachers.


(almost) a Bachelor of Science

and I am almost bachelor of science (hopefully). I have completed 144 credits (6 were transferred from Tokyo Tech) and (almost) scores straight A the last semester (i’m still lacking two scores anyway). I have had my seminar, finished my publication draft, finished my skripsi and I am only waiting for my final defense day. Bismillah, go Acetophenone Reductase! πŸ™‚

Good seminar, i hope it will also be a good final defense :)

Good seminar, i hope it will also be a good final defense πŸ™‚

May God force be with you all guys in 2014! Have a wonderful journey ahead! Thank you for making my 2013 so colorful!!



With Love,


Afifa Ayu Koesoema


Why Proficiency Examination?

Hello all!

Spare time, time to write! In this post I want to tell a story about examinations. What kind of examinations? I’m not talking about school examination, I will talk about proficiency examination, a kind of exam that confirms you’re qualified and proficient enough in doing something.

There are a lot of it. If you still can’t get it let’s say TOEFL, IELTS and other for English Language proficiency. We also have ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) examination or Yamaha examination for music. Japanese Language Proficiency Test for Japanese Language ability. Even to enter graduate school usually you need GRE examination. Basically every specific field of study has its own proficiency examination.

Lately I am being a bit addicted of this proficiency examination. In the past 6 months i have taken 3 different proficiency examination. There are a strong and basic need to take TOEFL iBT again since my old one had expired and I really need it for Master application. Despite of no exact strong urge for me to take Japanese Language Proficiency Test and ABRSM Music Theory Examination, I still took that in July and September, .

It was a 合格 (pass) for N4 Japanese Language Proficiency Test with A mark for all of parts and I was so happy!

Yeay 合格!

Yeay 合格!

So you might be wondering why I consider those kind of examination important? Check this out.

First, it is a valuable thing for your future. Having a >100 iBT TOEFL score for example, will make people or school that you applied to, company that you are planning to work with, easily spotted your proficiency in a wink of an eye. Although it is not the main deciding factor, and maybe person can perform better or worse than the result I think that it also plays a crucial role in applying for job or school.

Some people say that this proficiency is expensive. Indeed, you need to pay 175US$ per one TOEFL test or Β for getting the highest grade in musical examination it would cost around that number as well. In my opinion, however, this high cost worth the benefits!

Second, it gives you satisfaction.Β Let’s say you have learned something for years, in my case i play violin for 10 years. Although you know you play good enough, people say you are good enough, you have enough performing experience, you continue learning everyday, etc. Although you’re satisfied, somehow maybe you will not feel that satisfied, because there are no exact parameter of your ability.

Well, maybe this opinion will only work for an ambitious person like me? But I’m sure that having a Pass with Honour Music Certificate or other certificate will surely satisfy and boost everyone’s confidence up!

Third, it is a perfect way to learn.Β Have you ever felt stuck? Or you are confused with what is the next thing for you to learn? Or you want to measure your ability or don’t know what your weakness are?

Maybe proficiency examination is the answer for you (and surely for me). Examination for proficiency has been planned precisely to have some points you have to be proficient in. Those points are even make clearer in graded examination where some point follows the other and understanding of one point is crucial to go forward for the next step.

Following an examination is a perfect way to learn something orderly, with proper structure. You can realize your own strength and also weakness, sharpen your strength and fix your weakness πŸ™‚

Fourth, and the most important, it is a way for you to be appreciative for your own struggle!Β Yes, although it cost time to prepare, money to apply, and you will not die if you don’t get it; but I think it’s a good way to appreciate yourself. By obtaining a good result of examination, you will not only receive appreciation from other, but also give appreciation for yourself. Your hard work, time, and struggle deserve it, they deserve a ‘pass with honor’ certificate, they deserve a 合格 and high mark! πŸ™‚

In conclusion, well, i still think that proficiency examination is important for you, if you wish to take it, i’m sure it will benefit you in a lot of aspects πŸ™‚ Proficiency test result or certificate is not only a piece of paper, it can bring you more than just a judgement and assist in applying for school or job. I think it also has some philosophical meaning inside it.

And for me, I’m still a bit nervous of waiting for my TOEFL iBT result and ABRSM Theory Grade 5 result, yet I am now thinking and preparing for challenging myself in other proficiency test, GRE and Practical Violin Grade 8 πŸ™‚ Pray for me please, みんγͺ!

probably will be my upcoming next :p

probably will be my upcoming next :p

Love always,

Afifa Ayu Koesoema