AFS Exchange Program Selection (2017-2018)

Ever since Sunday, 21st May 2017, there’s only been one thought clawing at the back of my mind. My performance during the AFS interview. I know it’s a silly thing to think about.

“Move on! Get it done and forget it.”  — everyone, literally.

But, I’m not the type who moves on so easily. So, in this post, I will be mainstream and cliche and talk about my experience thus far in the AFS selection process, like so many other bloggers have done. ^^

And for those of you who are reading this in preparation of your own AFS selection test, then good luck! May the odds be ever in your favor. 😉


The first round dished us with a scrumptious written test.

An unimportant run-down: Way early in the morning, my super-supportive mom dropped me off at SMP Lab School Kebayoran, which is about 30-45 minutes from my house. The test was to take place from 7:00-3:00. But, karena ngaret, we only just began at about 9:00. Six of my friends from school were also taking the test that day.

In this round, you have to take a general knowledge test, an English test, and write an essay in Indonesian. In my opinion, the English test wasn’t that hard. One of my friends said it was like the English National Examinations (a.k.a. UN), but a little harder.

For the Indonesian essay, you could choose one of three topics, which were(oh, and I’m paraphrasing):

  1. Semboyan atau peribahasa dari daerah asalmu yang sangat bermakna bagimu. 
  2. Tulislah tentang dua keputusan terbesar dalam hidupmu dan bagaimana kamu mengatasinya.                                                                                                                          
  3. Dari semua masalah yang kini terjadi di dunia, apa menurutmu masalah yang paling penting, dan mengapa masalah tersebut penting bagimu?                                            

I chose the third one, and wrote about environmental decline (what an ultra-fancy way of saying pollution, eh? heheh). The title was “Keindahan Alam Yang Mulai Pudar”.

Finally, *drumroll please*, there’s the general knowledge test. This one was by far the hardest of all the three. The questions ranged from basic math problems to geography and time zones to the origin of the Tin Tin comic!

Here are a few questions I still remember:

  • Donald Trump merupakan presiden Amerika Serikat ke-?
  • Which of these is an incorrect fact about Brexit?
  • Apa arti dari lambang rantai pada Pancasila?
  • Apa pengurutan taksonomi hewan yang benar?
  • Where did Rio Haryanto start his racing career?
  • What is the capital of Panama?

So, yeah. That’s all I can remember, guys. I don’t think I was able to answer 50% of the General Knowledge test, but you know what?

Thanks to God, I made it through. And so did three of my friends from school. =)


This is the part, lovely readers, that I can’t stop thinking about. Mostly because the announcements haven’t come out yet. Maybe I’m being overdramatic, but I’m having mini butterflies in my stomach right now.

So, this part of the selection took place at Universitas Hamka Fakultas Ekonomi dan Bisnis.

There are two parts– an Indonesian interview and an English interview. There was also a morning session and an afternoon session. Since I got the morning session, I had to be there by 7:00 AM.

I was terrified. (I know, I know. That’s bad show-not-tell writing, but I don’t think you’d really care about how I felt then, would you?)

So anyways, I made my way up the steps of the university, and after signing my name and getting a nametag, was ushered into an auditorium filled with 70-ish other kids, all (thankfully) facing towards the stage on the opposite side of the door. Like during the first phase, most people wore their school uniforms.

I made my way to my assigned seating, which turned out to be beside my fantabulous friend Ovvy. =) After joking and chatting for a while with Ovvy, the kakak-kakak finally opened the event. While we waited for about an hour, there were some returnees who talked about their experiences abroad. There was a guy(I forgot his name, sorry) who just returned from India and a girl named Kak Chika who went to Paris! There were also two other returnees from Mexico.

It was pretty fun, yet unnerving too. Unnerving because I could tell by looking at everyone’s faces that they all deserved to be there.

The sharing session by the returnees was interrupted suddenly by a kakak who called a group of people to join him. My heart dropped. It was finally time. In groups and in one’s, everyone was called away as the minutes progressed until there were only about a couple dozen people left. Ovvy was still there with me.

At last my name was called. Do you know what I did before the interview? I once watched a TED-talk that advised people to do superhero poses to boost their confidence before a big interview. So, that’s what I did. In the bathroom, of course.

The Indonesian/Personality Interview

I have mixed feelings about this one.


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