Alumni Spotlight: Liana Engie

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Name: Liana Engie

Teaching placement in Indonesia: 2011-2012 in Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat (first ETA there!)

Current city and job: I’m currently living in Jakarta, Indonesia and have just completed a position building the Faculty of Science and Technology at a new university here. In mid-April I’ll be moving to the US and either working at a computational biology or biophysics research job, or entering graduate school. As you can see I’m still deciding; you caught me in a transitional period.

Life after Fulbright:

I stayed in Indonesia for years beyond what I anticipated. Living and working here has been great. Lots of ups and downs; there are many reasons why I’m sad to leave and why I’m excited to go home. I’m very glad to have done the Fulbright before living in Jakarta. It gives me an expat experience that very few people have as well as the comfort to be able to navigate easily outside the more ritzy, mall-based Jakarta lifestyle. There’s so much of Indonesian life that I feel like many foreigners miss out on, even those who live here for a while. It’s such a shame! I’ve tried to keep exploring different parts and aspects of Jakarta and many friends have helped me feel like I’m constantly learning more about this place.

I’m fortunate to have a great group of friends here and a supportive network of people. One thing about life abroad is that people are constantly entering and leaving — some people come to Jakarta and work for a year, some for just a few months, some for several years — and I’ve got Indonesian friends or friends I’ve met while they lived here who are now living all around the world and the States. It can be tough to maintain a social circle that is constantly fluctuating, but it is also nice to have friends all over the world. Pros and cons, I guess, like all of life abroad. Now it’s my turn to head out and settle somewhere new.
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