Critical Language Scholarship Program | Sarina Haryanto
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Sarina Haryanto

Sari­na Haryan­to is an alum­na of the 2018 CLS Indone­sian pro­gram in Malang, Indone­sia. She grad­u­at­ed in 2018 from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land with a bachelor’s degree in Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment and minor is Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Stud­ies. She now explores her inter­ests in cre­ative­ly break­ing down bar­ri­ers and build­ing com­mu­ni­ty as an exec­u­tive assis­tant at Girls’ Night In and a barista at Philz Cof­fee and plans to use her Indone­sian lan­guage and cul­tur­al knowl­edge to address social and envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges such as the glob­al sup­ply chain of food and cloth­ing. Sari­na enjoys barre and dance class­es, read­ing, lis­ten­ing to clas­si­cal and dan­g­dut music, and attend­ing Indone­sian cul­tur­al events and mak­ing food and drinks like es cendol.

Embrac­ing a Mul­ti­cul­tur­al Identity

My mul­tira­cial her­itage (Chi­nese, Indone­sian, Irish, and Czech) intro­duced me to dif­fer­ent cul­tures in my house­hold from a young age. My fond­est mem­o­ries of ele­men­tary school are of mul­ti­cul­tur­al night where I served nasi goreng (“fried rice” in Indone­sian) and learned about dif­fer­ent cul­tures from around the world. Through­out ele­men­tary school, I par­tic­i­pat­ed in a Chi­nese after-school lan­guage pro­gram and began for­mal study of Man­darin Chi­nese in mid­dle school. These oppor­tu­ni­ties to con­nect with my Indone­sian and Chi­nese back­ground helped me embrace my mixed-race identity.

A Life­long Inter­est in Indonesia

As my father is from Cen­tral Java, we vis­it­ed Indone­sia many times through­out my child­hood. I remem­ber hang­ing my wet clothes to dry out­side and pick­ing lychee from the trees in my rel­a­tives’ gar­den. I cher­ished the warm hos­pi­tal­i­ty of neigh­bors who invit­ed me to try fresh Indone­sian dish­es sit­ting under col­or­ful food domes. From the peo­ple to the envi­ron­ment, I admire the beau­ti­ful diver­si­ty of the country. 

The CLS Pro­gram influ­enced me to slow down, notice things in my sur­round­ings, and reflect every day to progress in my lan­guage ability.

My inter­est in Indone­sia con­tin­ued in col­lege when I decid­ed to study sup­ply chain man­age­ment and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. See­ing Made in Indone­sia” on cloth­ing labels reminds me of Indonesia’s impor­tant role in glob­al sup­ply chains. I want­ed to study Bahasa Indone­sia to rekin­dle my per­son­al con­nec­tion as a begin­ner her­itage speak­er and chal­lenge myself to see social and envi­ron­men­tal impact in a dif­fer­ent context.

Mean­ing­ful Connections

Liv­ing with a host fam­i­ly and becom­ing close friends with my lan­guage part­ners taught me the impor­tance and val­ue of com­mu­ni­ty in Indone­sian cul­ture. I appre­ci­at­ed Indone­sians demon­strat­ing the val­ues of seman­gat (be enthu­si­as­tic), sabar (be patient), and san­tai (be relaxed). The unwa­ver­ing sup­port of my lan­guage part­ners helped me adjust to the local cul­ture, food, peo­ple, and norms. We rode an angkot to Pasar Besar, hag­gled for batik, and savored nasi padang at warungs. As we explored Malang, they encour­aged me to prac­tice Indone­sian every­where: I remem­ber ner­vous­ly plac­ing my first order for food, hop­ing I didn’t acci­den­tal­ly ask for the spici­est dish on the menu!

Future Goals

My edu­ca­tion­al goals involve grad­u­ate stud­ies in edu­ca­tion­al psy­chol­o­gy, cross-cul­tur­al learn­ing, and/​or lin­guis­tics. In my pro­fes­sion­al work, I look for­ward to cre­at­ing eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty for peo­ple of col­or through my lan­guage skills and com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment efforts. I hope more peo­ple become inter­est­ed in and aware of how peo­ple and the plan­et are treat­ed in glob­al sup­ply chains.


CLS Alum­ni Ambas­sadors are recent CLS par­tic­i­pants who take lead­er­ship roles as active and pos­i­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the CLS Pro­gram by engag­ing with CLS alum­ni and rep­re­sent­ing the pro­gram to var­i­ous audi­ences. If you would like to get in touch with a CLS Alum­ni Ambas­sador, please con­tact clsalumni@​americancouncils.​org


Alumni Profiles

Sarina Haryanto
Sarina Haryanto
Indonesian 2018
Malang, Indonesia

See More Profiles


Posted Date

May 06, 2019