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In a Boarding School

Hi all, it’s been a while since I posted the last blog… a year ago. I have been inactive from the internet recently for quite some time, and that’s because I got into a boarding school! Yaay-y… huh. A lodda things that I never expected I would get from being in this school - except the fact that I had to leave my internet world for a long time.

The cool part is that my school is not just some regular boarding school, it’s IDN Boarding School! An IT-focused boarding school. There, we learn things like programming, english, and of course not to forgot religion things. What makes IDN different from other school is how they teach you. Here in my country, conventional high school are.. well, conventional; but mine’s very different. In your conventional high schools, you’d need to learn things like math, science, physics, social and all that stuff. But IDN thought those were useless, so they tossed all of those out, and replaced them with only three subjects; yes, just three: IT, English, and Religion.

As a person that had been through some laziness and some hatred towards my previous school, I’m pretty down for this.

It’s also focused mostly on practicality, rather than just theories. It’s a project-based school, where you won’t need to write long essays, choose out of four answers in a sheet; but you create something, you create projects. And your projects determines whether you passed the school or not. No grading. No ranking. No bullcrap, just projects; easy enough.. right?

Projects, projects, and projects

Well, not that quick. First time I saw a brochure of IDN, I thought it’d be pretty fun y’know. I don’t really feel the good of trying your upmost to achieve the most perfect grade, I think creating projects would be more applicable to the real life, as well as that you also get experience from it, not to forgot that you made something - which can be shown to others, and you could be proud of yourself. It sounds pretty cool, but the actual implementation of it is very stressful.

In IDN, we have many kinds of projects. Ranging from impromptu projects that had to be finished in a few days, weekly projects, monthly projects, and a final project. Managing your time to fully make use of your limited time in IDN is very crucial, hard, and the one thing they teach you about.

There’s a buttload of activities in IDN, I probably couldn’t list them all. There are things like: teaching, external events, mini contests, ISSC (council), extracurricular activities, clubs, public speaking and much more. They’re here to make our schedule very, very tight. Someone that couldn’t finish a project quickly won’t be able to catch up with the material. If they haven’t finished their project yet, they would need to find a way to steal some time while in a class.

There will always be a new material almost everyday, new projects here and there, very limited time to actually finish them, not to forgot other activities. It’s very tough being in IDN, and I just couldn’t imagine how someone who’s very new to programming went through all this and actually finished their projects. “It’s like being in a university”, my dad once said. The material is very quick, one day we’ll learn about a topic, the next day we’ll start to study a new concept; one teacher even has a schedule of teaching three different concepts everyday, with no delay, and we all have to understand them. At the first days of programming, of course a lot got left behind; they understood nothing. I would say nobody remembered what they were taught. We have to take our hands down, and do the study work by ourselves.

Soft skill

Soft skill development is the selling point of my IDN. What’s a soft skill? They are skills that aren’t important (hard skills), but are very useful in your jobs. They might not be a requirement, but it could be very useful for doing things. For example, being able to converse in English is a soft skill; it’s not important (imagine working on an Indonesian company), but it’s very useful for you to have that skill. With the English language, not only will you acquire a new, different perspective of the world, but also access to tons of content from the internet otherwise inacessible without understanding of the English language.

And English is just one example, there are many soft skills that are taught here. Things like team dynamics, communication skills, good habits and more are also nurtured within IDN. Back then, I was an introverted person that would rarely talk to anyone, after staying on this school for almost a year, I felt a bit more comfortable talking to the villagers around IDN. Oh yeah, have I mentioned that IDN is located inside a village of a hillside?


IDN (Solo branch) is located literally in a hillside of Mount Lawu, Central Java. It’s really cold up there, much colder than temperatures I’m used to living in the urban areas of Solo. Temperatures there could get down to 15 degrees celsius, which to foreigners might sound normal, we Indonesians are different :>. Most of Indonesian cities experience a regular temperature of about 30 degrees celsius on average, and that’s “our normal”. Living in a place where the temperature is literally half to the one we’re used to is a big thing we needed time to adapt in.

I had cold allergy on the first few months I lived there. It was really could my body couldn’t bear it. I usually wear a jacket to go outside when the temperature is cold. Also, since it’s located on a hillside, it’s much higher-elevated than regular cities, around 1km above sea level. In the sun is out, it’s really cold; but when the sun is up in the sky, it gets really hot when you got blasted by the shining light from the sun. It’s really cold, but also really hot; really weird.

It’s also surrounded with villagers and it’s pretty much located in a centre of a village. We have this motto of being friendly to the people, and we always thrive to always be nice to them. And the villagers nice-d back us too! They tend to invite us to come to their house and eat together; even with dozens of people coming, they still invited us.

Other IDNs

The IDN I’m in is a special IDN. It’s a branch called “IDN Solo”, located near the Solo / Surakarta city. It’s like no other IDNs. So far, at this time point, there are 4 branches of IDN: with the main one being in Jonggol of Bogor, one at Pamijahan, one at Balikpapan and finally Solo. Solo is by far, the most anti-mainstream out of all the IDN branches. We occasionally follow the central branch located in Jonggol, but also we have our own activities and events that doesn’t happen on other IDNs. This is all because of our beloved principal, Mr. Rizad. He has a strong motive of creating a non-conventional school with a sprinkle of soft skill development and other things that make this IDN different from others.

In one instance, IDN Solo had the activity of “IDN Venture”. This activity is where we form a team of random people, somehow create a teaching event, and write a proposal for it to then send it to a real school on the outer world. It was challenging, but I and my team did it well! This activity is unique to IDN Solo, and not any other IDNs does it. Even so, IDN Solo fell behind other IDNs because of this activity (but managed to catch them up afterwards).


My experience being IDN had been AWESOME. There had been a lot of ups and downs of course. There are a lot of unexepected things happened. Lots of miscommunications and things that might have not matched my expectations. But that all got paid off by just seeing how much I changed as I went through the nits and bolts of IDN Solo. Activities like IDN Tangguh (a random group of 3, dropped off in an unknown city, survive for a week with only Rp. 50k ($3) and to somehow buy train tickets for us to get back by ourselves), IDN Venture (groups of people, prepared materials to teach, write their own proposal, lobby them to a real world school and somehow be useful to them), IDN Goes to Society (a random group of 3, released from the school to find a place to sleep, interact with the people around, survive with only Rp. 50k and go back to IDN), and way much more.

I hope this small blog post about my school tells you an interesting image of what my school is like.

This is not a project of my school, I’m in my holidays, kinda bored and wanted to do something productive.


This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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