Indonesia is home to over 17,000 islands, making it the largest archipelago in the world.
Each of these islands is rich with their own form of diversity, culture and unique creative energy, hence Indonesia’s nickname — the 17,000 Islands of Imagination.
Yet, 24-year-old Mia Amrisyanda Putri had to leave behind the incredibly diverse landscape to carve her creative path.
“Back home, in our culture, it is actually not so common to choose the arts/creative industry as a university degree,” she told Study International.
“So I chose to study abroad in Australia because it is the closest English-speaking country to Indonesia and I can only speak English as a second language.”
Mia’s first degree wasn’t related to creative arts either — it was accounting.
“My first instinct when I graduated high school was to go for a Bachelor’s accounting degree at University of Queensland,” she said.
Swapping numbers for notes
During the years she spent analysing balance sheets and number-crunching mathematical equations, musical notations would always be running through Mia’s mind.
“Since I was little, my hobby has always been singing. I even had a dream to be a singer when I was a kid, but never really thought of it as a career path in real life.”
So when she graduated, Mia searched for a music school that suited her ambitions to become a professional musician and found the JMC Academy in South Brisbane.
“I’m now doing my Bachelor’s of Music here and I love it,” she said.
“Everyone in Australia is always so kind and friendly, plus the education system here is very organised and it taught me a lot about responsibility.”
She’s also gained a lot of confidence from singing and showcasing her songwriting skills at public events — performing multiple times on campus for projects and open days as well as in live recording sessions for the university.
“Also, I’ve sung at various events around Brisbane — my biggest highlight would be the Lord Mayor’s Seniors Christmas Parties concert in Brisbane City Hall last December,” she said.
Even though Mia is enjoying Australia’s creative arts scene, she still keeps her home country close to her heart by performing at Indonesian events in the city, and publishing vlogs about Indonesia’s delicacies:
Unleashing creative arts amid the COVID lockdown
On March 19, JMC Academy announced that it will be suspending face-to-face courses and transitioning to online learning. Its campuses remain open for students to access facilities, labs, libraries and resources.
As for Mia, she’s making use of all the free time she has now by songwriting, singing, and playing her guitar and keyboard.
The young songstress has also had time to reflect on her decision to switch from one degree to another:
“I have always loved music, but I never really had a proper music education until I decided to do my music degree. So, really, it has helped me make my childhood dream come true!”
Mia also believes that it’s really important for other students to follow their passions while studying, “because at the end of the day, all of us want to live happily.”
Be brave & go abroad: How to create a future in the creative arts
If there’s one thing that Mia can advise others about studying a creative arts degree abroad, it’s to “go for it!”
“You need to meet as many people as you can and get involved with your local arts community, connection is very important,” she said.
Mia also explains that a creative arts degree is a great study route as creative skills are growing in demand.
For instance, in the recent LinkedIn Learning Skills Companies Need Most in 2020 list, creativity, collaboration, persuasion and emotional intelligence skills some of the most in-demand soft skills today.
Creativity is ranked first place in the ‘Soft skills companies need most in 2020′ section for the second year running.
“Organisations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR.
“Focus on honing your ability to bring new ideas to the table in 2020,” says LinkedIn Learning Marketing Leader Deanna Pate.
For Mia, the best part about following your passion into a creative career isn’t just the vast employment opportunities you will face in the future, but also the people you will meet:
“Everyone that you’ll meet in the creative industry will be unique and talented in their own way, so no one will judge you.
“And I have learnt from my experience that doing what you love, and loving what you do, can make you happy, so be brave, follow your heart overseas and get creative!”