He may have grown up in Indonesia, but ACG School Jakarta alumnus Daniel Roedy Dickinson considers England to be his home away from home. So when five different UK universities accepted him into their bachelor degree programmes, he was “absolutely over the moon”.
Now the ultra-creative 18-year-old is bound for the University of Leeds, eager to kickstart an exciting career in digital media.
“Mum is British, and my father is Indonesian, and every year of my life – apart from 2020 due to COVID – my parents have taken me to England to spend time with my grandparents and cousins. I’ve fallen in love with the country, and it has always been my dream to study there,” says Daniel.
“Not only is tertiary education in England absolutely fantastic, but studying overseas will broaden my horizons, plus I’ll be close to family!”
Of all the universities Daniel was accepted into (Leeds, Nottingham, Warwick, Liverpool and Lancaster), Leeds is the nearest campus to his relatives. And it offers the coursewhich aligns most closely with his interests.
“Their degree focuses more on the actual production of media, which is something I definitely want. My ultimate goal is to create media that changes people’s lives. So whether it’s movies, video games, animations or comic books, I want to create experiences that leave a profound and unforgettable impact on people.”
Daniel’s desire to spark emotion through his work took centre stage after he experienced an unexpectedly strong reaction while watching a lighthearted comedy, ‘Light Music Club’.
“At the end of the film, the Light Music Club performed an original song dedicated to one of their members who was heading off to a different university. All of a sudden, I started bawling my eyes out! I was utterly shocked that a piece of media could make me feel that way, and I honestly believe it changed me as a person. Ever since then, I’ve tried to make the most of life. If a piece of media that I produce could create that positivity and change in even one person, I’d be happy.”
With such ambitious plans and so much to look forward to, Daniel is grateful for the excellent educational start he received at ACG School Jakarta.
Academically he thrived at the school, winning Endeavour Awards and Excellence Awards for Bahasa Indonesia as a Second Language and for International Baccalaureate ITGS (Information Technology in a Global Society) in Year 13. And he was awarded the top mark in the country for Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives in Year 11. Other facets of life also flourished.
“There were countless highlights, but the sports days were definitely up there. I was never seriously into sports, but those days lit up a passion in me. They were so much fun, and the sense of community was fantastic.
“Meanwhile, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme taught me how to juggle multiple projects and tasks simultaneously. I developed time management skills and great research techniques, and I learnt to collaborate with others. The school encouraged me to do assignments with people I didn’t know well (rather than defaulting to my close friends), and as a result, I made a whole lot of new friends and have grown so much as a person.
“As an international school with students hailing from all different backgrounds, ACG School Jakarta provides invaluable opportunities. I learnt so much about being open-minded, and I honestly believe that now I can make friends with anyone.”
It’s a skill that will serve him well as he jets his way to the UK.
“Aside from the education, I am most looking forward to making new lifelong friends. Student life at the University of Leeds looks amazing!”