North West England Football Holy Journey

Liverpool

Liverpool at early morning was cold and quiet

So I departed from London Victoria Coach Station at 23:45 and arrived in Liverpool One Station at 04:50 in the morning next day. I used Megabus.com (low fare coach services) and had booked 5 days before the journey. The cost per one person is £6 for London to Liverpool journey.

It’s a mistake to arrived early at 5 in the morning because there was nothing happened yet during that hours. It was completely dark without no one observed on the street. Liverpool is a port city and its weather is colder than London’s. Adding the fact that it’s early morning, the temperature might go below 10 degrees Celcius with strong wind even in the autumn. So I ended up chilled in the middle of bus station but finally found a national express locket nearby to make myself warm. In that hour, everything was still not in business even for mart of a coffee shop. The earliest is 8 in the morning for them to get into the business. So I would not suggest you make midnight trip from London, it is better to get early morning bus from London so you arrived around before noon time.

Daily bus ticket

Daily adult ticket pass costs only £4 per person, it is enough to explore famous places in Liverpool. I visited Anfield and the Goodison Park, City Centre, Baltic Triangle, and the Albert Docks. The latter is very near from the bus station and city centre, only 5 minutes walk. So you can make that as your final destination on the day. Liverpool is not that big, compared to a city like London so one day should be enough to visit Liverpool’s popular destination.

The Albert Dock and Museum of Liverpool

Actually, the Beatles museum is also nearby, but I decided to skip that because I am not really a Beatles fan and the adult ticket costs £10. However, the Museum of Liverpool is free of entry and actually, it is quite amusing for leisure wander. It tells the story about Liverpool city, the Beatles, the dockers, Liverpool FC and Everton FC, and much more.

Anfield and Goodison Park

Anfield and Goodison Park are quite near, around 20 minutes walking. I decided to visit Anfield first because the bus station is just in front of the stadium. Surprisingly, I found a glimpse of a wind turbine near Anfield. I wonder if the wind turbine is in operation or not. It is a quite rare sight to have a wind turbine in the middle of busy city.

I visited both Liverpool and Everton official shops and noticing a very big gap between them. Liverpool shop was full of tourists, meanwhile, there was no one in Everton shop when I was there. People from all over the worlds came over to visit the famous KOP home ground. I predict the atmosphere will be amazing during the match day!

YHA Liverpool

I spent the night at YHA Liverpool, around 10 minutes walking from city centre. Good services, reasonable price, clean room, and adequate facilities. It is more than enough for a sleeping place, highly recommended for backpacker traveller. Make sure you make booking online first because the demand is high for YHA Liverpool. You might need to pay some pounds for booking fee. I always enjoy my stay in YHA (Youth Hostel Association) because it is very simple and convenient for backpacker traveller.

Manchester

As my trip was more like a football trip, Manchester is a must visit place. Etihad and Old Trafford should not be missed, at least you take a picture in front of Old Trafford and Etihad. Luckily I got there during the match day between Manchester United and Leicester City (reigning Premier League Champion) so I noticed the United Army marching down the road with their red jerseys. That day United beat the former champion so bad.

In Manchester, I stayed in my friend’s house who studied at the University of Manchester. Surprisingly, the housing price in Manchester is amazingly cheaper than London. Not only the housing price, the foods are also relatively cheaper. In my opinion, Manchester is a kind of student-friendly city by considering it is one of the biggest city in the UK.

Tips about transport in Manchester, always buy the daily bus and tram ticket when you are there. Even though you are not planning to travel much, it is always worth. I ended up paying two times transportation cost than the price I should pay if I bought the daily pass. And also beware of the bus services providers, there are several of them. If you buy the daily pass ticket from one specific company, the ticket cannot be used for other company’s bus even it is the same route. Happened to me once, where I ended up buying a new ticket.

Must visit places are Arrandale (city centre with shopping centres),  Alan Turing Park, Manchester 101, Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium, Manchester Library, and the University of Manchester. The first three and University of Manchester are reachable by walking actually, it is only 20 minutes walk to each other so I suggest to walk rather than the bus because sometimes there is traffic.

Leeds

I have only stayed during the day in Leeds because I directly headed back to London before the evening. Places I visited are the Royal Armories Musem, Roundhay Park, and the city centre. I highly recommend the museum, even though you are not really into weaponry or war but the museum is really entertaining. I am not interested in war but the showcase they were just nice to see. The city centre is not so special, just a bunch of shopping stores and restaurants.  The Roundhay park is a just typical park in the UK but is worth to visit to enjoy the weather and stroll around the lake. If you do not like that kind of activities, I do not recommend the Roundhay Park.

Well, that was a short story about my visit to Central UK before I started my postgraduate study in London. Hope you enjoy that.

Application for Imperial College London – MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures 2016

Hi there, I want to share about my application process for Postgraduate program at Imperial College London. Hope this post enlighten your mind about applying for Imperial MSc program. I will tell the story in chronological order.

8 February – 1 March 2016

I started studying about Imperial College since 2015 and applying for the program on 8 February 2016. You can scrutinize the program description in the website. They made the program handbook, course description, program specification, and the FAQ available for download. SEF also has released a blog at http://energyfutureslab.wordpress.com where students and lab members write their opinion and story. You can also request a prospectus to Imperial Graduate Admissions to learn more about the postgraduate program. All aplication for Imperial College London made via the online admission system.

The MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures program itself had opened the application since late 2015. However the deadline for application is 31 March 2016. The deadline means you have to complete the application documents not late than the specified date. The application documents include two letter of recommendations, only if both LoR are submitted and accepted then the application status would change into completed. Please mind the uncertainty for letter of recommendation submission from your reference so your application would complete in time. Mind that this program is quite competitive, every year around 50 students accepted amongst around 350 applicants from all over the world. Timing is vital, the early you applied, the success chance is higher than later application. I completed my application on 1 March 2016 because my second recommendation came at 1 March, even all application form had been filled and first recommendation already given. I waited almost one month just for recommendation. Luckily I still have time before the deadline application day.

When you apply using the online application, you should get a CID (College Identification) Number as log in ID in Imperial College Student e-services website. Activate your account and make a password. You can save your progress while filling the forms and continue whenever you want. You cannot continue further if the required box still not filled. If you have completed the application, you can monitor the progress using student e-services web. However if the decision has been made, you should get a notification in your email. I got an email on 11 April 2016 (about 5 weeks from the completion of application) for the decision notification. Later I found out I was conditionally accepted for the MSc program. You should respond to the offer whether to accept or defer it.

11 April 2016 – Decision on the application

How to change the conditional offer to unconditional?

In the student e-services site, there should be a list of outstanding* items need to be submitted to ICL. In normal case, they might ask for proof of bachelor completion alongside the academic transcript. They also might require a deposit to be made, however this can be substituted by letter of guarantee or letter of scholarship. In my case as Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, I submitted a LOS and it worked as a magic. I need only to submit the bachelor certificate and academic trancript by air mail. I was using Indonesia mail service, EMS POS Indonesia to transfer the documents. The damage cost was only around 300 thousand IDR. Just for information, using DHL services might costed around 600 thousand IDR.

For LPDP awardee or any of you intending to attend ICL as LPDP awardee, I suggest to apply for ICL after you got the LOS from LPDP. In some case, ICL is strict about deposit payment. It would be better if you already have the LOS to guarantee your payment, so deposit does not need to be made. I apply for LPDP in January 2016 and accepted in March 2016. The timing was just perfect for me.

*They require me to send the original documents, however after consult with my fellow friend I decided to send the copy documents with legalized stamp. The registry did not complaint and 1 day after the arrival of documents, my status altered to unconditionally accepted.

What to do after I unconditionally accepted?

You might prepare the documents needed for visa application. It depends on your country, should you see the visa and immigrations of UK website about that. I got a long period of waiting my CAS* number to be generated by ICL because regarding to the course starting date at 1 October 2016, CAS will not be generated early than 1 July 2016. In a period of time between late April 2016 until July 2016, I could only prepare for documents for visa application waiting on the CAS to come. If you need a Letter of Acceptance, just contact the registry for your study program and soon it will be sent to you. However you should on unconditional offer to have that.

*CAS is Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies, required to make UK Visa Tier 4 type. It accounts for 30 points in your total visa points of 40. The other 10 accounts for maintenance fee during your study in UK.

For any of you applying for the ICL postgrad program, I wish you good luck!

Tes Bebas TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara untuk Syarat Visa UK tahun 2016

Halo pembaca, sebagian besar dari kalian pasti belum pernah melakukan tes bebas TBC. Termasuk saya juga sebelumnya, yang terpaksa tes ini untuk prasyarat pengajuan visa Tier 4 ke UK. Dalam bayangan saya awalnya, tes bebas TBC yang seharga 690 ribu rupiah (17 Mei 2016) mencakup tes dahak dan sebagainya. Ternyata pada dasarnya tes anti TBC hanya terdiri dari foto rontgen thorax yang kemudian diamati oleh dokter ahli radiologi. Tes ini sebenarnya sudah pernah saya lakukan sebagai prasyarat mendaftar Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia – LPDP. Namun karena pihak imigrasi UK mensyaratkan tes dilakukan hanya di tiga rumah sakit Indonesia, RS Premier Bintaro, RS Premier Jatinegara, dan salah satu RS di Bali maka saya melakukan tes ulang.

Sebenarnya saya agak parno dengan tes ini, takut hasilnya menunjukkan positif laten TBC. Kakek saya pernah mengidap TBC sewaktu umur saya 8 tahun. Salah satu yang unik tentang tes TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara, satu hari setelah tes anda akan deg-degan menunggu hasil. Jika menerima panggilan telepon keesokan harinya, berarti anda dicurigai terjangkit TBC dan perlu pengecekan sputum atau dahak. Dan tes dahak bisa memakan waktu hingga berbulan-bulan karena spesimen dahak perlu dikembangkan secara ilmu mikrobiologi. Maka saran saya bagi yang ingin membuat visa UK, tes bisa dilakukan paling cepat 6 bulan sebelum keberangkatan. Karena sertifikat yang diterbitkan oleh RS Premier itu berlaku sampai 6 bulan setelah tes dilakukan. Biasanya universitas UK intake di bulan September sehingga dari bulan Maret dan April tes sudah bisa dilakukan. Hal ini juga perlu dilakukan untuk menghindari antrian pendaftaran di waktu-waktu padat pengajuan visa UK pada bulan Juni.

Berikut langkah-langkah dan tips jika anda ingin melakukan tes bebas TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara:

  1. Lakukan dulu booking melalui telepon 1500908 di bagian medical check up untuk tes TBC Visa UK. Dokumen yang perlu disiapkan adalah paspor asli yang masih berlaku dan pas foto 4×6 latar belakang warna biru. Usahakan datang jam 9 karena sistem menganut first come first serve. Semakin telat semakin lama anda menunggu.
  2. RS Premier Jatinegara dapat dijangkau dengan transportasi umum Commuter Line (turun di stasiun Jatinegara disambung dengan angkot biru ke arah Kampung Melayu) atau Transjakarta (turun di halte RS Premier atau Kampung Melayu) atau dengan layanan ojek online yang cepat dan nyaman.
  3. Sampai disana, langsung ambil nomor antrian di lobby sebelah kiri dari arah masuk. Ambil antrian untuk bagian medical check up. Setelah melakukan administrasi, anda akan disuruh untuk menuju lantai 7 (bagian medical check up).
  4. Hanya ada satu ruangan di lantai 7, langsung menuju ke ruangan sebelah kanan dari keluar lift untuk bertemu perawat dan menyerahkan berkas.
  5. Anda akan diminta untuk mengisi formulir dan kuesioner mengenai latar belakang dan riwayat TBC. Tidak banyak yang perlu diisi, hanya 10 menit dibutuhkan untuk mengisinya. Saat mengisi lembar sertifikat harus benar-benar teliti karena itu yang akan dicetak di sertifikat bebas TBC nantinya, jangan sampai ada kesalahan terutama nomor pasport.
  6. Tunggu panggilan untuk melakukan foto rontgen dan setelah selesai anda akan diminta menunggu sebentar untuk mengecek draft sertifikat apakah sudah sesuai atau belum.
  7. Setelah selesai anda dapat melakukan pembayaran. Anda akan diberikan souvenir dan bukti pengambilan sertifikat yang harus dibawa saat pengambilan.
  8. Jika hasil ingin diambilkan oleh orang lain, anda perlu membuat surat kuasa yang formatnya bisa diminta ke perawat. Orang yang mewakilkan hanya perlu membawa surat kuasa dan bukti pengambilan.
  9. Esok harinya berdoa agar anda tidak ditelepon pihak RS karena jika ya maka artinya anda perlu melakukan tes dahak karena ada kecurigaan TBC.
  10. Jika tidak menerima telepon, anda bisa mengambil hasilnya siang hari dari jam 12 sampai jam 3:30.

Sekian cerita dari saya, semoga bermanfaat untuk pembaca semua yang ingin melakukan tes TBC untuk syarat visa UK.

Ronald Sukianto