Indonesian dignitaries meet with Rhode Island professors

Indonesian officials from the country’s Aceh Province gather in the Alumni Center at the University of Rhode Island. | Contributed photo
Indonesian officials from the Aceh Province met with University of Rhode Island professors on July 28 to learn about everything in American democracy from local government laws to Donald Trump.

The group that met at URI were members of Indonesia’s parliament who wanted to learn about America’s government and democracy and were able to ask Rhode Island State Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee questions about how American democracy works.

Brook Williams Ross, a 1993 URI graduate coordinated the visit as founder and managing director of Indonesia Education Partnerships, an academic collaboration between Indonesia and the U.S.
“The goal of the delegation,’’ Ross said, “is to learn about best practices of state governments at a local level, with URI as a partner.’’

URI was also instrumental in rebuilding parts of Indonesia devastated by a tsunami in 2004. Since then, URI has been visiting Indonesia and Indonesians have been visiting URI, including students who have visited Indonesia during J-term in winter break and nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy students who visited in March.

During the July visit, McEntee taught the Indonesians how American legislators are elected and how laws are passed in Rhode Island. The differences between Indonesia and America were discussed, including gun control – in Indonesia only military and police are allowed to have guns by law.

In addition to their visit to URI, the Indonesian officials also toured the Rhode Island Statehouse and met with the Indonesian representatives at their embassy in Washington, D.C.

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