Soe Tjen was born and raised in Surabaya – Indonesia. She did her undergraduate in English literature in Surabaya before going to New Zealand. In New Zealand, she attended Canterbury University where she earned a BA (Hons, 1st class), followed by an MA in English Literature and Linguistics.
She moved from New Zealand to Australia where she became a Tutor of Indonesian Languages at Monash University in Australia, and then moved on to become a Lecturer in Modern Indonesia Literature at Melbourne University. During this time, she also completed her PhD in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University, where her doctoral thesis focused on The Discrepancy between the Public and Private Selves of Indonesian Women.
With her PhD and university experience, Soe Tjen travelled across the globe to the UK where she first took up a post as a Tutor of Indonesian Language at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She also obtained a Certificate of Teachingat SOAS.
This was followed by a period of time at Trinity College, Oxford University, where Soe Tjen was a research assistant at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, and it was during this time that Soe Tjen founded Bhinneka magazine and became the Editor-in-Chief of the Bhinneka magazine (Bilingual edition – English and Indonesian), a role she continues to have. You can read one of the editions of the English version of the magazine here: https://archive.org/details/BhinnekaMarch2016English
She returned to London in 2013 to become a Tutor of Indonesian Language and Culture at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and has now gone full circle as she has also returned to SOAS to become a Senior Lecturer of Indonesian. Soe Tjen is also a prolific author and has written numerous articles and books, including many academic journals, on Indonesian language, literature, culture, and Indonesian studies.
We are delighted that Soe Tjen has also carved time from her busy schedule to work with IB students who seek to pursue their Indonesian mother tongue studies.