What is the DSPP?

The ACICIS Development Studies Professional Practicum (DSPP) is suitable for senior undergraduate students, postgraduate coursework students, and early career professionals.The DSPP runs for six weeks in Indonesia, including a two-week intensive Indonesian language study and industry-led seminars at Atma Jaya University, followed by a four-week supervised industry placement. The program runs from early January to mid-February each year.

The DSPP provides an opportunity for students or early career professionals to gain valuable experience working in the field of international development in Indonesia. Host organisations cover a wide range of development sector interests and include monitoring
bodies, research institutes, funding bodies, managing contractors, and advocacy groups. Key sectoral interests include: the environment, governance, transparency, poverty reduction, and gender equity.

As an assessed program, the DSPP is designed to meet requirements for work-integrated learning modules and other practicum-based course components.

The DSPP is designed for students who have no existing Indonesian language skills. Candidates with existing language skills are also welcome. All industry placements provide an English-language working environment.


The two aims of the DSPP are to:

  1. Provide students with a practical learning experience with a Host Organisation in the Indonesian development environment; and
  2. To enhance bilateral understanding through the creation of new partnerships between Australian and other international students, and Indonesian counterparts, and serve as a medium for the exchange of ideas in the field of development studies.


The structure of the six-week program is as follows:

  • Two weeks of intensive Indonesian language classes at Atma Jaya Catholic University (mornings), designed to give participants basic language capacity. It is then followed by English-language seminars, workshops and field trips (afternoons) led by experts on Indonesian development issues; and
  • A four-week supervised practicum placement designed to give participants an English-speaking professional experience within an Indonesian or international development organisation.


ACICIS’ programs in Indonesia operate under the direction of the ACICIS Resident Director. In addition, a professional Program Officer (PO) is assigned for the duration of the DSPP to oversee all aspects of the program, including the supervision of its academic content. To see who the current DSPP Program Officer is, see their profile on the ACICIS Staff Members page.

Since its’ inception in 2010, the position of the DSPP Program Officer has been held by a number of distinguished industry specialists. A/Prof Andrew Rosser (University of Adelaide) pioneered the original program, followed by Emily Rowe PhD (Department of Public Health, Udayana University), Ms Elena Williams (ACICIS), and Tim Mann (The Asia Foundation).

Some important points to note

  • Applicants should be aware that they are applying for the program, not a specific placement. Participants must therefore accept that they may not be placed in their desired choice. In addition, all ACICIS placements with development organisations depend entirely on the goodwill and preparedness of such organisations to host participants. Such organisations retain the right to withdraw from the program or vary the number of participants they host at any stage. Therefore, while acting in good faith in preparing participants for placements, ACICIS cannot guarantee any specific internship site and participants must accept this need for flexibility as a condition of participation in the Development Studies Professional Practicum.
  • The visa that participants enter Indonesia on is not a working visa. Participants are strictly prohibited from undertaking any form of paid work during their time on the DSPP. ACICIS takes this matter very seriously and will take disciplinary measures against any student found undertaking paid work of any kind throughout the program.
  • Participants are advised to take a laptop with them to Indonesia, as in most cases this will help them greatly in their work placements. In some work placements it is essential.
  • Please be advised that Atma Jaya has a dress code which will be enforced by ACICIS. T-shirts and thongs are not appropriate.
  • Orientation is compulsory for all DSPP participants. If you cannot attend orientation then you will, unfortunately, not be able to participate in the program.
  • All participants must agree to abide by a Stakeholders’ Protocol.