Development Studies Immersion Program

Lilian is a 2017 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from UNSW Australia. Brianna is undertaking the Development Studies Immersion Program at Gadjah Mada University.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?

As a development studies major, I decided to undertake the ACICIS DSIP program as I think that Indonesia is a growing country with many interesting and unique development issues. I wanted to visit Indonesia to experience life in a country so different from Australia that could provide me with a challenge and many new experiences. I was also very interested in learning more about Indonesian culture and a new language!

Q: What classes/units are you currently enrolled in?

As part of the DSIP I completed 6 weeks of beginners Indonesian language classes at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). Currently, I am undertaking an 8-week internship with Yayasan SHEEP Indonesia.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs/societies at the university? 

At UGM I am part of the volleyball club and have also been involved with the Australian Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) in Yogyakarta.

Q: How will the Development Studies Immersion Program influence your future career or study?

I believe that taking part in DSIP has influenced my perception of development studies as an academic field and subsequently influenced my interests and career path. Participating in several field trips and meeting with different organisations around Yogyakarta has opened my mind to a range of new development issues. Through my internship I have also gained insight into a more hand-on approach to development studies and understood what it is like interacting with and analysing community development issues on a daily basis.

Q: How does development in Indonesia differ to what you’ve seen before?

Working on community development projects in Indonesia through my internship has greatly changed my perception of development in Indonesia. Interacting one-on-one with individuals in the community has allowed me to understand more about how participatory development occurs from a grassroots level.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Yogyakarta?

Most of what I do in my spare time revolves around eating! I love heading to delicious food joints with my friends all around Yogya. Besides eating, I also like to explore places out of the city to get some fresh air. There are so many beautiful and interesting places just outside of Yogya to explore!

Q: Are you undertaking an internship while in Indonesia?

Yes. I am currently working as an intern at Yayasan SHEEP (Society for Health, Education, Envionmenet and Peace). Yayasan SHEEP Indonesia (YSI) is a non-government organisation that works in the areas of Health, Education, Environment and Peace to empower local communities to achieve sustainable development in Indonesia. At SHEEP, I have been working in the areas of eco-tourism and disaster-risk management in the villages of Mangunan (Bantul) and Argomulyo (Sleman).

Q: What is your favourite food/place to eat? 

My favourite Indonesian food is nasi goreng with tempe! I love eating at Flamboyan because there are so may options to choose from. However, because it is a buffet style I always end up putting too much food on my plate (but I always manage to get through it haha!).

Q: What is your favourite Indonesian word/phrase:

I love the Indonesian work ‘mantap’ which directly translates to steady or cool. However, it is not used much by the locals so whenever I reply with mantap bro everyone usually laughs at me.  Despite this, I think it encapsulates life in Yogya pretty well as people are really laid back and easy going.

Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your semester so far?

So far I have enjoyed hiking the Ijen Crater and Mt. Bromo in East Java. I have also climbed Mount RInjani in Lombok. Recently, I visited Bali for the Ubud Writers Festival. But you don’t need to go far from Yogya to see so many beautiful places.