What is ACICIS?
The Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS – pronounced Ah-chee-chis, as an Indonesian would say it) is an innovative, non-profit, national educational consortium that was established in 1994 to overcome the substantial academic, bureaucratic, and immigration impediments that had prevented Australian students from undertaking credited semester study at Indonesian universities. Today ACICIS runs the Study Indonesia Program (SIP) which consists of a variety of study options in Indonesia and is also open to non-Australians and private individuals. ACICIS currently has 24 Australian member universities (including nearly all of Australia’s leading institutions in the field of Indonesian studies), and two international members in the UK and the Netherlands. It is coordinated by a small secretariat based at Murdoch University and governed by a National Reference Group consisting of senior Indonesian Studies academics representing all Australian states.
ACICIS also has offices in Indonesia, namely in the cities of Yogyakarta and Jakarta. ACICIS provides students with the best possible educational experience in Indonesia, in a safe, secure and supportive environment. ACICIS’ Indonesia-based staff provide academic and pastoral advice to students, an orientation program for new students prior to each program, assistance liaising with Indonesian authorities and universities, and oversee all aspects of in-country operations, including security and risk assessment.
Since 1995, more than 2,000 students have undertaken in-country Study Indonesia programs with ACICIS. Today the ACICIS Study Indonesia program is the primary mechanism through which Australian students study for credit in Indonesian universities. ACICIS was specifically identified in the Australian Government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper (2012) as a ‘successful model for in-country learning’. So successful is the ACICIS model that the Asian Studies Association of Australia has proposed that similar consortia be established to provide in-country study for learners of Arabic, Hindi and Vietnamese. ACICIS internationalises the student’s educational experience by taking part in a challenging, academically tailored study abroad program offering high levels of pastoral care. Alumni satisfaction with SIP programs is routinely high. Our last student survey conducted (of participants from the August 2012 intake) showed some 94% of respondents would recommend the ACICIS Study Indonesia program to other students at their university.
In 2008 the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) presented ACICIS with its prestigious national award for ‘Programs that Enhance Student Learning’. ACICIS founder and Consortium Director Professor David T. Hill is a member of the Advisory Board of the Australia-Indonesia Institute, and in 2009 was awarded an ALTC National Teaching Fellowship to develop a national strategic plan for the rejuvenation of Indonesian language teaching at Australian universities.