Fourteen students on ACICIS semester-long programs based in Bandung have delivered their final presentation about their thesis and internships. This semester, four students completed a thesis on a chosen topic on ACICIS’ West Java Field Study (WJFS) and ten students completed ACICIS’ International Relations Program (IRP), eight chose to complete a professional placement as part of their program. Three students completed their placement during the semester, and five have chosen to undertake their internship as a block at the end of their semester.

The recent presentations took place at Universitas Katholik Parahyangan Bandung, several ACICIS students provided insight into their research on various topics, including ecotourism in Bali, Indonesia’s rural area policy implementation, and they had the opportunity to share their experiences interning in Bandung.

Four West Java Field Study students presented the findings of their research. Karis Erceg (Murdoch University) presented her thesis on “Community Based Tourism in Bali: The Hype, the Promise, and the Pitfalls”. Nicholas Tidmarsh (Murdoch University) presented his thesis on “The 2014 Village Law (6/2014) and its Potential to Improve the Social Wellbeing of Poor Households: A Case Study of a Village in West Java”. Ashleigh Cook (Flinders University) wrote her thesis on “The Effect of Globalisation on the tea industry in Indonesia: A case study of West Java”. Greta Schipp (University of Western Australia) wrote her thesis on “How the death penalty has affected the Australia-Indonesia Relationship”. Both Ashleigh and Greta opted to write their thesis in Bahasa Indonesia, which was given high praise from the UNPAR’s examiners.

Rebecca McCarthy and Yolante Jones (Murdoch University) interned with Save the Children Bandung and undertook field visits to several areas in rural West Java. Both students were involved in several of Save the Children’s projects, with both Rebecca and Yolante concluding that they had gained invaluable insights that had complemented their studies in Indonesia. The internship had opened their eyes to the importance of understanding and speaking Bahasa Indonesia. Rebecca McCarthy said that  she wished that she had had greater proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia, which would have enabled her to have greater involvement and understanding of, the implementation phase of the project.

Janelle Falconer (University of the Sunshine Coast), had the opportunity to undertake a placement at Resilience Development Initiative. She was able to join take part in research focusing on a comparative analysis of UNESCO Global Geoparks, as well as to conduct field observation at The Batur Geopark in Bali, studying its socio-economic perspective. Similar to Janelle, Justyna Green (Murdoch University) completed her placement at Resilience Development Initiative, and had a chance to contribute on different research papers, looking at aid allocation and budget restructuring on donor and NGO strategies. During her placement, she was able to meet and interview some key-person of international and local NGOs both in Jakarta and Bandung.

Narelle Wilson (Murdoch University) conducted her placement at Yayasan AKATIGA, a social research organisation. She was able to assist senior researchers by reviewing reports, including policies reform for SMEs. She was also involved in project evaluation and more interesting activities, such as a teleconference with UNICEF Indonesia discussing a project called Evaluation Studies for The Modelling of Universal Pre-Primary Education in District of Bogor, West Java. She said, “The opportunity to work at AKATIGA has been a large part of my spiritual journey in Indonesia, as has being a student at UNPAR.”

Taking a placement at Australian Consulate-General Bali, Abigail Widjaja (University of Sydney) had a chance to work alongside Consulate staff and contributed in research about Australian businesses, particularly focusing on the culinary sector in Bali. She participated in a few Consulate’s promotion events, including #AussieBanget Corner at Udayana University, a program that supplies the university with English books and resources regarding scholarships and Australian universities. “I have learned a lot during my very first semester studying in Indonesia and was able to be placed at Australian Consulate General Bali is a life-changing moment,” Abigail stated.

Last but not very least, Horace Hill (The University of Western Australia) conducted his placement at the Australian Consulate-General in Makassar. During this placement Horace learnt more about the Indonesian culture, gained many new skills such as communication and promotion, and gained an insight into life as a Diplomat. He actively participated in #AussieBanget Corner event at Hasanudin University (UNHAS), assisted consulate staff in hosting delegates, and travelled around South and West Sulawesi and met the local government officials.

Congratulations to all ACICIS International Relations and West Java Field Study students on completing their internships and field study, we wish all students the best in their further studies. Sampai bertemu!