ACICIS’ DSIP (Development Studies Immersion) program welcomed eleven students from August until December 2023. Many students were supported by New Colombo Plan mobility grants from the Australian Government across various universities including Western Sydney University, The University of Queensland, and The Australian National University.

The students were given an intensive language introduction course with INCULS at Gadjah Mada University during the initial six weeks of this program. Along with language classes, students took part in a variety of development-focused seminars and case study visits. Topics included Human Rights for Vulnerable Groups in Indonesia, Sustainable Development & the Environment, Disaster Risk Reduction & Management, Gender Development in Indonesia, and Introduction to Indonesian Development Sector & Community.

The students also undertook professional placements in Yogyakarta-based organisations as the primary component of the DSIP curriculum. As an example, Tim Reichert from SOAS University London interned with Pemberdayaan Perempuan Memerangi Kemiskinan (PPMK) or Women’s Empowerment to Fight Poverty, located in Bantul, Yogyakarta. Sarah Galligan, from RMIT University undertook her placement at Mitra Wacana, an organisation of passionate activists who aim to empower women and children through information.

All of the students enjoyed their time while studying in Yogyakarta, and many had interesting stories to tell. For example, Alexis Casey from Western Sydney University was invited to an Indonesian wedding. Lawrence Gilardi from  SOAS University undertook a unique project, which involved visiting 100 – 150 Indonesian local shops or warung.

The ACICIS farewell dinner closed the DSIP program with many memories involved. All of the semester 57 students and ACICIS staff enjoyed Indonesian food with fun games and a gift exchange session. Moreover, Lawrence delivered a wonderful speech and sang a song called “Je Te Laisserai Des Mots” which amazed the audience. On behalf of ACICIS, we wish all of you lots of luck for the future. Sampai jumpa lagi!