In August 2022, we welcomed 17 students onto ACICIS Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP), 13 of which undertook the program with the support of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan initiative. FLIP students studied at the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, taking a mix of Indonesian language classes from the Indonesian Culture and Language Learning Service (INCULS) and other regular immersion classes from the Faculty of Cultural Sciences and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. The students have the option to choose classes taught in Indonesian and English at the faculties, which were picked during the ACICIS’ Orientation according to the students’ language abilities and study interests

FLIP also gives option to the students to undertake professional placement (internship) with a local host organisation concurrently with the classes or during the semester break. In this semester, two students completed their placements at Yogyakarta-based civil society resources development and community-led tourism organisation. They were involved in their host organisations’ research projects, report writing, event organising, translation, hospitality, and assisting with day-to-day tasks.

Students started the program with 3 days of orientation sessions covering materials such as introduction to ACICIS’ in-country staff members, getting accommodation, immigration matters, and Indonesian culture 101.

Madeleine Crothers (Deakin University) took 3 subjects at INCULS as well as 2 other subjects at the Faculty of Law (FH) and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIPOL). Maddie has been very passionate in working with consulting organisation, therefore she took the internship program with CIRCLE Indonesia. Maddie undertook the internship after completing a semester study in UGM as part of her ACICIS FLIP components.

Maddie partook in creating a company policy regarding work environment, gender and diversity. She was also able to apply her Indonesian skills in meetings, interviews, conversations, and doing translation work. She highlighted the importance of having advanced networking skills as well as language and intercultural communication skills to integrate in an international workplace.

Leo Barry (University of Sydney) did 3 subjects at INCULS and other 3 immersion subjects at the Faculty of Cultural Sciences and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences in UGM. Leo showed interests in Javanese language and culture, therefore he took Karawitan and Javanese language for non-native speakers as his preferred subjects.

After completing the semester study, Leo continued the learning experience through a 1 month internship with Kelompok Sadar Wisata (Pokdarwis) Nglanggeran, a community-run tourism management organisation located in Nglanggeran Village, Special Region of Yogyakarta. His main duties were, among others, assigning guides for both local and international tourists who visit the village, preparing the rooms for guests and learning about the tourism management system there with the local residents. Leo mentioned that one of the most rewarding activities during his placement was the opportunity to teach English several times to a group of elementary school students in Nglanggeran Village.

Max Broad (University of Queensland) took a whole load of INCULS subjects and 1 immersion subject at FISIPOL UGM. Max was actively involved in the hockey club at UGM. He participated in an inter-faculties hockey tournament with two other FLIP students, Charlie Barnes and Ayuningsih Hancock (Australian National University). Max mentioned that playing for UGM hockey team was one of the highlights of his semester study in Indonesia as he was able to make many Indonesian friends and excel his confidence in speaking Indonesian.

Semester 55 came to a close with an INCULS graduation ceremony and ACICIS farewell dinner for students and staff. At the INCULS graduation ceremony, one of the FLIP students, Dominic Petridis (The University of Western Australia), represented Advanced level class to give a speech about how much he valued his experience of studying in Indonesia. We hope that Dominic’s speech resonates with the other FLIP students’ experience and that the students will continue to improve their Indonesian language skills and enrich their academic and cross-cultural understanding.

Congratulations to all the students for their achievements this semester – we are very proud! Thank you for a wonderful semester learning Indonesian language, culture, and politics—inside and outside the classroom. Terima kasih banyak!