ACICIS was thrilled to welcome 14 students from 7 Australian universities and 1 New Zealand university for Journalism Professional Practicum (JPP) Program in Indonesia in January-February 2023. This is the first in-country Professional Practicum since the pandemic began in 2020. Out of 14 students, 13 received New Colombo Plan (NCP) mobility grants from the Australian Government.

The professional practicum started in early January 2023. ACICIS Staff provided orientation sessions to give students an overall view of the program and Indonesia, including the working culture and its customaries. The Professional Practicum was officially opened with an opening ceremony held by the Faculty of Business Administration and Communication Science Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (FIABIKOM UAJ).

The program was divided into two main weeks (Academic Week and Placement Week). During the Academic Week, students attended a series of seminars presented by notable speakers in the field throughout the program. These included experts from Al-Jazeera, Narasi Newsroom, BBC, Mongabay, Konde.Co, Project Multatuli, and many more. In addition to the seminar series, students also attended language classes hosted by PPB Atma Jaya to familiarise themselves with Bahasa Indonesia.

Besides the seminars and language classes, students also had the opportunity to embark on field trips and participate in cultural activity which is Batik Painting. They visited Metro TV (a television station in Jakarta) and Kota Tua (a historic area from the colonial times in Jakarta) for the field trips. These trips were designed so the students would be able to witness directly how a television station works as well as learn more about Jakarta’s history and how the city came to the one we know and love today. Students had the opportunity to partake in Batik Painting where they hand painted Batik motifs on a cloth as a souvenir from Indonesia.

Following academic week, students spent 4 weeks of placement week where they do their professional placements at respective Host Organisations (HOs) consisting of Metro TV, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Globe, InClover Magazine, Voice of Indonesia (VOI), Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and Amnesty International Indonesia. During this placement week, students also were able to keep in touch with other students as well as ACICIS Staff through weekly catch-up sessions where they discussed their placements and other interesting matters they got up to.

The Professional Practicum concluded with a closing ceremony where students were able to enjoy a traditional dance performed by Atma Jaya’s students. Closing remarks from HOs and students’ representatives were an icing on the cake to close the eventful 6 weeks of experiencing and working in Indonesia. We hope the students enjoyed the program as much as we did and came home with an experience as well as memories, they will always hold dear. All the best for the students with their next chapters and may our paths cross again in the future.