ACICIS Study Indonesia was excited to welcome twenty-two (22) students on our Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum (STPP) program in January-February 2020. These students came from 8 ACICIS member universities, including Murdoch University, La Trobe University, The University of Adelaide, University of Technology Sydney, Deakin University, Griffith University, RMIT University, and University of New South Wales. Fifteen (15) students completed the STPP with the assistance of the $3000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant.

Dr Kelli Swazey, joined us again on the second year of the program as ACICIS STPP Academic Program Officer. With the assistance of our In-Country staff, Dr Swazey managed the academic components of the STPP program, and advised students on academic and industry specific matters during participants’ professional placement. Throughout the program, our team ensured that students were getting the most out of their time participating the STPP program.

On the first two weeks of the program, students undertook an academic week at our host university, Udayana University. The academic week program consisted of intensive Bahasa Indonesia classes and a series of seminars and fieldtrips in sustainable tourism related topics. Delivered by experienced lecturers from BIPA Udayana University, the Bahasa Indonesia classes were designed to help immersing students in the Indonesian culture to help them through their professional placement and daily life with the local community in Bali.

This year for the seminar series, we invited excellent speakers from various backgrounds i.e., academics, activists, leaders, and practitioners from the tourism industry and sustainable development in Indonesia. Following the seminar series, the students attended two movie screenings. The first movie was Done Bali (Kerry Negara, 1993) where the students also had a discussion with one of the movie casts and author of the book ‘Bali, A Paradise Created’, Prof Adrian Vickers. The second screening was a movie from Kopernik, the Pulau Plastik movement, Tri Hita Karana and a short movie program titled ‘Shorts from the North and South Bali’ in collaboration with Minikino Community Film Short.

During the two-week academic program, the STPP had a chance to visit Taman Baca Kesiman (TBK). TBK is a local art centre and community library that serves as a hub for the discussion, community issues, and development of sustainable programs for community-based tourism. We were welcomed by Agung Alit and had a chance to visit Taman 65 in Kesiman Villages. He shared his experience about the 1965 tragedy impact on Bali’s tourism and culture, which was another side of tourism in Bali rarely covered by the media.

The STPP students also had an opportunity to visit Desa Adat Panglipuran, one of Bali’s established community-based tourism villages that won the Cultural Preservation Category of the 2017 Indonesian Sustainable Tourism Awards. While enjoying the beauty of Balinese house compound, the students also learned about the local community called Desa Adat, who involved their daily life into a tourism attraction and its impact on their life.

After the academic program, students participated on a four-week placements at their assigned host organisations in Bali and Lombok. ACICIS partnered with 13 host organisations for the 2020 STPP program, including Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, Puri Lumbung Cottages, Bloo Lagoon Eco Village, Matanai Temawang Agung, Bhuwana Ubud Hotel and Farming, Lily Lane Villas, Padma Resort Ubud, PlastikDetox, IDEP Foundation, Jaringan Ekowisata Desa (JED), Five Pillar Foundation, Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF), and Gili Eco Trust. These are leading organisations in the sustainable tourism development in Bali, which operate across a range of sectors such as sustainable hotel and resort management, environmental management, sustainable business, community-based tourism, destination planning and management, sustainable agriculture, and community development.

Finally, we would like to extend our congratulations to all students who participated in the 2020 STPP program, for their incredible work in undertaking a challenging and exciting opportunity to gain professional experience in Indonesia’s sustainable tourism sector. We wish everyone all the best for the future!