Between January to February 2024, a group of 7 students hailing from 3 prestigious universities in Australia–Griffith University, La Trobe University, and RMIT University–embarked on a journey of learning and exploration by participating in the ACICIS Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum (STPP). This program provided them with hands-on experience in the field of sustainable tourism and allowed them to gain practical knowledge about the industry. Most of the students received $4,000 New Colombo Plan mobility grants, which made their participation more accessible.

The 2024 STPP program is lucky to have the return of Dr. Kelli Swazey and Dr. Maharani Hapsari as Academic Program Officers (APO) this year. They oversee the program’s academic aspects, including designing courses, managing seminars, and placing students in their respective internship positions.

During the first two weeks of the program, the students were immersed in Indonesian language classes, academic seminars, and field trips. These seminars were presented by distinguished speakers with an extensive understanding of sustainable tourism in Indonesia. They covered a wide range of topics, such as the new plan for sustainable tourism in Indonesia, communities and tourism in sustainability, ecotourism, and more.

As part of their course, the students recently went on their first field trip to Kampung Samtama. They had a chance to explore the village after being greeted with an introduction and a profile of the place. Bapak Adian, the head of Kampung Samtama initiative, then hosted a sharing and Q&A session for the students before taking them on a tour around the village. From this field trip, the students learn a lot about tourism development in urban areas, which is not common in developed countries.

During their second field trip, the students had the opportunity to explore the Angke Kapuk Mangrove Park, a renowned conservation zone located in North Jakarta. This park not only serves as a hub for environmental conservation efforts, but it is also widely regarded as one of the most popular ecotourism destinations in Jakarta. The students are taught how to plant mangrove seeds and how the mangrove park prevents land erosion. Apart from this, they also have fun reading boats, exploring the park, and observing the diverse range of flora and fauna present there.

Not only were the students able to attend their academic sessions, but they were also given an opportunity to make Batik. The students were thrilled to participate in this cultural activity, which allowed them to take a break from their busy academic schedule and engage in an enjoyable activity.

After finishing their academic program, the students participated in a four-week professional placement at their designated host organizations in Yogyakarta. ACICIS worked with two host organizations, Travelxism and ViaVia T&T, for the 2024 STPP. Throughout their placements, the students received valuable work experience and guidance from experienced mentors while being supervised by the APO.

We are delighted to extend our warmest congratulations to the 7 students who participated in the ACICIS 2024 Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum for their exceptional work and dedication. We wish them all the best and look forward to welcoming them back to Indonesia soon!