From 10 January to 18 February 2022, ACICIS was delighted to host 29 students from 10 Australian universities for session 1 and 2 of ACICIS’ Summer Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course (VILSC). Out of the 29 students, 22 were supported by the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants. Supported by the Yogyakarta Program Assistant, Adila Khansa, Yogyakarta Program Manager, Sinta Padmi, ACICIS Resident Director, Dr Adrian Budiman, and other ACICIS support staff, the students spent three to six weeks undertaking the intensive Indonesian language classes virtually. In delivering this program, ACICIS partnered with the Language Training Centre (LTC) at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW) in Salatiga as the host university.

The virtual program started with an opening ceremony where the participants met ACICIS staff, LTC UKSW staff, teachers, and student buddies. The program was officially opened by Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of UKSW, Dr Iwan Setyawan and the ACICIS Resident Director, Dr Adrian Budiman followed by an orientation session from ACICIS and LTC UKSW staff covering introduction of staff, Indonesian culture, and academic matters. Students also got a chance to get to know each other and meet with the student buddies during the ice breaking session at the end of the opening ceremony.

The Language Training Centre (LTC) at UKSW facilitated immersive virtual learning for the students through intensive language classes, providing opportunities for all students to practice their language skills by engaging with members of the local community, discussing topics varied from daily life, Indonesian culture, to social issues.

The intensive language classes were live and interactive and held Monday to Friday between 08:30 and 13:30 Western Indonesia Time (GMT+7). The students in each language level participated in virtual interviews with Indonesian local people and workers on various topics during the three-week course. The topics varied depending on the student’s language level and academic background. Students also joined seminars about Food Anthropology in Indonesia and Indonesian Traditional Games in order to gain a deeper understanding about Indonesian culture. Students also had the option to take extracurricular classes such as grammar class and cooking class. These were available for the students to take outside of the regular program hours. During the cooking class, students learnt to cook chicken rendang, gado-gado, and nasi kuning (yellow rice) along with the instructors, so that they could bring a piece of Indonesian taste to their home.

Moreover, the students had the opportunity to dive deeper into Indonesian culture through Language and Culture Exposure and Culture Sharing sessions. These sessions gave them opportunity to interact with the UKSW students. During the Language and Culture Exposure sessions, the LTC student volunteers shared information about daily life in Indonesia. ILSC students were divided into several groups and delivered presentations about Australian culture to the UKSW students, LTC staff and ACICIS staff followed by a presentation about Indonesian Culture by UKSW students.

On the second and fifth week of the program, ACICIS held check point meetings to get the students’ feedback on the program and receive suggestions on what could be improved to make sure students had a great and meaningful experience. These meetings were closed with an ice breaking session to refresh and create stronger bonding between the students.

At the end of the program, the students needed to complete several tests, including a written test, an oral test, and a presentation.  The students delivered a presentation in Indonesian on a topic of their own choosing. The presentation took place in front of their classmates, UKSW faculty members, and ACICIS staff.

The program was officially closed with a closing ceremony, where students received QR codes to access their certificates. During the closing ceremony, LTC UKSW presented a short documentation video capturing precious moments during the program. We also enjoyed speeches from the student representatives who shared their personal experience and highlights of the program.

Finally, ACICIS would like to congratulate all the students on finishing the virtual ILSC! We wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavours and beyond. We look forward to welcoming you all in Indonesia soon when this pandemic ends!