ACICIS Study Indonesia was excited to welcome three students on our Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum (STPP) program in January-February 2022 which ran virtually for the first time. These students came from Murdoch University, The University of Western Australia, and University of Technology Sydney. All students completed the STPP with the assistance of the $3000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. The Academic Program Officer, Dr Maharani Hapsari (Rani), oversaw all academic components of this program. Together with the ACICIS in-country staff, Rani worked to prepare the academic program such as tailoring seminar series, managing and monitoring the students’ professional placements (internships), and providing pastoral care.

The STPP participants virtually attended 40 hours of Indonesian language classes hosted by Atma Jaya University and 30 hours of sustainable-tourism related seminars, tutorials and virtual fieldtrips designed to equip students with an understanding of the tourism sector in Indonesia. ACICIS held four plenary seminars and several joint seminars with other professional practicum programs on various topics. The seminar series covered a wide range of sustainable tourism topics within the Indonesian context. Some of the seminars included an ‘Introduction to Indonesia’s Tourism Industry and Impact of Community Based Practices’; ‘Eco-Tourism Business’; ‘Post-Natural Disaster Development and Tourism Policy and Strategy’; ‘Equitable Development’; and IA-CEPA. We invited high calibre speakers from various background such as academics, researchers, tourism practitioners, and representatives from government departments to deliver this seminar series.

The students were also invited to watch a film titled ‘Kinipan’ as part of the program. The film screening was followed by a Q&A discussion with the film’s producer, Indra Jati.

During the academic program, students had the opportunity to visit (virtually) Desa Wisata Nglanggeran, a community-based sustainable tourism area in the Gunung Kidul Regency. We talked with the sustainable tourism team of Nglanggeran about their efforts in empowering local communities to develop sustainable community-based tourism. The second trip was on sustainable tourism with Divers Clean Action (DCA). The students joined this virtual eco-trip and visited Bone Bolango District of Gorontalo Province to learn about the community development and sustainable tourism programs that DCA initiated with the community and government agencies.

What makes this year different from last year was the cultural activities. The VPP students on this cohort were invited to join an optional cultural activity. There were four options, cooking class hosted by Atma Jaya University, drawing batik and making jamu classes hosted by Sanata Dharma University, and the last one was making shadow puppet by Desa Timun.

This year, we also collaborated with Atma Jaya University and invited some of their students to join the program as ACICIS Student Counterparts. There were three Atma Jaya students who joined our seminars and tutorials and interacted with ACICIS students during informal catch ups and extracurricular activities.

In the second week of the academic program, students commenced their virtual professional placement (internship) at their assigned host organisations located in Yogyakarta and Bali. This year, ACICIS collaborated with two host organisations focused on sustainable tourism: Sun Sang Eco Village and Travelxism.

The STPP program was concluded with a closing ceremony and a program evaluation session delivered online. We would like to thank all of the host organisations and mentors that always provided tremendous support and assistance for our students in these challenging times. A big congratulations to all JPP students! ACICIS wishes you all the best in your future endeavours. Terima kasih banyak!