And that’s a wrap! Our pilot semester for the new Agriculture Semester Program (ASP) in S43 (August 2017). Three students from La Trobe University, the University of Western Australia and Western Sydney University had the opportunity to experience academic atmosphere in Institute Pertanian Bogor (IPB). They took language class, units in agriculture and forestry facultiesand had the opportunity to intern in an organisation relevant to their studies. All students were placed in different sectors based on their interests and academic background. At the conclusion of the placement, the students shared their experiences and findings with other students and faculty staff with a formal presentation.

Ellen Rose Watson from University of Western Australia was placed in World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Bogor during her semester in IPB. Ellen chose to be placed at ICRAF because she wanted to learn more about agroforestry and because she believes it is an important bridge between conventional agriculture and sustainable food forestry. During her internship period, she support IRED Project and AgFor Sulawesi Project. Her tasks included data entry for IRED’s soil data and editing the AgFor project’s working paper. Additionally, she was lucky enough to travel to Sumba in order to support the ICRAF’s field team in identifying pest and diseases in IRED’s agricultural plots in Sumba.

Neelam Bhakta from Western Sydney University chose to be placed in Indonesian Mangrove Restoration Foundation (IMARF) in Jakarta after he had concluded his academic semester at IPB. Neelam chose IMARF out of a desire to learn more about mangrove forests and to see how local NGO’s operate in  the Indonesian context. During his four week-internship, Neelam undertok research on mangrove ecology and species, mangrove species identification and field visits to some coastal areas in Jakarta and in West & Central Java. Additionally, Neelam contributed his own ideas for his internship which were welcomed by IMARF. These projects included making a documentary on local mangroves and organising fundraising events for IMARF.

Rose Samson from La Trobe University spent her four week-internship period assisting Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI). As a coffee lover, this internship with SCOPI gave her a complete picture of the coffee industry. She started her internship by having a week of field work in West Java learning practical skills in coffee production and the coffee industry. After finishing the field work, Rose worked in the SCOPI Jakarta office in a support role, writing articles, translation work and English editing. Rose also proposed her own ideas, creating SCOPI’s digital poster and T-shirt designs to encourage the younger generation to see the cool and ecological side of coffee farming.

Well done to our ASP Semester 43 students! We were so happy to have you on the pilot semester of the Agriculture Semester Program and we do hope that your time in IPB and on your placement has enriched your academic, cross cultural and personal development experiences. Congratulations! We wish you the best of luck in your remaining study and hope to see you back in Indonesia soon!

For more information about this program visit: Agriculture Semester Program.