In August 2018, ACICIS welcomed 4 students to Bogor for the Agriculture Semester Program (ASP), hosted by Bogor Agricultural University (IPB). All students were recipients of a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. ACICS would like to congratulate our ASP Semester 47 students for successfully completing their semester of coursework at IPB, as well as their professional placements with various agriculture institutions around Bogor.

ACICIS would like to thank IPB for hosting the program for another semester, and to the valued Host Organisations for the professional placement opportunities provided to our ASP students. Want to see what our students got up to on their placements? Ayo!

Ebony Hunter from The University of Melbourne was placed at the Non-Timber Forest Product Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) in Bogor. She undertook her placement concurrently with her classes at IPB. Ebony was interested in NTFP-EP as the organisation’s mission and vision is in line with her passion for conservation. Assigned to The Green Livelihoods Alliance (GLA) project in Central Sulawesi, Ebony’s role was to research agricultural commodities that are non-timber forest products. During her placement, Ebony also attended a 2-day TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) training seminar. Throughout her placement, Ebony noted that her greatest achievements were finding journals that will be useful for ongoing projects and learning how to find, reference and summarise academic journals that will help her with her study back at The University of Melbourne.

Dominique Holani from the Australian National University was placed at The Asia Foundation (TAF) in Jakarta. She undertook her placement in a block at the end of her semester, after she finished her academic classes at IPB. As Dominique wanted to learn about environment and sustainability from the perspective of a developing nation, she was assigned to assist TAF’s Environmental Governance Program, SETAPAK, which allowed her to focus on social and environmental issues. As a student undertaking a double degree in Development Studies and Environment and Sustainability at ANU, the SETAPAK program provided Dominique with valuable insight into how a non-government organisation navigates these intersections. Dominique spent her four-week internship producing reports about gender and land use, as well as women in palm-oil production. Furthermore, she made a valuable contribution to TAF by writing an informative brochure summarising SETAPAK’s work and worked on SETAPAK’s website and social media. In Dominique’s words: “I have found my internship experience at The Asia Foundation to be very valuable for my academic and career path.”

Being placed at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Mariann Turner from La Trobe University expressed her interest in research activities related to sustainable agriculture and food security. Furthermore, Mariann had opportunity to be involved in conducting data analysis on food hunting activities in Papua. During her internship, Mariann collected data from four villages in Papua (Bohor, Muting, Selauw, and Subur) on hunted animal species, hunting techniques, and hunting areas. Mariann also assisted with journal articles for CIFOR, including producing a literature review on biodiversity and food systems in Papua and Papua New Guinea. Mariann’s professional placement was great opportunity for her to meet experts in the field and build her professional network! She added “During my time, I attended talks and events from visiting or resident experts related to their research and found this engaging and thought-provoking and would enjoy this aspect of research if I pursued this line of work.”

Last, but not least, Laura Tan from the University of Western Australia had the opportunity to intern at Reef Check in Bali as she is passionate about the conservation sector, especially marine conservation. During her professional placement in Denpasar and Tejakula (a remote area of Bali), Laura created charismatic biota infographics and maps for community education, conducted sea turtle nesting and hatchery research, and a survey on tourist perceptions of spearfishing. On top of that, Laura had the opportunity to go diving in observation areas to obtain research data. Completing these tasks, learning graphic design and mapping techniques are achievements Laura is proud of. She added “I am also grateful for the field work experience and that Reef Check trusted me to be able to work independently as that is such a valuable skill to have gained.”

The semester was wrapped-up with a celebratory dinner for staff, students and their buddies. We could not be prouder of our students’ accomplishments this semester and. We do hope that their experiences at IPB and during their work placement will continue to enrich their academic, cross-cultural and personal development. We wish our students the best of luck in their future endeavours!