In January and February 2021, ACICIS was delighted to welcome a total of 35 students from 15 universities in Australia for session 1 and 2 of ACICIS’ Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course (ILSC). Of the 35 students, 32 were supported by the New Colombo Plan grants. Supported by the Yogyakarta Program Manager, Sinta Padmi, ACICIS Resident Director, Dr Adrian Budiman and other ACICIS support staff, the students spent three or six weeks undertaking intensive Indonesian Language classes delivered online. ACICIS partnered with the Language Training Centre at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW) in Salatiga as the host university for this program.

The virtual program started with an opening ceremony with presentations by the Deputy Rector of Academic Affairs UKSW Dr. Iwan Setyawan and the ACICIS Resident Director, Dr Adrian Budiman followed by orientation from ACICIS and UKSW staff. The orientation sessions covered introduction of staff, Indonesian culture and academic matters.

The Language Training Centre (LTC) at UKSW facilitated immersive virtual learning for the students through intensive language class, providing opportunities for all students to put their language skills to the test by interacting with Indonesian culture, social issues, and through engaging with members of the local community.

The intensive language classes were held Monday to Friday between 8.30 and 2.30 WIB time. The students in each language level participated in various topics virtual interview with the Indonesian local people and workers during the three-week course. The topics varied depending on the student’s language level and academic background. Student also joined a seminar about Indonesian Traditional Martial Arts called Pencak Silat where the students were able to follow the instructor and practice some Pencak Silat movements.

Students also had the option to take classes such as tata Bahasa classes (grammar) and pencak silat. These were available for the students to take outside of the regular program hours.

Since the students were unable to visit Indonesia, they had the opportunity to dive deeper into Indonesian culture through a Language and Culture Exposure session. This session gave them opportunity to interact with the UKSW student volunteers. The volunteers shared information about daily life in Indonesia. ILSC students also did a sharing session on Australian culture. They divided into several groups with different topics and delivered presentations to the UKSW Students, LTC staff and ACICIS staff.

During the program, ACICIS held  check point meetings with the students to update them on academic matters, invited students’ feedback on the program and had an ice breaking session with some fun games to refresh their minds after intensive classes.

Before the final day of the program, 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 day after the presentation, the students were invited to a virtual closing ceremony where the students enjoyed a short video documenting their activities during the program and they received their certificates (accessed virtually through a barcode).

ACICIS would like to thank our first cohort of the Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course (ILSC) session 1 and 2 students who made this pilot such a success. We hope you enjoyed the program and we look forward to seeing you all in Indonesia soon when this pandemic ends!