During January and February 2019, ACICIS welcomed a total of 49 students from 14 Australian universities for Sessions 1 and 2 of ACICIS’ Indonesian Language Short Course (ILSC). Of the 49 students on the program, 35 were supported by New Colombo Plan Mobility Funding and one student was supported by the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program. Supported by the ILSC Program Assistant, Nayo Salam, ACICIS Resident Director, Adrian Budiman, and ACICIS Program Assistant, Nabila Khoirunisa (Lala), the students spent three-to-six weeks in Indonesia learning the language intensively. ACICIS partnered with the Language Training Centre (LTC) of Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW) in Salatiga – the host university for this program.

On the day of arrival, the students gathered in Yogyakarta before travelling to Salatiga to attend a two-day orientation hosted by UKSW. The orientation sessions covered Indonesian culture, health, security and academic matters. On the final evening of Orientation, the students settled into their accommodation before commencing their classes the following day.

The Language Training Centre at UKSW facilitated immersive learning for the students through intensive language classes, 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. In each session, students attended seminars on topics including religious issues, tourism and cross-cultural learning.

The intensive language classes were held Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. Students in each language level participated in three field trips to villages and other local sites to conduct interviews during as part of their training. Interview topics and sites varied depending on the student’s language level and academic background. In level 1, the students visited a local traditional market; level 2 students visited the Faculty of Public Health at UKSW; Level 3 students visited Taman Tingkir, one of Salatiga’s tourist attractions; level 4 students visited a local traditional jamu maker and organic farming community in Karangrejo, and also had the chance to interview locals in coffee shops; level 5 students visited Lapangan Pancasila for observation and level 6 students visited local NGOs for interviews.

Optional extracurricular activities such as batik making and pencak silat were also available for the students to take after their regular classes. On weekends, students had spare time to explore the city and surrounding areas including temples, waterfalls, mountain hiking, lakes, and some travelled to nearby cities such as Yogyakarta, Semarang, and Solo. Students also had the opportunity to further improve their Indonesian skills through the “Salatiga Meets the World” event, where they had the chance to present on topics regarding their home country, play games and interact with the local Junior High School students.

During the program, ACICIS held a check point meeting to update students on academic, health and pastoral care matters and to invite student feedback on the program. Students discussed the challenges they overcame during their study abroad experience and provided feedback useful to future iterations of the course.

On 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. Following the presentations, the students were invited to a farewell lunch to wrap up the Indonesian Language Short Course.

It was a pleasure to host all ILSC students for these two sessions. Thank you to all students for their hard work and dedication to the program! We look forward to having you back in Indonesia soon!