Between November 2017 and February 2018, ACICIS welcomed 70 students from 12 Australian universities and one American university on three separate sessions of the pilot program of  ACICIS’ Indonesian Language Short Course (ILSC). Of the 70 students on the program, 59 were supported by New Colombo Plan Mobility Funding and one student was supported by the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program. Supported by the ILSC Senior Development Officer, Sherly Senja, ACICIS Resident Director, Adrian Budiman, and other ACICIS support staff, the students spent three to six weeks in Indonesia learning the language intensively. ACICIS partnered with the Language Training Centre of Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW) in Salatiga as 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. Orientation sessions covered Indonesian culture, health, security and academic matters. The students then settled into their accommodation on the last day of orientation 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 between 9am and 4pm. The students in each language level participated in three local visits and conducted interviews during the three-week course. The topics varied depending on the students language level and academic background. In level 1, the students visited a local traditional market; level 2 students visited Rawa Pening, one of the main tourist attraction in Salatiga to conduct interviews; level 3 students visited some local factories; level 4 students interviewed local residents in coffee shops; level 5 students visited a Jungle School and level 6 students made a talk show.

Optional extracurricular activities such as gamelan classes, batik making, pencak silat, and cooking classes were also available for the students to take after regular classes. At the weekends, students had some spare time to explore the city and surrounding areas including temples, waterfalls, mountain hiking, lakes, and travelled to nearby cities such as Yogyakarta, Semarang, and Solo.

In the middle of the program, LTC also invited the students to visit local schools in Salatiga to present on topics about their home country, play some games and share their experience studying in Indonesia through a program called “Salatiga Meets the World”.

During the program, ACICIS held a check point meeting with the students to update the 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.

Thank you to all Indonesian Language Short Course students for your hard work during the course! We look forward to seeing you back in Indonesia soon!