In April 2016, ACICIS was thrilled to welcome seven students, two teachers and one parent from Marymede Catholic College, Victoria, to Yogyakarta on an ACICIS School Tour. Although the rainy season’s downpour may have delayed their arrival to Yogyakarta, the sun and the Marymede students’ semangat remained for the rest of the tour.

At the start of the six-day tour, the students were shy and nervous about speaking Bahasa Indonesia with the Indonesian native speakers on their first day of Indonesian language classes at Universitas Sanata Dharma, Yogyakarta. However, the students gained more exposure to the language and developed their Indonesian speaking skills during their language classes. Students gave presentations at the end of their language classes, presenting their findings from one-on-one interviews they had conducted during their tutorials. This was followed by a question and answer session, with students answering the questions in Bahasa Indonesia.

Apart from learning Bahasa Indonesia at Universitas Sanata Dharma, the students explored several popular spots in Yogyakarta, the “Indonesian City of Culture”. They took a stroll along the narrow alleys of Kota Gede and undertook a silver-making workshop at HS Silver. They visited the historical temples of Prambanan and Borobudur and had the opportunity to watch the captivating Ramayana Ballet performance at Purawisata.

To discover more of the Javanese culture, ACICIS organised a day trip to Solo, a one-hour train ride away from Yogyakarta. Solo is famous for its Surakata Palace, Batik Museum, and traditional markets; the students had the opportunity to explore these places in becak (pedicabs).

Students were very excited to undertake a local school visit and were enthusiastic about making friends with the local school students. Together the students shared the uniqueness of their schools, and the lifestyles of Indonesia and Australia. They also played gamelan (Javanese traditional music), and traditional Javanese games, and the students also participated in a fun debate session.

Thank you to all of our Marymede Catholic College students for your enthusiasm in learning Bahasa Indonesia and your smiles during the tour – looking forward to having you again!