Launched in 2019, ACICIS’ Agriculture Professional Practicum (APP) Program is a six-week study program, undertaken in Indonesia prior to the commencement of the Australian academic calendar year (January – February).
The program, hosted by Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB University) in Bogor, consists of an initial two weeks of intensive Indonesian language instruction and English language lectures by local practitioners and experts in the fields of agriculture, food science, environment and resource management, followed by a four-week supervised practicum placement with a local or international agricultural, agribusiness, or resource management organisation.
The program is designed to cater for students with no existing Indonesian language skills. Candidates with existing language skills will, however, be welcome.
Indonesia is rich in natural resources with the second highest biodiversity of any country in the world. Sharing a strategic waterway with Australia, Indonesia’s fish-rich waters also make it one of the biggest seafood producers in the world, with main commodities including tuna, shrimp and seaweed. With 45% of workers in Indonesia engaged in agriculture and 31 million hectares of cultivated land, Indonesia is the third largest producer of rice in the world and also a leading producer of sugarcane, cassava, spices, coffee, cocoa, palm oil and rubber. Despite this, Indonesian agricultural policy is prioritising the diversification of food sources away from cereals, presenting unique challenges for the agriculture and food science sectors. Indonesia is strategically important to Australia as a principal cattle trade partner and has great potential for further bilateral trade partnerships.
This experience provided me with opportunities and skills I could never learn in a classroom environment – ACICIS Past Participant
The main aims of the APP are to:
- Provide students with a practical learning experience with a Host Organisation in the Indonesian agriculture sector; and
- To develop students’ knowledge of Indonesian agriculture and agribusiness practices, and the application these practices within Indonesia’s agriculture sector; and
- Enhance bilateral understanding through the creation of new partnerships between Australian and Indonesian counterparts, and to serve as a medium for the exchange of ideas in the field of agriculture and related fields.
The structure of the six-week program is as follows:
- Two weeks of intensive Indonesian language classes at Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB University), designed to give participants basic Indonesian language capacity;
- A two-week series of seminars and fieldtrips led by industry experts and practitioners from Indonesia’s agricultural sector;
- A four-week, supervised practicum placement to give participants an (English-speaking) professional experience, within an Indonesian or international organisation operating within Indonesia’s agricultural sector.
ACICIS’ programs in Indonesia operate under the overall direction of the ACICIS Resident Director. In addition, an Academic Program Officer (APO) is assigned for the duration of the APP to oversee all aspects of the program, including the supervision of its academic content. Participants will also be allocated a workplace mentor at their respective practicum host organisation who will manage the student’s work within the organisation for the duration of the student’s practicum placement.
Since the pilot iteration of the program in 2019, the position of Academic Program Officer has been held by Mr Michael Sheehy.
Some important points to note
- Applicants should be aware that they are applying for the program, not a specific placement. Participants must therefore accept that they may not be placed in their desired choice. In addition, all ACICIS placements with business organisations depend entirely on the goodwill and preparedness of such organisations to host participants. Such organisations retain the right to withdraw from the program or vary the number of participants they host at any stage. Therefore, while acting in good faith in preparing participants for placements, ACICIS cannot guarantee any specific internship site and participants must accept this need for flexibility as a condition of participation in the Agricultural Professional Practicum.
- The visa that participants enter Indonesia on is not a working visa. Participants are strictly prohibited from undertaking any form of paid work during their time on the APP. ACICIS takes this matter very seriously and will take disciplinary measures against any student found undertaking paid work of any kind throughout the program.
- Participants are advised to take a laptop with them to Indonesia, as in most cases this will help them greatly in their work placements. In some work placements it is essential.
- Please be advised that Indonesian Universities have a dress code which will be enforced by ACICIS. T-shirts and thongs are not appropriate.
- Orientation is compulsory for all APP participants. If you cannot attend orientation then you will, unfortunately, not be able to participate in the program.
- All participants must agree to abide by a Stakeholders’ Protocol.