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In 2021, the ACICIS Development Studies Professional Practicum (DSPP) will be offered virtually, with the support of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan.

This program is suitable for senior undergraduate students, postgraduate coursework students, and early career professionals.

The DSPP is a six-week program that consists of intensive Indonesian language study at Atma Jaya University, industry-led English language seminars, and a supervised industry placement with a local or international firm operating in Indonesia. The program runs from early January to mid-February each year.

The DSPP provides an opportunity for students or early career professionals to gain valuable experience working in the field of international development in Indonesia. Host organisations cover a wide range of development sector interests and include monitoring
bodies, research institutes, funding bodies, managing contractors, and advocacy groups. Key sectoral interests include: the environment, governance, transparency, poverty reduction, and gender equity.

As an assessed program, the DSPP is designed to meet requirements for work-integrated learning modules and other practicum-based course components.

The DSPP is designed for students who have no existing Indonesian language skills. Candidates with existing language skills are also welcome. All industry placements provide an English-language working environment.

I have been overwhelmed by the knowledge I have gained, the friends I have made, and the deep, deep love I have developed for this country and its people. It truly has been one of the best experiences of my life. ACICIS Past Participant


The aims of the DSPP are to:

  1. Provide students with a practical learning experience with a Host Organisation in an Indonesian development workplace environment;
  2. To develop students’ knowledge of international development practices, and the application of these concepts and practices within Indonesia’s development sector; and
  3. To 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 development.


The structure of the six-week program is as follows:

  • 40 hours of intensive Indonesian language classes at Atma Jaya University, designed to give participants basic Indonesian language capacity;
  • 30 hours of seminars, tutorials and virtual fieldtrips led by experts and practitioners from Indonesian and international development organisations operating in Indonesia; and
  • A 160 hour supervised practicum placement designed to give participants an English-speaking professional experience within an Indonesian or international development organisation operating within Indonesia.


An Academic Program Officer (APO) is assigned for the duration of the BPP to oversee all aspects of the program, including the supervision of its academic content. The APO also acts as the primary source of guidance and advice for students. The APO is available for student consultations on a regular schedule or by appointment. Since its’ inception in 2010, the position of the DSPP Academic Program Officer has been held by a number of distinguished industry specialists. A/Prof Andrew Rosser (University of Adelaide) pioneered the original program, followed by Emily Rowe PhD (Department of Public Health, Udayana University), Ms Elena Williams (ACICIS), Tim Mann (The Asia Foundation), Amanda Schiller (Scope Global) and Dr Maharani Hapsari (Gadjah Mada University). To see who the current Academic Program Officer is, see their profile on the ACICIS Staff Members page.

Participating students are also allocated a workplace mentor at their practicum host organisation who will supervise a student’s work within the organisation for the duration of the student’s practicum placement. Participants must endeavour to regularly meet with their workplacement mentor (as a guide, approximately three times a week) throughout the placement. Over the course of the program, the APO should be invited to attend at least two meetings between the student and their host organisation mentor.

All ACICIS programs operate under the direction of the ACICIS Resident Director, Dr Adrian Budiman, assisted by administrative staff in both Australia and Indonesia, assisted by administrative staff in both Australia and Indonesia. ACICIS’ administrative staff will check in with participants throughout the program and are available during business hours to assist with any concerns.

Virtual Internship Notes

  • 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 development 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 Development Studies Professional Practicum.
  • Program participants are required to have access to a personal laptop or computer, and a reliable internet connection throughout the duration of the program.
  • Participants are encouraged to have a work-space set up with their homes, so that they are able to attend all components of the program without distraction. A comfortable space with suitable lighting is recommended.
  • Participants will be conducting meetings via Zoom and other online learning platforms and are required to dress and groom themselves as they ordinarily would for university or an in-person professional placement. More information on expected dress codes will be provided in pre-program correspondence.
  • Orientation is compulsory for all DSPP participants. If you cannot attend orientation then you will, unfortunately, not be able to participate in the program.

What you need to know

  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Dates: 4 Jan – 12 Feb 2021
  • Application Deadline: 1 October 2020
  • Program Fee: AUD $3,000
Financial Help: AUD $3,000 NCP grants*
Check your eligibility here