West Java Field Study Program (WJFS)

The West Java Field Study Program hosted by Universitas Katolik Parahyangan (UNPAR), Bandung, West Java, is a semester-long field study option. Students propose, refine, and undertake a semester-long field study project under the guidance of a nominated UNPAR supervisor.  It is open to advance Indonesian-language students (who compose their mini-thesis in Indonesian) and non-Indonesian speakers for whom all course components are conducted in English.

In many respects the program is similar to an Australian honours semester. It is a unique opportunity to undertake original field study activities in one of Indonesia’s most dynamic cities and the country’s largest province (by population). The program demands a relatively high degree of discipline as candidates undertake what is often their first foray into the postgraduate world.

The program adheres to published academic calendar dates for UNPAR and is regarded by ACICIS as a fulltime equivalency semester. Candidates are formally enrolled as undergraduate students (the mini-thesis unit is an undergraduate level course in Indonesia) and must meet all assessment criteria including regular consultations, oral presentation of findings, and completion of an 8-10,000 word report. Supervision is sourced from the UNPAR faculty with the most relevant expertise in the candidate’s proposed area of interest. Supervisors assist in the identification of appropriate field sites, brokering contacts, providing practical advice on data collection techniques and analysis, and in structuring the final report. Assessment is conducted by UNPAR and official university transcripts issued. The ACICIS Resident Director serves as an additional source of academic guidance.

The option exists for candidates to enrol in an additional two regular semester units (coursework) for the purposes of meeting home university equivalence requirements or self-interest. These units involve approximately 150 minutes of contact time per week, plus 120 minutes of structured academic homework and independent study.

The scope of field study activities is limited to the provinces/special districts of West Java, Jakarta, and Banten. Any candidates wishing to undertake field study activities outside these areas must obtain the approval of ACICIS and UNPAR prior to application. As a general rule, such proposals are discouraged due to the limitations of university authority and pastoral support capacity beyond West Java/Jakarta/Banten. Candidates may choose to spend extended periods of time in the field—only returning to UNPAR for consultations or classes—or conduct field studies in the city’s immediate environs. The field sites available to candidates are highly diverse, from the dense urban centres of Bandung and Jakarta to the vast rural expanse of West Java. ACICIS and UNPAR can advise candidates on a range of sites that can best meet their interests. Candidates are free to select any topic. Examples of previous field study reports illustrate the variety of issues canvassed by ACICIS field study candidates. However, UNPAR reserves the right to revise or refuse topics that involve serious administrative impediments for foreign students or raise ethical concerns. Candidates considering the program as a vehicle for honours or postgraduate studies are advised to seek advice on ethics approval requirements from their home institutions. ACICIS encourages candidates to submit draft proposals for review as early as possible in the application process.

The ACICIS study experience in Indonesia offers every student the opportunity to make their future truly remarkable.ACICIS Past Participant

Most students undertaking study with ACICIS do so as part of their undergraduate studies. However, ACICIS does and has accepted numerous postgraduate students onto its in-country programs over the years. These have included students pursuing graduate diploma qualifications, master’s degrees, and PhDs. Postgraduate students have undertaken in-country programs as accredited components of their postgraduate qualifications (with prior approval from their home university) or as unaccredited preparation for postgraduate fieldwork and research. Please note, that these students have done so as participants in undergraduate level programs offered by Indonesian universities. ACICIS does not currently offer semester long programs at a postgraduate level (eg. master’s-level coursework programs).

Postgraduate students undertaking study with ACICIS may not use their time in Indonesia while on an ACICIS program (or while on the KITAS permit organised by ACICIS) to conduct fieldwork or postgraduate research in Indonesia. Conducting research of this nature in Indonesian requires a separate level of approval from the Indonesian government, specifically from RISTEK, the ministry responsible for issuing research permits. See here for more information about obtaining a research permit for Indonesia.

The program is open to first semester candidates or as a second semester option for students currently undertaking semester of study in another Indonesian university.

What you need to know

Duration: One Semester

Semester 1, 2025

Semester 2, 2025

Financial Help: AUD $7,000 NCP grants*
Check your eligibility here

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