New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia’s future - study in the region.

Public Health Study Tour

Alix Aramze-Coustley is a New Colombo Plan mobility grant recipient from RMIT University. Alix undertook the Public Health Study Tour in July 2019.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Public Health Study Tour?

I had heard how great the Public Health Study Tour (PHST) was from other RMIT students that had previously completed the tour. It sounded like a fantastic opportunity to be able to study abroad in an area of public health which would benefit my future career as a nurse.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?

Yes, I did. It actually came at a good time as in the lead up of the tour I had graduate applications to write, exams to study for and pre-readings to complete for the PHST. I was able to focus on these and not have to worry about trying to pick up extra shifts at work to cover the full tour cost, making the pre-departure experience less stressful.

Q: What did you find to be the most challenging about your experience on the PHST?

Only a small challenge, as I have some dietary restrictions. Out of the tour hours I found it difficult to order food, due to the language barrier at some restaurants. Also, I found appropriate snacks I’d usually eat at home had added ingredients in Indonesia. The ACICIS staff were wonderful and made sure I had plenty of healthy food options during the PHST.

Q: What public health issues in Indonesia have you become more interested in/aware of as a result of this tour?

The system Indonesia has in place for family planning is interesting to learn about and eye opening when comparing to the easy access and availability for all ages, marital status and gender we experience at home.

Q: Which was your favourite field trip?

I really enjoyed the waste management field trip. It was great to see the volunteers and employees work together to improve their community. They showed us how they made money to put back into the waste management plant. This is done by recycling materials collected from the household rubbish, making compost by mulching organic waste, growing and selling vegetables and catfish. They were interested to hear how we manage our waste and welcomed any suggestions from the group.

Q: How do you think the Public Health Study Tour will influence your future career or studies?

It has given me insight and understanding of public health in a way I would not have achieved a within lecture room in Australia. Having the opportunity to experience the health care of Indonesia first-hand has further strengthened my communication and critical thinking skills that I can apply to my nursing career.

Q: What did you most enjoy about the seminar series?

Listening to passionate academics and organisation advocates was really inspiring. It was also great to have questions answered by them which often lead to further discussion.

Q: What was your favourite aspect about visiting Indonesia?

Being able to do the not so typical tourist activities, experiencing the culture, and seeing the rural side of Indonesia. It was lovely to meet and work with the Indonesian students. Furthermore, the ACICIS team was wonderful, they have so much to offer, very warm, welcoming and always smiling.