Danielle Polmeer is a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from The Australian National University. Danielle undertook the Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course in January-February 2022.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ILSC?
I wanted to accelerate my Indonesian language learning because I plan to travel to see my family who live in Singapore and Malaysia who I’ve never been able to speak to in their language before.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If yes, why do you think the NCP is an important initiative? The NCP is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates on experiences such as the Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course.
Yes. NCP is important for the relations between Australia and the Indo-Pacific and creates an awareness amongst young people, who are, as people say, the future. This hopes to promise stronger relations between the Australia and the Indo-Pacific in the future and I hope that it will create a stronger cultural understanding as well.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual experience?
I think being able to learn the culture in the language is (although difficult) very rewarding because I feel more immersed in the culture.
Q: What do you find to be the most challenging about the ILSC?
Probably having to adapt to lessons that are spoken entirely in Indonesian, but I’m getting there.
Q: Have you had previous experience learning Indonesian in Australia? If yes, how different was the Virtual ILSC to your previous experiences?
Yes. In school I learnt online through the NSW School of Languages which was very laid back compared to ILSC and University. I also continued learning in University which I thought promoted different ways of learning and was in person which was great. ILSC is by far the hardest and most intensive but because of this, I’ve found that I’ve learnt much more in a shorter amount of time.
Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?
Yes. Through seminars and also in class readings and teachings.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about the course?
Being able to speak Indonesian regularly in discussions.
Q: How will your proficiency in Indonesian Language gained through the ILSC influence your future career or study?
I’d like to have a career that isn’t solely based in or about Australia, so I feel like having a second language will be helpful in that.
Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:
Maaf, saya tidak tahu.
Q: Describe your experience of the Virtual ILSC in three words:
Intensive, informative, eye-opening