John Casey is a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from Macquarie University. John undertook the Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course in January 2021.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Indonesian Language Short Course?
It was an incredible opportunity to undertake Indonesian language study, increase engagement in our region, and contribute to my degree, particularly given the current travel restrictions due to COVID-19
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative?
I received the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Grant, which fully funded my participation in this course. I believe the NCP initiative is incredibly important in encouraging and supporting genuine engagement in our region. Through this course I have not only been equipped with invaluable communication and language skills, but I have also been given insight into Indonesian society and culture.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual experience?
The Language Training Centre (LTC) staff should be commended for their innovation and dedication in delivering this course online. LTC and ACICIS staff really went above and beyond to give students a genuine cultural experience, which I’m sure was not easy to achieve in a virtual environment.
I was also quite surprised at just how much Indonesian language I was able to learn in three weeks!
Q: What did you find to be the most challenging about your experience on the Virtual ILSC?
There were some challenges adjusting to a 100% virtual learning environment, but the LTC and ACICIS staff were INCREDIBLE, and put together an amazing course.
Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?
Yes. There were large elements of Indonesian culture embedded into the language learning. There was also a great chance to interact with students from UKSW in online Zoom forums. These sessions were semi-structured, giving us the chance to practice language, but also just to chat and ask questions about Indonesia!
The virtual markets were a great chance to practice language in a “real world” environment. This was also one of the most fun parts of the course – I couldn’t stop laughing 🙂
Q: How will your proficiency in Indonesian Language gained through the ILSC influence your future career or study?
I’ve learned the basics already and I’ll hopefully be able to put this to good use. I work as a firefighter in Sydney, home to a large population of Indonesian ex-pats, and I hope to be able to communicate with this community, providing fire safety information and emergency messages. I plan to continue studying Indonesian language, improve my proficiency, and one day become fluent!
Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?
I would highly recommend this course to friends and fellow students. I’ve already emailed the exchange coordinator at my home university to tell them what a great experience I had.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:
Anak saya sedikit gemuk (Maaf Otis!)
Q: Describe your experience of the Virtual ILSC in three words:
Fun, engaging, rewarding.