Julia Kokic is a New Colombo Plan mobility grant recipient from the University of Sydney. Julia undertook the Indonesian Language Short Course at Satya Wacana University in Salatiga during the summer university break in 2019.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Indonesian Language Short Course?
I decided to undertake the Indonesian Language Short Course (ILSC) because I found that at my home university, one weekly lecture and tutorial in Bahasa Indonesia was not enough to really progress in my language learning. The opportunity for immersion and a short-term but rigorous course was exactly what I needed to keep my language from plateauing.
Q: What do you find to be the most challenging about the ILSC?
What has been most challenging is the consistent intensity of the course, which is often exhausting. Being in a different country, navigating around the city as well as having a lot of work to do can be overwhelming.
Q: How will your proficiency in Indonesian Language gained through the Indonesian Language Short Course influence your future career or study?
The ability to study the language non-stop in country has been invaluable to my studies. Firstly, I can return to my Indonesian classes in Australia confident that I have improved significantly. Also, I am majoring in Indonesian and Politics, and so I feel that my future will involve Indonesia somehow. The proficiency in the language is bound to open doors in these areas.
Q: Have you had previous experience learning Indonesian in Australia? If so, how different is in-country Indonesian language learning to your previous experiences? If not, how do classes in Indonesia compare to classes in Australia?
I have had previous experience learning Indonesian in Australia; at school and university. Both are very well taught and set me up well for going to Indonesia. However, being in the country where the language is spoken in almost every situation has forced me to improve at a rate I wouldn’t normally. The classes here are fantastic, but its the holistic experience of the classes and the incidental learning which make ILSC so worthwhile.
Q: Would you like to return to Indonesia for future study or work?
Definitely. This short time away has really raised the possibility of a longer exchange program in Indonesia. I also intend to put my language to use in a future career.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about the course?
What’s been most enjoyable about the course is seeing the progress of myself and the people around me. The feeling that you’re actually being productive and learning a lot makes the more intense times more bearable.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Salatiga?
I love spending time with my host family. We have become very close and our conversations are always full of laughter. I also find I learn a lot more of the colloquial language when I spend time with them.
Q: What is your favourite Indonesian food? And your favourite place to eat?
My favourite Indonesian food has to be mie ayam pangsit (fried noodles with wonton). But when I’m missing home, my favourite place to eat is Aromia.
Q: What is your favourite Indonesian phrase?
My host sister taught me this – “ooooh gitu” – it’s a phrase you can say when you weren’t really listening to someone but have to pretend that you were.