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

Virtual Development Studies Professional Practicum

Alexander Jayasuria was a participant in the 2022 Virtual Development Studies Professional Practicum. Alexander is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University. Alexander received a $3000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant to support his participation on this program.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?

I decided to undertake the ACICIS program to gain a deeper understanding of Indonesia – an increasingly important geographic and economic partner.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative?

Yes I was a recipient of the NCP mobility grant. It is a phenomenal and – I believe – necessary initiative, providing the necessary means for students to participate in programs such as this.

Q: How have you found the academic components of this virtual program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?

Indonesian language classes and the academic seminars were crucial to the effectiveness of the program. They provided a sound base from which to understand Indonesia.

Q: What organisation did you intern with?

I had the pleasure of interning with the Centre of Reform on Economics (CORE INDONESIA). I was given the opportunity to write a policy proposal for the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia, and an article to be published in Indonesia.

Q: How have you found the work culture (albeit online) of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?

The differences in work culture were less evident online. However, it was easy to discern the differences in the respect offered to colleagues. Using term such as Pak, Mas, Mbak, Ibu to address colleagues, were common placed, and vital to ensure a mutual respect in communications.

Q: What are the key skills you have learnt during your virtual internship?

My policy and article writing skills have definitely benefited from my time with CORE Indonesia. I have gained tremendous feedback and industry experience.

Q: What did you find to be the more rewarding part of this virtual program?

I particularly enjoyed the student seminars. Getting the opportunity to listen and converse with a variety of prominent Indonesian stakeholders was both a joy and a privilege.

Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?

There is no doubt that this program deepened my understanding and respect for Indonesian culture. Meeting with fellow students and program officers every day, to explore all things Indonesian, provided an immersive and rewarding experience.

Q: How will the virtual internship benefit or influence your future career?

Indonesia is a key part of Southeast Asia, and the wider Indo-Pacific. Australia, America, China and much of the region understand this. The virtual internship provided me an opportunity to experience first-hand the workings and strategies of the Indonesian economy. It also provided me a credible platform from which to contribute. The internship has been entirely valuable, carefully shaping my outlook on Indonesia and the region. My career path has expanded because of this, and I will forever be drawn to the country of Indonesia.

Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?

I have no hesitation in recommending this program to students. It’s a tremendous experience.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:


Q: Describe your experience of the virtual internship program in three words:

Insightful. Inspirational. Important.