Caitlin Stevens is a participant in the 2019 Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum from Flinders University. Caitlin is studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Drama. Caitlin received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum?
I undertook the ACICIS Practicum in January-February 2019 as a way to not only to improve my Bahasa Indonesia but also to push myself as a creative. I entered the programme as a writer and prior to taking the course I had never considered myself a writer. I wanted to explore writing as an art form and a creative practice for myself. ACICIS allowed me to do this while gaining real industry experience which was also a major bonus.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
I did receive the NCP grant and it paid for the entirety of the ACICIS programme.
Q: How will the Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
Through the Professional Practicum, I have not only gained some incredible industry contacts but also a significant amount of confidence in my writing. I was incredibly lucky with the cohort that we had this year, we all got along incredibly well and we supported each other as much as possible.
Q: Which organisation did you intern with? What were your roles and responsibilities?
I interned with Yayasan Cipta Mandiri (YCM). It’s a not for profit school in Bogor that offers free education in English, basic computer skills and website design as well as multimedia, creative writing and gardening. I was working as a teacher, mostly with the multimedia team. We were responsible for teaching the classes, planning classes and ensuring that all of the students’ needs were being met.
Q: How is the work culture of your host organisation different to work experience you have had in Australia?
At first, I certainly did struggle with the work culture, because it was so different to what I was used to. Personally, I am a very task orientated person and I found that tasks often piled up because the students would want to continually start new projects before completing previous ones. Eventually I learnt to relax a little and the students learnt to finish tasks before starting new ones. One of the biggest work skills I have learnt from my time at YCM, is relationship building and how truly important that can be in a work situation. The relationships we formed with the students were beautiful. They grew to trust us and it was incredibly touching to have that level of trust placed in us, after only being there for four weeks.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
Without a doubt. I can’t wait to finish up my degree and come straight back.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
As a group, we would explore the cities we were in and try to find the best food around town. Exploring Indonesia on foot isn’t always easy but grabbing a Gojek to markets and wandering around without time limits is also great fun.
Q: Favourite place to eat and favourite Indonesian food?
Pagi Sore for Nasi Padang and Sate Senayan are incredible restaurants and I think if I had to choose one favourite Indonesian food it would be Gado-Gado.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
I don’t know if I can pick just one favourite but I can narrow it down to three favourites.
1- Perpustakaan, the word for library, it’s just lots of fun to say.
2- Sama-sama (or in text sama2): You’re welcome. It’s more an expression of sharing the thankfulness with others.
3- Gotong royong: This means mutual cooperation but it’s really so much more than that. It’s this beautiful cultural spirit that means everyone works together to help everyone succeed.
Q. What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
My placement was in Bogor so I got to explore the city as well as Jakarta. I also got to see Yogyakarta during one of my weekends when we had a CADPP catch up there. They were all wonderful places.