Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
I wanted to become better at Bahasa Indonesia, but at the same time not increase the amount of time I would take to complete my undergraduate degree. This 6 week program seemed like the ideal opportunity to achieve both. The ‘being paid to travel and study’ part was a big bonus too.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
Yes I did. It allowed me to spend the money I saved more freely and not be too focussed on my daily budget. I probably would not have enjoyed myself throughout the program as much as I did, without the grant.
Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career? Would you like to return to Indonesia again in future?
I want to move into a career focussed in South-East Asia, and I think having done this program and being able to put it on my resume will help me stand out from other people with similar degrees to my own. It has also greatly enhanced my Bahasa Indonesia skills; adding another language to my skill inventory is always a bonus.
Q: What organisation did you intern with?
I interned at the Center for Digital Society at UGM. I assisted in doing research for their Case Studies, doing research and then writing articles on current political issues in Indonesia which ended up on their website, as well as assisting at their seminar events which were held in small villages outside of Yogyakarta.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
It is a lot more laid back and there’s a lot of focus on team building. My colleagues were so super friendly and helpful, and we’d spend most of the day talking with each other or snacking. A lot of snacking. We constantly ate!
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in the future?
Yes definitely. I would want it to be in Yogyakarta as well. Yogya isn’t too big, and there’s a lot of amazing cities and villages close by. It’s easy to get around and the food is great.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
Each weekend a few students and I would travel to different regions or cities. We went to temples, markets, museums, palaces, waterfalls, a few beaches. I really enjoyed the markets at Malioboro and probably visited it about 8 times. Everything is cheap compared to Australia so money really isn’t an issue.
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
Favourite place is probably Warung Tubruk, which sells foods you find in a warung, but looks more like a fancy restaurant. And then favourite food would be Ayam Geprek. I ate it about once a day. Can’t go wrong with mashed up fried chicken and rice.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Ngomong-Ngomong, which means ‘By the way’. We were all using ‘Tenang’ constantly, meaning ‘Chill out’, and I can’t seem to stop using it in every sentence.
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
Bantul, Borobudur, Malioboro, Kedung-Kedung, Gunungkidul. That includes the work excursions, weekend getaways and solo-trips. It was an extremely busy – but definitely worth it – 6 week trip.