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

Virtual Agriculture Professional Practicum

Sydney Roldan was a participant in the 2021 Virtual Agriculture Professional Practicum. Sydney is a Bachelor of Science student from Murdoch University. Sydney received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.

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

I wanted to gain professional experience in my relevant industry and see what the Indonesian agricultural sector is like and how it differs from Australia. I was also interested in the language learning component of the program.

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

I received the grant and it has been the main reason why I was able to participate in this program at all. It’s extremely important for those who may not normally have the means to partake in a program such as the VPP, as it creates new opportunities for students looking to extend their futures beyond Australia.

Q: How have you found the academic components of this virtual program?

They’ve been absolutely amazing and are delivered to the highest standard! Despite being online, they’ve been able to create a fully interactive and immersive experience that has taught me a lot about Indonesia. The seminars are very informative and are delivered by amazing speakers. Learning a new language has also been super fun and enjoyable.

 Q: Which organisation did you intern with? 

I interned with Mitra Sejahtera Membangun Bangsa (MSMB). My duties included app testing, data entry and interviewing farmers from Indonesia.

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

They’re very hardworking and it’s very easy to discuss anything with our mentor. Flexibility is a quality that is generally demanded in such a workplace.

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

Bahasa Indonesia, self discipline, and how to tackle challenges and opportunities beyond Australia.

Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual experience?

Meeting the wonderful people in APP and getting to make new friends from the comfort of my own home.

Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program?

Yes, the virtual field trips and seminars showed me the most of what it is like in Indonesia. The field trips showed me Indonesia, while the seminars taught me about what it’s like there.

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

I was able to learn what agriculture is like in Indonesia and how it may be different in other countries. It’s benefitted me through showing me how bountiful my future career could be by looking beyond working within Australia.

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


Q. Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:


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

Incredible, enriching, bagus!