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Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum

Teresa Nurdi was a participant in the 2020 Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum from UNSW. Teresa is studying a Bachelor of Politics and International Relations/Bachelor of Law. Teresa received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake this ACICIS Professional Practicum?

I decided to apply for the Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum to learn more about sustainability and environmental management, and to apply that knowledge in a hands-on work experience. The internship component of the program really appealed to me as I was excited at the opportunity to work at an organisation that values community development and sustainability – two areas which I am passionate about. I was also really eager to travel, meet new people and immerse myself in a different culture, which the STPP definitely provides.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?

I was fortunate to receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant which took some of the pressure off having to save a large amount of money for the trip. I was then able to use some of the grant money to travel to different parts of Bali. This made the experience much more memorable and enjoyable.

Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?

Hopefully I have gained some valuable skills through working in a cross-culture environment which can open doors for a future career overseas!

Q: Which organisation are you interning with? What are your roles and responsibilities?

For my placement I interned at Five Pillar Foundation. My primary role was organising a networking night which brought together community leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, academics, and others interested in community development. The whole internship really opened my eyes to the importance of community support and collaboration, in working to achieve a more sustainable tourism industry for Bali.

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

I found Indonesian work culture to be much more relaxed and slower-paced than in Australia. While difficult at times, the program taught me a lot of patience and also cultural understanding and acceptance to the differences between Indonesian and Australian work culture. It was definitely a lesson that can only be experienced, not taught in a classroom.

Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?

Definitely! It’s such a beautiful country, with thousands of islands I’d love to explore in the future.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?

I loved going to the beach (specially to see the sunrise and sunset), visiting puras (temples), exploring nature, trying lots of Indonesian dishes, and hanging out with new friends I made throughout my trip.

Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?

Hands down, ayam bakar madu (honey roasted chicken) at Lalapan Neng Gelis in Padangsambian. Whenever I felt like staying in for dinner, I would use the GoFood app to order ayam bakar with nasi (rice) without fail.

For lunch I loved to walk around and try food from different warungs (small restaurants). I’d recommend trying nasi campur, which is a portion of rice and other dishes that you can hand-pick yourself (tempe and sambal is a must!).

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

Ayo, kita makan sekarang!

(Come on, let’s eat now!)

Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?

I was lucky to be based in Denpasar so it was easy to travel to Seminyak, Canggu, or Legian whenever I was in the mood to visit touristic hot-spots, or even just to have brunch at a Western-style cafe but for a fraction of the price I’d pay back home. I also spent my free time travelling to art markets in Ubud, beaches in Nusa Lembongan, volcanos in Kintamani, and waterfalls in Singaraja. Since Bali is a small island, there is so much opportunity to explore different parts of the island during the 6-week stay.