International Relations Program

Anna Himmelreich is a 2016 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from The Australian National University. Anna is studying a Bachelor of  Arts and a Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies.

This is Anna’s first semester program with ACICIS, and she is undertaking the International Relations Program at Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung.

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

I was coming to the end of my Arts/Asian Studies degree and having studied Indonesian language and Indonesian studies I felt that I wouldn’t really feel confident in either without having lived in Indonesia. I wanted to solidify my Indonesian and also get to know an Indonesia beyond textbooks and journal articles. I was really attracted to the idea of doing an internship in Indonesia and being supported while doing so.

Q: What classes are you currently enrolled in?

  • International Communications
  • Community Development
  • International Politics
  • Diplomacy
  • Sejarah Internasional (International history)
  • Internship unit

Despite not coming from an international relations background I’ve found the classes interesting and accessible. Taking a class in Indonesia – Sejarah – has been a good challenge and I wish I’d been confident enough to take more Indonesian classes.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs/societies at the University?

Regretfully I’ve had little involvement with clubs and societies, apart from a little bit with the student media society. But clubs are very active here and make for a fun campus. Outside of campus I also take yoga classes, Indonesian lessons and sometimes join a running group.

Q: Are you undertaking an Internship while in Indonesia?

I spend two days a week at the Resilience Development Initiative, a research organisation based in Bandung. They focus on resilience to disasters and sustainable development. My research focuses on culture and its relationship with resilience to drought in Sumba, an island in the east of Indonesia. It has been a great learning experience.

Q: What is your favourite Indonesian food?

Martabak manis, and fried coconut on everything.

Q: What is your favourite Indonesian word or phrase?

Hati-hati, take care. At first I found the constant ‘hati-hatis’ a little condescending but have grown to love it and the kindness behind it. It’s said to me multiple times a day by everyone and from my Ibu Kos/landlady to gojek drivers. Now I say it too and it’s made its way into my English conversation.

Q: What is your favourite place to eat?

Ibu Sri’s warung near my kosan with her to-die-for coconut rice, or Warung Sombar (a mini stall in front of campus that sells Manadonese food).

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

I like to nongkrong with my friends and explore Bandung, going to cafes and art exhibitions or just for walks through the kampungs. I’ve had a few weekend trips to Jakarta, Yogyakarta and to the beach, as well as day trips around the mountains and volcanoes closer to Bandung. I also spend a lot of time calculating how to get somewhere so as to avoid the daily rain or Bandung’s famous traffic jams.