Indonesian Business, Law and Society Program

Dominic Cooper is a UNSW Australia student undertaking ACICIS’ Indonesian Business, Law and Society program at Universitas Islam Indonesia.

Dominic is studying in Indonesia with the support of a $5,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant.

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

Going on exchange was always something I wanted to do and I believe it is a tremendous opportunity to live in a country for a semester that will play such an important role in Australia’s economic, social and political landscape for the foreseeable future. The program is also a terrific opportunity to meet likeminded Australian students who have an interest in the region. I believe in developing these networks both nationally and internationally is vitally important.

Q: What classes are you currently enrolled in?

Applied Econometrics; looking at the mathematical proofs for the core assumption in Econometric models whilst also looking at panel and cross sectional data in more depth.

Developmental Economics; looking at why some countries are less developed than others and using different models to promote economic development and welfare.

Labour Market Economics; looking at models related to the supply and demand of labour and factors that affect the overall market.

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

I have joined the University Futsal Club, we meet on Tuesday every week and play socially. It is a great opportunity to meet more Indonesians and keep my fitness up

 Q: How will the knowledge and experience of Indonesian business, law or society gained through this program influence your future career or study?

I will use my newfound knowledge of Indonesian business gained through the program to try and bridge cultural differences and barriers to effective communication in business and policy. I believe that cultural literacy is a big obstacle to Indo-Australian relations.

Q: How has your understanding of business, law or society changed as a result of your experience on the Indonesian Business, Law and Society program?

It has been really interesting learning the subtle and not so subtle differences in communication, manners and mannerisms between Australians and Indonesians. One example is learning that directness, an Australian tenant is construed as rude in Indonesia, this has been an important lesson for me when communicating with my lecturers and fellow class mates.

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

There is so much to do in Jogja. I divide my time between finding new restaurants, exploring the vast cultural and religious sites, frequenting the expansive malls, enjoying three dollar movies or visiting the famous Jogja Bay water park.

Q: Are you undertaking an internship or volunteering while in Indonesia?

I plan to volunteer for Project Child Indonesia and AIYA. AIYA connects Indonesian and Australian student and PCI runs programs for the alleviation of poverty and provision of education to young vulnerable children.

Q: Favourite Indonesian food/ Favourite place to eat?

Since I have been in Indonesia I have found that my favourite food has been either hotplates or sate kambing. By far my favourite place to eat is Wok n Pan on Jl. Affandi.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

‘Dari Mana’ is a very easy way to start a conversation with a gojek or taxi driver as they will talk to you endlessly about their hometown. ‘Berapa hargya’ has also been pretty useful when trying to capitalise on the cheap goods over here. Finally ‘maaf, kurang bahasa’ has got me out of very tricky situations when I can’t understand a driver.

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

I have been to a few places thus far. A few day trips around central java, notably to Dlingo, Goa Pindu, Ngandong Beach and Bali. I plan to travel to Aceh, Lombok, Flores, Jakarta, Bandung and the thousand islands before I leave