Faith Stellmaker is a 2019 New Colombo Plan mobility grant recipient from the Australian National University. Faith undertook the Flexible Language Immersion Program for two semesters at Gadjah Mada University from February until December 2019.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP) ?
From the moment I started studying at ANU I knew I wanted to do year in Asia as part of my Bachelor of Asian Studies. My university had a connection with ACICIS and I was thankful I was able to do my exchange with their help!
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
I did and it made such a big difference with helping me pay for my accommodation and flights. Every bit helped when budgeting to live a year abroad!
Q: What classes/units are you currently enrolled in?
Art Appreciation: Anthropology
Indonesian for Research
Q: Are you involved in any clubs/societies at the university?
I joined the Outdoor club which included going on a mountain hike to Mt Prau! It was so amazing to camp one night at the peak and we all made dinner together. It was such a great experience to create deeper friendships with my peers and help improve my Indonesian language skills.
Q: How will your proficiency in Indonesian, gained through FLIP, influence your future career or study pathway?
I hope one day to return to Indonesia again for further study or one day work. By learning the language you are able to communicate better with those around you or understand formal and informal situations better.
Q: How different is in-country Indonesian language learning to your previous experiences in an Australian classroom environment?
Learning Indonesian has helped me understand the culture through a new lens and pick up slang that cannot be taught in the classroom!
Q: Are you undertaking an internship or volunteering while in Indonesia?
I did an internship at the ASEAN research centre at Gadja Mada University and my role was part of the communications and media team. From this experience, I gained a better understanding of the Indonesian office environment but was also able to improve my photoshop and design skills which related to my Bachelor of Art History that I’m currently studying also in Australia.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Yogyakarta?
In my spare time I spent most of it with my Indonesian friends as I found this was the best way to learn the language and better understand the culture and local etiquette.
Q: Favourite Indonesian food and place to eat:
My favourite place to eat was actually at the canteen on campus. They seriously made the best fried tempe in all of Yogya!
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:
‘Jomblo’ haha. That described a lot of my friends
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your semester so far? What is your favourite trip?
Throughout the year I visited Jakarta, Surabaya, Malang and the island of Bali. However, one of my favourite moments was visiting the village of my friend in Ambarawa. A group of us stayed the weekend with his family and it was so generous of him to show us around. We even ate friend cow’s blood which was the local delicacy!