Rachel Shwereb is a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Rachel completed the Flexible Language Immersion Program at Gadjah Mada University in Semester 2, 2018.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Flexible Language Immersion Program?
I decided to partake in the Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP) at Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta to further enhance my Indonesian language skills. The decision to partake in the program was also heavily based on increasing my ability to gain employment in Indonesia in the future.
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 be granted the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant as without this opportunity, I would not have been able to sustain living in Indonesia for as long as I have. This grant enabled me to live very comfortably throughout the entire semester as well as give me the chance to explore many amazing places and landmarks that Indonesia has to offer. Thank you New Colombo Plan!
Q: What classes/units are you currently enrolled in?
I am enrolled in the FLIP program. My units consist of:
- Indonesian Grammar: This would have to be my favourite class. It is a rewarding experience to put the grammar learnt weekly into conversational practice with the Indonesian native speakers you engage with daily.
- Vocabulary: This class consists of vocabulary surrounding various weekly topics.
- Indonesian Culture: This class is about many aspects of Indonesian culture and social sciences.
- Reading: Reading various weekly texts from workbooks and Indonesian newspapers, critically analysing and discussing important information surrounding that particular topic. Questions and answers.
- Translating English into Indonesian: Translating prepared texts from English to Indonesian language. Learning methods towards a fluent translation. Gaining an understanding for the importance of cultural differences in forms of expression for translation.
- Karawitan (Gamelan): Practical Gamelan classes. Learning the various instruments and different harmonies.
Q: How will your proficiency in Indonesian Language gained through the Flexible Language Immersion Program influence your future career or study?
The Flexible Language Immersion Program has enabled me to engage in all of my classes purely in Indonesian Language. Proficiency in Indonesian language is vital for my future career choice as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Indonesia.
Q: How different is in-country Indonesian language learning to your previous experiences in an Australian classroom environment?
Being given the opportunity to study in country is an invaluable experience. To be able to immerse yourself deep in the way of life in Indonesia wins hands down to any movie/video/book etc that is delivered in an Australian classroom. I think in our Australian classes we all dream to be here. Thank you ACICIS for making that a reality.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Yogyakarta?
I have loved exploring the South Seas (Gunung Kidul) not too far away.
I love to try local warungs for something new each time – I still have so much more to try!
Q: Are you volunteering while in Indonesia? If so, what are your tasks and what are you looking forward to in these opportunities?
I have been volunteering teaching English at SD Budi Mulia II for classes 1, 2, and 3. This has been such a wonderful experience. Every Friday I meet and partake in learning and playing the gamelan with the children. We do children’s Javanese dance and then fun activities surrounding various English words appropriate to their level. Gaining this hands on experience has been important for my future career goal as an ESL teacher.
Q: What is your favourite Indonesian food? Where is your favourite place to eat?
I am addicted to Wedang Ronde (rice balls in ginger syrup). My favourite place to eat it is right here at home in my kos.
I hear the pedagang kaki lima’s bell and I run… a little china bowl filled with goodness, I slurp it down then kindly return the bowl…
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
I have to say di jalani saja (go with the flow) – think it should be an Indonesian motto!
Am I allowed to have 2?
SERIUS!!!!!!! (I just love the sound) seeee riiiii ooooooooo s
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your semester so far?
Jakarta, Bogor, Bali, Central Java (Kebumen), Lombok, Gunung Kidul, Borobudur, Mt Merapi, Kulon Progo Regency, Klaten Regency… can’t name them all…
Q: What is the most special thing that you will miss about Indonesia, specifically Yogyakarta?
Am I allowed to say all of it?
Ok… it would have to be the kindness of the people. I have met friends here that I will now have for the rest of my life. Yogyakarta has a special feel to it and I truly feel at home here. I will be very hard to say goodbye to Indonesia.