New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia’s future - study in the region.

Indonesian Language Short Course

Audrey Sparks is a student from the The University of Newcastle. Audrey undertook the Indonesian Language Short Course at Satya Wacana University in Salatiga with the assistance of a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant in 2024. Audrey is studying Bachelor of Business.


Q: Why did you decide to undertake ILSC?

I decided to undertake the ILSC program because Indonesia holds a very special place in my heart and it presented an incredible opportunity to immerse myself in a language I love and a new community. I wanted to further my language capabilities and challenge myself in a new environment as well as fully immerse myself in a foreign culture and community.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If yes, why do you think the NCP is an important initiative?

Yes, I did receive the NCP Grant. The New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant is an incredibly important initiative for students like myself as it allows us to take our learning beyond the classroom and expand our capabilities. The grant allows us not only to travel but also to learn in a foreign environment, fully immersing ourselves in the learning journey. Additionally, the grant plays a key role in connecting students with the Indo-Pacific region to create lasting positive connections with our neighbours. Without the grant, I would not have been able to undertake my studies here and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity it has provided to me.

Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this in-country experience?

The most rewarding part about this experience has been seeing how fast and far I have progressed with my language skills. With such an intensive and immersive course you see results so fast as you are learning so much every day. This is super rewarding and serves as a great motivation to keep learning as you reap the rewards that knowing language brings.

Q: What do you find to be the most challenging about the ILSC?

The most challenging thing about the program has been the intensity of it. This has also been a positive as it has allowed me to excel in my learning extremely quickly but it is also exhausting. Continuously trying to translate everything in your head and think thoroughly before you speak is exhausting and does not come naturally (at first).

Q: Have you had previous experience learning Indonesian in Australia? If yes, how different was the in-country ILSC to your previous experiences?

No, I have only learnt Indonesian in Indonesia.

Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this in-country program? If yes, how was this achieved?

Yes, I have learnt a lot about Indonesian culture. This was achieved through culture-sharing aspects of the program which were fascinating as well as in-class seminars (the one about food was great). Additionally just chatting with my homestay family, teachers and LTC friends who are all enthusiastic about sharing their culture has taught me a lot about Javanese culture. I could not have ever fathomed how vast, rich and diverse Indonesian culture can be.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about the course?

I have most enjoyed creating a day-to-day routine in a different country and community. I find a lot of joy in having my regular coffee shop here and lunch spots. It feels like I’ve created a mini international world with new friends and a new family and it has been so much fun to create and learn here.

Q: How will your proficiency in Indonesian Language gained through the ILSC influence your future career or study?

It will definitely motivate me to seek out roles that have Bahasa aspects and/or would let me work in Indonesia!

Q: Would you recommend this program to your friends?

YYes I would definitely recommend this program to my friends. But probably only the intrepid ones.

Q: Describe your experience of the in-country ILSC in three words!

Amazing, colourful and intrepid.

Q: What is your favourite Indonesian phrase?

Sabar Sabar.