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

Development Studies Professional Practicum

Ethen Naidoo was a participant in the 2024 Development Studies Professional Practicum from La Trobe University. Ethen is studying Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Global Studies. Ethen received a $4000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant to support his participation on this program.

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

As a student doing Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Global Studies I believe it is important to gain understanding and experience of other countries out of Australia. It is important to expose oneself to the extraordinary cultures and ways of life out of one’s own country.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative? If yes, why? The NCP is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates on experiences such as the Professional Practica.

The New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant gave me the opportunity to study in Indonesia and gain experience through the program without having to worry or be limited by the financial aspect of funding the program.

Q: Where did you live in Indonesia (Kos, homestay, hotel, rental etc.)? Any tips for prospective students on finding accommodation?

I lived in two different Kos accomodations and one hotel/AirBnb.

I found that the Kos accommodations that I chose, to be quite clean and both the other people in the accommodation and security were very warm as well as friendly. In many cases I was the only English speaker in the accommodations however that was not an issue at all as I used apps to translate, or I used the some Bahasa (that I had learnt over the two week language intensive classes). One more point to make is I found my Kos accommodations to be very clean compared to the hotels some ACICIS students stayed in as well as the hotel I stayed in.

Q: How have you found the academic components of this program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?

I found the field trips and tutorials to be quite beneficial in understanding Indonesia as well as both the positives and negatives of the country. It is important to recognise the faults within a country but as important to highlight the positive elements that a country has implemented to strengthen the lively hood within that country, which the seminars and field trips did. The seminars had the risk of exhausting the students as they were quite lengthy, however, they were set up in a way that the breaks and class discussion allowed for a rest and boost of energy for the students.

Q: What organisation are you interning with? (Explain your role and responsibilities)

I was an intern at PRIK-KT UI (Pusat Riset Ilmu Kepolisian dan Kajian Terorisme, Universitas Indonesia). My main role in the organisation was to meet ex-terrorists and gain an understanding of the deradicalisation process. I had other roles as well such as presenting my findings and opinions on the deradicalisation program, presenting an oral presentation on terrorism and radicalisation within Australia and Indonesia, having meetings with professors regarding geopolitics. We had the opportunity to go on multiple excursions where we took notes and had numerous discussions with academics.

Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?

The work culture was very positive and light-hearted. There was a lot of joking around but always kept it professional.

Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your internship?

I learnt a lot of new things about Indonesia and how sheltered people can become when they stay in their own personal bubbles. Some key skills I learnt were communication, discipline, how to handle confronting situations and how to separate work from personal opinions and biases.

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

Through the program I met some great people, both from Indonesia and from Australia from all different disciplines of study. It was really rewarding to be immersed in another culture that I personally was not familiar with. To adopt new habits and to embrace new religions and belief systems.

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

Yes, I achieved this through accepting that Indonesia is not like Australia therefore this experience will be
unique and different.

Q: How will the internship benefit or influence your future career?

I believe it will show future employers that I am capable of been in uncomfortable situations and happy to learn to new things. I have made great relationships with people that are in the area of my career which will help me in future career endeavours.

Q: Would you recommend this program to your friends?

Most definitely

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase: