Gera Kazakov was a participant in the 2023 Journalism Professional Practicum. Gera is studying a Bachelor of Arts at Curtin University. He received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support his participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS internship program?
Participating in the JPP seemed like a good opportunity to experience a brand new side of Indonesia which I hadn’t seen before. On top of that, it seemed like a great opportunity to meet some really interesting people from Indonesia and other student’s from Australia.
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.
Yes, it definitely made making my way to Indonesia a lot easier. I’m glad the government is able provide students with a helping hand to experience overseas study.
Q: Where did you live in Indonesia (Kos, homestay, hotel, rental etc.)? Any tips for prospective students on finding accommodation?
I choose hotels, but if I could do things over again I would stay at a Kos. Also, depending on what you’re wanting to get out of Jakarta, the neighborhood you stay in can make a big difference. The accommodation recommended by ACICIS was good, with plenty of amenities close by, which makes a difference in a city as big as Jakarta.
Q: How have you found the academic components of this program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?
The speakers we had during our JPP seminars were nothing short of exceptional. I would hate to spoil the surprise for any students looking to participate as well!
Q: What organisation are you interning with? (Explain your role and responsibilities)
I have been interning with Voice of Indonesia/Radio Republic Indonesia. It is one of Indonesia’s first radio stations and has a long and storied history, look it up if you are interested. Yet I haven’t really done much traditional “radio” work, instead, I have been doing lots of multi-media journalism while also being given the opportunity to explore the city with my colleagues. It is an organisation I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
The language barrier can be quite challenging at first. But this problem is quickly overcome as everyone at my host organisation has been so friendly and helpful. It was not uncommon to have half the workplace band together to help you solve a problem, you really feel part of the team straight away!
Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your internship?
My biggest takeaway’s from this program have been just how important it is to be willing to learn and try new things everyday. Whether that’s from your colleagues getting you try some gnarly looking street food, right up to adapting your journalistic way of working to better work with local sources.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this experience?
In all honesty, the networking. Some of the people I have met here have come from all over Australia and Indonesia, and after spending 6 weeks together I’m glad to be able to call them my friends. Coming from Perth and being able to become friends with so many different people from all walks of life who I simply wouldn’t run into back home has been second to none for me.
Q. Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this program? If yes, how was this achieved?
Indonesia is such a vast country and what you see of it in Jakarta is so different from what you would experience in Kalimantan, Lombok or Sumatra. So I don’t want to proclaim myself as fully at “one” with Indonesian culture after six weeks in Jakarta. But what I did appreciate about the culture in Jakarta is how polite everyone was, as well as the concept of “Jakarta time.” As a person who swears by the mentality that if you’re not ten minutes early your late, I’ve been surprised by how accustomed I’ve become to just going with the flow and chilling out.
Q. How will the internship benefit or influence your future career?
I’ve always wanted to use journalism as a tool to travel the world, and the JPP has only given me a taste of what that can be like. The program has opened my eyes to the possibility of not only working here in Jakarta, but also shown me just how obtainable of a goal that is.
Q. Would you recommend this program to your friends?
Q. Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:
Mungkin nanti – Maybe later.