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Journalism Professional Practicum

Han Nguyen is a participant in the 2017 Journalism Professional Practicum from the University of Technology, Sydney. Han is studying a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Journalism). Han received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.

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

I was feeling too comfortable with where my life was heading and I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I was looking into volunteer programs in places like Africa and the South Pacific when I received an email about the ACICIS program and thought that it was something I had to do, one it would take me out of my comfort zone, two I will be doing something that would be beneficial to my career and three I would be able to travel by myself and be independent.

I had also heard of stories from previous participants who said it was something that I must do as a student journalist.

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

The JPP has given me basic Bahasa Indonesia which will be beneficial – like any language. It’s taken me out of my comfort zone and thrown me in the deep in. I’ve learnt how to communicate better and to work with a translator to get my story out. I now have contacts which I know can be trusted and I’ve made lifelong friends in the industry.

Q: What organisation will you be interning with? (Explain your roles and responsibilities) Indonesia – Working as a multi-media intern: Filing feature articles, news stories, photo journalism and video projects.

Best project I’ve done since being here is about a Palestinian refugee living in Jakarta. I found the story myself, pitched it to the editor, conducted the interview via a translator, wrote the feature, captured the images and shot some of the vision in the video project. Read the full story here.

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

It’s a lot harder than back home in Australia. As an intern you stand out because you’re new and you’re only there for a couple of weeks, even days.

In Indonesia, not only do you stand out because you’re an intern, but because you’re a foreigner who’s wearing heels into a start-up office (yep, I did that). The language barrier is though, your colleagues will be discussing their story ideas in Bahasa Indonesia and have laughs and good banter together. But I’ve overcome that once I started to get to know them, I’ve noticed they speak a lot more English than they did the first time we met.

Another thing that’s different is that every time I go out to do a story, I always have a translator with me. I struggled at first with working with someone else, but have since gotten used to it. You can read my full blog here.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?

On the weekends I like to travel outside of central Jakarta. Since being here I have travelled to Bandung, Anyer Beach, Bogor and Old town Jakarta.

Still have plans to go to Thousand Island and Yogyakarta.

Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?

Before coming to Jakarta I had no intension of working overseas, let alone considering to work in Jakarta. But this experience has widened my perspective on what I want to do career wise. I’ve always wanted to be a political journalist back home, but now I’d love the opportunity to be a foreign correspondent.

I love it here in Indonesia and will definitely miss it when I leave.

Q: Favourite Indonesian food?

Ayam goreng – fried chicken with rice and tempe!

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

Anak laki-laki – little brother. I learnt this word while in class and have loved the way it sounds!

Q: Favourite place to eat?

When I first arrived my only rule I set myself was to not eat street food or at a Warung because I was too scared of getting sick. But it’s been the best and I know to go to places that are busy because you know their food is fresher because of the turnover rate. Warung food is not only really nice food but it’s also so cheap!

Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?

Bogor, Anyer Beach, Old town Jakarta, Bandung, the National Monument, the National Museum, Grand Indonesia and other malls

Han’s Published Works:

Hidden Away in Jakarta’s back streets, Refugees wait for years to live decently.

In Photos: Chinese New Year Celebrations in Jakarta

A chat with Saroo Brierley, the subject of 6-time Oscar nominee ‘Lion’

Indonesia is fastest growing country for internet use – report