Jonathan Soerjoko is a University of Sydney student undertaking ACICIS Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP) at Gadjah Mada University. Jonathan had previously completed the Business Professional Practicum in 2016. Jonathan undertook both programs with the support of New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
After doing the ACICIS Business Professional Practicum last year I spent a week in Yogyakarta and found myself falling in love with the town. I then decided to enrol in the ACICIS FLIP program in order to spend more time there
Q: What classes are you currently enrolled in?
I am taking a mixture of Indonesian language classes as well as immersion classes. One of the immersion classes is ‘Peace-building,’ where I’m able to get some insight into Indonesian perspectives on peace and reconciliation, with a particular focus on Indonesia’s own history. I’m also learning gamelan!
Q: How will your proficiency in Indonesian Language gained through the Flexible Language Immersion Program influence your future career or study?
I for one wish to live and work in Indonesia in the future. Although I was born in Jakarta, I grew up in Australia and so I never had the chance to learn the language properly. I aim to use the language proficiency here to work within consulting in Indonesia and also between Australia-Indonesia businesses.
Q: How different is in-country Indonesian language learning to your previous experiences in an Australian classroom environment?
Yogyakarta is one of the best places to learn Indonesian. FLIP offers a wonderful network that supports my Indonesian language learning. But even better is the ability to meet people here, and even by socialising on a day to day basis I can learn the language.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Yogyakarta?
There is a really cool art scene in Yogyakarta down south. I like visiting galleries there and being able to meet people from the area. And even generally I’ve found it very easy to meet Indonesians here as everyone is very welcoming and willing to help you learn your way around the language and culture.
Q: Are you undertaking an internship or volunteering while in Indonesia?
I am volunteering as treasurer for the Australia Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA)- Yogyakarta Chapter
Q: Favourite Indonesian food/ Favourite place to eat?
Nasi Gudeg is a Jogja speciality that I love.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Aku sudah lapar.
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your semester so far?
I’ve visited Jakarta a couple of times but I wish to travel further East into Indonesia, through NTT and maybe even Maluku.