Flexible Language Immersion Program

Kelly Crothers, Murdoch University student is undertaking ACICIS Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP) at Gadjah Mada University.

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

I first heard about ACICIS when I was in high school at Tranby College in Western Australia. My high school Indonesian teacher always raved about the program so I knew about it before I started my Indonesian language undergraduate degree at Murdoch University. At Open Day at Murdoch in 2014 I talked to Matthew Satchwell about possibly participating in FLIP during my degree, and after a few more discussions with Matthew over the years I made the decision to apply for FLIP with ACICIS. The main reason I applied for ACICIS was to extend my language abilities to be more confident in my abilities, particularly in the areas of conversation and listening, which are the areas I struggle in. I have heard very good things and seen evident changes in people who have gone on ACICIS programs and come home with greatly improved, if not fluent, language abilities and that is ultimately my goal, but I know that achieving this kind of level of language ability is not going to be possible just by sitting in a classroom in Australia – full immersion in the language and the culture is the way to do it.

Q: What classes are you currently enrolled in?

Percakapan – language class, learning how to be more comfortable talking and engaging in conversation in Bahasa Indonesia and also being able to talk for long periods of time in Bahasa.

Membaca – language class, learning new vocabulary and improving reading and listening abilities in Bahasa Indonesia.

Politik Luar Negeri Amerika Serikat – US politics and foreign policy class (in Bahasa Indonesia)

Kebudayaan Arab – class on Arab culture and Islamic religion and movements (in Bahasa Indonesia)

International Security Studies – class on international relations, international relation theories, international security and inter-state relations

Q: Are you hoping to get involved in any clubs/societies at the University?

I am a member of the Australia Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) – Yogyakarta Chapter.

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

My ultimate hope is to end up either working in Indonesia or working in another country with some relation to Indonesia. However without proper language proficiency this would not really be feasible. With the abilities and the skills I am learning as part of FLIP means that I will feel much more confident in attempting to get a job in Indonesia. This program is (not to sound corny) helping make my dreams come true.

Q: How different is in-country Indonesian language learning to your previous experiences in an Australian classroom environment?

There is only so much you can learn sitting in an Australian classroom learning Indonesian. While I have formed an amazing base and foundation for my language skills, both in conversational and written, from my amazing teachers in high school and at university, I have learnt so much being in Indonesia. Now living, studying and spending my spare time in Indonesia, around every corner, every day there is the opportunity to learn something new for my language. Having the majority of my classes centred around Indonesian language, it means that even if the topic is not language, I am learning more language skills and more new vocabulary with every class, and this is why I chose to undertake the ACICIS program, so that I could learn Indonesian in an intense format, and while it is very challenging at times, it is highly rewarding and I know that I will take away from this program in the end will be all worth it.

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

I very much enjoy my studies so I spend quite a bit of my spare time studying for my classes at UGM or practicing my conversational Bahasa with my new friends in Yogya. I also am loving the ability to explore around Yogyakarta, particularly getting to know my own little area where I live.

Q: Are you undertaking an internship or volunteering while in Indonesia?

During my semester, I am planning on volunteering with Project Child or a similar program involved in teaching children. I am a swimming teacher at home so I love working with kids and having the opportunity to also do that here excites me, along with the opportunity to engage and help with communities in the area and get to meet the children.

Q: Favourite Indonesian food/ Favourite place to eat?

Nasi goreng is definitely my favourite Indonesian food, particularly nasi goreng ayam. My favourite place to eat would have to be the large food court across the road from the University Club Hotel (near KOPMA), with all the little food stalls. Great food, great drinks, great people.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?


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

So far this semester in Yogyakarta I have visited Bali, Ngandong Beach and I will be embarking on a trip to Surabaya in the coming weeks to see some old friends and my high school Indonesian teacher. I love having the chance to travel so much in Indonesia and be able to explore the country.