Flexible Language Immersion Program

Krystal Buckle a the University of Adelaide student is undertaking ACICIS Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP) at Gadjah Mada University. Krystal is studying in Indonesia with the support of $5,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant.

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

I decided to undertake the ACICIS program because it appeared a logical and interesting way of finishing my Diploma of Languages (Indonesian). Looking for a way to further my Indonesian skills outside of the classroom, studying in Indonesia appeared to be an excellent opportunity and exciting adventure to embark upon!

Q: What classes are you currently enrolled in?

I am currently enrolled in:

Politik Luar Negeri Amerika Serikat

This class, US Foreign Policy, is particularly interesting due to the current inauguration of US President Donald Trump. His controversial policies, including the ‘Muslim Ban’ are thoroughly discussed in this class and it has been absolutely fascinating to hear the Indonesian point of view. I am really looking forward to attending this class as the semester continues and learning more about the policies of Trump from an Indonesian (and Islamic) perspective.

 Multikulturalisme dan Kekerasan

Focusing on Violence, Multiculturalism and its relevance in our heavily globalised world, this class continues to interest me. Including group presentations and readings, we delve into religious violence, the importance of multiculturalism and how these terms apply to Indonesia.

 Penyiaran Media Produksi

Broadcast Media Production is a fascinating and exciting subject. The first half of the semester is dedicated to Media Theory, whilst the second half (after the mid-semester exam) involves ‘practical experience.’ There will be no classes and instead, we will be required to work at a television or radio station in Yogyakarta, developing practical experience. As this kind of practical work is quite difficult to come by in Australia, I am very excited to interact with and hopefully get some hands-on experience in the world of Indonesian media.

 Tata Bahasa (INCULS)

Focusing on grammar (including sentence structure, active and passive, etc), this INCULS class is aimed towards improving the grammar of advanced students.

 Percakapan (INCULS)

Conversation is a vital component of everyday life in Indonesia. This class aims to improve students’ speaking skills through presentations and discussions.

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

My proficiency in Indonesian language gained through the Flexible Language Immersion Program will undoubtedly influence my future career and studies. With (hopefully) a strong background in Indonesian language and media, I hope to work closely with the Indonesian people and their media organisations. The growing importance of this relationship highlights a need for media cooperation, something that I am eager to look further into. By undertaking this ACICIS program, I am gaining invaluable skills that will give me the framework to be able to deal with, work with and understand Indonesia and its processes in the future.

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

In-country Indonesian language learning is hugely different to my previous experiences in an Australian classroom environment. Whilst my study in Australia has been insightful, rewarding and informative, there is only so much one can learn from the confines of a classroom! My speaking and listening of Bahasa Indonesia is quite poor compared to my reading and writing, this is due to a lack of interaction with Indonesians in Australia. Studying at UGM forces me to really delve into the intricacies of the Indonesian language. Speaking and listening is now a matter of survival! After all, there is no better way to learn a language than to immerse oneself in the culture, language and traditions of the country itself.

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

In my spare time in Jogja, I like to hang out with my friend Sri and her housemates at their “kontrakkan cantik!” We play card games, eat traditional food from Sumatera, learn pencak silat from Ira (a national competitor!), learn traditional dance from Riza and talk about the differences in culture between Indonesia & Australia. I absolutely love spending time with these girls. They are kind, understanding and eager to explain and show me the culture of this enchanting city and country.

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

Whilst in Indonesia, I will be volunteering as Director of Communications for the Australia Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA)- Yogyakarta Chapter. Having been involved with AIYA South Australia, I am excited to hopefully expand my skills within this ever-evolving organisation. Passionate about media relations and cross-cultural communication, this opportunity will hopefully allow me to draw upon the very skills I am studying and contribute to facilitating a positive and understanding relationship between the youth of Indonesia and Australia.

Q: Favourite Indonesian food/ Favourite place to eat?

My favourite Indonesian food would have to be martabak manis (keju + coklat). Unlike anything you can buy in Australia, my love of martabak has actually led to meeting new friends and exciting experiences over the past month! I love that Indonesians associate this dessert with friends and late night conversations!

My favourite place to eat is Wedangan Kampung. I often eat here with my friends on our way back from the Blue Lagoon in Sleman. Cheap, delicious and atmospheric, this restaurant is everything one could hope for! It is further out of the city centre which means it is less touristy.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

My favourite Indonesian phrase is “Kenapa coba?!”

I actually do not understand the meaning of this phrase and why/how it is used! My Indonesian friends often use this phrase and encourage me to use it too, so I associate it with happy and funny times in my friend’s house “Kontrakkan cantik”.

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

So far, I have had the pleasure of visiting many beautiful and exciting places in, and around Yogyakarta. However, I have not yet visited anywhere outside of Jogja this semester. My current plans include trips to Sulawesi, Sumatera, Flores, Karimunjawa, Bandung, Jakarta, Aceh and many, many more interesting locations. I am excited to see where my semester in Indonesia will take me.