New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia’s future - study in the region.

Flexible Language Immersion Program

Nicholas Basan is a 2022 New Colombo Plan scholar from The University of Western Australia. He is studying Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma in Modern Languages. Nicholas undertook the Flexible Language Immersion Program for one semester at Gadjah Mada University from August until December 2022.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP) ?

In 2019, I studied at Universitas Islam Indonesia through the Indonesian Business Law and Society (IBLS) program. I was fortunate to take courses such as Sharia Entrepreneurship and experience living in Indonesia for six months. This experience was transformational and ultimately changed my future career trajectory. Leaving home and living overseas helped me to become more independent and cultivated a deep interest in Indonesia.

I enjoyed this first experience so much that I was eager to return to Indonesia again. This time, I enrolled in the Flexible Language Immersion Program because I wanted to improve my Indonesian language. ACICIS provides a supportive and structured program that makes studying in Indonesia incredibly simple.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia? 

I have received both the New Colombo Plan Scholarship and mobility grant to undertake a semester in Yogyakarta. I have found that both funding mechanisms are more than generous to complete your semester abroad. Students are provided more than enough money to live comfortably and also travel around Indonesia.

Q: What classes/units are you currently enrolled in? (List and brief description)

During my semester, I elected to take Indonesian language courses at INCULS. I enrolled in advanced reading, writing and grammar courses. I found these courses to be very good and also provided the opportunity to meet other international students who were also studying Bahasa Indonesia at UGM. Additionally, I enrolled in two courses from FISPOL. I enjoyed Australian Foreign Policy and ASEAN Security Cooperation as they allowed me to learn alongside Indonesian students, including conducting group presentations together.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs/societies at the universities? (List and brief description)

I became involved in the American Football team at UGM. This was my first time playing American Football. It was a fantastic way to meet new people and allowed me to practice my Bahasa with my teammates. Not only was I able to learn a new sport, but I was able to improve my informal Bahasa.

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

Proficiency in the Indonesian language has helped me get a job and made me more effective at it. I am currently working with the Asian Development Bank; speaking Indonesian has helped me interact with other staff members and allowed me to participate in meetings with Indonesian government officials. The value of language cannot be underestimated.

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

After experiencing the value of in-country learning in 2019, I was convinced that it was the only way to significantly improve my Indonesian language and obtain professional proficiency.

In-country learning is the best way to learn Indonesian, as it is immersive. Every day no matter where you go there is an opportunity to use your Indonesian. In Australia, there is no opportunity to get the volume of practice in.

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

In spare time, I was able to play sport, attend additional language training at Wisma Bahasa and volunteer with Rumah Impian. Given that the university load in Indonesia is lighter than Australia it provides students the opportunity to partake in many extra-circular activities.

Q: Favourite Indonesian food/ favourite place to eat:

I really enjoyed the FISIPOL canteen at UGM alongside Indochine restaurant and Sate Klathak at Pak Jede.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:

“Belum” – the vagueness of the word always makes it exciting. The extension of belum is “masih belum” which could be today, tomorrow or the day after.

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

Jakarta, Gunung Bromo, Nusa Lembongan, Dieng Plateau, Semarang, Jepara, Bali, Magelang, Pulau Karimunjawa, Gunung Ijen, Surabaya, Malang and Banyuwangi