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

Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum

Oliver Lucas was a participant of the Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum, in 2024. Oliver is studying Bachelor of Design (Communication) at RMIT University. Oliver received a $4,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support his participation in this program.

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

I decided to undertake the ACICIS internship program as I feel that unique opportunities are worth undertaking. My complete lack of knowledge in Indonesian culture, and the fact of the nation being such a close neighbour to Australia, developed my strong eagerness to apply myself.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative? If yes, why? The NCP is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates on experiences such as the Professional Practica.

Yes, I received a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant! I think the NCP is an incredibly important initiative to offer to Australian students as it really does provide a great financial comfort to many young people. The additional finances provide a ‘sweetening of the pot’ for some people in getting them over-the-line in their decision to apply.

Q: Where did you live in Indonesia (Kos, homestay, hotel, rental etc.)? Any tips for prospective students on finding accommodation?

Staying in Jakarta, with great help from the ACICIS staff, I organised a short-term stay at a Kos for the duration of the program. Ask your peers what they are thinking for accomodation, potentially stay in the same accomodation (if comfortable), and if you have any concerns on your quest for accomodation there is no need to hesitate in reaching out to ACICIS staff!

 Q: How have you found the academic components of this program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?

The language classes provided very informative and a great learning experience. My language teacher was amazing and great fun. The seminars of my PP also provided some knowledgable insights into my field of profession.

Q: What organisation are you interning with? (Explain your role and responsibilities)

I interned with Ou Creative (a design agency of the Future Creative Network) where I performed graphic design-related tasks and challenges set by the organisation.

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

There is definitely many alternative ways of methods of working in an Indonesian workplace in comparison to ‘Straya. The ways in which they differ from Aussie workplaces alternates between different hosts but mine was ultimately enjoyable.

Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your internship?

1. Learning to navigate language barriers in the workplace, 2. Adjusting to Indonesian norms in workplace behaviour (one that is such more laid-back than found in Australia – particularly relevant to my experience in the creative field).

Q: What did you get up to in your free-time? i.e. in the evenings and on the weekends.

Plenty of travel on the weekends! Bandung, Bali, Bogor – there were many opportunities with peers to explore the vast country of Indonesia.

Q: What surprised you about Indonesia? Any new insights?

Without many exceptions going into the experience, even those that I had were overcome with new insights. Everything was a learning experience and most things surprised me positively.

Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this experience?

New connections with a culturally different individuals, learning alternative ways of thinking within a fresh professional context, and being absorbed in an expansive urban city – one unlike the scale of any found in Australia.

Q. Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this program? If yes, how was this achieved?

Plenty. This was achieved through conversations with all Indonesian people and asking questions as much as possible. Being a part of the program with ACICIS helped incredibly as I believe they truly want to provide as much of an authentic Indonesian experience as possible to students.

Q. How will the internship benefit or influence your future career?

My internship has differed greatly from other internships I have done in the past. This one will influence my future career by making me more informed in my decisions as I move the application stages following the completion of my degree.

Q. Would you recommend this program to your friends?

Very much so.

Q. Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:

Ya kali gak kuy!