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

Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course

Rhys Sharkey is a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from Murdoch University. Rhys undertook the Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course in July 2022.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake ILSC?

In preparation for a future study opportunity in Indonesia: to enhance my experience.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If yes, why do you think the NCP is an important initiative? 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 Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course

Yes, an NCP Mobility Grant greatly encouraged me to participate in this course. The NCP is undoubtedly an important initiative as it provides critical financial incentive and support to pursue endeavours that mightn’t be afforded further consideration otherwise.

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

Beyond the language skills themselves, this virtual experience has confirmed for me that there really is a rich online learning environment out there for anyone who seeks it. The network of teachers, other facilitators and students has been a fantastic point of exposure.

Q: What do you find to be the most challenging about the ILSC?

The inevitable problems with technology! For the most part though, it is has been a relatively smooth experience with great technical support from the providers.

Q: Have you had previous experience learning Indonesian in Australia? If yes, how different was the Virtual ILSC to your previous experiences?


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

Yes. The Cultural Exposure and Culture Sharing sessions were well-integrated into the program. I appreciated the opportunities to interact with Indonesian students several times throughout the course.

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

Having a strong fundamental knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia thanks to the ILSC provides me with an invaluable base from which to expand my study and career opportunities in the South-East Asian region and beyond. I already intend to utilise this new knowledge in an upcoming in-country study experience in Bali this coming summer.

Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?

Absolutely. Especially with the support of the NCP Mobility Grant, there is everything to gain from the ILSC.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:

Kelapa‘ meaning coconut, mainly because it can be easily (and sometimes deliberately) confused with ‘kepala,’ which means head!

Q: Describe your experience of the Virtual ILSC in three words:

Absolutely worth it.