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

Indonesian Language Short Course

Shari Towns is a student from the The Australian National University. Shari undertook the Indonesian Language Short Course at Satya Wacana University in Salatiga with the assistance of a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant in 2023. Shari is studying Bachelor of Asian Studies.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Indonesian Language Short Course?

To improve my language skills and gain a deeper understanding of Indonesian culture.

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

Yes, the NCP initiative has given me the opportunity to form my own individual connections with the region and contribute to wider relations between Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

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

Networking with other students who share a similar appreciate for other languages and culture.

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

Being forced out of your comfort zone to speak the language to native speakers.

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

Yes. In Indonesia you are fully immersed in learning the language and able to focus on building your skills. In Australia there are always other things distracting me from studying Indonesian, so it’s great to have the time dedicated to studying.

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

Yes, just from walking out on the street or talking to host family, teachers and Grab drivers or visiting different restaurants, you get to see many faces of Indonesian culture.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about the course?

The variety of food has been unlike anything I’ve had in Australia before. Never got sick the whole program so it’s definitely possible to be adventurous in what you eat while being here.

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

I look forward to incorporating what I’ve learnt as soon as I get back to work in Canberra. As a customer service agent at Canberra Airport,
I encounter Indonesian customers daily and feel privileged to be able to utilise my cultural and language skills on this setting.

Q: Would you recommend this program to your friends?


Q: Describe your experience of the in-country ILSC in three words!

Vibrant, adventurous, comforting.

Q: What is your favourite Indonesian phrase?

Jam karet.