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

Journalism Professional Practicum

Tara Bellwood was a participant in the 2023 Journalism Professional Practicum. Tara is studying a Bachelor of Communications at Western Sydney University. She received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.

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

I chose to undertake the ACICIS internship program to complete a compulsory subject for my degree. I also though it would be a great experience to see what international work looks like.

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 that NCP is very important in giving students the opportunity to study and intern in Indonesia. It also encourages our ongoing connection between Australia and Indonesia.

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

I lived in a Kos and found it perfect for the duration of my stay. Though my accomodation was a lot more ‘fancy’ than most Kos stays. My main tip in finding accomodation is to look with your friends or other people going, that way you are not alone and can socialise more. I would also say make sure you accomodation is within a good area and near your University or Internship. Travelling in Indonesia is not the easiest, unless you take a scooter.

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

I found the Language classes really fun, I loved being given to opportunity to learn another language and then be able to use it within my day-to-day life living in Jakarta.

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

I am interning for ERIA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia) within the Communications department. My roles include looking over social media posts made by ERIA and helping the social media team, as well as creating podcasts, articles and Op-eds for ERIA. I was able to organise and host an event with the Australian and New Zealand Embassy.

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

I found the work culture at my host organisation to be a lot more laid back and casual than I was expecting. Compared to my work experiences at home in Australia which is usually very fast paced.

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

I have learnt how communication departments work and developed the ability to engage with a large companies social media. I have also learnt a lot about all different topics, as I am interning for a research institute there are so many different research projects happening that I can learn about. For example my podcast I did on Electronic Vehicles with the energy group, or my Op-ed which I did with the health care team on data quality.

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

The most rewarding part of this experience was making friends and experiencing the beauty of Indonesia and the people here. I found it so rewarding to be able to work with a group of international people, from the U.S, Indonesia, the U.K and other countries around the world.

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

Yes, I was able to learn a lot about the Indonesian culture from this program, not only within our seminars where we learnt about Indonesia and Indonesian media, but also from living here and being within the culture everyday.

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

This internship has helped me not only complete my studies at University, but has only given me skills that I can use in my future career. It also helped me gain connections that will help me in my future career. For example when I hosted my event I got to meet someone from the Australian Embassy who offered to stay connected and help me out, something that would almost be impossible with being in this program.

Q. Would you recommend this program to your friends?

Yes I would recommend this program to my friends, its very daunting at first but one you’re here you won’t regret it. This is such an amazing opportunity and I will truly cherish this for life.

Q. Favourite Indonesian word/phrase: