Lucas Cary is a New Colombo Plan Scholar that participated in the July 2019 Indonesian Language Short Course (ILSC). Lucas is a Bachelor of Science student majoring in Environmental and Marine Science at The University of Western Australia.

Indonesian Language Training in Salatiga, Central Java
By Lucas Cary (ILSC 2019)

The Indonesian Language Short Course (ILSC) was an experience I would highly recommend to any Australian undergraduate student currently studying at university. The ILSC is organised through ACICIS (the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies) and run at Satya Wacana Christian University in Salatiga, Central Java. The ILSC gives students an opportunity to enhance their Indonesian communication capacity no matter what level of language understanding they are currently at.

The ILSC runs from levels one (beginner) to six (advanced) over a three week, intensive learning period which includes assignments, local visits, tests and exams. This period is conveniently placed between semesters, allowing students to complete credit for their degree (while technically on break).

Why complete a meaningless elective during semester, when you could travel to another country, learn their language, experience their culture and get credit towards your degree?

As a close geographical partner and with Indonesia’s global influence as an emerging power, becoming more educated about Indonesia is a logical career choice. For example, it is forecasted that by 2030, Indonesia’s GDP will be more than three times the value of Australia’s and will be growing at a rate five times that in Australia [1].

Studying in Indonesia is also a highly affordable, culturally-immersive experience. As cost is a major factor for many students wishing to undertake overseas exchange programs, ILSC may be your answer. Not only can you find accommodation for as little as $50 AUD per month and a meal for $1, but the Australian Government also provides short and long term mobility grants to students wishing to undertake short and semester-long programs. The $3000 short term grant is enough to pay for flights, course fees and living expenses for the ILSC program. For me, as a New Colombo Plan Scholar, I was able to undertake the ILSC as a part of my nine months abroad. The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to undertake up to 18 months of study and internships in 40 participating Indo-Pacific locations, including Indonesia.

The ILSC allowed me to learn the basics of the Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia), enhancing my communication ability and providing a platform for my next six months in Indonesia. More than this, spending time living and studying in Salatiga provided me with the opportunity to make Indonesian and Australian connections, travel throughout Central Java and experience part of the Indonesian culture. Salatiga stole a place in my heart and I know it will not be long before I am back again.

Living and studying in Indonesia gives students a broader skillset, ultimately increasing employability both in Australia and abroad. If you would like to learn more about ACICIS, the ILSC, mobility grants or the New Colombo Plan Scholarship, you can head to the links in blue throughout the article. These are all fantastic opportunities of which I urge fellow students to consider undertaking as a part of their degree.

[1] Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. (2017). 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. Barton, ACT: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


This article was first published on LinkedIn, you can find the original post here.

Check out this fun video, made by Lucas, during his stay in the vibrant, welcoming, exciting and relaxing city of Salatiga: