A Murdoch University student has taken the chance to spend six weeks living and studying in Jakarta, Indonesia, thanks to a new program run by the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS).
Lisa Woodward, who had a long-held interest in overseas aid was placed with AusAID, the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development.
“It was an amazing experience and a unique opportunity for professional development,” Lisa said.
Although Lisa has worked as an Indonesian teacher for the past 14 years, she said students don’t need to have previously studied the language to take part in the program.
“As part of the program everyone participates in a two-week intensive language course at Atma Jaya University in Jakarta before being placed in an internship with various organisations around the country.”
The Development Studies Professional Practicum (DSPP) provides an opportunity for students to gain valuable experience working in the field of international development while at the same time learning about development issues in a country that is central to global efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development.
“I had a fantastic time both at the university and during my internship,” Lisa said.
“I was placed with people, both Australian and Indonesian, who were very knowledgeable and passionate about overseas aid and development issues.
“The experience enhanced my knowledge of the complexities of development work and gave me the ability to understand the political and economic situation in Indonesia, and showed me how to align that with business interests which I also have.”
Lisa also acquired valuable contacts through social opportunities with the Australian Embassy where she met people working for the Australian Federal Police, Department of Foreign Affairs and AusTrade.
“If you’re interested in development work, foreign affairs, Asian studies, commerce or business for example, I strongly recommend the ACICIS DSPP program,” she said.
“It’s only six weeks and it is an amazing launch pad to getting valuable overseas experience, something that prospective employers look upon favourably.”
Lisa used the ACICIS course as credit for the last two units of her Masters in Development Studies.
Since returning from Indonesia Lisa has been offered an interview with AusAID in Canberra and is also looking at the possibility of exporting to Indonesia through her, and her husband’s, existing business.
The program is open to any students studying development studies or related areas. Students can opt to enrol in a six-week or semester-long program. The six-week course is held in Jakarta while the semester-long internship is offered in Yogyakarta, Central Java.