Macy Scouller talks ACICIS Virtual Professional Practicums and why you should consider one.

While we are all stuck at home, there is no better time to participate in a Virtual Professional Practicum offered by the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS). I gained so much from participating in ACICIS’s Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum that I want to go back and try another!

Currently I’m a 2nd year student at La Trobe, studying a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality (Management). During the summer break of 2021, I was fortunate enough to secure a position in the ACICIS Sustainable Tourism Profession Practicum. ​This was my first time experiencing any overseas study opportunity. I wanted to participate in an ACICIS program as exchange opportunities interested me but due to the global pandemic, my options were limited. I had no prior involvement with studying overseas or Indonesian culture, but this uncertainty did not stop me from experiencing and learning more about Indonesian business practices and the wonderful culture.

ACICIS Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum

I really enjoyed having a combined placement program that allocated me into an internship position overseas. I was placed with Bhuwana Ubud Hotel & Farming where I worked on several projects including cultivating their social media footprint, improving the aquaponic and hydroponic systems and running English language classes for employees. ​The internship took place in the Indonesian time zone (GMT+7), 3 hours behind Melbourne, allowing a balance of collaborative zoom meetings and personal time to work independently. The highlight of the whole experience was that, even though in the hard times that we all face with the Covid-19 pandemic I was still able to engage with overseas partners and build my knowledge and passion for business.

Screen shot of zoom meeting.
Zooming with other participants of ACICIS Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum.

A question I always get asked is, “How can you afford it?”. ACICIS offer New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Grants that covers up to $3000 worth in fees and I was lucky enough to be granted one. The program I participated in had a $300 administration fee and a $2700 program fee which was covered completely by my NCP Mobility Grant. Not only was the program paid for, I received credit by advanced standing for 2 electives in my La Trobe study plan.

ACICIS offer a range of Professional Practicums to suit most students including Agriculture, Business, Creative Arts and Design, Development Studies, Journalism, Law and Sustainable Tourism. In addition, they also offer Public Health Study Tours and Indonesian language courses! Check out the full range and view the application process on La Trobe Study Abroad’s Overseas Short Program webpage.

​I highly recommend this opportunity to all La Trobe students.

~ Macy Scouller

ACICIS programs benefit all students, meet Nellie Horner Hemensley.

Nellie participated in the ACICIS Virtual Indonesian Language Short Course, as well as partially completing a Semester Exchange program with ACICIS in Yogyakarta early 2020.

Person standing with volcanoes in the distance.
Nellie Horner Hemensley during her in-country ACICIS program.

Nellie, what made you choose Indonesia for a Semester Exchange?

“I wanted to travel to Indonesia since I was a kid and decided in my first year of university that I was going to go on exchange to Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta. I chose Bahasa Indonesia as my major as I had always wanted to study the language at a university level and I heard about UGM’s excellent reputation through the university and from my mother who lived in Indonesia for 3 years in her 20’s.”

Unfortunately, Nellie had to return home early from her Semester Exchange due to the global pandemic. So, a virtual language course is the next best thing to build on her Indonesian language skills.

Nellie, what was it like participating in the ACICIS Language Course?

“The ACICIS Indonesian Language Short Course was an incredibly valuable learning experience. Not only did I improve my fluency greatly in a short amount of time, but I also deepened my cultural knowledge and made long-lasting connections. Although ILSC is a virtually led course, both ACICIS and Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW) staff did an exceptional job at delivering interactive and culturally rich learning. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning or improving their Bahasa Indonesia and learning more about one of Australia’s closest neighbours.”

My experience during my professional practicum was much like Nellie’s during her language course, I loved expanding my work connections and building lifelong friendships across Indonesia. 

On a final note, to anyone reading this is that it’s not too late to apply for the summer programs with ACICIS. There are multiple programs on offer with several NCP Mobility Grants up for grabs. Connect with the La Trobe Abroad team today to find out more information.