Experience the majesty of the most diverse archipelago on Earth: explore Javanese arts, trek to hidden jungle hot springs, spearfish with sea nomads, and discuss conservation initiatives with local experts.
Tuition is all inclusive aside from airfare and insurance fees.
SPANNING FROM MALAYSIA TO AUSTRALIA, WITH OVER 17,000 EQUATORIAL ISLANDS, Indonesia hosts the world’s highest level of biodiversity and one of the richest cultural tapestries on Earth.
Our program begins in Yogyakarta on the island of Java. In this center for arts and culture, ritual crafts of gamelan (bronze orchestra), Javanese dance, and shadow puppetry are studied and performed as they have been for centuries. With our Program House as a base, students engage in arts study, language instruction, and topical discussions on the course’s themes of religious diversity, creative expression, and cultural and environmental conservation, all while living with carefully selected homestay families.
From Java, we head east to the island of Flores where students live in the pastoral village of Langa. Here students stay with generous homestay families, learn about coffee production, hike spectacular dormant volcanoes, explore topics in spiritual plurality, and develop a deeper understanding of traditional farming.
We then travel to the southeastern archipelago of Wakatobi, an extraordinary National Marine Park and home to the Bajau people (also known as “sea nomads”). Staying in the stilted bamboo huts of Sampela, students learn about Bajau culture, practices, and religion. We snorkel world-class coral reefs, learn from host fathers how to fish with spears and nets, attend indigenous ceremonies, visit endangered mangrove ecosystems, and look at the nuances of environmental conservation.
Heading east we may travel to the mysterious Bandas, a small group of volcanic islands famous as a source of nutmeg and cloves. Featuring dramatic volcanic formations draped in luxuriant vegetation and uninhabited islands wrapped in white sand beaches, the Bandas boast incredible marine diversity and a fascinating history at the center of the spice trade.
We return to Yogyakarta to conclude a course that is rugged and comprehensive, and that introduces students to some of the most significant ecological, cultural, and geo-political conversations of our time.
Click on the gallery below to browse photos, videos and quotes from our participants and instructors.
"This is truly a moment in our lives when learning transcends any concept of a classroom and becomes constant practice, when our teachers don’t need expo markers to change our worlds, when every second is an opportunity, an experience, an adventure. Needless to say, it's an incredible place. And I am constantly grateful for my teachers..."Larkin B. Indonesia Semester Student
Examine Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity, as well as Animist and Shamanistic traditions, with a focus on religious pluralism, rituals, festivals and ceremonies.
Explore the impacts of modernization and development as they relate to ecology and land-use within protected and un-protected areas. Delve into issues of political marginalization, participatory development vs. non-participatory development, ecological conservation and cultural preservation.
Study political dynamics and the impact that rapid development has on specific communities; examine issues related to gender, cultural and environmental preservation, ethnic vs. national identity, and dominant cultural communities.
Live in three homestays for two weeks or longer in an urban setting (Jogyakarta), subsistence mountainous farming village (Langa), and remote sea-faring community (Sampela) and begin to understand their natural environments, cultures and political significance to Indonesia.
Pursue self-selected studies of issues that are pertinent to the communities we visit, as well as deep engagement with the Indonesia world of arts (gamelan, batik, silver smithing, shadow-puppetry, street art, martial arts) and culture.
Study Bahasa Indonesia through formal introductory lessons (10 hours per week) while in Jogya. Dive into language immersion throughout the course with homestay families
Participate in community-driven learning service project assisting families as directed/needed during homestays.
Travel by plane, public bus, truck, car, tri-shaw, ferry, minivans and other watercraft. Sleep on bamboo mats on the floor in some homestays, under the stars on beaches and experience group camping in jungle/forest settings. Plentiful marine-based travel and opportunities to get in the water towards the end of the program.
Easy to moderate day hikes and multi-day hikes (weather depending) through rice paddies fields and jungle trails to explore hot springs and waterfalls. Hike around and up extinct volcanoes for breathtaking scenic views.
In order to deepen your experience abroad, you may elect to enroll in college-level courses while participating on the Indonesia Gap semester program. Those who enroll in an optional course will be invoiced an additional fee top of the land cost, for up to 16 college credits. To learn more, click here.
Students who take courses for-credit will receive an official transcript from a School of Record after successful completion of the program.
Through our Schools of Record, you may take the following courses for-college credit:
See full Course Offering descriptions.
Just let yourself go through it all. Sometimes you might not feel like you’ve grown or had changed perspectives, but it will all come together at the end.