Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Instructor.

Indonesia Semester

Community, Culture & Conservation

A 3-Month Gap Year Program

Enroll
Duration
84 Days
Description

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. Upcoming semesters and COVID-19.

Spring Dates

Feb 7 - May 1, 2021


Spring Availability

open

Fall Dates

Sep 15 - Dec 6, 2020


Fall Availability

five spaces

Number of Participants

12


Suggested Ages

17-22

Spring Begins In

35 Weeks

Fall Begins In

15 Weeks

Land Cost

$15,500


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,010

Manado

Luwuk

Tana Toraja

Makassar

Morowali

Wakatobi

Langa, Flores

Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta

Program Overview

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.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • Choose an Independent Study Project of your choice in Yogyakarta. Options include (but are not limited to): Silversmithing, batik, gamlan, martial arts, street art, cooking, traditional dance; or conduct a study on an academic topic you’re passionate about.
  • Take part in three unique homestays showcasing the diversity of Indonesian life in an urban, mountain and oceanic setting.
  • Follow your host mother to the kebun (small farm) to harvest seasonal vegetables, then bring them back to the house to cook.
  • Try your hand at spearfishing and with your…

Indonesia hosts the world’s highest level of biodiversity and one of the richest cultural tapestries on Earth.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • Choose an Independent Study Project of your choice in Yogyakarta. Options include (but are not limited to): Silversmithing, batik, gamlan, martial arts, street art, cooking, traditional dance; or conduct a study on an academic topic you’re passionate about.
  • Take part in three unique homestays showcasing the diversity of Indonesian life in an urban, mountain and oceanic setting.
  • Follow your host mother to the kebun (small farm) to harvest seasonal vegetables, then bring them back to the house to cook.
  • Try your hand at spearfishing and with your host father in Sampela, then hop in a canoe with your host mother to the local market to hawk your catch.

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.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

3/5
Comparative Religion

Examine Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity, as well as Animist and Shamanistic traditions, with a focus on religious pluralism, rituals, festivals and ceremonies.

3/5
Development Studies

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.

4/5
Focus Of Inquiry

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.

5/5
Homestay

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.

5/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

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.

3/5
Language Study

Study Bahasa Indonesia through formal introductory lessons (10 hours per week) while in Jogya. Dive into language immersion throughout the course with homestay families

1/5
Learning Service

Participate in community-driven learning service project assisting families as directed/needed during homestays.

5/5
Rugged Travel

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.

2/5
Trekking

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.