Indonesia

Community & Conservation

A 6-week Summer Abroad Program

Enroll
Duration
41 Days
Description

Experience the majesty of the most diverse archipelago on Earth: live with sea gypsies, attend a Torajan buffalo ceremony, and discuss conservation initiatives for world-famous coral reefs.

Dates

Jun 28 - Aug 8, 2017


Suggested Ages

16-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

one space

Begins In

6Days

Land Cost

$8,305


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,040

Ubud, Bali

Flores

Manado

Luwuk

Morowali

Tana Toraja

Makassar

Program Overview

Comprised of over 17,000 islands and 700 living languages, Indonesia is home to the highest level of biodiversity of any nation.


Whether you’re hiking amid the rice paddies of highland Tana Toraja, snorkeling with your home-stay father in Sampela, chatting with your homestay family over a cup of locally-roasted coffee or examining gender roles in the world’s largest Muslim democracy, Indonesia is sure to challenge your worldview and stimulate your senses. Students on the Indonesia summer program examine the complex relationship between cultural and environmental preservation as they traverse ecologically and anthropologically distinct islands in Indonesia’s grand archipelago.

Our Indonesia summer program begins in the cultural and artistic heart of the island of Java – the city of Yogyakarta. Students dive head-long into Javanese culture, working with street artists, attending shadow-puppet performances and studying the basics of the Bahasa Indonesian language. We draw on a variety of local contacts to dig deeper into the tenets of Islam, local environmental issues, and Javanese culture. Over time, students…

Whether you’re hiking amid the rice paddies of highland Tana Toraja, snorkeling with your home-stay father in Sampela, chatting with your homestay family over a cup of locally-roasted coffee or examining gender roles in the world’s largest Muslim democracy, Indonesia is sure to challenge your worldview and stimulate your senses. Students on the Indonesia summer program examine the complex relationship between cultural and environmental preservation as they traverse ecologically and anthropologically distinct islands in Indonesia’s grand archipelago.

Our Indonesia summer program begins in the cultural and artistic heart of the island of Java – the city of Yogyakarta. Students dive head-long into Javanese culture, working with street artists, attending shadow-puppet performances and studying the basics of the Bahasa Indonesian language. We draw on a variety of local contacts to dig deeper into the tenets of Islam, local environmental issues, and Javanese culture. Over time, students learn the basics of Indonesian language, visit important cultural sites, engage in independent study projects and integrate themselves into neighborhood life with their home-stay families.

We then head east to the island of Flores, where students live with home-stay families in the pastoral village of Langa. We meet with local coffee producers, hike up dormant volcanoes, and discuss the idea of ‘syncretic traditions’ as a group. The collective villages of Langa, each situated around a main square occupied by ‘spirit houses’ of each families’ ancestors, sit in the shadow of the volcano Inerie. Here students allow the urban hustle of Java to slip away and enjoy days building upon their knowledge of Bahasa, working in the fields learning about local agricultural techniques and enjoying long evenings on the porch connecting with family.

A flight or Pelni boat to Makassar, capital of Sulawesi, takes us to the highlands of Tana Toraja for a hike through the spectacular rice paddies. From there we take an overnight boat trip to the southeastern archipelago of Wakatobi, an extraordinary National Marine Park and home to the Bajau people (otherwise known as “sea nomads”). The Bajau build their homes over the open ocean, living close to the marine ecosystem from which they draw their sustenance. Staying in the stilted bamboo huts of Sampela, we learn about Bajau culture, practices, and religion. Students snorkel over fragile coral reefs, learn from host fathers how to fish with spears and nets, attend indigenous ceremonies, visit endangered mangrove ecosystems, and look at various paradigms of environmental conservation through interviews with government and community leaders. Dragons Indonesia students learn firsthand about the unique worldview and lifestyle of the Bajau, and their deep-rooted connection to the sea.

Often times this is capped by a boat ride eater ward to the Seram and the famed Spice Islands. Here students are able to see first hand the remnant nutmeg plantations and 16th century forts left behind by the Dutch East India company. The sparsely populated atoll, a dormant volcano traded for Manhattan, lined Holland’s coffers for many years.
As we engage with the indigenous communities of Indonesia, we begin to understand that our definition of “community” extends far beyond the people in our own towns. Diverse experiences help expand our worldview and encourage us to consider the interconnected relationships between people and the environment more deeply.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

5/5
Comparative Religion

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

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 and under-representation, participatory development vs. non-participatory development, and conservation -- both ecological and cultural.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Study ancient, imperial, and modern politics and the development of market economy; gender and race studies; cultural and environmental preservation; marginalized and dominant cultural communities.

4/5
Home Stay

Develop diversified relationships with both urban and traditional communities that have to their natural environments, cultures and political significance to Indonesia.

3/5
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, shadow-puppetry, street art, yoga, dance) and culture.

2/5
Language Study

Learn Bahasa Indonesian (as well as some Javanese) through introductory lessons (10 hours per week), communication with home-stay families and language immersion throughout the course.

1/5
Learning Service

Teach English in rural schools, represent communities through writing projects, work with local NGOs on conservation projects, assist families during home-stays. Less than 10 hours of service credit earned.

5/5
Rugged Travel

Travel by bus, truck, ferry, small boats and dugout canoes, sleeping on bamboo mats on the floor in some home-stays, group camping on wooden platforms in jungle.

3/5
Trekking

Hike through rice paddies and on jungle trails, moderate hikes to the summit of volcanoes, short treks in the jungles of Borneo and Flores on narrow footpaths.

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