Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994


An intensive 10-week language & culture studies fellowship held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for U.S. university students and recent graduates.


alumni since


Program Overview

Yogyakarta Orientation

The program will begin with a three-day orientation in Yogyakarta, where participants will be introduced to the local committee, their language tutors from ILCIC Sanata Dharma University, as well as their host families. The participants will attend various sessions designed to enable them to create a richer and meaningful experience during their stay in Yogyakarta. These include Cross-Cultural Understanding session which will help students gain a comprehensive understanding of the cultural differences between Indonesian and American Culture, as well as an ‘Amazing Race’ challenge which will help familiarize students with key places in Yogyakarta in a fun and interactive way. The program ends with the students moving in to each host family.


The language component of USINDO’s Summer Studies Program is conducted in partnership with the Indonesian Language and Culture Intensive Course (ILCIC) housed at Sanata Dharma University. ILCIC has had extensive experience in conducting Bahasa Indonesia teaching programs for foreign university students and its location in the heart of Yogyakarta allows Summer Studies students to interact directly with Indonesian students and locals in its lively campus atmosphere.

The program typically offers two class levels: beginner and intermediate. However, USINDO also accommodates participants wishing to learn at the advanced level as well. To make sure the learning is customized, students will have the opportunity to adjust their class levels based on their progress.

Typical class schedule is held Tuesday – Friday and covers the essentials of Indonesian vocabulary, grammar, and cultural contexts through interactive speaking, reading, writing, and listening exercises. Students also practice twice a week after regular classes with Indonesian tutors who are students in Yogyakarta. Such tutoring provides the opportunity to both the Indonesian and American students to engage at an informal level, to ask questions, and to develop friendships; many Summer Studies alumni have maintained these bonds long after participating in the program.

Practicum Period

During the first week of June (June 3- 7, 2019), a one week mid-term break will be given to accommodate the Eid holiday. During this time, students will have a week break from classes and workshops. Students are allowed to travel within Indonesia during this time to conduct research or for leisure. However, students are required to inform the local program coordinator as well as their host families of their travel plans. Students are also responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs during the practicum period.

Host Family

Students will live with host families throughout their stay in Indonesia. The host family experience is intended to reinforce language studies during the day, and to give students the real experience of living with an Indonesian family. Indonesians are hospitable, welcoming people. Strong emphasis is placed on the importance of the family unit. By welcoming American students into their homes, host families welcome them to their daily routine and often invite them to participate as family members in significant events such as weddings. Significantly, the experience allows acquaintances and extended family of the host family to have exposure to young, educated Americans interested in Indonesia and willing to engage.

Cultural Workshops

Students are able to get firsthand experience of Indonesian culture through various cultural workshops, including: gamelan (traditional musical ensemble), batik (textile dyeing technique), traditional dancing, and cooking classes focusing on Indonesian cuisine.

Special Lectures

Special Lectures will be held on a bi-weekly basis to introduce students to discussions of topics in various fields, including politics, history, culture, religion, and economics with an emphasis on current issues, such as good governance, interfaith relations, economy outlook, and Indonesia contemporary politics. The selection of topics will also consider the participating students’ fields of study and general interests. Speakers may come from prominent leaders in the Indonesian private sector, government officials, scholars, non-government sector, and media.

Volunteering with Structured Project/Independent Study (Research)

Every Monday, students are required to participate in an ongoing activity outside of the classroom, which involves either one of the following: volunteering with structured project or independent study (research). The intention is to allow for candid experiences of direct interaction with Indonesians outside of their classroom setting. Please refer below for more information on what each activity entails:

  1. Volunteering with Structured Project Component
    Students will have the chance to volunteer in a variety of local organizations, ranging from notable retail businesses, local NGOs as well as think tanks. A networking event intended to match program participants with potential host institutions will allow them to choose the organization that caters to their personal interests and goals. This year, students will conduct a structured project as individuals in conjunction with their volunteering experience. With guidance from USINDO, PCMI, and their volunteer organization, students will produce a solution plan on how to tackle an issue related to their specific volunteering organization. At the end of the program, students will present their projects to each other, relevant stakeholders, and PCMI. Past Summer Studies participants had the chance to volunteer at various institutions, including: Research Center for Politics and Government of Gadjah Mada University (PolGov UGM), SHEEP Indonesia Foundation, Coklat nDalem, Stichting Jogja, Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic University, Tepas Tandha Yekti Yogyakarta, Center of Southeast Asian Studies (PPSAT) of Gadjah Mada University, and Radio of Republic of Indonesia (RRI) Pro 2 Yogyakarta.
  2. Independent Study (Research)
    This option is reserved for students with a specific pre-existing research topic related to Indonesia. Students will be required to at least interview 10 Indonesian locals as part of their fieldwork, and submit their research findings at the end of the program. Whenever possible, students should identify their in-country Independent Study supervisors.

Field Trips

USINDO organizes a variety of field trips to renowned cultural and historical monuments/sites, as well as visits to local organizations in Yogyakarta. These trips are designed to allow the students to learn about and experience firsthand Yogyakarta’s unique culture, history, tradition, belief system and natural wonders. Previous field trips have included the famous Merapi Lava Tour, as well as visits to the Indmira organic farming, the historic quarter of Kotagede, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, Tugu Yogyakarta, Keraton Palace, and a variety of other famous sites in and around Yogyakarta.

Jakarta Post-Program Event

Upon completion of the language classes in Yogyakarta, students will participate in a post-program event in Jakarta. This is the culmination of the Summer Studies Program that is designed to broaden the students’ perspective, knowledge, and exposure to contemporary issues facing Indonesia, while also giving them the opportunity to network with government officials, experts, academics, NGOs and private sector. Past Summer Studies participants have had the chance to meet with distinguished figures such as Indonesia’s former Minister of Trade, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Indonesia’s Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, as well as heads of various organizations in Indonesia. USINDO will also organize trips to renowned historical sites within the capital, such as the Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, Museum of National History, the National Monument, and many more.