Alumni Spotlight: Candece Tu


Candece is 26 year-old, she was born in Taiwan and grew up in Australia. She is a Registered Nurse living in Brisbane, and is currently studying Holistic Midwifery with Birth Institute.

Did you run into a language barrier? Did you ever think you knew more/less of the language?

Yes! I found Birth Institute and the Bali program only a month before my departure date, so did not have very much time to prepare myself enough for the language.

Most of the women and families in our community did not speak English, and of course, all the communication between midwives and families were in Bahasa Indonesia!

I definitely encourage all the students who will be coming on to this program to at least learn basic language before arrival.

This will be incredibly helpful for your interaction and learning experience at the Birth Centre/community (you can better focus on your learning goals), and also for your everyday life on the island!

What was the best place you visited outside of your home-base city?

Once I got over my fears and found the courage to learn riding the Scooter, I was often found out and about exploring! My absolute favorite place to calm the mind was Canggu, which is a relaxing little coastal village about 15-20 minutes ride from our Birth Centre.

The ocean always the perfect temperature, and the waves are beautiful for surfing. There are a few cute and cozy Western cafes along the street where you can study/read/catch up with the world on social media with fast(er) internet.

If you get a chance, I recommend getting a refreshing Betelnut smoothie from Betelnut café! We have left a copy of Lonely Planet’s Bali travel guide at the clinic’s library for future students and teachers – make the best of it!

What made this experience unique and special?

What I loved most about my experience was that I felt right at home from day one. The midwives were sweet, welcoming, and always very helpful.

Despite the language barrier, we laughed, learnt together and supported each other like Sisters. The local Balinese people are very spiritual with their daily practices, it was always very fascinating and heart-warming learning about their sacred rituals and traditions around life, death, pregnancy and birth.

There is a Women’s Circle in Ubud that we enjoyed attending every Wednesday evening, this was our opportunity to take a break from the busy Birth Centre, meet other Sisters from all around the world, and to explore healing and empowerment in a nurturing space. If you’re interested, feel free to join the Sacred Sisterhood Facebook page for weekly updates!

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

There is a food stand just across the busy road from our clinic (in front of the supermarket) that sells Terang Bulan (translation: Bright Moon) – some people call it the King of Indonesian street food!

Terang bulan is basically the Indonesian version of pancake, except they are thicker, fluffier, creamier and very, very chewy! You can practice your Bahasa Indonesia each time you select your own mountains of fillings – mine often consisted of chocolate, banana, peanut butter flakes and condensed milk.

Terang Bulan used to be my weekly guilty pleasure, each box will give you 8 big slices – perfect to share with the midwives (although they will most likely say no to the treats, knowing how heavy they are… but hey, nothing an island coconut can’t fix!)!