Indonesian Overseas Program (IOP)

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The American Councils Indonesian Overseas Program (IOP) provides participants the unique opportunity to study the Indonesian language and culture in an immersion setting for a semester or academic year in Malang, Indonesia. There is no prior Indonesian language study required, making this the perfect program for students who wish to begin learning the language.

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Yes, I recommend this program

No better way to learn Indonesian

There's no better program for students to learn Indonesian than through the Indonesian Overseas Program at Universitas Negeri Malang. The teachers at the BIPA (Indonesian language program) program at UM are incredibly dedicated and excellent teachers, and made class not only incredibly productive, but also engaging and fun. I came to class every day excited to learn from them, and they were able to challenge me just enough to grow fast without making me feel overwhelmed, despite conducting all instruction in Indonesian from the first day (even though I spoke no Bahasa Indonesia before I started the program). Despite the many disruptions over the course of the semester because of COVID-19 and a few health issues I faced, my teachers worked with me to make my semester enriching, even when it transitioned online. Additionally, my language partner was one of the main reasons that my language skills developed so quickly -- she was *so* patient, especially the first few months when I couldn't talk about a lot of topics, and helped me feel more confident in my speaking abilities and feel at home in Indonesia. Malang is an amazing city and is the perfect balance between a bustling college-town, while way less hectic than Jakarta. The city is also less-hot than other cities in Indonesia and has incredible hiking opportunities. If you're interested in obtaining a high proficiency of Indonesian quickly, this is the best program to do that.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Hiking with friends I had just met hours before! One of my closest friends at the school gym I went to invited me to go hiking, and we joined 4 of her other friends to hike one of the mountains near Malang. Although it was still during rainy season, we made the 6 hour trek to the basecamp before it started raining, and got to witness the view of Malang from the heavens before sunrise that next morning. Learning to say "yes" to new opportunities and not letting fear blind me was one of the most valuable things I learned.