• Indonesia
    • Java
    • Bali
J-Term, Summer
Subject Areas
Anthropology Arts Asian Studies Conflict Studies Cultural Studies East Asian Studies Gender Studies Global Studies International Relations Liberal Arts Sustainable Development Women's Studies +2

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level


Starting Price
Price Details
The cost of the program is between $870-2,100 depending on in-state vs. out-of-state students; total estimated cost with round trip airfare, visas, and spending money is $5,000.
Nov 07, 2019
Nov 15, 2017
2 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

VIA Programs offers a number of J-term and Summer Term, for credit University Study Abroad Programs. Check out our current programs below:

The Art & Social Movements program runs during J-term and Summer Term in Yogyakarta & Bali, Indonesia. Students explore interpretations of Hindu & Islamic religious and cultural practices, study and speak Bahasa Indonesia, learn gamelan, batik making, and Balinese and Javanese cooking.

The Gender & Conflict Program runs in Bali & Java, Indonesia during both J-term & summer term & is in partnership with George Mason University. Students will explore Indonesia through the lens of gender with a focus on conflict, civic engagement, violence, development & justice.

Students earn 3 credit hrs with both programs.

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from VIA Programs.

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Learn through action!

As a Master's student, I participated in the Indonesia summer program with VIA and George Mason University on their approximately 3-week Gender, Culture and Conflict program. I traveled throughout the islands of Bali and Java - conducting interviews, visiting historical sites with local experts, learning from community-based organizations and conversing with women's groups on issues highly relevant to my Master's program. What I appreciated about this field research program was that you were given the opportunity to pursue issues related to your field of study and I discovered new dimensions that I would have never considered if not for this field experience.
As a graduate student, whether you pursue field work or research in the future, you will find this program and others that VIA operate to be highly rewarding. Honestly, the decision to enroll in the summer program was spontaneous for me (I randomly overheard about it from a co-worker) but VIA and the staff at George Mason worked together with VIA to make my enrollment possible. I only heard about the program very close to the deadline, but I didn't want to pass this good opportunity so I applied and thankfully it worked out. So, if you heard about this program close or pass the deadline or are nervous about not meeting the qualifications - reach out! You won't regret it.

What would you improve about this program?
It was a great program!
21 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Yes, I recommend this program

learning through doing - life-changing education

My experience with VIA was brilliant. I was part of a month long intensive research methods and research practice class in the summer of 2016. With a group of ten or so graduate students, I learnt the theories and arguments of qualitative and quantitative methods, while simultaneously conducting an ethnographic research project. Academically, it was rigorous and challenging, and the learning outcomes were life-changing; rather than learn about field research from a classroom in Northern Virginia, we were learning while plunged into our field - and exposed to the real life experience of what it means to conduct in depth fieldwork. Working with VIA staff and research assistants was humbling and essential, and I feel so lucky to have worked with patient and creative staff, who provided local expertise on our topics and assisted in navigating cultural and language considerations in Yogya.

Beyond the classroom, living in Yogya for a month was beautiful. The accommodation was beautiful, friendly, and safe and I think eating meals with the Homestay owner was one of my highlights and enabled me to shed my feeling of being a mere tourist and feel more familiar with the neighbourhood and city. VIA staff were also key in this feeling - taking us to important cultural and social sites of the city, and ensuring that our experienced moved beyond the classroom.

A couple of long weekends allowed time for travel in and around Java - and allowed some rest and a break away from the rigors of the classroom.

I learnt so much during the program - both about myself and the kind of research I want to do, as well as what it means to be actually doing fieldwork and practicing ethnography.

I highly highly recommend this program.

23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Go Overseas with VIA

I had the fortune of participating in VIA's 8-week program during the summer of 2015. Our group of 7 U.S. and 7 local university students had the opportunity to live and carry out extended service projects together in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. From the beginning to the end, our experience was designed in a way that maximized service learning, fun, and personal growth.

During the first two weeks of the program, we took part in language classes at Gadjah Mada University and spent our free time exploring the city and orienting ourselves. Our Indonesian friends and the VIA staff showed us all of their favorite spots, neighborhoods, and restaurants!

For the rest of the trip we completed our service projects and continued language lessons with private tutors. The VIA staff worked hard to place us in organizations whose work lined up with our personal interests. Students in our group volunteered with planned parenthood, microfinance groups, education nonprofits, and a youth-run arts cooperative, just to name a few. I taught dance classes at a halfway house for recovering drug users and individuals with mental health concerns. Once a week, we got together as a big group and shared highlights, experiences, and general reflections with one another over dinner.

On the weekends we went on small excursions together. One weekend we went to Borobudur and Prambanan, another weekend we went on a tubing/beach retreat, and towards the end of the program, VIA even helped us plan a trip to Bali! For me, one of my biggest cultural highlights was experiencing Ramadan and celebrating Eid with the participants from all of VIA's programs!

I wholeheartedly encourage everyone reading this to apply for the program! This was easily one of my most memorable life experiences.

26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Program

I took part in a VIA program in Jogja in the summer of 2013. The academic support and coursework was broad without feeling unfocused. We dived deeply into a handful of subjects and had the chance to work directly with social scientists with research specialties in Indonesia. One of my favorite things about the program was that it was half American students and half Indonesian students and each American was paired with one Indonesian to work on a research project together. No study abroad program is fully immersive but this was one of many things that VIA did to bring the American students both closer to the country in which we were living while resisting the urge to shy away from the dynamics of power and privilege that allowed us to fly across the world and "study" a culture. Many pieces of the program seemed designed to highlight this tension: the readings were critical of Indonesia's internal social inequities while also shedding light on the ways that Western intervention has served to deepen and amplify these issues; the professors with whom we studied came from both Western and Indonesian backgrounds and taught at both Western and Indonesian institutions. I met great people, learned a great deal about Indonesia, and learned even more about research and social dynamics.

23 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Go VIA Indonesia!!!

I took a Gender and Conflict in Indonesia course through George Mason University, and we relied a lot on VIA for guidance. They are literally the best people you will ever meet. VIA helped set up our daily activities, so I was able to see the Ramayana Ballet, go to a women's co-op on chocolate, and eat great food. My class and I got to walk through the Prambanan with a group of archaeologists (you will love these people and miss them when you leave), and learn about the reliefs. If you are undecided about wanting to do this trip, then look at my review as the sign you need to make you do it. You do not want to miss out on this trip of a lifetime. So, sign up to go to Indonesia with VIA and tell them that I (Chika) sent you.

What would you improve about this program?
I do not see how a program can improve past perfection.
22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I did the Arts & Social movement program a few years ago and I didn't realize it then, but it actually lead me to discover my passion for traditional medicine. The program is a perfect blend of independent academic and social exploration with just the right amount of structured activities by people who really know the place and culture. We met super inspiring people all around Yogyakarta running amazing non-profits & NGO's, and through this, learned about the needs, struggle, and history of the city. It was an intimate group to travel with and, Izzy, our host & leader-extraordinaire did an amazing job of cultivating real community and helped to forge really meaningful friendships between participants and with the many people we met in Indonesia. Not to mention all the super fun memories like some hilarious karaoke, a beautiful weekend trip to Bali, & the punk-style motorcycle show I stumbled upon.

Back to the traditional medicine thing: when I got sick during the trip, one of our hosts offered me a traditional remedy and I was totally surprised when I woke up completely cured the next day. With the help of people I met in Indonesia, I ended up using part of my time studying what that was about and learning about their traditional medicine. Not long after returning to the states, I have begun my studies of traditional Chinese medicine & I credit this line of interest to that first spark of wonderment in Indonesia. I am so appreciative that I went to Indonesia and through staying with people who are actually from there I had the opportunity to not only experience something I most certainly would have not had I been back-packing alone or traveling as a tourist.

20 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Staff, Pragmatic Immersion, Incredible Country

I did a 10-week VIA program in Yogyakarta under the direction of Izzy Rhoads. Izzy was very knowledgable and approachable. The programming was spectacular -- we visited many religious/spiritual sites like Borobudur (definitely a must-see in a spiritual country like Indonesia). I stayed in a homestay, which I would highly recommend! It was a cool way to practice the language and get a taste for home life in Yogyakarta. Because of this program, I was inspired to take time off from school to spend 9 months in China!

What would you improve about this program?
More language immersion.
21 people found this review helpful.

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