Indonesia trip to help students tackle religious stereotyping

Indonesia NCP group shot in Indonesia
Flinders SHIR students in Indonesia during their New Colombo Plan trip.

Flinders students are working to breakdown community stereotypes and build an understanding and appreciation of Islam in Indonesia during a trip to Yogyakarta funded by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan.

Ten students from Flinders’ School of History and International Relations will spend one week in intensive language training at Wisma Bahasa, and one week at Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) in Yogyakarta where they will take part in academic lectures on contemporary Islam in Indonesia and explore cultural and historical sites.

Before leaving for Indonesia, the group received a special briefing on political, religious, social and cultural aspects of Indonesia from the Flinders Jembatan initiative (https://jembatan.flinders.edu.au/).

The initiative is a key part of efforts to develop a deeper understanding of contemporary Islam in Indonesia – particularly how the cultural and religious aspects of Indonesia affects its international relations with the rest of the world.

Associate Professor Priyambudi Sulistiyanto said it was a unique opportunity to develop skills and understanding and strengthen people-to-people links between South Australia and Indonesia.

“The short internship experiences in local Islamic institutions in Yogyakarta will enable Flinders students to gain insights into how Islam in Indonesia works in practice on a daily life,” he said.

Third year School of History and International Relations student Miranda Murphy, who is taking part in the trip, said studying in Indonesia at an Islamic university was an incredible opportunity.

“This is an essential part of my learning and I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity,” she said.

“I would like to help dismantle the stereotypes attached to Islam by gaining a better understanding and bringing that knowledge home to teach others.”

New Colombo Plan funding will enable around 190 Flinders University students to take part in mobility projects across the Indo-Pacific throughout 2016.

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