At present, Covid has put the exchange program with Mataram into suspension.
The Intensive Language Program consists of two 3 week stints that each cover a semester’s worth of material. Classes run for 4-5 hours each weekday and the program includes a number of field trips that are complementary to course content. Classes run between December and January for the Intensive Language Program and throughout the year for BIPA (Bahasa Indonesia Penutur Asing) scholars.
A student exchange through RUILI will transfer credits to your home university, which means that you will be paying the fees (HECS / HELP fees or the equivalent) for the subjects you have completed at your home university in Australia. As a result, the costs should directly reflect your degree and the subject costs at your home university.
The university is located in the city of Mataram, halfway between the monkey forest on the slopes of Mt. Rinjani and the nightlife/resort precinct Senggigi. The central location of the university means there’s lots of great restaurants nearby including the popular Mie Jogja Pak Karso on Jalan Majapahit.
Despite being the highest ranked university in the region, Universitas Mataram sits at 101 in Indonesia’s university rankings according to 4icu.org. This means that generally UNRAM is substandard at a macro level, however the BIPA program is excellent, partly as a result of the involvement of the RUILI universities. The Intensive Language Program is especially well regarded.
Mataram isn’t a tourist location and therefore foreigners are regarded with a fair degree of curiosity. As a result, if you choose to walk to and from university you’ll be invited to meet and hang out with locals almost constantly. Although this can seem daunting at first it’s a great opportunity to get to know the locals and immerse yourself in the culture. University staff and students are also very welcoming and will go out of their way to accommodate you.
The primary opportunity as an international student in Mataram is cultural immersion. The rarity of foreign students in the city means that you’ll be much sought after as a companion by curious locals. If you’re open to new experiences you’ll undoubtedly be invited to a range of cultural celebrations from the huge wedding ceremonies that entire villages take part in to family dinners and just hanging out.
Asia Options Verdict
As a location to study Bahasa Indonesia, Universitas Mataram is outstanding. Replete with opportunities for cultural immersion, UNRAM’s Bahasa Indonesia language program is most likely one of the best in Indonesia and certainly the best in the region. If you study there make sure to take advantage of opportunities for cultural immersion. It would be a good idea to attempt to organise a home-stay situation by arriving some time before study commences and making new friends, although staying in one of the many kos’ is still a good option for cultural immersion.
More chance for cultural immersion
More chance for linguistic immersion
More chances to see developing rural parts of Indonesia
Difficult to access business opportunities
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