Universitas Nusa Cendana (UNDANA) Bahasa Language Program

Review

Universitas Nusa Cendana is the main university in the Eastern Indonesian Province of East Nusa Tenggara. With its location bordering Timor Leste, the University of Nusa Cendana, it has built a comparative advantage in the fields of dry-land agriculture, management of coastal areas and small islands as well, public health and other areas of tropical rural development. This makes it ideal for those interested in development studies and gaining practical experience in developing contexts and rural and remote areas.

For the purpose of learning Indonesian UNDANA also has a BIPA program.

 

Program Schedule

Semesters usually run between February to July and September to January. BIPA programs are often held in June / July each year during the Australian winter break.

 

Affordability

A student exchange will usually 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.

If you are doing a study abroad program and plan to pay local fees these are nominal – usually between $500-1000 per semester (around 6 subjects). In terms of regular exchange study, 5,000,000IDR is a relatively less expensive option compared to other universities. 


Location

Kupang lies on the Western Coast of Timor. Turquoise oceans and the green mountains of central Timor are separated by vast dry-land savanna and coral rock. This is what has earned Kupang it’s name as ‘Kota Batu Karang’ or the city of coral rock. Around 1.5 hours flight from Bali. Around 8-12 hours drive from Timor Leste. Kupang is not the most convenient but also not the most remote place in Indonesia.

The University has two main campuses an old campus and a new campus. International students have classes in the new campus. This campus is located close to he coast and the airport. There are various accomodation options including hotels, student acommodation on campus and kos for the more intrepid.

 

Reputation

Universities outside in peripheral parts of Indonesia are less able to access information and technologies available in core cities. As a result, they are often seen as less prestigious than their more privileged counterparts. However, for those hoping to learn Indonesian language, rankings will not be a major concern. These rankings don’t consider assess Indonesian language programs such as BIPA programs and therefore they are unlikely to affect your language learning experience.

The program here provides more opportunities to visit the field and rural areas. This is particularly valuable for those students interested in seeing the developing and disadvantaged dimensions of Indonesia. By combining intensive classroom learning with field trips students are given the opportunity to improve both theoretical knowledge and practical speaking skills.

 

Atmosphere

The atmosphere in Timor and Nusa Tenggara more widely is unique from the sprawling congested urban centers of Indonesia. There is not such a distance between urban areas and the rural village areas. There are not many international students in Timor and most are from Timor Leste. As a result, the atmosphere in Kupang is ideal for cultural and linguistic immersion.

The atmosphere within the language program can be dependent on the program you join. In a BIPA program with other students from overseas you will have less trouble adjusting to the new setting. However, if you join a regular exchange program there is no guarantee you will meet other overseas students in the same situation as you. This can bring positives (more chances for linguistic immersion) and negatives (difficult to meet new friends with similar interests).

 

Opportunities

Students learn not only Bahasa Indonesia but also gain insight into Indonesian culture, history, politics and a range of other topics tailored to the interests of participating students. To ensure that students maximize their time in Indonesia, the program also includes a range of field trips. Students are invited to attend art workshops, museums, village health care centers, government offices, traditional markets and other cultural sites and ecotourism spots. The art workshops provide facilities and training for participants to learn about traditional songs, dance, unique musical instruments and Ikat weaving of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). As a result students gain deep insights into culture which can only be found in East Indonesia while also learning about the more commonly studied Indonesian culture of Java and Bali.

 

Asia Options Verdict 

UNDANA offers a unique opportunity for people to go to a more rural and remote province in Indonesia. As mentioned this brings broth pros and cons.

 

UNDANA
8 Total Score
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Pros

Linguistic immersion
Cultural immersion

More chances to see developing and rural parts of Indonesia

Good for gaining practical work and fieldwork experience

Cons

Difficulty accessing internet
Lack of international community

Frequent electricity cuts

Location
Affordability
Classes and Materials
Opportunities
Atmosphere
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