Hi Phil,

Here is short report on my experience in Lombok and some pictures. Can you
please foreward to Steve Miller as well. He wanted the pictures of the Palm
sugar excursion. Many thanks, i had a wonderful time in Lombok.


After many years of Indonesian language study in Australia, I finally made my
first trip with the Australian students to Lombok. It was a fantastic
experience I recommend to others. It was a great reward to be able to use and
enjoy my language skills. Interacting with the locals teaches you so much about
the place, and you begin to understand the many layers of Indonesian culture.

             I stayed for a month and only did the second 3 weeks of the language
course. A month was long enough to immerse yourself in the culture and
language, but the 6 weeks would have been even more valuable. I stayed with a
home stay family and count this as my favourite experience. My home stay were
very friendly and taught me much about Lombok and the Indonesian language. The
living standards were very comfortable and the best part was the home cooking.
Better than eating out! It was also very cheap, about $200 for a month
including all food.

             Excursions run as part of the course were also very interesting and
fun. We visited a Tofu home factory, palm sugar farm, the regional museum, a
cultural dance and music performance and also enjoyed weekend trips away
together. We visited the Gilli Islands one weekend, spent time snorkeling,
relaxing, eating and getting to know each other. It’s a very beautiful
paradise, and a great place to take time out from Study. Another weekend we
went to Kuta, South Lombok, for a bit of a surf and look around. The surfing
there is wonderful. We arrive at a small village, hire a boat and boards and
get taken out to the break. All the effort of paddling is taken away, and the
surf very consistent, although a bit crowded. You don’t have to be a great
surfer either, as there are several different breaks for different ability

             As part of my course(Level 8, which revolves around interviewing
people in different areas you are interested in, I got to visit Mataram jail,
the Department of Forestry, an environmental NGO and a local church. Indonesia
is  truly a fascinating place and this course enables you to learn more in your
subject area. However, only levels 7 and 8 conduct interviews.

             Overall I found my first Indonesian experience exciting, interesting
and valuable to my language study. I made great friends among both the
Australian students and Indonesian hosts. Despite what the rest of Australia
thinks, it wasn’t scary at all! We were looked after very well by our
Australian lecturers and also our Indonesian hosts, to make the experience a
very smooth and enjoyable one. After this first experience, I can’t wait to
return to do some more exploring of this fascinating place.

Karen Wicking        Return to Lombok Student Views