Introducing Indonesia

Pramuka Island is one of the beautiful sites to see in the Thousand Islands Archipelago in Indonesia. Christina Nursalim | Daily Trojan.

Pramuka Island is one of the beautiful sites to see in the Thousand Islands Archipelago in Indonesia. Christina Nursalim | Daily Trojan.

With recruiting season now in full swing, USC students are clamoring to land internships for the school year and jobs for after graduation. However, it’s not too early to begin thinking about summer employment as well. Some of you may know that USC offers opportunities for students to study and intern abroad. Students have an array of countries to pick from, and each has different cultures and traditions. With so many options to choose from, one country that people often overlook is my home country, Indonesia. I have lived in Indonesia for all my life, so I’m here to give you the top four reasons why you should consider my nation as your next internship (or, perhaps, vacation) destination. If you are a Marshall student, check out the Marshall International Summer Internship Program, which gives students the opportunity to secure a two-month, in-depth, internship experience in Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta.

1. Make business connections and be inspired.
When I tell my friends at USC that I am from Indonesia, I am often met with some kind of awe and trepidation. Some of them picture Indonesia as a third-world developing country with nothing but forests and poverty (I was once asked if Indonesia has a Starbucks – and the answer to that is yes). While Indonesia is a developing country, and poverty is definitely still a major issue, parts of Indonesia are actually quite developed. There are many upscale shopping malls and, of course, office buildings. You may be surprised to know that Indonesia has over 1,500 Trojans whom have all made names for themselves. Indonesia has seen the emergence of many start-ups and many of the Trojans in Indonesia are self-made men and women. I guarantee that learning from the huge Trojan network and hearing about their experiences will inspire you and give you a valuable internship experience.

2. Food
If you have never tried Indonesian food before, you are in for a treat. Indonesian food is known for its spices and aromatics, which results in food bursting with flavor. Indonesia’s delectable desserts are also worth mentioning. Be sure to try Martabak, arguably the most popular street dessert there. It is a type of sweet, thick pancake stuffed with fillings like Nutella and pandan, a tropical plant indigenous to Southeast Asia and that gives a sweet, fragrant and unique flavor when cooked with. My favorite Martabak flavor is the pandan and cheese filling from Martabak Boss.

3. Nature
Let’s admit it, one of the reasons you picked USC is probably because of the sunny weather and proximity to beaches. You’ve probably heard of Bali, Indonesia’s most famous tourist attraction, but Indonesia actually has over a hundred other islands that you can travel to. These islands feature crystal clear waters and beautiful, untouched beaches. They are all just a boat ride away, which makes a perfect weekend getaway during your stay there. Who needs the Maldives when you can get the same beauty at a much more affordable price? Another important note: the Indonesian currency, the Rupiah, is currently very weak, which gives students more bang for their buck when traveling to see these sites.

4. Culture
Get the chance to experience Indonesia’s rich culture and long-standing traditions. Traveling through the streets of Jakarta, you can often see people making beautiful hand-drawn batiks (clothes dyed by using traditional Indonesian methods and designs) or playing traditional instruments such as the Angklung or Gamelan. You could also watch a traditional dance like the Minangkabau dance (plate dance) or a Balinese shadow puppet show known as Wayang Kulit.

Studying and interning abroad is probably something many students have thought about. It’s also something that students hold both excitement and fear for. However, I do believe that it is an amazing opportunity for students to expand their horizons, expose themselves to a different experience and gain independence. So, the next time you are thinking of taking the plunge and interning or traveling abroad, think about Indonesia.