Summer Studies Program

For more than 20 years now, USINDO with the generous support of the Freeman Foundation has held the USINDO Summer Studies Program. This is an intensive ten-week language and cultural studies program held from May to August, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is open to U.S. university juniors or seniors, currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, as well as recent graduates (within 6 months) of any U.S. college or university. Participants are selected in a competitive application process.

The 2016 Summer Studies program will begin on May 26 and end on August 4, 2016, including a 9-day term break to accommodate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

In addition to the language course, field trip, and cultural program, the program will now include a possibility of short internship/volunteer work opportunities with local organizations in Yogyakarta.

The 2016 Summer Studies Program Applications are available for download here.  In addition to completing the application form, students are required to submit a 1-page personal statement, resume, transcript(s), and one letter of recommendation. For complete information on the program, please read below or download the information sheet here.

Complete applications must be received by March 31, 2016 in order to be considered. Admission decisions will be made by the end of April 2016 and may be subject to change due to the availability of program funding. Additional questions can be directed to


The 2015 Summer Studies Participants


For stories and articles of our past Summer Studies Fellows please click here.

Additional photos of the USINDO Summer Studies Program can be accessed here or here.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and university juniors or seniors, currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. They may also be recent graduates (within 6 months) of any U.S. college or university.


Application Documents

All of the following application documents must be submitted via email to

  • Application form: Please submit a completed and signed application form, available here.
  • Personal statement: Please submit a one (1) page personal statement describing your academic interests, career goals, interest in Indonesia, and how your participation in this program will enhance those interests and goals, as well as how your career might further the mission of the Society to promote more awareness of Indonesia in the United States.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume: Please submit a curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed 10 pages).
  • Academic transcript(s): Please submit the latest academic transcript from the educational institution where you are currently enrolled or recently graduated from.
  • Letter of recommendation: One (1) recommendation letter is required. Recommenders must submit the letter of recommendation directly to Applicants are responsible for ensuring their applications are submitted on time. Only complete applications will be considered.



The program covers tuition, cultural activities, field trips, housing and board, airfare, student visas, and health insurance.  Each student pays a fee of $2,000 toward these program costs, and the USINDO Summer Studies Program provides the substantial remainder of these program costs. All incidentals are the responsibility of the student.



Applications and transcripts must be received by USINDO no later than March 31, 2016. Applicants will be notified of the decisions at the end of April.

Logistical Arrangements


USINDO purchases roundtrip air tickets to Yogyakarta for students from any city in the U.S. Travel arrangements are made by USINDO.



USINDO will process the student visas at the Embassy of Indonesia in Washington, DC.

Students MUST possess a passport that is valid at least until December (of the program year), AND must have at least four blank visa pages in their passport.


Health Insurance

USINDO purchases health insurance from GeoBlue and HTH Worldwide and will pay for the premium for each student for 3 months coverage (May, June, and July).

Students will be responsible for any deductible payments.


Yogyakarta Orientation

Upon arrival in Yogyakarta, students will stay in a hotel for two nights before moving in with their host families to ease them into the new setting. Our local program coordinator welcomes the students to Yogyakarta and introduces them to program staff, who will be assisting the students throughout their time in Yogyakarta. Students also meet with their tutors and together they go for a city tour of Yogyakarta. Program staff will also organize a welcome dinner with all the host families giving everyone the opportunity to meet one another before “move-in day”.


Students will live with host families throughout their stay in Indonesia. The host family experience is intended to reinforce language studies during the day, and to give students the real experience of living with an Indonesian family. Indonesians are hospitable, welcoming people. Strong emphasis is placed on the importance of the family unit. By welcoming American students into their homes, host families welcome them to their daily routine and often invite them to participate as family members in significant events such as weddings. Significantly, the experience allows acquaintances and extended family of the host family to have exposure to young, educated Americans interested in Indonesia and willing to engage.


The language component of USINDO’s Summer Studies Program is conducted in partnership with the Indonesian Language and Culture Intensive Course (ILCIC) housed at Sanata Dharma University’s Language Center. ILCIC has had extensive experience in conducting Bahasa Indonesia teaching programs for foreign university students and its location in the heart of Yogyakarta allows Summer Studies students to interact directly with Indonesian students and locals in its lively campus atmosphere.

The program typically offers two class levels: beginner and intermediate. However, USINDO also accommodates participants wishing to learn at the advanced level as well. Typical class schedule is held Tuesday – Friday and covers the essentials of Indonesian vocabulary, grammar, and cultural contexts through interactive speaking, reading, writing, and listening exercises. Students also practice twice a week after regular classes with Indonesian tutors who are students in Yogyakarta. Such tutoring provides the opportunity to both the Indonesian and American students to engage at an informal level, to ask questions, and to develop friendships; many Summer Studies alumni have maintained these bonds long after participating in the program.


Practicum Period

During the second week of July (July 2-10, 2016), a nine-day mid-term break will be given to accommodate the Eid holiday. During this time, students will have a week break from classes and workshops. Students are allowed to travel within Indonesia during this time to conduct research or for leisure. However, students are required to inform the local program coordinator as well as their host families of their travel plans. Students are also responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs during the practicum period.

Special Lectures

USINDO invites experts to discuss topics in various fields, including politics, history, culture, religion, and economics with an emphasis on current issues, such as good governance, interfaith relations, aspects of the economy, and the role of the local kingdom in politics. The selection of topics will also take into account the participating students’ fields of study and general interests. Speakers may come from the private sector, academia, non-government sector, and media. These lectures and discussions will be conducted in a casual setting.

Cultural Workshops

Students are able to get firsthand experience of Indonesian culture through various cultural workshops, including: gamelan (traditional musical ensemble), batik (textile dyeing technique), traditional dancing, and cooking classes focusing on Indonesian cuisine.


Students will participate in an internship for up to 8 hours/week in a variety of local organizations, ranging from notable retail businesses and local NGOs. The internship period is designed to enhance participants’ experience in practicing their Bahasa Indonesia in a professional/working environment and in diverse core activities.

Students who do not wish to take part in an internship will also have the option of conducting a research project about Indonesia; USINDO recommends this option only for intermediate-level students. Through this research project, students will be required to interview 10-15 Indonesian locals as part of their data-gathering process. Through these interviews, students will have the chance to practice the Bahasa Indonesia skills that they have learned in class as well as deepen their knowledge on the particular topic that they have chosen. At the end of the program, students will be required to present their research report/article to USINDO.

Field Trips

USINDO organizes a variety of field trips to renowned cultural and historical monuments/sites, as well as visits to local organizations in Yogyakarta. These trips are designed to allow the students to learn about and experience firsthand Yogyakarta’s unique culture, history, tradition, belief system and natural wonders. This year, students will have the opportunity to go on the famous Merapi Lava Tour and visit Ngalenggeran and Timang Beach, as well as the possibility to visit other famous sites in and around Yogyakarta.

Past Program Images