Indonesia Cultural Exchange & Study Tour 2018

Eco-Education Nature Adventure Camp – Green Camp, Bali, Indonesia

1 – 8 June, 2018
Tour Coordinator: Dr. Stephen Cartwright

Mepantigan combat archery, embodying Balinese warrior spirit.
Night hike up Mt. Batur, a caldera volcano to see the sunrise. Group photo on its peak.
Field camp site for one night at Plaga.
Balinese cultural dancing at the homestay – taught by local students.
Student teams built their own rafts out of bamboo, and sailed down river. Not all rafts make it down in one piece!
[Left] Mebigung the tradition of a farewell Balinese meal and setting.
[Right] Sustainability through community engagement – decorating trashbins to be donated to local community to reduce litter in the environment.
Kecas Kecos – fusion of Balinese style dancing with drum circle rhythms.

Intrinsic characteristics are forged by adversity – stepping out of your comfort zone. An indomitable spirit to face the challenges of an ever changing world is a core value we expect of our graduates to persist and achieve their goals. Novel experiences shape our lives showing us diversity as opposed to mundane, prepare us to overcome adversity instead of avoiding it, and change our perceptions – liking what we thought we wouldn’t. For a third time in the past few years, the Division of Applied Science, College of International Education has led students to Bali Indonesia for an outdoor experience with Green Camp Bali – learning about the ethos of sustainability at a community level, and pitting themselves in a variety of situations that consolidated friendships, developed teamwork, overcoming certain anxieties and showed some personal growth in confidence.

Through a range of activities that tested the mind and physical endurance, students built bamboo rafts which they had to navigate down a river, hike up a mountain, camp overnight in the wild, climb a coconut tree, develop and present ideas about sustainable development and probably the most signature event being the mudpit wrestling.

Immersion into a different culture albeit for a brief moment, one becomes more acutely aware of one’s own limitations, and more aware of the things we may take for granted. For instance, how happy the locals can be embracing a healthier lifestyle in a healthier environment, disconnected from a more hectic self-fulfilling existence. The confidence that the locals had speaking to foreigners even though English was their second language and not commonly used was not a barrier, but an opportunity to engage, and that sentiment bled through into our often more reserved students as well.

Everyone had a good time overall. The value of the tour is not what we overtly did – but how we have intrinsically changed ourselves, the values we take away from that experience.

“Nothing ventured – nothing gained”, will you join next time?