|A C I C I S|
Development Studies Immersion Program (DSIP)
Applications Close: April 1st (August-January Semester), October 1st (February-June Semester)
The ACICIS Development Studies Immersion Program (DSIP) is a semester-long community development option hosted by Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogyakarta. The DSIP runs parallel to other ACICIS programs at UGM, but has the important distinction of an eight week community development field work module. The DSIP has been designed for students who have no existing Indonesian language skills. Candidates with existing language skills are welcome, however. The structure of the program is as follows:
The DSIP places students at the coalface of community development in local villages where they will gain valuable firsthand knowledge about the challenges and rewards of designing and implementing development projects in rural Indonesia. This field placement program is known as Student Community Service (SCS). Locally, it is better known by the Indonesian acronym KKN (Kuliah Kerja Nyata). It is a compulsory, fully credited, practicum semester for all UGM undergraduate students. Programs are designed so that the knowledge and technical skills of recent graduates may be applied to real world situations. In most cases, students are expected to design their projects on location following an initial one week survey period. Collaboration with local communities is viewed as the essential ingredient of all projects. Today the acronym CEL (Community Empowered Learning) is used alongside the acronym SCS to stress the shift from a top-down to a bottom-up approach to development issues. SCS is managed by UGM’s Institute for Research and Community Services (LPPM), and UGM lecturers are assigned to oversee and assess individual field projects, but they do not devise projects themselves. This is the responsibility of the student groups. ACICIS also provides a field supervisor to assist with the specific needs of ACICIS students.
SCS-CEL programs have a deliberate rural bias. Projects target low income or marginalised segments of the community. Examples of previous SCS-CEL projects are as follows:
SCS fieldwork commences with the announcement of all programs. This announcement is usually in the fourth week of semester. SCS projects are designed in accordance with a primary theme, e.g. Disaster Response Training for Village A, but students are expected to complete a diverse range of activities. A larger weighting is given to activities that are related to the primary theme (making awareness posters, conducting drills), but the remainder of activities may be taken up with projects that are unrelated to disaster response training (conducting early childhood learning classes, for example). Students are encouraged to design simple and achievable projects, and to not go into the program with a strict ‘outcome focus’. The program is designed as much for the experiential aspects as it is for the creation of tangible outcomes. Students do not require a specific skill set to participate in the program. Social science students are generally in high demand on account of their critical thinking and strong observational skills.
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