Why study Indonesian?
There are many reasons.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the official language of the Republic of Indonesia. There are over 200 million speakers of Indonesian, making it the seventh most widely spoken language in the world. Indonesia has hundreds of different ethnic groups, each with its own culture and language. For many Indonesians their first language is their regional language, but Indonesian serves as a focus for national unity and national identity linking together this rich ethnic and cultural diversity. It is used in all government and public domains, including education, commerce and the mass media.
Australia’s present and future are closely linked to those of our closest neighbour, Indonesia. Apart from our geographical proximity, the strategic and cultural importance of Australia-Indonesia relationships is evident every day in the media. Learning the national language opens doors to Indonesia’s culture and way of life. Travel to Indonesia is easy and relatively inexpensive. In-country experiences are literally on our doorstep. And because Indonesian is based on Malay, learning Indonesian not only gives students knowledge of the language of the world’s largest Muslim country, but also provides access to three other countries in Southeast Asia, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
The Indonesian Program in the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies offers a single major in Indonesian language. Students may also take elective courses in related studies areas to complement their Indonesian language study. There are limited opportunities (subject to current DFAT travel advisories) to undertake in-country language programs in Indonesia for credit towards the BA degree. We also have an honours and postgraduate research program for those interested in the specialised study of Indonesia.
Just about anyone can learn Indonesian at UQ. It is possible to include Indonesian courses in most degree programs. Our current students are studying arts, science, business and business management, law, environmental science, engineering, social work and journalism. They see their Indonesian skills as a useful adjunct to their general and professional degree studies.