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How a little language study opened up the world

James Ritchie set the course for his career with a life-changing study journey to Indonesia

After studying beginner Indonesian for just one semester, James Ritchie was able to go on a life-changing study journey that seems to have set the course for his career. Here, he explains his journey to studying International Relations and Islamic Finance in Indonesia.

I had just finished my business degree at UTAS and was starting Professional Honours. I studied beginner Indonesian, and then I applied for and was awarded a long-term NCP (New Colombo Plan) scholarship, so I was able to study in Indonesia for 12 months. I studied International Relations at Parahyangan Catholic University and Islamic Finance at the Islamic University in Jogjakarta. It was pretty fascinating.

I only have positive things to say about my time in Indonesia. I was determined to use my language skills and be friends with Indonesians, rather than hanging out with expats – and that worked well.

What captured me was the wonderful culture which is so friendly and diverse. And of course, the food!

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My experience in Indonesia has led to a job in politics. I hope, in the future, I can use this to engage Tasmania more with Indonesia.

I only spoke a little Indonesian before I went, but that was the catalyst for me being able to do all these things.

Sandy Bay campus (PDF 785.1KB)