The Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP), which began in 1981, operates under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Indonesian and Australian Governments.
The program aims to “provide wider opportunities for the young people of Indonesia and Australia to appreciate the culture, development and the way of life of the other country”.
The program in Australia is funded by the Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII) under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra. An Australian coordinator engaged by the AII manages the Australian phase of the exchange, with applications from Australians forwarded to the coordinator after the closing date.
In Indonesia the program is organised by the State Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport.
Participants in the program are aged between 21 and 25 years (at the time of departure to Indonesia), with each group consisting of 9 males and 9 females.
- The Indonesian group visits Australia from early to middle October for a period of two months. One month is spent in a rural setting and the other in an urban setting. This group is billeted with Australian families and given work experience in both settings.
- In early-mid December, Australian participants gather in the capital city of the Australian host state/territory for a period of orientation, before meeting up with their Indonesian counterparts for a joint orientation in preparation for the Indonesian phase of the program.
- At the end of this orientation, both groups travel together to Indonesia and undertake a joint two-month program during the December-January-February period.
- A counterpart system is established between the two groups during the joint orientation, in which each Australian is matched up with a member of the Indonesian group. The counterparts live with each other in homestays in Indonesia.
The program for the Australian group in Indonesia comprises two sections:
- a rural stay in which the counterparted group lives in a village with host families and undertakes social activities and community development projects determined in consultation with the village; and,
- an urban stay in which the counterparts live with host families and undertake work experience related to each Australian participant’s chosen field of study or expertise, wherever possible. An Indonesian participant with like interests accompanies each Australian to the work placement.
In both locations the Australians and Indonesians present cultural performances.
Each year the AIYEP is hosted in a different state or territory within Australia, and in a different province of Indonesia.
Selection Criteria for Australian participants
The AIYEP is open to people aged between 21 and 25 years at the time of departure to Indonesia, who satisfy the following minimum requirements:
- Australian citizenship;
- an active or emerging interest in Indonesia with knowledge of our bilateral ties;
- good Indonesian language skills or a strong aptitude to learn with a commitment to understand the basics of the Indonesian language before departure;
- the personality and background to effectively act as a young ambassador for Australia;
- professional/personal skills in the areas nominated by the AII such as in group dynamics, interpersonal/relationship development, cultural awareness and sensitivity, public speaking and cultural/artistic performance;
- ability to adapt to different living environments and contribute to group well-being;
- ability to uphold and promote the value and aims of AIYEP in their personal behaviour during the exchange;
- availability to participate in training prior to departure; and
- good health.
- In Australia, the AII covers all costs, including air fares and accommodation. In addition, the AII is, under the present Agreement, responsible for the international travel of all participants. In Indonesia, the cost of the program, including domestic travel, accommodation and meals are the covered by the Indonesian Government.
- A basic outfit for the Australian participants is also paid for by the AII, but participants will be required to provide or purchase at their own expense: shoes; personal travel insurance; any compulsory medical vaccinations; passports and departure taxes; personal spending money; clothing and any other incidental costs.
What participants can expect to gain from the Program
The opportunity for:
- first-hand experience of living in and being an active part of another culture;
- representing Australia and our way of life;
- learning and developing Indonesian language skills;
- practical experience in, and the development of, skills related to their academic studies or professional career paths;
- personal development: teamwork and negotiating skills, leadership, issues management and resolution, building self-confidence, adaptability, etc;
- nurturing good relations with their Indonesian counterparts by establishing networks of friends and contacts in academic and professional areas in Australia and Indonesia;
- a greater understanding of present Australia/Indonesia relationships and possibilities for future cooperation and involvement; and
- continued networking with all AIYEP Alumni in Indonesia and Australia.
The AIYEP is not an alternative holiday in Indonesia. Participants are required to participate in all parts of the program and to accept the responsibility of representing their country overseas.
Benefits to Australia-Indonesia Relations
- contributes to the enduring relationship between Australia and Indonesia by increasing people-to-people contacts and institutional links;
- portrays Australia as culturally diverse, educationally, scientifically and technologically advanced and economically enterprising; and
- increases understanding and improves access for Australians to the cultural diversity of Indonesian society and the opportunities offered by its growing economy.
All applicants for the 2014/2015 AIYEP must confirm in writing that they have made themselves aware of the content of the Australian Government travel advice for Indonesia. The latest travel advice is available from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade internet site www.smartraveller.gov.au. Successful applicants will be required to sign a Deed Poll Waiver and Release of Liability form prior to undertaking any travel to Indonesia.
Those selected for the Program must be in good mental, physical and dental health, and will be advised to consult with their own doctor on any vaccinations or other health measures required. Each participant will also be asked to show evidence of his/her cover for appropriate travel insurance before departure for Indonesia. The insurance is to include cover for any emergency repatriation to Australia.