Sanata Dharma University Yogyakarta
Students on the BA Indonesian and South East Asian Studies programme spend their second year at Universitas Sanata Dharma in Yogyakarta in Central Java.
The graceful old city of Yogyakarta is the cultural and educational capital of Java. The low-rise city of about 2,000,000 inhabitants lies at the centre of of a fertile crescent of ricefields, overshadowed to the north by the smouldering volcano Merapi and fringed to the south by a desolate and haunting coastline with its raging surf and violent currents, the home of Roro Kidul, goddess of the south seas. Yogyakarta (pronounced ‘Jogjakarta’, or simply ‘Jogja’) is home to large numbers of painters, writers and dancers, as well as more than 40 academies and university level institutions. Java’s proud artistic and cultural traditions are blended in Yogya with a contemporary spirit of creativity, dynamism and innovation.
Sanata Dharma is a private Catholic university located in the northern part of Yogya, just ten minutes from the city centre. The university, which obtained its charter in 1993, occupies a modern, compact campus and takes students from a variety of religious and social backgrounds. Leeds University students study in the purpose-built Language Centre in groups of four to eight, depending on the type of class. In the first ten-week semester (September to November) students study for the Intermediate or the Pre-Advanced Diploma in Indonesian Language and Culture and take one additional module (usually in a cultural activity such as batik, cooking or dance) from the Faculties. There are approximately 15 hours of classes each week and 20 hours of homework and preparation. Teaching and examination is conducted entirely in Indonesian.
For 12 weeks from November to February students are engaged on research and writing of the Year Abroad Project, a sustained piece of written work on a topic of the students’ choice. Previous years’ projects have ranged from subjects as varied as Javanese performing arts, the bissu (transvestite ritual specialists) of South Sulawesi, Iban tattooing, and the downfall of President Suharto. During this three-month period students are free to travel within Indonesia to carry out their research.From February to April students return to Sanata Dharma to study for the Pre-Advanced or Advanced Diploma in Language and Culture. In the eight weeks from April to the end of May, students complete and submit their Year Abroad Project. The rest of the year to September is usually spent travelling in Southeast Asia.