Focus on Indonesia: A Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program (July 5-August 6, 2010)

The East-West Center is now accepting applications for Focus on Indonesia , a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program .  Designed with the overarching goal to improve global learning in U.S. K-12 schools, Focus on Indonesia will provide participants with direct experiences and unique learning opportunities in Honolulu, Hawaii, and in diverse locations in Indonesia.  

The program is open to all U.S. citizens or permanents who are full-time educators.  However, priority will be given to eligible applicants who are classroom teachers or education administrators responsible for teaching, planning, conducting, and/or supervising programs in the fields of social sciences, humanities, foreign languages, and/or area studies at the secondary level (grades 7 -12) as well as those who have successfully participated in teacher professional development programs offered by the East-West Center.

Why Indonesia
Indonesia is the focus for this group travel study because the Indonesian archipelago offers a wealth of possibilities for integrating and engaging global content and lessons into existing secondary school curricula. 

Throughout history the Indonesian archipelago has served as a meeting ground of the world’s peoples and cultures and where networks of ideas, knowledge, belief systems, and trade routes have overlapped, melded, and flourished.  At the same time, the contemporary Republic of Indonesia – the world’s fourth most populous nation, the third largest democracy, and home to the largest Muslim population in the world – is barely 60 years old, having declared its independence from colonial rule in 1945 and finally achieving it only after four bitter years of armed struggle.  Representing the political union of nearly 350 regional cultures and some 250 distinct linguistic groups spread over some 17,000 islands spanning more than 3,000 miles in what was once the Dutch East Indies, Indonesia today provides a living case study for understanding the long history and complex processes of cultural interactions and exchange that have shaped Southeast Asia, the impact of 300 years of Western colonialism and that of Japanese occupation during WWII on the region's development, and the challenges of a fast globalizing nation that is balancing democracy and modernity in a plural society.

While in Indonesia, we will work with many interesting people, including academics, social activists, religious clerics, cultural icons, business leaders, politicians, and, importantly, teachers and students, who will help broaden our understanding of Indonesia – past, present, and future.  We will visit sites of historical and cultural significance and interact one-on-one with people in local communities, while engaging in meaningful as well as enjoyable activities.  We will also experience the daily life in people in Indonesia through homestays with local families and have a chance to contribute to our host communities by teaching in a local pesantren (Islamic boarding school). 

Although the program will be rigorous and fast-paced, since the ultimate goal of the program is to enable teachers to integrate key concepts and elements integral to understanding Indonesia into their teaching/school curricula, time will be set aside for reflections and journal writing to help process diverse impressions and experiences; discussions to explore curriculum connections and teaching strategies; and collaborative work to facilitate curriculum integration and sharing beyond the classroom.

Upon their return to the U.S., participants will work with the East-West Center, with one another, and with their Indonesian counterparts from their host schools to generate and disseminate effective curriculum models and methods that infuse Indonesia-related content/concepts into existing school curricula, thereby expanding and enriching studies about world regions, and more specifically about Indonesia and Southeast Asia, in secondary schools across the United States. 

Click here for a preliminary itinerary.

Program Cost and What's Included
The program cost of $1,250 includes: roundtrip international air travel between Honolulu and Jakarta; all housing/hotel accommodations (double-occupancy rooms in EWC dorms in Honolulu, boarding school guest quarters in Jakarta, and three-star hotels or higher elsewhere); program-related air and land travel in Indonesia; Indonesian visa fee; daily excursions and cultural activities led by knowledgeable English-speaking in-country coordinators and cultural guides; special classes, including language lessons and batik- and silver-making classes; entrance fees to historic sites and other cultural events; program materials; all meals or meal Per Diem, and one week homestay with an English-speaking host family are included in this fee. All participants will also receive a certificate of completion, a framed official group photograph, and a printed copy of a journal chronicling the group’s in-country activities and experiences.

Travel between home city/town and Honolulu is not included.

A deposit of $450 is due upon acceptance, and the balance of $800 is due by April 20, 2010.

Participant Responsibilities
Note: The program begins in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 5 and ends on August 5, 2010 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Roundtrip international travel between Honolulu and Jakarta is included in the program fee of $1,250.

However, participants are responsible for travel between their home city/town and Honolulu, airline luggage fees, airport departure taxes in Indonesia (approx. $40), and travel insurance.

Participants must have a valid passport (valid for at least six months after their return date to the United States) and provide the EWC with a signed certificate from a personal physician attesting to their good health and readiness for travel.  

Participants should plan to arrive in Honolulu by the afternoon of July 5. Housing will be provided starting July 5. Accommodations may be available at cost for those who wish to arrive a few days early/stay a few additional days in Honolulu at the conclusion of the program. If you wish to make pre- and/or post-program travel arrangements, please contact the East-West Center by April 20.

Add-on Optional Week in Bali (August 6-12)
You may choose to take part in an optional one-week exploration of Bali for an additional fee of $850. The weeklong program in Bali will include a five-day, hands-on Balinese music and culture workshop (sessions lasting two hours daily), focusing on the Balinese Gamelan orchestra and shadow puppet play. Other activities will include visits to cultural and historic sites, including stunning temples by the sea, as well as to Bali’s famous beaches.

Application Process
The following items constitute a complete application:

  • A statement of purpose: Please describe your professional background, what special perspective, skills and/or experiences that would contribute to the program, and how the experience would enhance your teaching or school service. Your statement of purpose must be typed (one or two pages, using font size not smaller than 11 pt and not larger than 12 pt; Times New Roman preferred) and should respond to/address the following points:

    1. Why are you applying to this program? Provide evidence of the seriousness of your objectives.
    2. What teaching and other related professional interests are you currently pursuing, and how do you see this program contributing to your overall professional/teaching objectives?
    3. Overseas travel involves significantly different living conditions, cultural environments, and social customs. Please tell us how your experiences and/or skills will help you cope with such differences.
    4. How will you share your program experience with your students and other teachers in your school/school district?
    5. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
  • One Reference Form sent by your referee directly to the East-West Center.

Application Deadline is March 22, 2010. Selection decisions will be made and applicants notified in late March. A deposit of $450, which will be applied toward the cost of the program, will be due upon acceptance; the balance will be due by April 20, 2010.

Selection Criteria
Applicants meeting the eligibility requirements will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Teaching secondary level (grades 7-12) social sciences and humanities subjects and curricular responsibilities relevant to international studies.

  • A minimum of three years teaching experience, and at least three years away from retirement.

  • Evidence of strong motivation and seriousness of purpose in undertaking the study as reflected in the required application essay and reference, with emphasis on evaluating the applicants’ demonstrated commitments to teaching, the strength and focus of their proposed use of the field study for their future teaching, and their envisioned contributions to improving teaching and learning in their classrooms/schools following their participation in the program.

  • Geographic, socioeconomic, and other forms of diversity among participants and their schools; however, if feasible, selection of two participants per school/district, city, or sub-state region will be endorsed so that participants will have opportunities to work together in preparation, travel, and follow-on curriculum development work and program dissemination.

Focus on Indonesia is organized by the East-West Center , an education and research organization that works to promote better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue.  Established in 1960 by the U.S. Congress, the East-West Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options.

For more information, please contact:

AsiaPacificEd Program, East-West Center
1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96848
Phone: 808-944-7378; Fax: 808-944-7070