Indonesian studies

IndonesianMonash University has been teaching Indonesian for over half a century and we are constantly exploring new and innovative approaches to engage students with Australia’s biggest neighbour. Through the use of online materials, one of Australia’s biggest Indonesian library connections, and links to music, translation, film, and international studies, students are offered a broad range of opportunities to develop an understanding of Indonesia and the wider world of Southeast Asia.

Handbook entry: Indonesian studies

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Communicating with a Neighbour

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest and most diverse nations. With over 240 million people and more than seventeen thousand islands, it is of great cultural, political and economic interest to the countries of the Asia Pacific region.

In particular, countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Australia have a rich and complex relationship with Indonesia.

At Monash, the study of Indonesia’s language and culture is centred on developing flexible approaches to intercultural communication that can be applied to academic and practical purposes. The knowledge and skills acquired in the study of Indonesian, therefore, are applicable to a broad range of interests in encountering and communicating with cultures other than your own.


“Studying Indonesian at Monash has opened up many unique opportunities for me. Classes and amazing lecturers provide a fun and supportive environment to learn Indonesian. I have spent seven months in total on credited trips to Indonesia, which we an awesome and memorable time of my life. Being an Indonesian studies honours student, I am able to research fascinating topics, which will dramatically improve my career prospects.”

- Sam Bashfield, honours student

Vocational interests

Australia and Indonesia’s other surrounding neighbours have a range of diplomatic and commercial agreements that call for cooperation in fields as diverse as trade, education, agriculture, science, defence, and the arts.

On the diplomatic front, Australia has one of its largest overseas missions based in Jakarta, and its international aid for the region requires a range of professionals in Indonesia and Australia to manage, deliver and evaluate the programs.

In the private sector, there are a considerable number of joint ventures in areas such as mining, commerce, environmental management, and tourism. Australia and Indonesia also have a significant media relationship which requires journalists with a deep knowledge of Indonesian affairs. Monash graduates have found opportunities in all these fields as professionals who have awareness of the many facets of Indonesian society and most importantly can communicate comfortably with Indonesians.

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