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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Independent Study Project (ISP)

What is an Independent Study Project (ISP)?

The ISP is a way for you to pursue something you are interested in, on your own terms, apart from the rest of the group. The majority of the hands-on ISP work is done in Jogja because that’s where we have the most consistent access to mentors/teachers in specific crafts and traditions. You can expect to devote  amount of time to exploring a hands-on topic in Jogja (e.g., learning a craft such as silversmithing, creating traditional art like batik, cooking Indonesian dishes, etc.).

Our ISP will divided into a hands-on project done in Jogja and a more abstract “heads on” topic that goes throughout the trip. Those two things do not necessarily need to be related. Beyond Jogja, you will continue to explore a topic, but with less of a focus on the hands-on aspect. For example, if you study batik making, you will have an opportunity to make your own batik during our week in Jogja, but outside of Jogja, you may choose to explore local dress norms by observing what types of clothing people wear in Langa and Sampela.

We’ll talk more about all of this in-country. For now, here are some options that past students have pursued in Jogja:

  • Food: cooking, street food, the spice trade, rice cultivation, identity through food e.g. Chinese, Muslim, Hindu, Javanese, Bajau,
  • Performing Arts: Gamelan, Javanese dance
  • Crafts and Textiles: Silver smithing, batik, leather puppet making (wayang kulit-shadow puppets), bird cage making
  • Medicine and Healing: traditional medicine (Jamu)
  • Religion and Spirituality: Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, local beliefs/mysticism
  • Economies: exploring different livelihoods in/around the city
  • Visual Story Telling:  Street Art Woodblock printing with Taring Padi, story telling through photography/video/drawings
  • Pencak silat: Indonesian martial art.
  • Bahasa Indonesia (get extra class, as we have already one and a half hours class on Monday to Friday for three weeks in Jogja).

We’ll talk more about the ISPs during our in-country orientation, but it would be helpful if you identified a couple of topics/projects that interest you, even if it’s pretty vague like music, art, dance, cooking, etc., so we can setup meetings for our first week in Jogja.

Your iTeam