Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change


Homestay family

Homestays in this program grant students a special window into the values, daily lives, and activities of contemporary Hindu Balinese and Muslim Javanese societies and provide additional context for language and thematic coursework. Balinese families typically live in "house-yards" or family compounds that consist of a variety of separate buildings with a fair amount of open space separating each building or pavilion. Students discover the details of the Balinese home, including the role of the family shrine, the living quarters, and spaces for rituals or special guests. In contrast, Javanese Muslim families typically live in one building, and all the activities are carried out in that house. Students commute from the homestays by university transport.

The primary homestay for this program is located in the village of Bedulu, within a short walk from the program's classroom facilities.

Through this homestay experience, students have extraordinary opportunities to observe daily life and participate in the arts and social practices of the village. Bedulu families, similar to most Balinese families, are very tight-knit and welcoming. Some students may have the opportunity to join their host family at a wedding, tooth filing, or other life-cycle ritual, and all students see an odalan or anniversary ceremony at a local temple. Students often forge strong connections with their Bedulu homestay family, and many remain in contact following the program's termination.

Students begin their homestay experience in Bedulu at the end of the orientation period and return to their homestay after the Java excursion and for the last few days of the evaluation period. Their length of stay with their Balinese families—approximately 65 days in length spread over the entire program period—provides students with an exceptional opportunity to become closely acquainted with their homestay family members.

Tabanan village

Rural Homestay (Tabanan Area)
During their rural visit in the Tabanan area, students undertake a second homestay lasting four to five nights. Students experience the area's strong sense of community while staying with village families, most of whom live in large compounds housing several families from a single descent group.

Yogyakarta, Java
Students live with a host family in Yogyakarta for ten days as part of the group excursion to Java. The homestay families in Java are predominantly Muslim, which allows students to become familiar with the predominant religious culture in Indonesia. During the stay with Javanese families, students are invited to participate in socio-religious activities and social gatherings with the local communities. The Javanese families are very welcoming to the SIT students. They are proud to be chosen as the homestays of students visiting from the United States, the home country of Barack Obama, who spent part of his youth in Jakarta, west Java.

Other accommodations during the program include hostels or small hotels.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Bedulu, central southern Bali

Language Study: Bahasa Indonesia,  Balinese

Prerequisites: None


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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