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The IndoAustay Northbound Student Exchange
December 7th 2024 - January 19th 2025

What is the Northbound Exchange?

IndoAustay's Northbound Exchange is a unique opportunity that will bolster your exploration of Indonesian language and culture. The Northbound Exchange promotes genuine and ongoing friendships which open the doors to deep cultural understanding and future opportunities. It is designed to empower and inspire students who have completed study of Bahasa Indonesia at the Year 10 or Year 11 level in any Australian state or territory.

The focus of the Northbound Exchange is on immersing students in everyday life in Indonesia through placement at a regular high school and staying with a local host family. Through this program students will have a unique cultural experience and an opportunity to improve their Indonesian language through everyday use. Students need at least rudimentary competence in Indonesian language in order to fully benefit from attending school and living with an Indonesian family and therefore applicants will generally be those currently studying Indonesian at school. The Northbound Exchange administered from Bandung, West Java, does not involve formal instruction in the Indonesian language.


The Northbound Exchange is expected to enhance Australian students’ insight into Indonesian culture at an influential stage in their scholastic and civic development, as well serving as a huge incentive to advance their Indonesian language studies. Students are immersed in the family, school and cultural life of their host sibling. Exposure to the language occurs naturally and continuously.



The Northbound Exchange prioritises country-to-country exchange, rather than family-to-family or school-to-school. As such, reciprocal exchanges of Indonesian students to Australia are not required or guaranteed, but may be arranged. Australian students participating in the exchange are placed with schools in and near Bandung (in Java) and are allocated to nearby home stays with families who have a son or daughter in the same school at the same or similar level.

Australian participants travel together as a group from Melbourne (or other point of departure) and are met on arrival in Jakarta by the program coordinator from our Bandung partner organisation Yayasan Mitra Aziziyah Sejahtera (YMAS), who ensure smooth transfer to the connecting transport to Bandung on the same day. On arrival in Bandung, participants are met by their homestay family. Each participant and each host family is allocated a YMAS contact person who monitors their progress for the duration of the exchange and who is in 24/7 contact with our IndoAustay Northbound Coordinator in Australia. Students also have 24/7 contact access to the IndoAustay Northbound Coordinator.

Exchange Life


Participants live as a member of the family to which each is billeted. Each student will have their own bedroom, furnished with bed, table and fan. They are expected to be involved in all the daily activities of the family beyond their school attendance. They are subject to the rules of the household and the school and are not free to move beyond the confines of the immediate neighbourhood without prior approval of either. They are not permitted to leave their host town or city other than on family or approved group excursions with adult supervision, such as visits to places of cultural or recreational interest.


Australian participants and their parents are required to sign agreements which set behaviour guidelines and ensure all activity complies with that expected on any like school based program and meets the requirements of the Victorian Regulations Qualifications Authority who oversee standards in Victorian schools and educational organisations. IndoAustay is the only non school based organisation in Victoria authorised by the VRQA to run international student exchanges.


Extensive guidelines concerning travel and homestay are updated regularly and are issued to participants at the time of acceptance of their applications. A cross-cultural information afternoon is scheduled in November before each Northbound Exchange and attendance is compulsory for all participants. These sessions includes references to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade travel advice regarding Indonesia and to the minimum guidelines of the Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority including child safe standards which govern IndoAustay's exchange. Participation is also acknowledged at these sessions by the Melbourne Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia.

Anticipated costs of the 2024/2025 Six Week Northbound Exchange:

Deposit payable 31/8/2024    AUD $1500 
Fee balance payable by 30/9/2024
Total    AUD$4000 

*Please note that costs are budgeted on Melbourne Airport Departure. Interstate departures my incur additional flight or transfer costs 

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