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IndoAustay programming decisions are based around advice from the Victorian Registration Qualifications Authority and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Acting on advice around the COVID-19 pandemic, IndoAustay is confident that the Southbound Exchange and Northbound Exchange will resume in 2023.

Northbound Student Exchange

The six week Northbound Student Exchange Program administered from Bandung, West Java, does not involve formal instruction in Indonesian language.


The Northbound Exchange focuses 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, so applicants will generally be those currently studying Indonesian at school.

The Exchange is expected to enhance Australian students’ insight into an Asian culture at an influential stage in their scholastic and civic development, as well serving as a huge incentive to advance their Indonesian language studies.

The exchanges are country-to-country, not family-to-family or school-to-school, and immerse the students in the family, school and cultural life of the host country. Exposure to the language occurs naturally and continuously.

Australian students participating in the exchange are placed with schools in and near Bandung (in Java) and are allocated to nearby homestays with families who have a son or daughter in the same school at the same or similar level.

Australian exchangees travel together as a group from Melbourne and are met on arrival in Denpasar or Jakarta by an appointee of IndoAustay, who ensures their smooth transfer to the connecting bus to Bandung on the same day. On arrival in Bandung, exchangees are accompanied by representatives of YMAS to meet their homestay family. Each exchangee and each host family is allocated an YMAS contact person who monitors their progress for the duration of the exchange.

A fortnight after the exchangees arrive in Indonesia, an Australia-based director of IndoAustay) arrives in Java and is available for in-country liaison with YMAS personnel.

Exchangees 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 Tangkuban Perahu volcano or Prambanan and Borobudur temples.


Australian exchangees and their parents are required to sign agreements which set behaviour guidelines and protect IndoAustay, AIAV, AIA NSW, YMAS and their members against recourse for risks to which the exchangees could be exposed and for risk to third parties that could be caused by exchangee mishap or misdemeanour.


Extensive guidelines concerning travel and homestays are updated regularly and are issued to exchangees 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 exchangees. 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.

Costs of the 2019/2020 Six Week Student Exchange:

Deposit payable 16/8/2019    AUD$600
Fee balance payable by 30/9/19    AUD$2400
Total    AUD$3000

About YMAS

YMAS is an independent foundation which has taken over as our Indonesian exchange partner from Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI). YMAS is overseen by UPI's former deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Aminudin E. Aziz.

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