Bachelor of Languages (Indonesia) student Ida van Selow

The most fascinating part of a study journey is often what drives the student. The fuel that drives Bachelor of Languages (Indonesian) student, Ida van Selow, is a passion to learn and someday teach English in Indonesia. To understand this inspirational motivation, it is first important to start at the beginning.

Ida’s first exposure to the Indonesia and its native language was when she moved from her home in The Netherlands with her family to Jakarta in 1973. While Ida’s father worked in Indonesia for 6 years, she was only there for two before returning to The Netherlands to finish high school. Ida then came to Australia in 1982 from The Netherlands.

“I lived with my grandmother, while Mum, Dad and my sister were in Indonesia. I went there regularly for holidays. After migrating to Australia, many years later, I actually went on a holiday to Sanur, Bali. Whilst there, my passion for Indonesia got reignited and my desire to pick up the language grew. I did all different types of learning. Bought books/CD’s, did online language learning and went to Yogyakarta to Alam Bahasa Language School twice to try and improve my Bahasa Indonesia. I always wanted to do it properly, but it was never the right time for me.”

It wasn’t until recently that Ida decided to study Indonesian at a university after finding UNE’s Bachelor of Languages course online.

“My partner, who I met in 2018, actually encouraged me to take on the degree and supported me fully.” Beginning her studies with UNE in March 2020 Ida began studying part time as an online student. As a pathology nurse who works 4 days a week, Ida’s study is at a slow pace but this allows her to manage her schedule. “For the next 4 years, I intend to continue like this and when I retire, I can probably finish my degree in 1 year,” said Ida.

Looking to the future and what she hopes to do with her Bachelor’s degree once completing, Ida went on to discuss her passions:

“When I retire, I hope to travel to Indonesia and do some project work, either in the health field or otherwise as an English teacher. In 2016, I travelled for 2 and a half years. I did my CELTA course in Ho Chi Minh City, which enabled me to teach English as a second language. At the time I wanted to do this in Indonesia, however one needs a degree to be able to work in Indonesia. So that didn’t work for me and I ended up in Laos for 2 years, teaching English.”

As with many students who are undertaking higher education during the time of COVID, Ida mentions how engaging her classes are, but that it is a shame there are no intensive classes or physical student catch-ups at the moment. However in Ida’s own words: “who knows maybe in the future.”

When studying to achieve a passion or goal it is always reassuring when the process itself is an enjoyable part of the journey. In Ida’s case this is no different, as she says her greatest achievement is the fact that she is confident and sure of her ability to complete her studies, all the while her lectures are “really enjoyable, realistic and fun”. Moreover, Ida notes rather humbly that if she can do her degree anyone with the right commitment and time can.