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A semester abroad in Bali is filled with a variety of events and activities
Asia Exchange, alongside the BIPAS interns and the WIP staff, organizes various optional events during the semester. Cultural excursions and workshops or sporty activities – there is something for everyone!
In the first weeks of the semester, there is a mandatory event for all the students at the Udayana University: the Balinese Market Visit. The students need to buy a traditional Balinese costume which they can wear during temple visits or weddings and at the closing ceremony. After the market visit, the BIPAS staff shows the students how to wear the costume and how to tie their sarongs the right way. It’s the first step to live like a local and to dive into the true Balinese culture. It’s a lot of fun for the students to choose a pretty, colorful outfit in one of the many shops in the traditional market in Denpasar.
Next to the mandatory market visit, there will be plenty of free workshops at the BIPAS program. Students get to know more about Traditional Healing, learn to do the Traditional Dance, how to write Balinese manuscripts and how to make ornaments out of Palm leaves. The students can also join a Balinese Cooking Class and prepare their own Sate Lilit and Jukut Urap, which are the Balinese answer to meat and vegetable sticks. All the ingredients or tools needed during the workshops are provided by the BIPAS Program so students don’t have to worry about anything. They only need to bring a good mood and have fun while experiencing these activities. The idea of these events is to show the local culture and to introduce the students to the Balinese way of life. Usually, they take place during the week at the campus.
Additional to the workshops and excursions there will be an International Student Day organized by BIPAS. This day is themed differently every semester. In autumn 2017 it was all about Food. This year’s spring semester, the theme was “Indonesia’s Textile Heritage”.
Also at our second university, the Warmadewa, it never gets boring. A semester with the WIP program is filled with cultural workshops and excursions such as temple visits, dance-, cooking- and music classes and many more activities. Those events, most of the time taking place on Thursdays, are mandatory for the students and their course choices. The idea behind these events is to bring the Balinese culture and its traditions closer to the students which isreinforced by the fact that there are also local students joining.
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Not only BIPAS and WIP but also Asia Exchange organizes activities and events throughout the semester. They differ from social events to action or relaxing activities. These optional events are meant to bring the students from both programs together and to fill their free time with fun activities.
During the semester, the students have a chance to compete against the other student programs in a soccer competition. It’s always a lot of fun for the students to play or cheer for their team. The winners can take home the well-deserved golden trophy! But for those who prefer more calmer activities, or want to regain their inner balance after a day at the university, can enjoy the breathtaking view from the cliffs of Balangan Beach during a sunset yoga session.
Asia Exchange is aware of its social responsibility and supports different institutions. Asia Exchange organizes visits to different orphanages like the Seeds of Hope and YKPA (Bali Street Kids Project), where the students can bring donations and enjoy an afternoon with the kids. It’s great to see a smile on the children’s faces when they play, jam or sing together with the students. Because of these social events, some Asia Exchange students have used their free time to volunteer at orphanages and visit them again.
This year, Asia Exchange organized a Charity Surf event with one of the best surf schools in Bali, the ProSurf School Bali in Kuta. The students who participated and Asia Exchange donated all the money to animal welfare. It was a great event where the students got to catch some waves for a good cause. The event raised a considerable amount for two organizations that care for stray dogs and cats here in Bali.
Since the rainy season began last December, Bali’s beaches have been covered with a lot of pollution. Because of this more and more people have become more involved in Beach Clean Ups all over the island. Asia Exchange knows about the importance of environmental protection. Due to this, Asia Exchange planned a Beach Clean Up with Trash Heroes Canggu. The students who joined where happy to be part of the cleaning movement and to protect Bali’s beautiful beaches.
A semester abroad at the Warmadewa University as well as at the Udayana University in Bali is filled with a variety of events and activities. Asia Exchange makes sure to make every student’s semester a time worth to remember!
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This text was written by our former intern, Sarah.