New Victorian Young Leaders to Indonesia pilot program gets students globally ready

The Victorian Young Leaders (VYL) to Indonesia Pilot Program launched at a ceremony held at Belmont High School last week.

The new VYL program builds on the strong foundations of the award-winning overseas language and cultural learning experience – the Victorian Young Leaders to China Program.

Over 40 years of learning Indonesian at Belmont High School

Belmont High School is one of around 300 Victorian government schools teaching Bahasa Indonesian.

Belmont High School students on their class trip to Indonesia

The language class has been running since 1975, and their first student cohort to undertake a cultural and language immersion in Indonesia took place in 1978.

Indonesian language students at Belmont High School say learning a second language exposes them to different cultures and traditions and prepares them for jobs of the future.

Indonesian teacher Glenda Wood says the program is 'very popular'.

'Students have been so inspired by our Indonesian program that they have gone onto teaching Indonesian and using their understanding of the language and culture to support further opportunities in their careers,' Glenda says.

Last year's Year 12 class with language assistants

She says it is 'so important' for students to learn about Indonesia.

'This is one of our closest neighbours that we need to understand, so that our relationship can continue to improve for the benefit of trade and business, and more,' Glenda says.

'We understand the importance of developing all  students into global citizens that not only understand different cultures, but know how to relate to others from different cultures by having a good understanding of the differences and embracing them.'

Future leaders

VYL to Indonesia will enable 40 Year 9 students and their teachers to travel to Indonesia in 2019 to gain a deeper understanding of one of our biggest Asian neighbours, soon expected to become a top 10 global economy.

Students taking part in the program will experience Indonesian culture by attending a local school, visiting historical attractions and have the chance to form lifelong friendships with their Indonesian peers.

They will also build their Indonesian language skills, develop intercultural understanding and leadership skills to help prepare them for work in an increasingly interconnected, globalised world.​

Applications for the VYL Indonesia Pilot Program will be available to schools later this year. 

Read more about our Victorian Young Leaders to China program

Find out more about learning languages at school.