WEEK ONE – Introduction


January 21, 2020

“I’m coming into my 3rd year of a bachelor of Agri-Commerce majoring in International Agri-Business at Massey University and am about to head off on a trip of a lifetime!

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected to travel Indonesia as a recipient of the Prime Ministers’ Group Scholarship. I’m passionate about NZ’s Primary Industries and love challenging myself in any way I can. The trip will be a great way to learn alongside equally passionate people whilst stepping out of our comfort zones.

“The study program, organised by Lincoln University hopes to give an insight into Indonesian culture, focusing on the Agri sector. Over the 4 weeks I, alongside 14 other participants, will travel to 4 host universities on the main island of Java; learning both inside the classroom and out in the real world. It’s going to be a great experience.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity and even more so to be able to share it with all of you. Stay tuned for more updates of Indonesia life!”


WEEK TWO – Surabaya


January 29, 2020

“We have just finished our first week in Surabaya, hosted by Airlangga University. We spent Day 1 touring the city and getting an idea of Indonesian history.

One thing that struck us from the beginning was the number of scooters zooming through the streets. Ride-hailing apps are very common in Indonesia. The bright green uniforms of drivers can be seen driving commuters to work, kids to school and picking up lunch orders from local restaurants.

Our weekly schedule has been jam-packed visiting businesses, attending lectures and exploring the greater Surabaya region. Everyone is so accommodating, providing us with traditional Indonesian food everywhere we go.

Each business that we visit teaches us more about Indonesian agriculture. A poultry feed producer showed us an integrated business model, a fertiliser factory introduced many of us to large scale production and a leather producer showed us the labour intensive process of making leather.

Our next destination is Malang.”




February 7, 2020

“Our week in Malang has been full of contrasts. Spending the first day touring the volcanic park surrounding Mount Bromo showed us the determination that local farmers had to make use of all available land. It also showed us the importance of managing soil erosion on steep, light soil.

This small scale, steep country farming was much different to our visit to Greenfields, Indonesia – a large-scale integrated dairy producer. The business’s attention to animal wellbeing and health and safety to produce premium dairy products was a strategy NZ’ers know well. However, the indoor barns equipped with cow scratchers and fans to keep the cattle cool were a new addition.

An interesting aspect of Indonesia is that business culture and language can change drastically from one island to another. During the week, we studied the business culture of Java (the most populous island), hosted by Brawijaya University as well as visiting several start-up companies.”


WEEK FOUR – Yogyakarta


February 13, 2020

“Travelling by train from Malang to Yogyakarta was a great way to see the countryside. Once we arrived, we were greeted by local students from Gadjah Mada University.

The previous two weeks were jam-packed and this one was no exception. However, a couple of highlights stood out for me.

Visiting a permaculture farm showed us a lot of the benefits that we had previously learned in our lectures at Lincoln and Massey University. Things like companion planting, soil restoration and utilising a circular model where any bi-products are put back into the system helped show the real-world application for a lot of what we learn in our degrees. The philosophy of community and sustainability held by all who volunteered at the farm was also rewarding to experience.

We also were lucky enough to visit a market place where locals sell everything from salak (snake fruit) and gardening tools to handmade crafts and fireworks. Like everywhere else we’ve been, the locals loved talking to us and seeing us take an interest in their lives.

My final highlight of Yogyakarta was being able to visit Prambanan Temple. The scale and carvings of the giant stone temples is enough to impress anyone. However, the fact that it was built over 1000 years ago, destroyed in an earthquake 400 years ago and pieced back together 100 years ago, makes it an amazing symbol of faith and our ability to work towards something greater than ourselves.”


WEEK FIVE – Back home


February 18, 2020

“So, our time in Indonesia has come to an end. Unfortunately, our programme finished 1 week early due to concerns about the Coronavirus. But everyone agreed it was the safest way to go.

Looking back, the past 3 weeks have been an absolute blast! We’ve seen so many places, ate foods we didn’t know existed and learnt about an entirely new way of life. We learnt about agricultural systems similar to home as well as ones unique to Indonesia. However, the best part of all has been meeting Indonesia’s amazing people.

As part of our assessment, we completed a business report investigating a potential product to trade between New Zealand and Indonesia. Before travelling to Indonesia, I had no idea of the potential for international trade for New Zealand or the growth occurring within Indonesia. I can’t wait to take this new knowledge back home and use it as I finish up my last year at university.

I’d like to thank the Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Asia as well as Massey and Lincoln University for making this once-in-a-lifetime trip possible.”