• August 2018 Edition

    Welcome to the first edition of the Fulbright ETA Monthly Highlights from the 2018-19 cohort! Twenty-two new English Teaching Assistants arrived in Indonesia on July 22, 2018. They were welcomed by the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation (AMINEF) – the binational Fulbright Commission for Indonesia – and received a security briefing from US embassy personnel before heading to their sites. During their first week at site, ETAs moved into their new homes, were welcomed by their host schools, observed classes and explored their local communities.

    After a week, the ETAs gathered again for a two and a half week orientation held in Sentul, West Java. The 2018 Fulbright ETA Orientation held at Pusat Pengembangan Strategi dan Diplomasi Kebahasaan (PPSDK) was a chance for ETAs to receive tools and skills to navigate their 10-month grant period in Indonesia. Through a host of sessions, the ETAs were given opportunities to think, learn, discuss and ask questions about Indonesian and American culture, education, health and lifestyle. In addition, a significant portion of the orientation was dedicated to Bahasa Indonesia language learning. There were many highlights of orientation but ETAs really enjoyed meeting the Deputy Chief to the US Mission to Indonesia Heather Variava, visiting local markets to practice Indonesian language skills, interacting with Fulbright ETA alumni and learning practical teaching activities to use in the classroom. At the conclusion of orientation, ETAs cited feeling supported by their peers, prepared for co-teaching in the classroom, excited to build relationships with community members and ready to truly begin their grant experience.

    August was the first full month in Indonesia for the ETAs. On August 16, ETAs and their co-teachers headed back to site just in time for Indonesia’s Independence Day festivities and Eid al-Adha. This month’s monthly highlights reflect ETAs participating in big community events, building connections with their host communities, and co-teaching their first lessons.

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    AMINEF American Program and Communications Teams


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    Please share with us your favorite stories: which stories struck you as interesting, which teaching method is most fun or you’d like to apply, or which activity you’d like to hear more. Email us at: socmedia@aminef.or.id and we’ll post your feedback in the next newsletter and you may win a special thank-you gift from us. 

    Indonesia ETA Orientation

    This year marks the 15th cohort of Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) in Indonesia. The 2018-19 cohort is made up of 22 individuals from around the United States. This year, the ETAs will be teaching across Indonesia in the following cities: Padangsidempuan, Payakumbuh, Bukittinggi, Padang, Pangkalpinang, Temanggung, Demak, Semarang, Gresik, Malang, Samarinda, Sangatta Utara, Labuan Bajo.. Read More..


    On August 17, 2018, Indonesia celebrated its 73rd year of independence. It was the day after the English Teaching Assistants returned from orientation. ETA Sophia Lopresti accepted an invitation on behalf of her and her sitemate, ETA Amanda Cahn, to attend a parade the following day. Unsure what to expect in their first couple of.. Read More..

    A Day Full of Yes

    The first unit that ETA Riley Heist taught at her sight was based on “planning”. The students spent the first lesson in the unit playing “four corners” as they made imaginary plans to visit countries all over the world to meet their idols, eat their favorite foods, and take pictures to, of course, post on.. Read More..

    Monkeying Around in a Mango Tree

    Near the end of August, ETA Andrew Shifren visited nearby dormitories owned by the Catholic church. Many of his students, whose homes are far from school, live in these dormitories and help with day-to-day tasks and maintenance. A sprawling garden full of mango and papaya trees, lettuce plants, and teak trees in the back of.. Read More..

    Makan Dulu, ya?

    This month was an exciting beginning to ETA Catherine Krol’s nine month stay in Gondanglegi. Idul al-Adha arrived, which meant animal sacrifice, communal eating and even a Manasik Haji event where the students of MAN 1 all practiced for a future pilgrimage to Mecca. A notable cultural event was the Tumpeng-making competition between the classes,.. Read More..

    Night Talks

    As a way to get to know students better and to improve their English listening skills, as well as cultural understanding, ETA Anna Ringheiser and her counterpart have been holding “night talks” for the dorm students. These talks happen most weeknights for just 30 minutes, and are held in the student dorm. The students gather.. Read More..

    Farming – From North Dakota to Indonesia

    After learning that the surrounding areas of Temanggung are home the best coffee and tobacco farms in Indonesia, ETA Allison Cwikla was ecstatic, regarding the coffee beans at least. However, after spending a beautiful August day off-roading through tobacco farms, she became ecstatic about the beauty of the tobacco leaves as well. Allison left the.. Read More..

    Home of the Brave

    Teachers witness extraordinary acts of bravery on a daily basis. A student might volunteer an answer to a question that would have never made sense to a fluent English speaker. A student might excitedly sit next to the monolingual English teacher on a six-hour bus ride instead of with their friends. A student might decide.. Read More..

    First English Club

    On August 28, ETA Anna Misenti led her first English conversation club of the semester at SMAN 1 in Padang Sidempuan. 24 enthusiastic students participated, and the warm-up “speed dating” conversation activity was a big hit. Students had a minute to discuss each question with a partner before having to switch partners and talk about.. Read More..


    During the first month in Indonesia, ETA Alexandra Gwynn launched an English club for teachers inciting staff interest with everyone’s favorite topic, makanan (food)! The club immersed itself in American and Indonesian cuisine topping off lessons with group cooking, enak (delicious)! On August 19, Alexandra traveled with Bu Hanik, a colleague, to an English school.. Read More..


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