From August 30 to September 6, eight students and two staff members from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, paid a visit to BINUS UNIVERSITY. The visit was part of a scholarship program called ‘New Colombo Plan’ which was initiated by the Australian government and targeted to educational institutions. The program aims to broaden students’ horizon and to gain new perspectives about other countries.

During the seven-day visit, the QUT delegation went to various sites in Jakarta. A series of programs were conducted based on the needs of the participants, students majoring in Fashion Design, to gain knowledge and references of Indonesia’s fashion scene, especially with Jakarta’s urban influence.

The program began with a visit to Alun-Alun Nusantara, Grand Indonesia, where the students attended an exhibition of the famous Indonesian fashion designer, Merdi Sihombing. On the second day, they visited a textile museum where the participants were given a tutorial in making tie dye. Merdi also introduced kain ulos, a fabric originally from the Batak ethnic of Sumatra, to the students. They were amazed wih the beauty of Indonesian fabric.

Their third day started with a visit to JWC campus. They attended a session introducing Indonesian people and culture. During the session, the students had an opportunity to observe an artwork exhibition by students of BINUS Northumbria School of Design (BNSD) while discussing and exchanging information about fashion and its current trend.

The next day, the participants learned about batik from Dr. Indra Tjahjani, a batik expert, and received a tutorial about how to make batik. In the evening, the participants presented a fashion show of their own in the residence of the Ambassador of Australia, in Menteng. On the fifth day, they visited Pasaraya Grande and Tanah Abang Shopping Area to see authentic Indonesian clothing materials. The participants enjoyed their experience there. The day continued to be even more pleasant as the participants attended an invitation from a famous Indonesian designer, Anne Avantie who was celebrating her 25th anniversary with a ‘Merenda Kasih’ theme in the evening. On day six, the participants went to Instyle Magazine Indonesia and The Goods Dept and Galeries Lafayete. Here, the participants acquired a lot of insights on urban fashion in Jakarta. The visit was wrapped up by visiting a boutique owned by Ferry Sunarto at the last day.

The participants were happy with their first visit to Indonesia. “It was a wonderful experience from the start. Every moment taught us new things. Now I know lots of things about Indonesia,” said Harriet, one of the students who joined the program. She wishes to return to Jakarta someday.