Exploring Social Change

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Indonesia Alumni Tour


Program Dates: January 2018
Open to: Professionals, VIA alumni, and guests/travel companions/partners
Location: Yogyakarta and Bali, Indonesia

This program will spend 10 days in Yogyakarta and Bali, Indonesia taking a behind-the-scenes look at history and tourism in these two provinces. Led by Balinese anthropologist Degung Santikarma and VIA’s Izzy Rhoads, a PhD Candidate in Law, this is not your average eco-tour.


Issues covered will include: fair trade, gender and sexuality, Islam, permaculture, Indonesian political history and US foreign policy in the region – particularly during the Vietnam War, environmental activism and response to large scale tourism in Bali, disaster risk reduction, arts and social movements and current trends in appropriate technology for community development. The tour will meet directly with local activists and groups in both provinces working on these issues. In addition to meeting with local organizations, we’ll explore Bali’s rice fields and beaches, Java’s volcanoes, and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Borobudur – the world’s largest Buddhist temple – and Prambanan.

Participants will have access to a curated reading list on contemporary issues in Indonesia, dozens of activists, academics and professionals in Indonesia, and visit VIA partners that are currently hosting long-term fellows from our Global Community Fellowship program. VIA is not a tour company, and this is not your average tour. Each of our excursions and visits to community organizations will be visits to long-standing partners with whom we have developed relationships over nearly 50 years of working in Indonesia. We’ll be examining and understanding local issues from people directly involved in advocacy, campaigning and the day-to-day work of social change. We will see tourist and heritage sites from multiple perspectives, and come away from the trip with a multi-faceted understanding of contemporary Indonesia.

Trip Leader Bios

Izzy Rhoads: Izzy was a 2009-2010 VIA volunteer in Yangon, Myanmar, and has worked at VIA since 2011. Before joining VIA she was a Fulbright Fellow in Indonesia. Izzy is currently a PhD candidate in Law at King’s College London. She has a BA in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College and an MA from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Izzy focuses on VIA’s short term academic programs, working on designing and running innovative programs for local and foreign students from high school to PhD level. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Central Java’s temple complexes and a good karaoke session.

Degung Santikarma: Balinese anthropologist who works on political violence and the aftermath of violence and trauma in Bali. His most recent work is in press with the University of Pennsylvania and is the result of 20 years of collaborative research with his wife, Prof. Leslie Dwyer, on post-conflict memory in Bali.

Participation Costs

Program costs are estimated to be $3750 (this includes a $1,500 non-refundable deposit*)

  • Included: All meals, lodging, admission tickets, travel insurance, and transportation (including local flights between Bali and Yogyakarta).
  • Not included: International airfare.

*Because VIA is a nonprofit organization, we can issue you a receipt for the $1,500 non-refundable deposit as the tax deductible portion of the fee making this tour an incredible value.

Housing & Transportation

All accommodations and in-country transportation will be arranged by VIA, and is included in the program fee. Most hotel rooms will be single occupancy. In cases where double-occupancy is available, you will have the opportunity to select your preference and indicate if you have a preferred roommate.

Traveling in Indonesia

Our staff are very familiar with the locations on the program itinerary and are able to accommodate a variety of special requirements.

  • We can accommodate food allergies, intolerances and special diets.
  • We can accommodate various mobility levels and health issues – just let us know in advance what your needs may be.
  • The cost includes travel insurance/health/evacuation insurance for the duration of the trip – we will make sure you receive prompt, quality medical attention should it become necessary.
  • All accommodation will be in local full-service hotels with air-conditioning, wifi, hot buffet breakfasts, and mosquito control.
  • Generally, the physical activity level is low. However, there will be some walking tours at locations that are mostly wheelchair accessible, except for a few areas. We will let you know in advance how physical the day’s activities will be. Your activity level is largely up to you – we encourage more active and adventurous participants to take morning walks, bike or run in Bali, or explore Jogja on foot or on bike.

“VIA is an incredible group of people that truly have a love for their own culture and for others. Their ability to share this love for cross-cultural communication is extraordinary. It is a second-nature to them, and it is all the more remarkable when these members share their stories, and allow us to experience new situations. Well done to all members within this organization.”– Joshua Mahuna, Summer 2016

How to Register for the Study Tour

  • Register Online – Click the “Apply” button above to complete the online form. You only have to complete the first page to register for the tour. After that, there are additional sections for your passport, travel information, and emergency contact’s information which can be completed at a later time.
  • Register by Mail or Email – Download registration form linked below. You can choose either a Word doc or PDF version. After you have filled out the form, it can be emailed to Melissa (melissa|at|viaprograms.org) or mailed to our office: VIA c/o WeWork, 995 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.