Jackson School Journal
of International Studies

The Influence of Research Abroad

by admin, February 14, 2012

JSIS senior and Daily reporter Sandi Halimuddin shares her experience traveling to Indonesia with one of this year’s traveling task forces in today’s Daily! Here’s a snippet:

For the first two weeks of winter quarter, my academic studies occurred in government buildings and NGO offices, my homework involved trekking through rice paddies and mountainous forests, and my teacher was the beautiful country of Indonesia.

As part of the Jackson School of International Studies’ task force program on climate change in Indonesia, I traveled with UW associate professor Celia Lowe and seven undergraduates to Indonesia with the goal of researching carbon emissions from deforestation and land-use changes.

Yet the scholarly endeavors were only a piece of the full learning experience I had in broadening my understanding of the history, politics, and culture of my father’s home country, Indonesia.

We traveled 8,386 miles to Indonesia, where we researched and created policy recommendations for the United Nations’ program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries. REDD+ is a global attempt to create financial incentives for forest conservation in Indonesia.

Equipped with nothing but a few weeks worth of knowledge about forestry rights in Indonesia and elementary Bahasa Indonesian skills, I felt underqualified to produce non-trivial recommendations to a United Nations representative about how REDD+ can be implemented in an efficient, effective, and equitable manner. We worked in collaboration with a University of Indonesia research team led by Dr. Suraya Afiff, a professor of political ecology in the university’s anthropology graduate program. Our Indonesian counterparts were invaluable as academic partners, translators, cultural brokers, and friends.

To read more, check out the rest of the article here!

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