Indonesian students partake in cultural activities and language learning in their classes.
Indonesian students partake in cultural activities and language learning in their classes.

Why learn Indonesian? 

  • Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and the largest economy in Southeast Asia, making it an important player in the region. Having a working knowledge of the language and culture can help ROTC students build important relationships with Indonesian military and government officials.
  • Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, many of which are strategically located near important shipping lanes and natural resources. Knowledge of the language and culture can help ROTC students better navigate the region and understand the local dynamics.
  • The Indonesian military is a key partner for the United States in the region, particularly in areas such as counterterrorism, maritime security, and disaster response. Knowing the language and culture can help ROTC students work effectively with their Indonesian counterparts and contribute to important missions.
  • Finally, learning Indonesian as a critical language can help ROTC students stand out in their careers. As the United States continues to shift its focus to the Indo-Pacific region, individuals with expertise in the language and culture will be in high demand.

Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Indonesian are offered through the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) via the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Classes meet in-person for up to four hours synchronously, Monday to Friday, typically from 8 am – 12:30 pm Central time for 8 weeks. Various other activities and cultural events are scheduled throughout the summer, including weekly office hours with instructors, small group discussions, weekly conversation tables, meetings with Indonesian language partners, cooking classes, a film and lecture series, poetry night, a Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) Career Fair, Student Conference, and bi-weekly culture sessions geared towards increasing ROTC students’ intercultural mindset and developing valuable global leadership skills.

There are no language prerequisites for Year 1 Indonesian. Year 2 Indonesian requires two semesters of prior language study and Year 3 Indonesian requires four semesters of prior language study or the equivalent. Placement tests will occur on the first day of class to ensure correct placement.  All levels of Indonesian are intensive and worth 8 college credits, covering two semesters of language study in one summer and focusing on speaking, listening, reading, and writing. By the end of the course, students should be proficient enough at speaking, listening, and reading and can expect to achieve ILR 1 or ILR 1+ depending on retention and prior language experience.

Indonesian is an extremely fun and relatively easy language to learn. Past participants have completed the program with proficient speaking skills and confidence in their Indonesian language ability, in addition to enjoying all that Madison and the surrounding area has to offer in the summer. Read about one past student’s experience by clicking here. Be a trendsetter and take Indonesian — you will be glad you did!

Project GO at UW-Madison pays for: Tuition, course materials, travel to/from Madison, and room and board for all Project GO students. Please note that the room and board support is not intended to be comprehensive of all living costs a program participant may incur. The scholarship provides a meal stipend and single room occupancy in the UW-Madison residence halls. Any purchases a student wants to make outside of this will be the responsibility of the student’s.

The following costs will not be included in Project GO Funding: personal spending money, personal travel, costs for obtaining a passport, medication, and expenses for dependents.

How to Apply: Students interested in this program must complete two applications:

  1. Project GO common application (– application deadline is February 27, 2024
  2. For students who receive and accept a Project GO offer to study Indonesian at UW-Madison, the Project GO Coordinator will be in touch with next steps for enrolling at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI).

Please follow all application instructions carefully. For more information, please contact Project GO at UW-Madison staff at or at 608-263-3724.