Refugees and Migration


 29 NOV - 12 DEC 2020



The Politics of Survival – Refugees and Migration in Indonesia

Indonesia is a key transit country for refugees and many of them spend years living there while they’re waiting to be processed through the official channels and settled in receiving countries. As a lower middle income country currently working through many of its own social and economic issues, Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Refugees there cannot work, go to school, access health care, rent property, get married or travel. In 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees advised refugees living in Indonesia that they should prepare to remain there indefinitely, as opportunities for resettlement in receiving countries are increasingly limited. For the 15,000 or so refugees living in Indonesia, this means they must prepare for a lifetime of uncertainty.

Many Indonesians are migrants themselves, moving to work as domestic workers or labourers in big cities like Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai where salaries are many times what they might hope to earn at home. In order to secure these jobs, people often go into significant debt – usually to the companies that arrange for their placement and travel – and it can take them up to a year to pay it back. Once they’re working overseas, migrant workers are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and neglect and a number of factors make it very difficult for exploited workers to extract themselves from a negative situation.

On this program, you’ll meet the people and organisations working in this space and learn about the issues affecting refugees and migrant workers. We’ll investigate the issues from a range of perspectives and debate the policy settings of various governments regarding migration and refugees. We’ll also explore the motivations of people who leave homes in order to survive and to make a better life for themselves and their families.


Indonesia is a beautiful and complex country of more than 240 million people spread across 1300 ethnic groups, 700 linguistic groups and 17,000 islands on the edge of the equatorial ‘ring of fire’. It’s famous for its beautiful mountains, stunning beaches and marine ecosystems, year round warm weather and even warmer smiles on the faces of every Indonesian you’ll come across. While it’s definitely a strong contender for the title of ‘tropical island paradise’ it’s also a complex country with a rich history.

Today, Indonesia remains a country in transition, and it is not without its challenges. As is the case in many places around the world, in recent decades there has been an increase in support for conservative right wing politics. Development has occurred unevenly across the country and some areas are under increasing population and environmental pressure. Despite this, Indonesia remains a fascinating place to visit and has a booming tourism industry. However, most visitors see little more than the southern beaches and bars of Bali. There is so much more to see and experience and discover than this – visiting Indonesia with us will challenge every stereotype you’ve heard about this country. You’ll leave with a changed understanding of this important country and a desire to discover more of what it has to offer.

ItineraryWe will travel to Jakarta and Bogor, meeting with key agencies and NGOs who advocate for the rights of refugees and migrants. We will explore the various outreach and refugee support projects that are available in Indonesia. Most importantly, we will not only investigate the full scope of how refugees and migrants live in Indonesia, but why they left their home countries in the first place.

Non Guaranteed departures will be confirmed once we reach the minimum numbers of students. You will be notified as soon as the tour is confirmed.
CostAU $3570

Eligible for OS-HELP funding.
InclusionsWhat’s included?
• 12 day fully developed itinerary
• twin share accommodation for 12 nights in 3-star hotels with breakfast and WIFI (single rooms available for a supplement)
• all ground transportation
• all activities
• some meals
• cultural activities as per itinerary
• Academic and support staff on the ground with you
• expert industry guest speakers and site visits
• 3 hours of survival language training so you can start to communicate with the locals
• 24/7 on the ground pastoral care and support from staff trained in first aid, mental health first aid, and critical incident response
• pre-departure information kit and briefing (online)
• de-brief on return
• membership to our alumni group
• support to negotiate credit with your university so you can access OS HELP funding

What’s not included?
• return airfares to Indonesia
• travel insurance
• travel vaccinations
• passport and Visa costs
• some meals
• tourist activities in your free time
• transport costs in your own time
• spending money/souvenirs
Why Choose RoamWe are development sector specialists

ROAM is a specialist international development and international education management contractor, with over 27 years’ experience working on behalf of key bilateral and multilateral donors, including DFAT and the Asian Development Bank.

We know Indonesia

ROAM has been working in Indonesia for more than 20 years. We have 3 staff working in our Jakarta office. Over the years we have managed several different programs on behalf of Australian Government and Indonesian Government clients. We have mobilised more than 400 Australian volunteers to Indonesia under the Australian Volunteers for International Development program and the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program, as well as more than 50 young Australian Scholars to study in Indonesia under the New Colombo Plan, and Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Awards Programs. On this program we’ll introduce you to a range of senior people working in the sector so you can build your professional networks.

We’re experiential learning and mobility experts

We’ve been running study tours and placement programs throughout the Indo-Pacific region for more than 4 years. Over this time we’ve taken more than 400 students on Study Tour programs. For 16 years we also managed the Australian Volunteers for International Development program. On this program we mobilised and supported more than 1200 Australians to live and volunteer in more than 30 developing countries around the world. This has made us experts in all the challenges that people face when they’re adapting to life in another culture, and we’ll be there to help you navigate those challenges successfully.

You’ll be part of a small group

Whereas some providers offer programs for groups of 40 or more students, we cap our program sizes at 26 students per intake. This ensures you get a quality experience and means your group leaders will know your names, there’ll be time and space for you to ask questions and you won’t feel like you’re lost in the crowd. It also means you’ll get to know the other students on the program better, and you’ll probably make some lifelong friends and industry connections. Smaller group sizes also mean we’re less obvious when we’re travelling through the destination.

We’ve got your back

Things don’t often go wrong, but we can’t control everything – least of all the Mother Nature – and occasionally we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. In our years of supporting Australians living and working overseas, we’ve worked to keep our people safe just about every situation you can imagine – cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis volcanic eruptions, personal illnesses and rapidly changing political situations. We have strong risk management systems and processes, and regularly monitor the situation in the countries where we go. All of our group leaders are trained in First Aid, Mental Health First Aid and Critical Incident Response. We have our own in-house risk management expert and we partner with leading international emergency response organisations to keep you as safe as possible and to respond quickly and professionally in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong.

Superbly Organised and Well-Prepared

The entire trip was of huge benefit. The chance to work closely with fellow students in a wholly new environment really fosters a unique energy and ethos that enables engagement on a level I had never previously experienced in university life. I feel privileged to have been able to visit so many fantastic sites, meet so many interesting people and really get to feel the fabric of life in Vietnam. The unit affords you the opportunity to put a lot of the theoretical ideas you have been reading about in classes into real-world practice which, personally speaking, has given me a renewed vigour and confidence in my continuing studies. Scope Global provided an inventive and varied timetable in which we

Spencer Platten, Student
Vietnam Study tour 2017

It Could Not Have Been Any Better!

In July 2018, Kelly Payne from Scope Global and I as the academic coordinator took a group of 24 students on a 2.5 weeks study tour to Vietnam. The study tour aims to provide students with new insights about the historical, cultural, economic and political context that has shaped development in Vietnam. It was the first time I was in Vietnam with my students… after the first meeting with Kelly it was clear that she is highly committed to make this tour a success and we started to work together on the program. I am so glad that I continued working with Scope Global. Without Kelly’s outstanding support before, during and also after the tour (already revising and planning the

Dr Thomas Wanner, Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide
Vietnam Study tour 2018

Deserves a Medal

As far as I am concerned, she (Kelly Payne) deserves a medal! The calmness and professionalism with which she has handled her side of things (and there have been several difficult students in this group, particularly once the health crisis hit) is absolutely amazing… she has been amazing at handling the complicated situations that have come up during this study tour. This experience has vindicated my decision to insist on working with Scope Global all these years. The importance of an experienced and qualified logistics and support staff member has never been as clear as in this study tour.

Dr Benito Cao, Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide
Singapore Study Tour 2018

Amazing Experience

Cultural competence is a huge part of being a health professional and particularly within the multidisciplinary team and allied health environments. This program was so valuable in putting individual and population health in developing counties into context and perspective. The knowledge and understanding gained about the culture is an invaluable and amazing experience. It has helped me to better shape my professional practice and the way in which I will conduct patient care in the future. I feel this cultural experience and immersion program will benefit me hugely in the future when it comes to gaining meaningful and appropriate employment.

Monash University Student
Vietnam Integrated Health Study tour 2018

It Has Given Me a New Perspective

As I have a passion for working with people that are linguistically and culturally diverse, this experience has been incredibly beneficial for future employment. It has given me a new perspective on acclimatizing to a new country… and with this I learnt the challenges and barriers to settling into a different country that is not home…. It has made me improve my own communication methods which will help with future employment.

Monash University Student
Cambodia Integrated Health Study tour 2018

Stimulating and Thought Provoking

The cultural and historical visits were particularly powerful in gaining a perspective of the recent trauma that has inevitably impacted Cambodian health. The visit to the World Health Organisation was particularly engaging and a highlight – it put a perspective on global health that I had not previously considered and the discussions were stimulating and thought provoking…

Monash University Student
Cambodia Integrated Health Study tour 2018

I hope it was my first trip to Vietnam of many more to come

Vietnam was my first experience of South East Asia. It was a humid, beautiful, rewarding, friendship-building, career-confirming, and often challenging, whirlwind 4 weeks. Visiting and connecting with local and international NGOs provided a really unique perspective to complement the more theoretical aspects of my degree. It was also truly rewarding to interact with local people beyond the ‘tourist’ level. I ate at their table, shared their food, improved my terrible language skills, and listened to stories about their lives.  I hope it was my first trip to Vietnam of many more to come.

Lauren Tropeano, Student
Vietnam Development Studies Tour 2016

I was so grateful to get the opportunity

I was so grateful to get the opportunity to visit and be guided through the practical elements of development, and to gain a better understanding of problematic phenomenon on the ground. Understanding theoretical concepts is one thing, seeing them put into practice is a whole other experience.  This trip has provided a wealth of knowledge and broad based understandings that have propelled my learning and has empowered me to become proactive in the field. Visiting these projects really brings development alive for students. Thank you for providing the time and opportunity to share your everyday experiences in development with us.

Michele White, Student
Vietnam Development Studies Tour 2016