Our first Summer School “Sustainability and Eco Tourism” in Bali

It’s a wrap! Our first Summer School in 2018 has come to an end. Most of our 11 participants already flew back to their home countries after an incredible 4 weeks in Bali, which were full of learning, exciting adventure and most of all, amazing friends!

The lectures

“Awakening, exciting and funny.”

With these 3 words Cecily, from Bucknell University, Pennsylvania USA, sums up her past 4 weeks in Indonesia. And indeed, this Sustainable Tourism Summer School in Bali was different from what we could have ever imagined. From these 4 weeks 9 days were spent in class at the Jimbaran campus of Udayana University. The classes offered an insight into a variety of topics, all centered around sustainable ways of living in Bali. A main focus was set on the Balinese philosophy “Tri Hita Karana”, which is reflected in everyday life and Eco Tourism concepts in Bali.

“Learning about the ‘Tri Hita Karana’ and talking to the locals” was one of the best experiences for Professor Lady, who will go back to her university in Guayaquil, Ecuador to spread the idea of the Balinese philosophy. “It’s really nice to learn about sustainability from a different point of view. And also, Tri Hita Karana is very important, not only for sustainability or just for tourism. If we apply Tri Hita Karana to [different aspects] of our life we would have a better planet to live on.”

Our participants also had the chance to learn more about sustainable aquaculture, the coral watch approach or about the mangroves in Bali. A bit off topic, but great fun, were the Bahasa Indonesia classes held by Pak Tika. We are proud to say that all of our summer school students are now able to have small talks in the local language of Indonesia. They have learnt how important it is to know at least a fraction of the language to get into touch with the local community.

The field trips in Bali

To provide an insight into the different aspects of “Tri Hita Karana” the students went on 5 excursions to 8 different sights in Central, North and South Bali. We went to a big hotel learning more about the “Earth Check Certification” and had the chance to audit a small Eco Hotel concerning sustainability and how the community is involved by the hotel’s business. We have seen cultural heritage sites and learned how they are managed. We traveled to Pemuteran in North Bali to not only learn about how the local community could successfully restore a part of the coral reefs that have once been destroyed. We could snorkel, or dive, down to the artificial reef structures and check the health of the corals with the coral watch chart.

Immerse into the Balinese way of life…

During lectures and field trips, we wanted to show the participants how to enjoy the island in the most sustainable way possible by connecting them with locals from different backgrounds. They have learned surfing with local surf guides, had the unique possibility to learn some parkour moves from the biggest Parkour community in Bali and discovered a hidden gem with a small little family owned homestay in the jungle of North Bali. Along the way, we have gasped at the most picturesque sunsets, trekked to hidden waterfalls, learned how to make traditional offerings and how religion is a vital part of the life of a Balinese family.

“This Summer School gives a very different perspective of Bali, it’s not only a vacation but you also see the local side of life.” Emily, student from Fordham University in New York

“I would definitely recommend this program. You can live 1 month in Bali and just experience this magical island. During the program you learn so much about sustainability, about eco tourism, about other cultures, about other languages and you just feel like a new person with so many new experiences.” Aitana, world traveler from Spain living in Switzerland.

Even though we could not go to Nusa Lembongan as planned due to a big swell, this Summer School in Bali was absolutely successful. Together with 11 students from 7 different countries we reached out to many local communities and were able to share knowledge and experiences, that will hopefully inspire all parties to a more sustainable way of living. We are looking forward to the next batch in January!