Join Bali Institute and Oregon State University (OSU)
for a 16 day 15/ night
Culturally Immersive Human Environment Interaction Program
June 20 – July 5, 2017
This course is designed to give students an introduction to the field of Human-Environment Interaction using Human Geography–the study of human activities, patterns, processes and institutions–globally and in specific places, and their relationship to the environment in Bali. Bali is a microcosm showing that we live in a varied and dynamic world, and this course will expose participants to a range of topics that demonstrate how a geographic perspective can enhance our understanding of the dynamics between culture, economy, politics, sustainability and ecosystem integrity.
Bali is one of the most unique islands on planet earth: Culturally it is a mix of Hindu and Animist religions; Environmentally it holds incredible terrestrial and aquatic diversity, beaches, jungles, volcanoes, coral reefs and indigenous and modern agricultural landscapes; Politically and Economically is has taken a very different path to development than the rest of Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly; and in terms of Health and Well-being it is a “blue-zone,” a place where people live longer and in better health than much of the rest of the world. Bali, then, is an incredible laboratory for focusing on some of the most interesting and important questions of the past, present and future of human-environment interaction.
This field course in Bali will examine this complex relationship between people and environment by traveling in and through the landscape. You will have the opportunity to explore tropical forests, coral reefs, ancient temples, villages, both indigenous and futuristic approaches to sustainable living, and more. As a result, students from all majors and programs will find something of interest in this course.
The over-arching goal is to learn to look at, think and write about the world through a human-geographic perspective, and to gain critical thinking and research skills working on a field-based research project. Lectures, films, readings and field activities are all aimed at exploring our world from various points of view—different places, landscapes, cultures, politics, economics and ways of life. Specifically, students will:
- Use and gain competence using maps and spatial data to understand and solve problems
- Recognize and interpret the associations of phenomena in Bali, between different places and the relationships between patterns and processes
- Synthesize information about cultural, political, economic and environmental issues in Bali and relate this to broader patterns if human-environment interaction
- Characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places within Bali
Finally, you will demonstrate knowledge of global issues, processes, trends and systems; identify aspects of one’s culture and other cultures, their similarities and differences; recognize and understand how historical forces have shaped current conditions and systems in Bali; and recount and describe the links between these and your own lives.
- To be able to employ a geographic perspective and diverse cultural frames of reference to think critically, solve problems and recognize the connections of human geography to other subject areas using Bali as a living laboratory.
- To gain critical thinking and research skills and experience examining different approaches to understanding social processes and institutions in Bali.
- To recognize and demonstrate an understanding of the complicatedness of the wider world.
Intertwined with the class time are the following activities and excursions:
In and around Ubud
- Intro to Bali orientation
Bali Institute staff will share information on health and safety, cultural norms, and a brief historical overview of Indonesia and Bali.
- Learn Balinese music and dance, wood carving and offering-making at a local banjar (community center)
Legong Dance is a form of Balinese dance. It is a refined dance form characterized by intricate finger movements, complicated footwork, and expressive gestures and facial expressions. Legong probably originated in the 19th century as royal entertainment. Legend has it that a prince of Sukawati fell ill and had a vivid dream in which two maidens danced to gamelan music. When he recovered, he arranged for such dances to be performed in reality.
- Visit a village where thousands of herons nest in the trees above the main road
- Try exotic fruits at a traditional pasar (market)
The morning market opens at 4.00 am, with hundreds of local Balinese doing their daily shopping for fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, spices, traditional cakes, prepared foods, and offerings for religious ceremonies. We will arrive early to try some of the exotic fruits (salak, manggis, srikaya, nangka, etc.) and traditional cakes (lapis, pukis, dadar gulung, etc.) before the market transforms into a souvenir market for tourists later in the morning.
- Walk through serene rice paddies and learn about Bali’s subak irrigation system, which has been given a UNESCO World Heritage designation
- Take a dip in a holy spring temple where countless Balinese go for purification rituals each year
- Have lunch overlooking Mt. Batur in Kintamani
- Sample Bali’s famous coffee at a coffee plantation and have the opportunity to try the notorious “Luwak” coffee.
- Visit ARMA Museum and meet Agung Rai, the founder
- Have lunch at a Balinese women’s center and learn about their job skills and healthy living programs
- Attend a private dinner and dance performance at the Peliatan Palace. Over dinner, you’ll have the opportunity to ask the Prince questions about Bali’s traditional culture as well as modern-day challenges
- Visit with a traditional healer
Location 2: North Bali – Pemuteran
Pemuteran is a small fishing village on the northern coast of West Bali. It is located in close proximity to West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island, and Gilimanuk, the port allowing passage between Bali and Java. Pemuteran is home to the largest artificial coral reef project in the world, and the village’s model of community-based tourism and conservation has been recognized by the United Nations.
- Visit an award-winning coral restoration project and snorkel over the coral structures
- Visit a sea turtle hatchery and conservation project
- Share a meal with a local Balinese family at their home and join them for a ceremony at Melanting Temple
- Sunrise Boat Ride
- Stretch with a morning hike in West Bali National Park
- Enjoy a picnic lunch at Gilimanuk Bay
Location 3: West Bali – Mengwi
Mengwi is located in the western part of Bali and is famous for its rolling green landscapes, clove and coffee plantations and spectacular rice paddies. The village of Mengwi has a long and rich history associated with its royal family, one of Bali’s main ancient kingdoms, and is nestled in shady coconut groves, surrounded by rice fields and rivers.
- Village Walk
Get a feel for village life in Mengwi on this walk guided by a local Balinese elder. He will show you the area’s famous royal temple, the local banjar, the first-of-its-kind Holistic Hospital of Mengwi, and share information about the area’s long tradition of rice farming the fertile land of the area.
- Spend a morning visiting an iconic temple by the sea
- Have an engaging meeting with an internationally-renowned cultural leader and entrepreneur who is recognized for his projects, concepts on community-based tourism and cultural preservation
- Optional: participate in a session with a local healer who uses numerology and astrology in his readings
- Enjoy a delicious final dinner and end your journey to Bali with a special closing ceremony at an important temple of the Mengwi royal family
Program Fee: $2150 – twin occupancy
Program fee includes:
- Balinese homestays and local Balinese style hotels in shared rooms
All breakfasts, most lunches and 7 dinners
- Entrance fees and donations for all activities on final itinerary
Pickup at Denpasar Airport for all students on first and last day of program.*
- All transportation throughout the program
- Laundry and personal items
- International phone calls
- Optional activities outside of the program itinerary
*Individuals not arriving or departing with the group will need to arrange for their own transportation and any nights of accommodation outside of the program dates.
About your program Leader:
Demian Hommel is a Senior Instructor of Geography, Environmental Sciences, and Marine Resource Management.
At the center of his research and teaching interests is a longstanding engagement with theories of political ecology and post-colonialism to examine the impact of environmental change on security and stability in Southeast Asia. Over the last few years Demian has devoted most of his time to examining recovery and redevelopment after disasters, specifically the 2004 Asian tsunami and to the impact of the media on planning and decision-making. His doctoral research was based on long term field-work in Southwestern Thailand and generated a lifelong concern with questions of development, security, spatial differentiation and the subsistence of under-represented communities.
While at Oregon State University he has tried to deepen his understanding of the intersections between political ecology, vulnerability and adaptability to climate and other environmental changes, a set of interests he shares with a number of his colleagues in the college from whom he has benefited greatly.
Demian is committed to excellence in teaching and is an advocate for place-based and experiential education, service learning, and research-informed teaching.
For more information and to register for this program,
please click here.
Bali Institute for Global Renewal is the largest provider of cultural immersion and service learning programs for universities and high schoolers based in Bali, Indonesia. Other programs include internships and practicum opportunities, faculty training programs and other services to international groups and organizations in their quest to provide inspired learning towards global citizenship. Bali Institute is located in Ubud, Bali and Sausalito, California. It is the only affiliate member of ISEP, and an educational partner with Udayana University and Ganesha University — both based in Bali.
For more information about how we can design a custom program for your university, class, or organization please click here.