A water temple in Bali, Indonesia

Bali: Water & Culture from Rainforests to Reefs

  1. Program Details

    Global Seminar Winter Break 2019–20: Embark on a journey through rainforests, traditional villages, plantations, and cooperatives to foster a deeper understanding of our relationship with the environment.

    Location Bali and Java, Indonesia
    Term Winter Break
    Housing Homestay, Hotel
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite


  2. About Bali: Water & Culture from Rainforests to Reefs

    Visit numerous locations on two of Indonesia’s islands, Bali and Java. Indonesia provides a natural classroom for learning, with its status as a newly industrialized economy with burgeoning urban and industrial sector, yet with a significant portion of its citizens living as subsistence farmers. Indonesians make decisions every day that affect individual, family, and village welfare, but also have global consequences.

    Course Description

    Embark on a journey of a lifetime, through tropical rainforests, traditional villages, plantations, and cooperatives, to waken and deepen your understanding of the environment and how you connect with it. Learn about and reflect on the influences of local and global forces on rainforest habitat, the status of water resources, and community resiliency in Indonesia.

    Attend lectures and presentations by local experts, partake in numerous field excursions, and learn about Indonesians' challenges, opportunities, and successes as you grapple with daily issues of clean water. Interact with Indonesian students, residents, and experts while visiting local villages and universities.

    Through guided reflection, guest lectures, field excursions, and research, you will:

    • Develop new awareness with regard to your own relationship to the natural world and how your individual cultural tenets and ethics influence your attitudes and behaviors
    • Witness the challenges faced by the developing world citizen to providing for basic needs while meeting global environmental expectations
    • Enrich your cultural intelligence by experiencing the rich and vibrant culture of Indonesia
    • Interpret and extrapolate research findings to a North American context

    Bali: Water & Culture course page

    Housing & Meals

    Stay in shared hotel rooms with other program participants in both Java and Bali. Stay with a local host family for approximately five days while in Bali, giving you a unique look into the culture.

    All meals are included in the program fee.


    Excursions assist in illuminating program coursework and will take place in Bali, Java, and surrounding villages.

    Excursions may include visits to Mount Merapi Volcano, Ancient Brambanan (Hindu) and Borobudur (Buddhist) Temples, Islamic Mosques, Cultural and Arts Center of Java, International Heritage Site—Subak Irrigation Systems, Green School in Bali, and a rural excursion to local village with a host family stay.

    The program may also include a two-night excursion to another part of Bali. Potential destinations may be: highland rainforests of central Bali, coral reefs of the north coast, or the monsoon forest of West Bali National Park.


    All program participants will be taking the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight, you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center regarding your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
    • Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
    • Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches

    Faculty & Staff

    Dr. Gary Sands is a professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the UofM. He has been traveling to and working in Indonesia and Bali for over 30 years and is fluent in the Indonesian language. Dr. Sands' teaching and research is focused on water and the environment.

    Emily Steinweg is a graduate student in the Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering, and Management program. Her work experience and research at the University has been in the world of water resources engineering and conservation. She looks forward to traveling to Indonesia for a second time and again sharing the experience with students.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Field Study, Instructor-Led
    Program Level 3000 level coursework

    One 3-credit course

    Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:

    • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
    • Small groups of 15–25 students
    • No prerequisites or language requirements
    • Included excursions and cultural activities
    • Instruction in English


    In this Global Seminar, document and process experiences in Indonesia through various channels, such as journaling/blogging and discussion forum. Choose between writing a short paper or developing a short video showcasing an environmental issue in Indonesia in which you will reflect upon and incorporate learning about the social-cultural-economic-environmental relationships.

    You are expected to participate actively in planned excursions and class discussions.

    Language instruction is also part of this program. Each class day will begin with a basic lesson in Bahas Indonesia (Indonesian language). Learn about Indonesian culture through the language and gain the skills needed for basic conversation and navigating daily life.

    Receive credit for: CFAN 3519 or CFAN 5519

    Liberal Education Fulfillment: Global Perspectives and Environment themes

    Syllabus: 2019-2020 Draft Syllabus

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Application Deadline
    Winter Break 2019-2020 Dec 27, 2019  –  Jan 19, 2020 Oct 15, 2019

    Program dates are subject to change.

    If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    Winter Break 2020 Friday, November 8, 2019, 3:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. 395 Borlaug Hall, St. Paul
  5. Fees for Bali: Water & Culture from Rainforests to Reefs

    Winter Break 2019-2020: Cost of Participation

    The program fee includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program-related transportation, housing, all meals (except one day in Jakarta), entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term Winter Break 2020
    Program Name Global Seminar: Bali: Water & Culture from Rainforests to Reefs
    Track Name Bali: Water & Culture from Rainforests to Reefs
    Country Indonesia


    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

    Non-University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for this program.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.

    This program has reached a waitlist


    After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    • Application Essay

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    Next Steps

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Molly Micheels or call at 612.624.3949.

Program has reached waitlist

This program has now reached its participant limit. You may join the waitlist, but keep in mind a backup program.