FOR Indonesian language student Carson McGovern, 150 minutes in the classroom each week learning her favourite subject is not nearly enough.
The year 10 Merewether High student has also changed her smartphone language settings to read all her messages in Indonesian, searches online for Indonesian news and accompanied her class to Malaysia in April this year.
But she is about to embark on her most all-consuming adventure yet: a two-week immersion course in Yogyakarta, Central Java, in January.
‘‘I’m so excited,’’ she said.
‘‘I knew I had a decent chance at getting accepted but I certainly didn’t expect it.’’
Carson is one of two successful NSW applicants for the Australia Indonesia Association of NSW’s CommBank Indonesia Scholarship, which includes staying with an Indonesian family, attending Indonesian school each day and supervised missions into the town to practice language skills.
‘‘I’m looking forward to every single part,’’ she said.
‘‘Just being able to use the stuff I’ve learnt in school in an everyday Indonesian setting and seeing if the things in our textbook are true or not.
‘‘When we practice speaking in the classroom we speak quite slowly, but when we listen to the CD they speak very quickly, so it would be good to get my ear used to that in real life.’’
Carson decided in year eight to pick Indonesian over German and French because she had not yet been exposed to the culture.
‘‘I started going pretty well and soon loved the language – I can’t imagine not doing it now,’’ she said.
‘‘English is so wordy whereas our class considers Indonesian to be more simple, they put words together, such as black eye glass instead of sunglasses.’
‘‘I’ve also learnt a lot about the culture, which is really interesting and different – for example, you’re not supposed to overtake someone when walking on the footpath, and if you do, you apologise.’’
Merewether High and Hunter River High are the only secondary schools in the region that offer Indonesian.
Just 190 students across NSW sat for 2014 Higher School Certificate exams in Heritage Indonesian and Indonesian Background Speakers, Beginners, Continuers and Extension.
Carson hopes to study medicine at university and return to Indonesia to provide aid.