Five German Students in the Jungle and on Top of a Volcano

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Figure 1: Campuhan Ridge Walk

After exciting weeks with lots of adventures including meeting three of the students travelling to Germany at the end of October 2016 and a trip to Nusa Dua, we were thrilled to discover Bali’s natural sides we are not used to in Germany.

The life in Bali still fascinates us every day and we love every minute of the student exchange between Germany and Indonesia. We are eager to not only participate in class and do well in our academic studies, but also in exploring the real Bali.

We, Anna-Lena Sperlich, Julia Krämer, Nicole Skelnik, Tamma Heidrowski and Tobias Bluhm, are five students from the University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, Germany, and we decided to come to Udayana University for one exchange semester in 2016. Back home we are studying Tourism Development Strategies at postgraduate level.

Now we joined the International Tourism Class, which is the Masters programme in Tourism Studies, Postgraduate Programme University of Udayana, and we are excited to exchange knowledge and get to know more about the local cultures and tourism issues.

For discovering a different Bali than it is presented in the South around Kuta, we went to Ubud and its rainforest for three days to broaden our minds about the beautiful island of Bali. In Ubud we split apart and discovered several things on our own.

Dancing practices at Ubud Palace (Photo by Darma Putra)

Dancing practices at Ubud Palace (Photo by Darma Putra)

Next to a breath-taking infinity pool, the Ubud palace and the western-like shops we experienced the Campuhan Ridge Walk with fantastic views over the landscape and a nice conversation with locals about their traditions and housing, a very welcomed beauty treatment (for the girls) and some relaxation at our nice homestay. It was also very nice to do a bit of a research about sustainability in Ubud and evaluate the differences between Ubud and other places in Bali.

In order to get to know the students from our International Class better we invited our new friends to a classic German meal: Bratwürstchen mit Kartoffelsalat. We had to prepare food for 14 people, which took us round about four hours of cooking, cutting vegetables and mixing it.

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Figure 2: Bratwürstchen mit Kartoffelsalat

At four o’clock everything was set and our friends were arriving – the party was started and we all enjoyed lunch. While eating, we had entertaining discussions about various things and laughed a lot. Moreover, we discovered more of the differences in the German and Indonesian way of life. We are very happy to get to know the real life here in Bali and not just the life as a tourist.

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Figure 3: Pandawa Beach (Photo by Darma Putra)

The next event took place on the 14th September, 2016, at Pandawa Beach and was an organized class trip, were we got the chance to interview local people about Community Based Tourism, how it is exercised at this specific location and what actions were undertaken to strengthen the community’s business. We were asked to write a report about our findings and will present them next week in class to compare and discuss the results.

Pandawa Beach is quite different to the community based places we have been to before as it is visited by more domestic visitors than internationals. Therefore, the atmosphere was quite different. Due to the preparation in class, we knew what to look for and were able to spot the differences between Pandawa and the villages we have been visited privately before.

Around full moon on the 18th September 2016, three of us were thrilled to see the sun rise above the mountains at Mount Batur. After a very short night, we were picked up at 01:30 a.m. to get there in time. After two hours of driving our guide welcomed us and prepared us with flashlights to climb up the mountain safely within two hours.

Figure 4: Sunrise at Mount Batur

Figure 4: Sunrise at Mount Batur

At the beginning we were joking about the mountain and the grade but the mountain got his revenge: he who laughs last laughs longest. When we arrived at the top of the mountain we were exhausted and were looking forward to having a break while watching the sunrise. It was a picture perfect scene and we all enjoyed this moment! On the way back we realized that going down was even harder than hiking up and consequently we fell asleep very soon in the car back home.

We are looking forward to experiencing even more of Bali and are eager to pass the midterm exams as good as possible in the following days (Anna-Lena Sperlich and Tobias Bluhm).