Study in Indonesia
Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia formed of thousands of islands, at the crossroads of the Indian and the Pacific Ocean.
Famous, especially for the fascinating and wonderful Bali Island, Indonesia has a rich and varied culture, a phenomenal cuisine and here you can enjoy low living costs. Indonesia counts around 6,000 international students, most of them coming from the neighbouring country of Malaysia. Since universities plan to deliver more English-taught programmes, the number of international students is bound to grow significantly.
Higher education in Indonesia is thought to provide a thriving academic environment that helps students advance and develop.
Find the best information about what it’s like to study in Jakarta, including degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.
Important and new characteristics of the higher education system of Indonesia acts upon a law enacted in 2012, stating that universities are bound to have institutional autonomy, quality assurance system and to enhance and strengthen vocational education and training.
Tertiary education is largely influenced by the Anglo-Saxon model, except for some institutions where medical and vocational education takes the form of the European model.
From a large number of around 3,000 universities, only around three percent are private. There are five types of higher education institutions that include: universities, institutes, academies, polytechnics and advanced tertiary schools. Some of the public universities have partnerships with universities from Australia, or Netherlands.
The academic year begins in early September and finishes in June.
General Application Requirements
Within most universities from Indonesia, international students can fill an online application, loading up the necessary documents and images or by sending all the documents in an email at the chosen university. As a recommendation, you will need to send the application approximately two months and a half before the intake starts due to the student visa procedure.
Here is a list of the most common requirements for the application process:
- Official and certified academic transcript from the last graduated school
- Legalised certificate of graduation
- A statement of purpose
- An English language proficiency certificate recognised by the university
- Proof of registration fee
Additional documents may be required by your chosen university (like cover letter from home school/university, curriculum vitae/resume etc.); always check with the university you are interested in regarding their list of necessary submission documents.
Applications will not be processed if proof of payment of the registration fee is not included.
Some of the leading and renowned universities from Indonesia are located in Bali, Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Surabaya.
Offerings of universities in Indonesia cover Bachelor and Master degree courses and PhD programmes. You can specialise in fields like: technology, engineering, earth sciences, architecture, pharmacy, law, economics, agriculture, marketing, tourism, medicine, arts and more, with university programmes focusing mostly on interdisciplinary teaching style.
Language of Instruction
Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), the official language of the country, is the language of instruction used in most universities. If you want to pursue an Indonesian-taught degree course, in most cases you will be required the TIBA (Tes Bahasa Indonesia sebagai Bahasa Asing) Indonesian language proficiency test. After enrolment, you can study Indonesian language in addition to your study programme.
However, most international students apply for programmes that are taught in English and they are asked to present one of the following internationally certified language tests: IELTS, TOEFL, and others.
More Indonesian universities are starting to offer programmes that are taught entirely or partly in English. These institutions are mostly to be found in the Jakarta and Surabaya regions.
English language preparation for studying in Indonesia
Develop your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at Indonesian universities offering degree studies for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere in the world and pick your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.
Living in Indonesia
- Tuition fees in both public and private universities are affordable, as they generally don’t exceed 4,000 USD per year.
- The rent for a one-bedroom apartment costs between 150 and 300 USD per month, depending upon location.
- Living costs in big cities are about 450 EUR/month.
- The local currency is Indonesian Rupiah.
- Bahasa Indonesian language has twelve ways of saying "No" and several other ways of saying "Yes" when the actual meaning is "No".
- As Indonesia gathers the largest Muslim population in the world, women are advised to dress conservatively.
- Mudik is an annual and popular tradition in Indonesia, similar to Thanks Giving Day celebrated in the Western world.
- The equator cuts straight across Sumatra, Sulwesi, Kalimantan as well as a few other small islands that make up the middle part of Indonesia.
- Indonesia is home to around 150 volcanoes; however, most of them are not considered a threat even though the country does experience one volcanic eruption almost every year.
- Some of the most incredible attractions worth visiting in Indonesia include: Lake Toba (a volcanic lake) on the island of Sumatra, the Gili Islands, the Komodo National Park, Borobudur (one of the most famous Buddhist temple in the world), Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, and Mount Bromo.
- In Western New Guinea area, also part of Indonesia, you can check out the Baliem Valley and see the living conditions of the three local tribes, having traditions that remind you of the stone-age world.
Indonesia is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of 17,000 islands, most of them situated along the equator. The largest islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the Nusa Tenggara islands, the Moluccas Islands, and Irian Jaya, in the western part of New Guinea. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia.
The name for Indonesia comes from the Greek word ‘nesos’, which means ‘island’, and the Latin name ‘Indus’ which means land beyond the Indus river.
Indonesia is famous for its volcanoes, which are among the most active in the world and attract international volcanologists for study, and the tourists, for the incredibly wonderful seaside resorts.
Having over 250 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. Religion plays an active role in every-day life of an Indonesian and the country counts for the largest Muslim population of any country in the world. Many other religions are practised and officially recognised, such as: Hinduism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Confucianism.
The Dutch ruled Indonesia for nearly three centuries and by the beginning of the 20th century, after the Japanese invasion, Indonesia was encouraged towards independence, which took place in 1945.
The current legal system is still based on the old Dutch penal code and several Dutch words are still present in the Indonesian vocabulary. The cultural diversity of the country has marked the art and culture of Indonesia, today showing influences from the Far East, the Middle East, and Europe.
The World Economic Forum categorised Indonesia as an emerging economy, considered to enter the third stage of economic development. Indonesia is a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP.
Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system. The president of Indonesia is the head of state and head of government, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, and the director of domestic governance and foreign affairs.
Weather in Indonesia is affected by the location of the island, as it is placed across the equator. Mainly, there are two main seasons: the dry season that lasts from June to October, and the rainy season, which occurs from November to March.
Universities, colleges and schools in Indonesia
- Architectural Association (1 Short course)
How to Apply to a Master's in Indonesia
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Indonesia, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in Indonesia?
To apply to a university in Indonesia you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:
- birth certificate;
- recent photos;
- your passport or national identity card;
- one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
- copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
- academic transcripts;
- letter of intent;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.
Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.
The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Indonesia so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.
Prove your English skills
Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.
Application deadlines for Indonesia
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Indonesia are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.
To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.