Living in Indonesia

Category: Study Destinations
Posted on August 12, 2019

From the time that Homo-erectus inhabited this land until the ongoing 21st century, Indonesia has come a long way. This south-east Asian country has battled a long colonial history from the 16th to the 20th century, by Portuguese, Dutch & British rule. It is sharing its land borders with East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysian Borneo. This world’s fourth most populous country has a rich and diverse culture, and a range of natural highlights; from historic temples to 125 active volcanoes, perfect coral life to lush rainforests; the supreme Komodo Dragon to exotic beaches of Bali. This read will take you closer to the lifestyle - culture, food, language, and security code of Indonesia.

           Capital : Jakarta    Currency : Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)    Population : 261,115,456    Number of Universities : 546


Did you know that it is the world’s largest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands?

Only one-third of the islands are inhabited, and scientists predict the disappearance of 1500 by 2050. The islands hold the world’s second-largest biodiversity after Brazil, with unique species like Rafflesia arnoldii, orangutan, greater bird-of-paradise.


Indonesia has a good number of reputable universities for international students. If you are a language student, then Indonesia is the place to be in; whether you want to pursue Arabic in this big Muslim nation or want to learn the native dialect. Popular study cities located on the Java island - 

  • Yogyakarta
  • Malang
  • Jakarta



The heterogeneous mix of ethnic groups, religions, artworks, and languages, makes Indonesia a diverse community. It’s multiracial and multireligious fabric offers festivals soaked in tradition, including classical dance forms, wayang theater, and other performing arts. Here is a list of to-do things while your time-off from studies - 

  • Mt Bromo - Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
  • Lake Toba - Biggest Volcanic lake in the world
  • Temples - 
    • Uluwatu
    • Tanah Lot
  • Gili Islands, Lombok
  • Tana Toraja - Traditional Villages
  • Baliem Valley -  Lani, Dani and Yali tribes of Papua
  • Raja Ampat - Explore the marine life
  • Komodo National Park
  • Carnivals - 
    • Jember Fashion Carnival
    • Sekaten
    • Tomohon Flower Festival
    • Jailolo Bay Festival

Indonesia has a tropical rainforest climate, and unlike the western countries, there is enough sun to soak up all around the year.  

As a common practice, the university assigns a pen-damping or an English-speaking ‘buddy’ to their foreign students. You get a fantastic insight for getting around the best and cheapest eateries, the coolest hang-outs! 



The official language is Bahasa Indonesian. However, over 700 recognized words are spoken here. The most widely spoken out of these is Javanese, which forms the biggest ethnic group. The Indonesians are majorly Muslim (87.2%), with Protestants (7%), Catholics (2.9%), and Hindus (1.7%) too. Other languages used due to the colonial past are English and Dutch.

While English is spoken in the bigger cities and is a commonly used teaching medium, you will not find much English outside the major cities. So, it is worth learning some basic phrases to help you get around in your first few weeks.

Cultural Practice - Indonesians’ style of communication is indirect, and they generally avoid confrontation. Maintaining dignity and self-respect is an essential aspect of Indonesian culture. You should learn the local customs like dressing modestly and follow social etiquettes.



Indonesia offers some exceptionally delectable food at cheap costs. Students must try out the Indo-street-style noodles here. 

Rice is a national staple food. Corn is commonly used in eastern Indonesia. Indonesians food uses red chili paste and spicy peanut sauce usually to make it hot and spicy. An array of tropical fruits can be found here, including durian, star fruit, mango, and papaya.

Some famous Indonesian cuisines include - 


  • Sate (meat roasted on a skewer)
  • Krupuk (fried shrimp or fish-flavored chips)
  • Gado Gado (cold vegetable salad) 
  • Nasi goreng (fried rice)
  • Rendang (Nasi Padang)

Drinking is especially banned in the Muslim areas of Indonesia. But Jakarta and Kuta (Bali) are known for their dazzling club life, and you can always find a place to drink your beer.


Indonesia is a safe country to study in. Although petty theft problem prevails in major tourist spots and beach resorts, violent crimes against students or foreigners are rare. Also, you must keep your credit card in sight while using and be vigilant for the safety of your purse.

Life of a student in Indonesia is exciting and dynamic!! The university education here prepares you for the globalized world by broadening your horizons. The cheap costs and welcoming people make Indonesia a trendy study destination. 

Hope you will make an informed choice of studying in this country full of opportunities! Good Luck!

Priya Negi
Student Guidance Counselor & Avid Blogger
Priya Negi
Student Guidance Counselor & Avid Blogger

I am a Post-Grad in Finance who chose to quit my 5 years of Corporate job to eventually add value through words than numbers. I love helping my clients create fresh & innovative content that convey their brand value. My recent association with PlanAll enabled me to guide & counsel students academically towards making meaningful career choices. When I'm not writing, I can be found fulfilling the demands of my chirpy toddler at home.

Nihar Joshi
August 22, 2019 - 05:34am
Nihar Joshi August 22, 2019 - 05:34am

Good info about living in Indonesia.

Roma Kohli
August 14, 2019 - 05:00am
Roma Kohli August 14, 2019 - 05:00am

Awesome....Nice information about living in Indonesia. Thanks you PlanAll.

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