Study in Indonesia

Are you planning to pursue higher studies in Indonesia? Are you looking for the details about Indonesian universities? Do you want to have the details about Indonesian student Visa, cost if living, etc? If yes, then all the related details can be obtained from below.

Indonesia Overview

Indonesia or Republic of Indonesia is a “Transcontinental Unitary Sovereign State" situated in Southeast Asia and having some territories in Oceania. It is situated between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Indonesia is the largest island country in the world and has more than 13000 islands.
It is the 14th largest country by area by having 1,904,569 sq kilometers of area.
By population, it is the 4th most populous country, most Muslim-majority country and most Austronesian country in the world.
Java- the most populous island of the world is in Indonesia is having more than half of the country's population. The country has 34 provinces and 5 among them are having special status. Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and is the second most populous urban area in the whole world. The country is surrounded by Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and East Timor. Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Andaman and Nicobar islands of India are also the neighbors of Indonesia.
The country is known for its abundant natural resources for oil, tin, natural gas, gold, and copper. The agriculture is also in trend in the country and they produce palm oil, rice, coffee, tea, medicinal plants, rubber, spices, etc in good quantity.

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About Indonesia


Indonesian calendar has around 13 to 17 national holidays every year. The government also announces some collective leave known as “cuti bersama" sometimes. It mostly comes between national holidays to create the long weekend. The holidays have 4 types- National, religious, international and commemorative. The religious holiday dates vary from one year to another.
They celebrate the New Year on 1st January of every year, 1st May is celebrated as Labor Day, 1st June is Pancasila day, and 17th August is celebrated as Independence Day in Indonesia. Apart from these holidays, they also celebrate Islamic New Year, Feast of the Sacrifice, Buddha's Birthday, Birth of Prophet, Chinese New year, Christmas, etc.

Quick Facts

  1. the capital of Indonesia is Jakarta which is also the largest city of the country.

  2. The official language is Indonesian and the recognized regional languages are Sundanese, Javanese, etc.

  3. The country is officially having 6 religions- Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

  4. The total area of the country is around 1,904,569 sq kilometers and the populations is 261,115,456 (estimated numbers).

  5. The currency is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) which is equivalent to 0.0047 Indian currency.

  6. The calling code is +62 for Indonesia.

  7. The ISO 3166 code is ID and the internet TLD is .id.

  8. the highest point of Indonesia is the peak of Puncak Jaya situated on the island of Papua at the height is 4,884 meters above the sea level.

  9. The world's largest lizards can be found on five Indonesian islands- Flores, Komodo, Rinca, Padar and Gili Motang.

  10. It has the 3rd most volcanoes in the world after the US and Russia.

  11. Indonesia is a part of the Pacific Rim “Ring of Fire".

  12. After Brazil, Indonesia is having the second largest level of Biodiversity by proving the shelter to thousands of various flora and fauna.

  13. The world's largest flower “Rafflesia" can be found in Indonesia only.

  14. The country exports around 3000 tons of frog's legs to France every year.

  15. " Lake Toba" is the world's largest volcanic lake situated in Sumatra.

  16. Monaco, Indonesia, and Poland are having very resembling flags and its not easy to identify them.

Admission Process in Indonesia

In Indonesia, most of the universities are accepting international students for education. Interested candidates can apply online by filling up the online application. After that, students need to upload the required documents and images that are mentioned in their checklist. These documents can also be sent through email at the selected university.
It is advised to send your application at least 2 and a half months before the intake starts. This is because once admission confirmed, student visa application will also take time.
Below is the list of documents required for admission-
  1. An official and certified academic transcript is required issued from the previous graduated school.

  2. A statement of purpose needed to be enclosed. In this, you need to mention the advantages you will be having while studying at an Indonesian university.

  3. Legalized certificate of graduation is required.

  4. You need to pay the registration fee and the receipt of the fee paid is required for the application.

  5. An English language proficiency certificate is required which should be recognized by the university. Candidates may appear in language proficiency test like TOEFL and the scorecard of the same can also be submitted.

These are the basic requirement and additional documents may be required depending upon the university you have applied in. Once you submit the application, it gets forwarded to further authorized ministry of the country for further approval. The acceptance letter is issued in 2 copies among which one is addressed to the university you have applied and another is addressed to the applicant.
Once you receive the acceptance from the university, you may proceed for the student visa application.

Student Visa Application Process

It is really great if you get an opportunity to study in Indonesia as it is the country with diverse culture, stunning surrounding and lots of beautiful places to visit while you are studying in Indonesia.
To pursue courses course in Indonesia, students from other countries require a student visa which can be obtained by following steps-
  1. Application to the university-The first and important step is to finalize the university where you want to study. Then submit your application directly to the selected university with all the required documents as mentioned in the entry requirements. The university sends all the applications to the Directorate General of the Indonesian Higher Education with a request for the applicant's study permit. They contact the Bureau of Foreign Affairs (BKLN) and Public Relation, General Secretariat of Ministry of National Education with a recommendation of applicant's academic standing. Then the application gets discussed by them with all related departments in a clearance house discussion forum.
    Once approved, the Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Public Relation (BKLN), National Education Department issues the study permit for the applicant. This permit is addressed to the selected university and a copy of the same permit letter is also addressed to the applicant.

  2. Fill the application online-The first step is crucial but once completed, you can move further with the student visa application. The visa application can be filled up online. All the fields are mandatory and you cannot submit the form partially filled. This form asks for applicant's personal and academic details, so it is better to collect all the information/ details and then start filling up the form to avoid delay.

  3. Upload documents-After filling up the form, you need to upload all the documents as per the checklist mentioned on the site. Please upload the documents carefully. It is advised to the keep the scanned copy of all the required documents ready before start filling up the form. The soft copy of documents must be in readable form.

  4. Make payment-Once the above mentioned 2 steps are completed successfully; you need to make payment for visa processing fee. This can be done through a secure payment gateway system. After making the payment successfully, do not forget to get the receipt. It will be required during your appointment with the consulate.

  5. Book an appointment with consulate-Now please book your appointment with the suitable consulate of your region. This can be done online. While going for a meeting, carry your documents bunched up properly. This will save your time. Your documents will be checked and verified during the meeting. You may be asked for some other documents, so it is advised to carry all possible documents with you, irrespective of what they have mentioned.

  6. Visa processing-It's time to sit patiently and wait for your student visa. You can track your application online. The details of approved visa application can also be obtained online.

Once your visa is approved, book your tickets and travel to Indonesia. Within 7 days of your arrival in the country, you need to submit passport and Embarkation Card to the Immigration office or SAE Institute.
After 1 week of passport and embarkation card submission, you will need to visit Immigration office in Jakarta. This visit is for the purpose of photo and fingerprint submission. Once it is done, you will receive documents confirming your legal status as a student in Indonesia.

Re-entry permit-The student visa for Indonesia is only for Single entry purpose hence if you need to leave the country during your study, you need to apply for an exit permit to the immigration office or through SAE Institute office.
There are 2 types of exit permits and both are having different fees-
  1. Single Re-Entry Permit (SERP)- As its name says, it is for one-time exit and re-entry within 90 days only.

  2. Multiple Re-Entry Permit (MERP)- It is for multiple exits and re-entry permit within the duration of 180 to 360 days.

Exit PermitIn a general case, it is required at the end of the course you are pursuing. At the end of the course, students need to return all the documents and fees to the Immigration Office. The Immigration Office will then issue the Exit Permit Only (EPO) stamp. This will help you to leave the country legally.


Lifestyle is something we should know before entering any country. It will help us to get adjusted and settled in an easy way.
The things are explained in detail below-

Family trends-

Family is important for Indonesians and you can find extended families like uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, etc are living together. It was a normal trend in the whole country but nowadays it is less common in Cities. They follow the tradition to help family members and respect the elders. Children learn from their early age to help family members and even neighbors and one can spot small kids working in farms when they are not in schools.

Social life-

The life is slower in Indonesia and the term “jam karet" which means “time that stretches like rubber" suits them. People lead a relaxed life and tend to take the things the way they come and they do not plan everything. They do not even plan parties or meetings and take it in an easier way.
They prefer rice and sauces combinations in meals most of the time with a reason that any sudden arrival of few people can be easily adjusted with such meals.
In rural areas, people celebrate their good harvest by hiring a traveling wayang show. They can also have local gamelan orchestra on such important events to celebrate.
People in cities prefer to meet others on the street stalls for coffee.

Eating habit-

Just like Indian traditions, most of the Indonesians prefer hands for eating. One may spot some people eating with spoon and forks but a knife is rarely used for eating and serving purposes. Indonesians eat at the faster pace and that too silently.
Most of the families follow “lesehan" in which the food is served on woven mats covering on low platforms or on the ground. Lesehan is common in Yogyakarta and West and central Java.
If we talk about their meals, they eat rice 3 times a day. It may be in combination with vegetables, fish, egg, etc. Indonesian says “Kalau belum makan nasi, belum makan" which means that if you have not eaten rice, you have not eaten. One should eat rice at least once in a day to feel good.
In ‘warungs' and ‘angrigans', one can get cold food like the food was prepared earlier. People can eat cold chicken, rice, etc cold without warming it.
Lastly, burping is not bad and Indonesians never excuse for it. It is considered a sign of a good meal.


There are different ways to transport in Indonesia but the road transport is dominating. Jakarta is having the longest bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the world. Some other big cities like Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Denpasar also have a BRT system. Rickshaws and share taxis are other types of road transport available in Indonesia.
Another mode of transport is the railway which is available for both passengers and freight.
Being the country of islands, it also has maritime transport which is very economic. Each of the big islands is having at least one port city. These ports are having frequent ferry services and networking of passenger ships.
Indonesia is having around 237 airports among which 17 are international airports. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is the 17th busiest airport in the whole world.

Arts and Architecture-

The art of Indonesia has both old and recently developed art forms. The art of Indonesia is influenced by the neighboring countries like India, Europe, and China and the Arab world. Among different forms of Art, painting is developed in Bali and the tradition started as classical Wayang or Kamasan style which is derived from East Javanese visual art.
The famous megalithic sculptures were discovered in Indonesia. The tribal art has been flourished within the culture of Dayak, Nias, Toraja, Batak, and Asmat. The sculptures are made using stone and wood.
The architecture of the country has also resulted from the influence made by foreign colonizers, invaders, merchants, missionaries, and traders.

Cost of Living for Students

The cost of living in Indonesia is cheaper than other western countries but it varies within the country from rural to urban cities. The accommodation takes the biggest part of the salary and other utilities, medical care, education, etc are also a bit expensive. Groceries are not very expensive and can be found are very cheaper rates in small shops.
There are some shops and restaurants are not having fixed rates and foreigners working in big firms pay the higher cost than the locals.
The cost of living is also affected by the living standards as people preferring local brands with find it at affordable rates whereas imported brands will be costlier always.
Details are mentioned in detail below-
Accommodation cost-It is highly variable within the country. People having big budgets can have luxurious apartments in big cities and people with the lower budget may go for affordable houses with simple and decent infrastructure.
One can share an apartment to split the rent. If you want to live on the long-term basis, the full amount of the lease is needed to pay up front. You can have three-month renting and can be renewed as per the requirement. You can find lots of 3 bedroom apartments and houses with maids and pools at the cost of less than $1000 very easily.
The possibility of negotiation is quite high in Indonesia.

Food and clothing-It is not costly if bought locally. If you prefer to buy lots of imported products and internationally branded products, they are expensive to crush your budget.
Dining out is also inexpensive in Indonesia and people can enjoy the pocket-friendly street food. It is around $1, inexpensive restaurant meal will cost you around $2-4, the high-end restaurant will charge you around $15-20 and soft drinks are available at $0.50 only.

TransportThe availability of cheap transport is again a reason that people prefer staying in Indonesia. Many foreigners prefer scooters as these are available in a few dollars. The one-way ticket for the bus is around $0.30, Scooter rental is $5-10 per day, and the car rental is around $25-60 per day.
If you opt for renting a scooter, it is advised to keep your fuel tank full as the gas stations are not easily available in Indonesia. The gasoline is available at $0.70 per liter cost.

Healthcare-It is comparatively expensive in Jakarta and other big cities of the country and is highly variable. It is advised to search out a good hospital with reasonable rates. Healthcare insurance policy is also an option to have medical coverage.

Entertainment-The entertainment options in Indonesia includes movies, concerts, puppet shows and traditional dances. People also enjoy the nightlife in bars and clubs with music and drinks at reasonable rates. For movies, there are some malls with movie rooms having king-sized beds and not the theatre chairs. These kinds of movie rooms also have waiters for catering.
Drinks are club bar costs $5-15, the movie in premium theatres are available at the cost of $12 per movie, and nightclub entrance fee is around $2.50.

EducationEducation is available at variable fee structure in Indonesia. Primary and high schooling is available at free of cost in public schools. International schools are expensive. The extracurricular activities are available at an additional cost in schools.

Documents for University Admissions in Indonesia

The documents for student visa applications vary from one country to another and even one consulate to another within the same country. So it is better to check with your consulate and then prepare the documents.
But the main basic requirements are as mentioned below-
  1. A copy of the passport is required. Please note that you need to keep the copy of all pages of your passport.

  2. A brief curriculum Vitae is required.

  3. Copy of your latest transcript and diploma that too legalized.

  4. An official letter of acceptance from SAE Institutes mentioning that you have been accepted as a student and the declaration about fee paid by you.

  5. 6 Color photos in 3X4 size and 6 photos in 4X6 size are required. Both should be in the red colored background.

  6. A proof of health or a certificate of good health is required. It can be issued from a local hospital or a family doctor of yours.

  7. A statement of financial guarantee is required for the applicant who is self-financing his or her stay and studies in Indonesia.

  8. Sponsor letter which is issued by SAE Institute.

  9. A recommendation from the Education Department is also required.

  10. A copy of fee paid for enrollment in the university must be enclosed with the student visa application.

Education in Indonesia

The education in Indonesia is taken care by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Religious Affairs. It is compulsory to have 12 years of education which includes 6 years of basic/ elementary level education, 3 years of middle-level schooling and 3 years of high schooling. Islamic schools are also available in Indonesia which comes under the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
There are mainly 2 types of schools in Indonesia- run by the government which is locally known as ‘Negeri' and private schools known as ‘Swasta'. There is also the 3rd category, which is basically private in nature and addresses themselves as “national plus schools" because their curriculum is extra than it is set by the Ministry of Education and they follow the International-based curriculum.
The education has different levels as mentioned below-
It is not compulsory in Indonesia. It is considered as an early age education and is covered under “Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini (PAUD)". It includes Play-group/ Taman Bermain and Kindergarten/ Taman Kanak-Kanak. PAUD is supervised by the Directorate of Early Age Education Development.
Children at the age of 2 years go to Playgroup and from the age of 4, they start going to Kindergarten. Most of the kindergartens have 2 classes known as “Kelas nol kecil (little zero grade)" and “Kelas nol Besar (Big zero grade)".
The main focus of these schools is to prepare the kids for primary education.

Public primary and secondary schools-It comes under the compulsory schooling in Indonesia. Most of the schools have 6 days a week scheduled from morning 6.30 till 2.00/ 3.00 pm. Parents have options to choose state-run public schools under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education or a private/ semi-private schools which are mainly religious and are supervised and financially supported by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The schools also have many extracurricular activities like arts, sports, religious studies, etc and students are free to participate in any of them as per their interest.
Children at the age of 6 to 11 years go to primary school which is known as ‘Sekolah Dasar'. Students spend around 6 years in primary school but there are some schools offering fast learning and students can complete the level in 5 years only.
After that, 3 years of junior school starts and students also have an option to complete the same in 2 years by fast learning. Students also have opinions to go either for academic or vocational junior high schools and then they can go for senior-level diplomas. Girls can go to “domestic science" junior high schools.
Education till middle school is free in public schools and high schools are available at small fees.

High schoolsAfter primary schools, students can continue their studies in high schools. It is having 3 years duration and some schools offer fast learning within 2 years of duration. Apart from regular high schools, there are around 47 vocational and pre-professional high schools in different fields like health, technology, arts, information and communication technologies, craft, tourism, etc. These specific courses require 3 years of studies and after that, students may opt for senior high school for 3 years in agriculture, forestry, veterinary, etc.
There are special schools at junior and senior high school level for teaching hotel management, plastic art, legal clerking and music. The especially abled students can go to separate schools known as Sekolah Luar Biasa.

Top Universities in Indonesia

Indonesia has both private and public universities but most of them are private only. Higher education is under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education. There are around 3000 institutions for higher education and are offering courses to more than 6000 international students. Below mentioned are some of the top universities of Indonesia-
  1. Universitas Indonesia/ University of Indonesia (UI)-It started in 1849 and is the oldest university in the country. It is having the 277th ranking in the World University Ranking which is the highest ranking of Indonesian universities. It holds 54th rank in the QS Asia University Rankings. There are different campuses in Jakarta, Depok and West Java. The library of the University of Indonesia is the largest one in Southeast Asia and is having around 1.5million books. There are 12 faculties available for Postgraduate studies consisting of 29 doctoral courses and 57 Master's courses.

  2. Gadjah Mada University (UGM)-It is having rank 401-410 in the QS World University Ranking and 85th rank in Asia. It got established in the year 1949 and is the largest university of Indonesia. It has around 50000 students among which 1200 students are from different countries studying in 18 faculties, 68 undergraduate courses, 23 diplomas, 104 Master's courses, 43 Doctorate courses, and many other specialists programs. The main campus of the university is in Yogyakarta- one of the smaller cities of Indonesia.

  3. Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)-It was started as a branch of the Dutch Delft Institute of Technology in the year 1920. That time it was named as “Technische Hoogeschool te Bandoendg" but later it renamed as ITB when it became a separate institute in the year 1959. It is having 331st rank in the whole world and at 65th position in Asia. It is having around 20000 students and is located in Bandung- one of the largest cities of Indonesia. It is an attraction for international students mostly for Mechanical engineering field.

  4. Bogor Agricultural University-It is also known as Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and is started in the year 1963. It is a statue–run agricultural university focusing on the different aspects of agriculture like food security, protecting of regional environment, promoting bio-energy and alleviating poverty. The main university is situated in Bogor and has 5 other campuses in Dramaga, Cilibende, Baranangsiang, Gunung Gede and Taman Kencana. The university has university farm, research center, library, animal hospital and student dormitory and has 9 faculties including fishery and marine sciences, agriculture, animal science, veterinary medicine, forestry, mathematics and natural science, human ecology, agriculture technology and engineering, etc.

  5. Airlangga University-It started in the year 1954 as a postgraduate institute and then started offering doctorate courses in 1959. The QS Global world ranking has given is 751-800 rank. It is a public university with the strength of around 30000 students. Earlier it was having only 3 programs- Dentistry science, Basic medicine science and Law science till 1979. After that, many faculties developed and the Minister of Academic and Culture are still working to get more efficient and effective education in this University.

There are many other famous universities in Indonesia including University of Brawijaya, Diponegoro University, BINUS University, Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember, etc.

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