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What's it like living in Indonesia?


Anya's picture
By Anya - Posted on
23 April 2012
I'm thinking of taking a gap year to work and live in Indonesia. Can anyone tell me what it's like moving to Indonesia? I'm particularly worried about the culture shock aspect, as I come from Europe and am not Muslim. Any insights welcome!
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Hi Anya - Indonesia is a popular destination for tourists and gap year travellers and I'm sure you will have a fabulous time there. There is so much to do and see in Indo, from huge cities, tropical beaches and volcanic islands - I doubt you will even get to see it all in a year.

Yes, the country is quite conservative being a largely Muslim country, but the people are known to be very friendly and welcoming. As a women, you may feel a bit frustrated and will have to make a few adjustments - women are not always treated with the same respec that men are treated with. You should ensure that your clothing is conservative and modest - no more mini skirts and strappy tops - your shoulders should be covered at all times. 

We've just started our Indonesia guide, so have a read of our Moving to Indonesia page for some more info. You can also read more about culture shock in Indonesia here

We'd love to hear about your experiences in Indonesia so once you're settled contact please do contact us!
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Ooh, a gap year in Indonesia sounds like such an adventure! I'm jealous! So much to see and do, sure it would be a rewarding year of your life! Go for it!
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Anonymous
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Hi Anya, You will definitely experience a 'culture shock' if you have never been to Indonesia before, but isn't that what you're looking for when you consider living in a non-western country? :-) I'm sure it will be an exciting experience that you will never forget. Anyway, the hardest part is to get a (long-term) visa and find a job. Employment in Indonesia is really not open to expats. The government doesn't want companies to hire foreigners for a job that can be done by a local. It's hard for companies to get a work permit for expats and you're not allowed to look for a job when you're in Indonesia on a short-term visa (VOA or social visa). Also, most companies are looking for someone who can at least read/write basic bahasa Indonesia, even in Jakarta. It's easier for native English speaker who want to teach English, because there are plenty of international schools and English language centers in Indonesia looking for native teachers... Hope this information is useful for you. Regards from Jakarta, Britt
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Anonymous
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I'm not sure if this is a dead website or not, but I'm looking for some help. My husband is a pilot, and they're looking for pilots to come over there for 2-year periods to fly. I think it would be a fantastic experience, but there's one major problem: I'm Agnostic Atheist. I've read in the papers that there was a gentleman who was recently prosecuted under their blasphemy laws for 2.5 years in jail for saying God doesn't exist. I don't want to spend any time in jail. I'm wondering how often blasphemy laws are applied to foreigners, or if this is sort of a deal-breaker for me.

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Anonymous
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I'm from cape town, is it easy to find a job in jakarta or bali?

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Anonymous
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@Anya: yes, why not? just coming Anya..
Indonesian always open arms to all of foreigner like u. And for your religion as a moslem or not, its not a problem.. I'm Christian, i'm living in Jakarta.. but i have some friends moslem in here, they are nice people i think, not at all.. i'm just realistic, bcoz other country always have a nice people and bad people right? we just have to careful wherever we are..

hope u enjoy to Indonesia Anya.

if u have any question, just email me my friends..

Didi
kapten_tertunda@yahoo.com

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kapten_tertunda's picture
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@Anya: yes, why not? just coming Anya.. Indonesian always open arms to all of foreigner like u. And for your religion as a moslem or not, its not a problem.. I'm Christian, i'm living in Jakarta.. but i have some friends moslem in here, they are nice people i think, not at all.. i'm just realistic, bcoz other country always have a nice people and bad people right? we just have to careful wherever we are.. hope u enjoy to Indonesia Anya. if u have any question, just email me my friends.

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