Study in Indonesia


Do you wish to study in an exotic country like Indonesia? Find out more about related formalities in this article.

The United States of America, the United Kingdom, and many European countries have for long attracted students worldwide. But many distant and exotic destinations such as Indonesia also have much to offer to foreign students, including an extraordinary opening to a multicultural environment and different lifestyles. Moreover, language is not a barrier in Indonesia since many higher education institutions offer courses in English and other foreign languages. However, you must prove your English proficiency through TOEFL or IELTS tests if you intend to register in a public higher education institute.


First of all, foreign nationals wishing to study in Indonesia have to apply for admission in the university of their choice by producing required documents. The university will consequently issue a letter certifying that you are one of its future students.

If you have chosen to pursue your higher studies in Indonesia following registration in a university in your home country, you will have to justify your situation as a part of your study program through an official letter.

Study visa

As worldwide Indonesian embassies are not allowed to issue study visas, you will be traveling to the country with a social or cultural visit visa, that is a Kunjungan Sosial Budaya (KSBV). You can then perform your student visa request at the relative authorities.

To obtain a KSBV, the following documents are to be produced:

  • a valid passport (minimum validity is 6 months from the date of entry into Indonesia)
  • two duly filled and signed visa application forms
  • two color passport-size photos
  • a registration letter from the Indonesian university, school or other institution in order to verify the course or training's nature and duration
  • a recommendation letter from the university confirming that you are a student of the institution, providing evidence as to the purpose and duration of the current studies
  • proof that all fees applied have been settled in advance (if you have benefited from a sponsorship to study in Indonesia, related evidence will be requested)
  • proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Indonesia
  • proof that you intend to go back to your home country after completing your studies in Indonesia (a letter from your school or university's Director will be required)
  • fees applied for the visa issuance (generally varying from one country to another - you are advised to inquire with the Indonesian embassy or consulate in your home country beforehand).

Converting your KSBV visa into a student visa

Once you have obtained your KSBV, you can start your studies in Indonesia. However, you will have to apply for a conversion of your KSBV into a student visa within 4-5 weeks following your arrival in the country. Note that this step has to be performed before the KSBV's expiry date at the Indonesia Immigration Office. You will also be eligible to a residence permit.

The first step to take is to visit your university's student administration office where you will receive all documents related to the visa conversion. The documents will then have to be submitted to the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture's Higher Education General Directorate which is found in Jakarta. You will have to be patient as these will then be forwarded to the Ministry of Education's International Cooperation Office. Fees amounting to some 130,000 Indonesian rupiahs apply. Note that these can be paid in cash only.

 Good to know:

As the student visa application can take a lot of time, it is best to start the procedures well in advance, that is before your departure. You are advised to buy your travel ticket once you have obtained your visa. For more queries, please refer to your university's administration office.

Higher education system

You will be spending between 4 and 7 years in university before reaching the PhD level in Indonesia. In fact, Degree courses can take up to 4 years while Masters courses generally last between 2 and 3 years. To obtain a doctorate, you will have to dedicate three more years to your studies.

Schooling in Indonesia

If you are planning to settle in Indonesia with your family, your children's education and schooling will definitely be one of your main concerns. You can enroll them in one of the country's numerous international schools:

the ACG International School, the Australian International School, the Beacon Bunda Mulia International Academy, the El Shaddia International School, the Global Jaya International School, the Global Sevilla International School, the Heritage International School, the Jakarta international Multicultural School, the Nanyang School in Jakarta, the Jakarta World Academy, the Jakarta Montessori School, the New Zealand International School, the North Jakarta international School, Royal Buckingham International School in Jakarta, the Sekolah Pelita Harapan, the Sekolah Tiara Bangsa ACS (International) in Jakarta, the Sinarmas World Academy, the Springfield International School, the Tutor Time International Early Childhood Education, Al Haramain Al Saudiah Academy, the British International School, the Gandhi Memorial International School, the International Center for Special Care in Education (ICSE), the Jakarta International Korean School, the Jakarta International School, the Jakarta Japanese School, the Netherlands International School, the Pakistan International School in Jakarta, the Russian Embassy School and the Singapore International School.

Elsewhere, you can choose among the following:

the Australian International School in Bali and Balikpapan, the Prabu International School in Balikpapan Indonesia, the Rama International School (Purwakarta), the Sekolah Ciputra Surabaya, the Sekolah Global Indo-Asia Batam, the Bali International School, the International School in Badung Alliance, the Badung International School, the Badung Japanese School, the Batam International School, the Buin Batu Sekolah (Buin Batu), the Raya Ketimus Campus (Buin Batu), the Bogor International School, the Caltex American School (in Duri and Rumbai, Sumatra), the Cilegon International School, the Deutsche Schule Bandung, the Gandhi Memorial International School in Bali, the Hillcrest International School (Sentani), the MT. Zaagham International Schools (Tembagapura, Papua), the Makassar International School, the Manado International School, the Medan International School, the Mountainview Christian School (Salatiga), the Nehru Memorial International School (Bandung), the Raffles International School (Balikpapan), the Semarang International School (Semarang), the Sophomore International School (Surabaya), the Surabaya International School, the Surabaya European School, the Tanjung Bara International School (Sangatta), the Texmaco DPS International School (Karawang Timur), the Wesley International School (Malang) and the Yogayakarta International School.

However, international education in Indonesia is quite expensive. But you can ask your company to take care of these expenses in the case of a family expatriation regarding your professional duties.

 Useful links: - Indonesia Forum 
AGC International School
Australian International School Indonesia
Beacon Academy
Bunda Malia International School
El Shaddia International School
Global Sevilla International School
Jakarta International Multicultural School
Jakarta Nanyang School
Jakarta World Academy
Jayakarta Montessori School
New Zealand International School
North Jakarta International School
Royal Buckingham Institution
Pelita Harapan Sekola
Sekolah Tiara Bangsa ACS (International) Jakarta
Sinarmas World Academy
Springfield International School
Tutor Time International Early Childhood Education

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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