Student life in Jakarta

Student life in Jakarta
Updated 2022-09-21 20:58

As a foreigner, studying in Jakarta is a golden opportunity. This multicultural city gives young expatriates the chance to study at a low cost and with a cost of living that leaves no one unimpressed. Moreover, the city's universities have nothing to envy to the ones of the big western cities. So, what's it like to be a student in Jakarta?

Understandably, Jakarta has the largest number of universities in the archipelago. There are no less than 46 universities in Indonesia's capital city, offering a staggering 532 programs of study and attended by approximately 1,200,000 students. As you might expect, most of the 300,000 international students in Indonesia study in Jakarta.

University fees in Jakarta

Jakarta is home to both public and private universities. Public universities, which are subsidized by the government, usually offer lower tuition fees, depending on the course of study. For private universities, fees can range from IDR 5 million to IDR 15 million (USD 350 to 1,000) per semester. Over a year of study, a student should expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,100 in Jakarta, regardless of whether they choose a public or private university.

Student accommodation in Jakarta

International students have several options when it comes to accommodation in Jakarta. Some universities, such as Universitas Indonesia, UPH and Binus, offer on-campus or nearby lodging or dormitories. However, unlike in many other countries, these dormitories can be expensive. Alternatively, you can choose to share or rent independently.

When faced with these options, many students choose to rent a kost, Indonesia's version of low-cost accommodation. Like a dormitory, this option allows you to stay in a shared or single room in a building or house with 10 to 50 other people. This usually implies that the kitchen and bathroom are shared.

A kost can consist of a fully furnished room, a private bathroom, air conditioning, free electricity, free Wi-Fi, etc. The more equipped the unit is, the higher the rent will be. This is also true when the accommodation is close to the university. Either way, it is the perfect choice to limit the expenses related to rent and housing in Jakarta.

Rest assured! You will never go hungry in Jakarta. Most universities have their own canteens that offer affordable meals, and when you are off campus, you can always buy your meals from street vendors for a small fee. Moreover, to fully experience life in Jakarta, be sure to try Wartegs and Padang, two budget buffet restaurants. 

If you are lucky enough to have a shared kitchen in your dorm or kost, be sure to take advantage of it by buying and preparing fresh food.

Leisure in Jakarta

There is no such thing as being bored as leisure activities are plenty in Jakarta. As a student, you can take advantage of the many clubs and academic sports, arts and entertainment associations while meeting new people. Most of them hold regular events and parties.

In Jakarta, just like the Jakartans, visit the malls, which are real entertainment places with restaurants, cafes, multiplex cinemas, arcades and gyms. Some malls have parks, bowling alleys, swimming pools and attractions such as Ferris wheels!

The nightlife in Jakarta is also worth a trip. However, please be aware that alcohol and smoking are not allowed on campus, in the dorms or in the residence halls. Don't let that stop you from having fun elsewhere if you are at least 21 years old!

Discounts and offers for students in Jakarta

The student card allows students to benefit from many discounts and offers in Jakarta. Restaurants, cafes, bookstores and gyms are especially supportive of students in that sense. Entertainment centers such as karaoke bars, bowling alleys, water parks and movie theaters often feature special offers for students during the week. Finally, the city's museums have special prices for students.

Part-time and freelance jobs in Jakarta

To make ends meet, it is always a good idea to find a part-time job or work as a freelancer in Jakarta. As a matter of fact, there are no regulations in Indonesia that prevent international students from working. Ask your university about this, and they may offer you a part-time job.

You can also find work as a lab assistant or personal assistant to a professor, a barista or a waiter in restaurants and cafes.

Freelancing is also gaining popularity among students thanks to companies and organizations that outsource content writers and graphic designers. And why not give private tuitions, especially if you speak English or Mandarin: junior and senior high school students are legion!

Last but not least, there is a steady flow of young expatriates who choose to work as digital nomads in Indonesia, so why not you?

Useful links :

Info Kost (en Bahasa Indonesia)

Mami Kos (en Bahasa Indonesia)

Studentjob Indonesia (en Bahasa Indonesia)

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.