Study on Low Tuition in Indonesia: Application Process and Cost of Living

Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands. Indonesia means ‘Indian Islands and’ has become one of the world’s leading economies, with the largest economy in the whole of Southeast Asia.If you didn’t know, Indonesia is a melting pot of contrasts and diversity, with tons of distinct ethnic groups, languages and cultures. It’s equally home to some of the most top rated universities in the region, offering a fantastic low tuition study abroad experience.

So if you are interested in studying in Indonesia, read on to discover more about the top universities and fascinating student cities the country has to offer, as well as how you can apply. 

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Tuition fees and living costs 

You’ll be happy to hear that tuition fees are low and cheap in both public and private universities, roughly US$3,000-6,100 a year for most courses, with medical degrees at the higher end of the spectrum.

The cost of living is equally low in Indonesia, with Universitas Indonesia putting it at US$8,600 per year to cover expenses from accommodation to the cost of books and travel. You should also consider budgeting more depending on your spending habits. Be aware that living expenses in the capital city Jakarta are slightly higher than average when compared to other cities.

Apply to study in Indonesia

Apply directly to your chosen Indonesian institution/s, for which you’ll be required to pay an application fee of US$50. The documents required are as follows:

  • High school certificate or its equivalent if applying at bachelor’s level, or academic certificate of a bachelor’s degree if seeking master’s program;
  • Academic transcript;
  • Proof of English proficiency with a test such as IELTS or TOEFL, or proof of Indonesian proficiency if studying in Indonesian;
  • A GRE or GMAT test for those applying for a master’s in business or economics.

Securing a student visa

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You’ll need to secure a sosial/budaya (social/cultural) visa to study in Indonesia. Do well to apply for it  at an Indonesian embassy or consulate in your home country once you’ve gained admissions at an Indonesian university and in sufficient time before your program begins. The social/cultural visa will allow you to live in Indonesia for 60 days but can be extended, as your university will act as your sponsor. You’ll be expected to pay a small fee in order to apply for a visa. Do well to check with the Indonesian Embassy website of your home country for the correct information on what documents you’ll need, but generally you should provide the following:

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  • Your passport, which has to be valid for at least another six months after your date of entry to Indonesia;
  • Two recent passport-sized color photographs of yourself;
  • Duly completed visa application form;
  • Proof that you have sufficient money to support yourself in Indonesia;
  • A certificate showing you’re in good health;

Languages in Indonesia 

The lingua franca in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), but Indonesian universities are  offering more programs in English, including ones aimed specifically at international students. English-taught courses are most common at master’s level at private universities. You will not find English spoken much outside of major cities, and it’s definitely a good idea to learn some basic Indonesian phrases to help you to interact with the locals.

Safety in Indonesia

Please note that you should secure health insurance before travelling to Indonesia, as proper healthcare is pricey. Do well to visit your medical doctor before leaving for Indonesia to check if there’s a need for vaccinations. It’s equally important to note that tap water in Indonesia is not safe to drink without first being boiled or treated. There is equally risk from terrorism and unrest, while Indonesia has a number of active volcanoes and the area is prone to earthquakes. International students in Indonesia are encouraged to remain vigilant and educate themselves on what to do in an emergency, but generally your stay should be peaceful.  

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