With over 17,000 islands, 300 languages spoken and a population of 240 million, Indonesia is one of the most diverse destinations on the planet. The 300 ethnic groups that exist harmoniously create a potpourri of cultures and fascinating people. Indonesia's multiracial and multireligious culture offers festivals steeped in tradition, including dances, wayang theater and other performing arts. The rising popularity of Indonesia makes this a hot destination for a semester or year abroad.

Languages Spoken:

Indonesian

Education System

EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

The education system is organized in two different paths, i.e. school and out-of-school education. School education is organized in schools through teaching and learning activities that are gradual, hierarchical and continuous. Out-of-school education is organized outside the formal schooling through teaching and learning activities that may or may not be hierarchical and continuous. Education within the family constitutes an important part of the out-of-school education and provides religious, cultural and moral values and the family’s skills.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Higher education in Indonesia is offered by both private and public institutions, which are all supervised by the Ministry of National Education. The types of higher education institutions include universities, institutes, academics and polytechnics.

In order to apply to higher education institutions, a student must complete 12 years of primary and secondary school (the latter may be completed at a technical institution) and receive a secondary school-leaving certificate. Admission depends upon grades and qualifying exams.

It takes four years (146 credits) to obtain a bachelor degree (Sarjana), two years for master degrees and minimum three years for doctoral programs.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR

The academic calendar is divided into two semesters; Odd Semester (Semester 1) runs from September to February; Even Semester (Semester 2) runs from February to July. Some universities have Compact Semester (Summer) from July to August.

COURSE LOAD, CONTACT HOURS, AND LEVELS

To be considered a full time university student, you must enroll in a minimum of 12 SCU (system credit unit) and a maximum of 25 SCU. The typical student spends between 12 and 18 hours in class per week. A semester runs approximately 13 weeks long, with an additional two weeks for midterms and two weeks for final exams.

TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT

The teaching style in Indonesian universities is teacher-centric. Courses will mostly be lecture-style. The student’s progress is assessed through assignments, mid-terms, and finalexams.

GRADES AND CREDITS

BINUS University uses an evaluation system of scores ranging from 100 to 0 with corresponding letter grades of A through F. A score of 91-100 corresponds with an A (excellent), while a score of 50 or lower corresponds with an E (fail). A score of zero, or non-attendance, equates to an F. Course credits are referred to as Semester Credit Units (SCUs). One SCU is a minimum construct of 50 minutes lecture contact, and a minimum requirement of 50 minutes of self stufy.

Visa and Residency

International students are recommended to apply for a visa at home country at the nearest Embassy or Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia once all visa requirements are complete. To ensure a successful obtainment of visa, you will need to show Letter of Invitation from BINUS and prepare supporting documents that may vary. There are two types of visa recommended for international exchange students:

LIMITED STAY PERMIT VISA (VITAS – Visa Ijin Tinggal Terbatas)

Valid for six to 12 months. Student must start applying for this visa at least two to three months before arrival and must report to immigration within five days of arrival to Indonesia (first entry must be Jakarta). It is single entry to begin with, but you can apply for multiple entry in Indonesia. This is only available for those who submit the application by the deadline.

SOCIO CULTURAL VISIT VISA (VKSB – Visa Kunjungan Social Budaya)

Valid for 60 days to begin with and can be extended every 30 days for four times consecutively (for a total of 180 days). Single entry only. You can apply for VKSB multiple times.

The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Fransisco

  • Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington State, Northern California

The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Los Angeles

  • Colorad, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Hawaii, Pacific Island territory under US, Southern California

The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Houston

  • Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, US Virgin Islands, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Chicago

  • Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Ohio

The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York

  • Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

For details of visa information, please visit BINUS Visa and Legal information page or you can download Visa General information to learn more about Indonesian visa.

Culture

LANGUAGE AND RELIGION

Indonesia is a land of rich cultural diversity, with many peoples, customs, foods, artworks, etc. Indonesia consists of at least 300 ethnic groups, the majority being Javanese, spread throughout the 6,000 inhabited islands. Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of the country, with English, Dutch and local dialects widely spoken. An overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim, with Christian religions and Hinduism represented, as well. Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and European colonialist influences can be felt throughout the country. Due to the extreme diversity throughout Indonesia, most people define themselves locally before nationally.

RAMADAN

During Ramadan, it is important to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public. Some restaurants will have different operating hours. Restaurants that specifically cater to tourists should be open as usual, but will use screens to keep tourists sectioned off from Muslim guests. Business hours may become shorter during the day, as well.

COMMUNICATION STYLE

Greetings among people are usually formal as a sign of respect. A handshake is the most common greeting accompanied by the word "Selamat." Many Indonesians also bow slightly or place their hands on their heart after shaking your hand.

Titles are also important in Indonesia as they signify status. Generally, Indonesians only have one name, however now it is more common for people to have a first name and last name.

Indonesians communicate indirectly and generally avoid confrontation. For example, direct eye contact with your superior can sometimes be considered rude. In efforts to maintain peace and harmony within society, people in the country are expected to understand the unspoken needs of those around them. In particular, one very important aspect of Indonesian cultural is to maintain dignity and self-respect. Indonesians are not accustomed to showing outright emotion. In Indonesia it may be especially difficult to bring bad news to another and, if possible, it will be avoided. Public display of affection is also looked down upon in Indonesia. Sometimes Indonesians may smile to show they are confused or nervous.

FAMILY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE

The people of Indonesia are deeply rooted in the group, whether the family, village or island. As stated previously, they identify locally first, by ethnic group family or place of birth. The family is a very traditional structure to this day, and family members have clearly defined roles and a great sense of interdependence. Families are hierarchical; respect is shown to the elders or superiors, who are often called "bapak" and "ibu" which mean father or sir and mother or madam, respectively.

FOOD

Indonesian cuisine is quite diverse given that the country occupies over 6,000 islands. Rice is a national staple and corn is also very commonly used in eastern Indonesia. Indonesian food is usually hot and spicy; red chili paste and spicy peanut sauce are commonly used condiments. Soy and tempe are found in many dishes, which makes Indonesian food very vegetarian-friendly. A wide range of fruit can be found throughout the country, including durian, star fruit, mango and papaya.

Some traditional dishes include sate (meat roasted on a skewer), krupuk (friend shrimp or fish-flavored chips), gado gado (cold vegetable salad) and nasi goring (fried rice).

Daily Life

LANGUAGE AND RELIGION

Indonesia is a land of rich cultural diversity, with many peoples, customs, foods, artworks, etc. Indonesia consists of at least 300 ethnic groups, the majority being Javanese, spread throughout the 6,000 inhabited islands. Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of the country, with English, Dutch and local dialects widely spoken. An overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim, with Christian religions and Hinduism represented, as well. Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and European colonialist influences can be felt throughout the country. Due to the extreme diversity throughout Indonesia, most people define themselves locally before nationally.

RAMADAN

During Ramadan, it is important to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public. Some restaurants will have different operating hours. Restaurants that specifically cater to tourists should be open as usual, but will use screens to keep tourists sectioned off from Muslim guests. Business hours may become shorter during the day, as well.

COMMUNICATION STYLE

Greetings among people are usually formal as a sign of respect. A handshake is the most common greeting accompanied by the word "Selamat." Many Indonesians also bow slightly or place their hands on their heart after shaking your hand.

Titles are also important in Indonesia as they signify status. Generally, Indonesians only have one name, however now it is more common for people to have a first name and last name.

Indonesians communicate indirectly and generally avoid confrontation. For example, direct eye contact with your superior can sometimes be considered rude. In efforts to maintain peace and harmony within society, people in the country are expected to understand the unspoken needs of those around them. In particular, one very important aspect of Indonesian cultural is to maintain dignity and self-respect. Indonesians are not accustomed to showing outright emotion. In Indonesia it may be especially difficult to bring bad news to another and, if possible, it will be avoided. Public display of affection is also looked down upon in Indonesia. Sometimes Indonesians may smile to show they are confused or nervous.

FAMILY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE

The people of Indonesia are deeply rooted in the group, whether the family, village or island. As stated previously, they identify locally first, by ethnic group family or place of birth. The family is a very traditional structure to this day, and family members have clearly defined roles and a great sense of interdependence. Families are hierarchical; respect is shown to the elders or superiors, who are often called "bapak" and "ibu" which mean father or sir and mother or madam, respectively.

FOOD

Indonesian cuisine is quite diverse given that the country occupies over 6,000 islands. Rice is a national staple and corn is also very commonly used in eastern Indonesia. Indonesian food is usually hot and spicy; red chili paste and spicy peanut sauce are commonly used condiments. Soy and tempe are found in many dishes, which makes Indonesian food very vegetarian-friendly. A wide range of fruit can be found throughout the country, including durian, star fruit, mango and papaya.

Some traditional dishes include sate (meat roasted on a skewer), krupuk (friend shrimp or fish-flavored chips), gado gado (cold vegetable salad) and nasi goring (fried rice).

Health and Safety

https://www.isepstudyabroad.org/guides-and-tips/health-safety

Currency

CURRENCY AND CONVERSION

The official currency of Indonesia is the rupiah (Rp). Indonesian banknotes are distributed in denominations of 1,000 rupiah up to 100,000 rupiah. The value of rupiah is generally low compared to other currencies around the globe, and even the largest banknote (100,000 rupiah) is only worth about USD $10 at any given time. See Xe.com for the current exchange rate.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at the bank and money changers in Indonesia. It is recommended to exchange the currency with a money changer rather than at a bank. A money changer can sometimes offer better rates than banks. Money changers are found in areas where foreigners and tourists congregate: in airports, malls, hotels, near tourist attractions, as well as in major business districts. Please note that Indonesian banks and money changers only take foreign currency bills in perfectly good condition. A small (even miniscule) fold, ink mark, rip, wrinkle or imperfection of any kind will cause a significant difference in the exchange rate.

BANKS, CREDIT CARDS AND ATMs

There are numerous foreign and local banks throughout Jakarta. Many offer both Rupiah and foreign currency savings and checking accounts, as well as credit and debit card accounts and foreign exchange services. Safe deposit boxes are also available at some banks. In order to open an Indonesian bank account, foreigners are required to show KITAS (limited-stay permit visa-card). Since the majority of ISEP students will stay for only one or two semesters, opening an Indonesian account is not necessarily required.

Be careful when using credit cards, as cloning and fraud are a major problem in Indonesia. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, but American Express can be problematic. At smaller operations, surcharges of 2-5% over cash are common.

ATMs are located in shopping malls, bank branches and most tourist locations. When using an ATM, choose well-lit, secure machines, and be careful when withdrawing large amounts of money.

TIPPING

Tipping is not as widely practiced in Indonesia as in other countries. Situations in which tipping will be expected include salon service, taxi transport and restaurants. When a gratuity charge is already added to your bill, no additional tip is necessary, although it is appreciated. It is best to hand your tip directly to the person who assisted you, as it is likely that someone else could pick it up if left on a table.

COST OF LIVING

Living in Indonesia can be very inexpensive. For example, Rp 10,000 (less than USD $1) will get you a meal on the street, three kilometers in a taxi or three bottles of water. Fancy restaurants, hotels and the like will often slap on a 10% service charge plus 6-11% tax. This may be denoted with "++" after the price or just written in tiny print on the bottom of the menu. The estimated personal expenses (to include daily necessities, books, leisure activities, etc) is USD $200-400 per month depending on personal habits.

DISCOUNTS

Look into purchasing an International Student ID Card (ISIC) card from STA travel. It costs just $25 and can often get you discounts on travel, movie tickets and more. You should also research whether a monthly public transportation pass is available for purchase, and whether this is more cost advantageous than individual fares, which can add up quickly.

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