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Why Teach in Indonesia?

Stunning beaches, delightful wildlife, sequestered islands, and impressive arts are just a fraction of the fantastic sights that you’ll come face to face within the amazing nation of Indonesia.  It’s the fourth most populated nation on the planet so there are lots of teaching English opportunities and hundreds of aspiring students. Here’s why you should aspire to teach English in Indonesia...

Indonesia only has 2 seasons – They have wet and dry. Also, there are no extremes of winter and summer.  In the majority of Indonesia, the wet season is between October and April and the dry season falls from May to September and during this time the rain can sometimes go on for days.  

World-famous surfing in Bali – Kuta Beach in the most famous beach in Bali and it’s blessed with spectacular waves just perfect for surfing.  Even if you’ve never surfed before there are professionals on hand to give you lessons, starting right from the word go. Perhaps surfing isn’t for you and your way of winding down after a long day of teaching English is basking in the sun, have no fear as the beach is perfect for relaxing to – not to mention, all along the beach there are bars, restaurants and nightclubs so you could really make a night of it.

The trap of the Gili Islands, Indonesian cuisine, nightlife, strolling around the city of Jakarta and so many more-Every day of the week is low-key awesome. Every year, millions of tourists from around the world flock to Indonesia to get a taste for this colorful and diverse country. Only a few are lucky enough to call it home. Teaching English in Indonesia gives you the chance to travel like a tourist around the hot-spots, but you will also get to live life like a local.

We're not even going to start on the food...

Qualifications to Teach in Indonesia

High-quality English-language instruction has long been available to Indonesians. Teaching English in Indonesia will usually mean working with students of all ages, from young children to adults. Indonesia is a great place to start your new adventure or continue a career in teaching, whether its INTERNATIONAL school or Language school.

Teaching in Indonesia requires a Bachelor’s degree. Teachers are also encouraged to have a TEFL certificate before applying in order to increase their competitiveness and possibly qualify for higher monthly salaries. Those requirements are the basic needs for international schools and language schools.

International School

Native English Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required

Masters' Degree or Teaching Degree: Required or alternatively, have a Bachelor's plus 5+ years teaching experience

TEFL Certificate, CELTA degree or equivalent: Flexible but highly recommended.

Candidates must be citizens from one of the following nations in order to be issued a visa from the Indonesian government: USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

KITAS: Required (What the hell is a KITAS? See next section)

Background Check: Depends on the School

Health Check: Required from your home country (drug free, HIV free)

Age: Up to 59 years old

Language School

Native English Speaker: Required

Bachelor’s Degree: Required

Master’s Degree: Flexible but highly recommended.

TEFL Certificate, CELTA degree or equivalent: Required

KITAS: Required

Candidates must be citizens from one of the following nations in order to be issued a visa from the Indonesian government: USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

Background Check: Depends on the school

Health Check: Required from your home country (drug free, HIV free)

Age: Up to 59 years old

Don't have a TEFL yet? We can fix that.


If you want to get your TEFL quickly via the clearest course online, iTTT TEFL is the way to go.

A TEFL degree is your golden ticket to getting hired in Indonesia.​

You can finish as quickly as 4 weeks.

Not only will a TEFL degree open doors for you in Indonesia, but also the rest of Asia. Most ESL countries require a TEFL degree and every country favors a TEFL degree.

  • Increase your chances of getting hired

  • Increase your value as a teacher and thus increase your pay

  • Allow you to land a job in practically every country in Asia

Use our link and get a 5% discount off of your online course or a 5% discount off a 4-week TEFL course in Asia.

How to Find a Job in Indonesia

I​f you meet all of the necessary requirements and qualifications, you can land a job in Indonesia while in your home country, before you even come to Indo. The toughest job you'll have now is deciding what kind of school you want to teach with. 

In Indonesia, you can apply to language schools to teach English, and apply to international schools to teach English,math, science, sports, or be a home room teacher. Fun, right? 

So, how are we going to find these jobs? Let's break it down...







Lots of English language schools in Indonesia use teacher forums and ESL sites to post their jobs. Getting an interview with these schools is as simple as applying with your resume/CV and electronic copies of your qualifications. 

Some places to look for English job postings in Indonesia...




Walk away with a TEFL Certificate and a teaching job when you take this 4-week long TEFL course located in Surabaya, Indonesia!

You'll spend a month with other TEFL teachers in training from around the world, getting real classroom experience while earning your TEFL degree.

This is the perfect chance to get familiar with Indonesian culture, customs, food, and language, so that when you get your job placement in Indo, you'll be totally ready to spread your wings.

For Indonesia, the best TEFL course also happens to be the cheapest. Rent for $150/month? Yes, please. Check out the TEFL Course for Indonesia here

When you're ready to apply, use our link and get a 5% discount on your course!

If you are already fully qualified with a teaching degree or Masters in education, then just got for it. So many international schools in Indonesia will be happy to have you!

Check out this list of International Schools in Indonesia and start applying!

Option 1: Apply Online to English Language Schools 

Dave's ESL Cafe

English First

Option 1: Get TEFL Certified in Indonesia and Land a Job

Option 3: Apply to International Schools Directly

Visas for Teachers in Indonesia

Visas in Indonesia...they're not a walk in the park.

For you to get a residential visa and your schools to get the green light for you to work, there are a handful of acronymed permits that need to be approved including the KITAS, the RPTKA, the IMTA, and the Telex Visa. 

But those aren't for you to worry about. Teachers need only apply for their initial visa which we are going to bundle into the term KITAS. 

Being approved for a residential visa in Indonesia all boils down to your qualifications. You either qualify or your don't. Remember in the 'Qualifications' section where we said that teachers must have a degree related to their teaching field and 5+ years of teaching experience...we weren't kidding. No have-no deal.

That being said, because the regulations for visas in Indonesia are so strict, you'll find that some schools don't play by the rules while others insist. Let's compare the two routes and how to navigate them...

Legally Working in Indonesia

Applying for a visa in Indonesia comes after you've been hired by a school who agrees to sponsor your a visa, also known as a KITAS. A KITAS is a temporary resident card for foreigners in Indonesia. Once a school decides to hire and sponsor your KITAS, they will provide you with the necessary documents including a letter of invitation- this is your golden ticket.


Many people who teach in Indonesia secure a teaching position before entering the country. You can apply for your KITAS at an Indonesian embassy or consulate in your own country once you have a letter from a school or company says that they are sponsoring you. 

Documents Required to Apply for your KITAS

  • Letter of invitation

  • Visa application form

  • Your passport that is valid for at least 18 months

  • The letter from your sponsor company or school

  • 2 passport sized photos

  • Copies of your qualifications

  • Transcripts from your University- and have them notarized 

  • Clean medical check

  • Possibly a background check (depending on your school)

  • Fees

This process can take up to 5 weeks or less, depending on the efficiency of your embassy.







If you decided to come to Indonesia and search for a job on the ground, then you'll have entered on a 30-day tourist visa, which you can extend 1 time for an additional 30 days. So, essentially, you enter in on a 60-day tourist visa

During those 60 days, you'll have ideally found a school to sponsor your KITAS. When you do, the process will go just like we described above except now you're on a 60-day time constraint.

Because the KITAS visa for teachers in Indonesia can take up to 5 weeks to process, sometimes a school will have you apply for a temporary business visa so that you can work and stay in the country while your KITAS is processing.


Working Illegally in Indonesia


There are schools in Indonesia that are okay with teachers working illegally, either because they want to save time and money, or because they don't necessarily require their teachers to have the proper qualifications.

Note: if you work without a KITAS, this means that you are prone to a lower hourly wage and no benefits.

Other visas you can apply for in this case include...

Social-Cultural Visa (visa sosial-budaya)

This is a 60-day visa which you can keep extending up to 8-months. 

We don't condone this practice so that's all we're gonna tell ya. Moving on...

What's Included in the Job
You can apply for your KITAS in your home country before you come to Indonesia
You can also apply for your KITAS while in Indonesia

Major Pro Tip 

When entering into Indonesia on a tourist visa, Immigration might ask to see your "exit ticket" or "return flight". The excuse of "I'm planning to stay in Indonesia and look for a job" will not go over well, so you need a diversion. 

For $8.99, Best Onward Ticket provides you an onward ticket which is real and valid for as long as 48 hours. So now you have a ticket to say you're flying out of Indonesia and the immigration officers are satisfied to let you in. 

Indonesia KITAS Facts

If you are caught working without a KITAS, you may be deported and/or heavily fined.

The KITAS visa for foreigners is a temporary stay permit card. This is valid for six months, one year, or two years, depending on your Indonesian work contract.


To transfer or change companies, you must apply for a new KITAS with your new sponsor.

Once a visa is issued, you must enter Indonesia within 90 days.


If you wish to leave the country, you must have applied for an exit permit only (EPO) from the Immigration Department.

What's Included in the Job?


Most of those teaching English in Indonesia will find jobs in the major cities of Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya. There are teaching opportunities on the island of Bali; however, the island's popularity means the local job market is more competitive. Benefits very from school to school but here is the rough average of what to expect...

Language School

Average Monthly income: $500 - 1,500 USD 

Accommodation Benefits: Some schools provide housing or a monthly housing stipend

Flight Reimbursement: Depends on the school

Visas: Work visa typically sponsored by Employer

Teaching hours per week: Schools offer approximately 20 - 25 teaching hours

Medical Insurance: Not Provided

Contract: 1-2 years


International School 

Average Monthly income: $1,500 - 3,000 USD

Accommodation Benefits: Some schools provide housing or a monthly housing stipend

Flight Reimbursement: Depends on the school

Visas: Sponsored by Employer

Teaching hours per week: Schools offer approximately 25 - 30 teaching hours

Medical Insurance: Sometimes Provided

Contract: 1-2 years


Cost of Living in Indonesia

The cost of living in Indonesia can be considered inexpensive when compared to western countries. The average monthly cost of living in Indonesia is only around $600, leaving you plenty of money from your teaching salary to explore all that Indonesia has to offer. 

Though individual spending habits vary, most teachers find it easy to relax, go out, and live comfortably on their teacher salaries in Indonesia. We've broken down the average cost of living in Indonesia with prices in USD, according to numbeo.com.

Take into account that these numbers don't include travel or entertainment. This is just a basic cost of living of which you could get by


$667 per month total

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: $490

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: $270


$350 per month total

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: $190

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: $90



$450 per month total

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: $135

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: $100


$500 per month total

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: $187

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: $133


$400 per month total

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: $150

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: $100


$400 per month total

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: $149

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: $95

The Low Down on Indonesia

Capital: Jakarta

Capital and largest city: Jakarta; 6°10.5′S 106°49.7′E / 6.1750°S 106.8283°E

Population: 261.1 million (2016) World Bank

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (check the conversion rate here)

Official language: Indonesian

Religion (2010):

87.2% Islam

9.9% Christianity

—7.0% Protestantism

—2.9% Roman Catholicism

1.7% Hinduism

0.7% Buddhism

0.2% Confucianism

Government: Unitary Presidential Constitutional Republic

Crime: Moderate in terms of pretty theft and robbery- not violent

Safety Concerns: Traffic accidents

Transportation: Pedestrian friendly cities with plenty of access to public transit systems. There are usually bus services such as the Kopaja buses and the more sophisticated TransJakarta bus rapid transit system in Jakarta. In the rural areas, most people drive a motorbike.

What's it like Living in...





Expats moving to Jakarta will find themselves in a great sprawling, overpopulated megalopolis, with a population size steadily increasing. As the commercial and economic center of Indonesia, Jakarta offers a good base for exploring the rest of Indonesia and, despite some drawbacks, it can be a fun place to live, once expats become accustomed to the lifestyle.


Jakarta is colorful and somewhat exotic, yet new arrivals might not find many of the obvious charms of other large cities around the world. It can be noisy and polluted, and getting around the city can be difficult due to the congested roads and volume of traffic. Unless very brave, most expats don’t drive themselves, choosing to hire a driver instead. Life in Jakarta can be hectic and fast and certainly not for the faint-hearted, but there are also so many great areas to explore, a rich cultural heritage to embrace and some new friends to be made.


Bali Island is a small beautiful island and a part of Indonesia archipelago. It own the panorama and unique culture that make this island is exclusively than others. Furthermore, It’s location is in the tropical situation as Dream Island for a vacation. Bali Island has many places of interest such as rice paddies, beautiful panorama, volcanoes, tourism activities as well as attractions. In addition, it also has beautiful jungle, long sandy beaches, warm blue water, crashing surf and friendly people. Moreover, the local people presents daily community ritual and a lot of things make your holiday unforgettable. In Bali, the spirits is coming out to play in the moonlight. You can discover a festival and even a funeral throughout the island. Meanwhile, a good time of the day with sea breeze will complete your holiday dream.

Bali is an Island of God in Paradise. Furthermore, it is a perfect tourist destination to enjoy the holiday with your family as well as collages. This tropical paradise has a unique blend of modern tourist facilities combined with wonderful shopping, a rich past as well as heritage sites. The Balinese people are proud of having preserved their unique Hindu culture against the advance of Islam, the dominant religion throughout Indonesia.


Makassar, also known as Ujung Padang, is a port city on eastern Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. Inside its 17th-century Dutch colonial Fort Rotterdam is the Museum Negeri La Galigo, housing local exhibits. A promenade along Losari Beach is known for its seafood restaurants. Traditional Pinisi sailing ships pack the harbor of Pelabuhan Paotere. Offshore, snorkeling is possible on the coral reefs of Samalona Island.



Malang is one of clean and cool cities in East Java have, without any doubt, been famous since long time ago. Historical remnants scattered around Malang Showing that it that played important roles in many eras. Malang regency is bordered by Blitar and Kediri Regencies on the West; Jombang, Mojokerto and Pasuruan Regencies on the North; Probolinggo and Lumajang Regencies on the East and Indian Ocean on the South.
Malang is known with its beautiful beaches. There are many tourists who always visit Malang's beaches in holiday. The beaches are Ngliyep beach, Balekambang beach, and SendangBiru beach.
Then the foreign tourists are commonly interesting to Malang's temples that save the historical value of the past Kingdom in Malang regency, they are; Singosari temple, Jago temple, Kidal temple, etc.



Bandung is one of the nicest places in Indonesia. Bandung is the capital city of West Java Province. With population over 2 million people, Bandung is known as “Flower City” because the beauty of the city and addressed “Paris van Java”. Bandung located in 180 km South of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Bandung is a place of culinary and shopping heaven.

What's to Love about Indonesia?

Jobs are everywhere

Indonesia is home to 20% of the world’s coral reefs and some of the best scuba diving.

You can literally eat for days in Indonesia and always be trying something new. Some popular Indonesian foods are satay (like lamb or chicken skewers), nasigoreng (a fried rice plate with other foods added to it like fried eggs, vegetables, and chicken), gudeg (a dish made from boiled young jackfruit, often served with rice, sambal sauce and chicken) and my favorite, sambal sauce - a spicy sauce that can be added rice and many other dishes

Along with the super friendly locals and delicious food, it was Indonesia’s landscapes that really wowed me.

Nature! This doesn’t need much explanation. Just visit another island or region to be in a totally different environment- jungle, mountains, volcanoes, beaches, fantastic marine life, and nature in Indonesia is threatened but breathtaking.

Indonesians are very friendly and welcoming people. In the majority of the places you travel to throughout the country, you will be met with some of the biggest smiles you have ever seen. They are also very proud of their history, culture, wildlife, food and more, and are passionate about sharing it with others.

What's to Dislike about Indonesia?

Cities like Jakarta are polluted, over populated, and experience heavy traffic.

If you're western, everyone assumes you're very rich, and tries to charge you accordingly. Always go shopping with an Indonesian friend to get the right prices.

Scam artists and their common scams in Indonesia

Content by Maria A Guarache