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Masters In Indonesia – All You Need To Know +Study Options

Indonesia is an Asian country formed of thousands of islands at the Pacifica and the Indian Ocean’s crosslinks. It is famous for the fascinating Bali Island and has a rich cultural heritage. The nation attracts international students worldwide because of the low cost of living and tuition fees. Since most universities in Indonesia off more English-taught programs, the number of international students attracted to the country increases progressively.

Higher education in Indonesia is structured to provide a thriving academic environment to help students develop and advance in their area of specialization.

This post will show you all you need to know about having your Master’s degree in Indonesia.

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Why Study in Indonesia?

Indonesia is a great study destination for international students. It is a comparatively, less explored country. You will be getting a top-notch education at an affordable price. Filled with hundreds of ethnic groups, cultures, friendly people, beautiful sights, and great food, the country has it all. You will find both private and public institutions of higher education across Indonesia. The Ministry of Education and Culture supervises all institutions, and since the country’s independence in 1945, the education sector has experienced sporadic growth. Universities in Indonesia use the traditional three-tiered degree system- bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral/ associate degrees. There are three Indonesian Universities in the QS World University Ranking of Top 500 Universities in the World. These are Gadjah Mada University, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), and Universitas Indonesia. There are currently over 6000 international students studying in Indonesian Universities.

Most of the Master’s degree programs, especially those in private universities, are taught in the English language and other languages for those who are not proficient in the Indonesian language. The MBA programs taught in the English language are the most popular.


Indonesia has a tropical climate, and the temperature remains relatively constant all year round. The climate is generally humid and warm; the coastal regions have a temperature of 28 degrees C. There is a little variation in the length of days due to the country’s proximity to the equator. The dry season is from June to October, while the monsoon season occurs between January and February.


Indonesian culture is heavily influenced by traditions and religions of western and eastern origin. There are hundreds of ethnic groups in Indonesia, and the culture fuses aspects of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The regions with significant influence include Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. Indonesian cuisine is generally spicy, and the common ingredients in their dishes are fruits, soy, fish, and rice. The popular sports include martial art, soccer, and badminton.

The Education System

Indonesia’s higher education system is backed by a law enacted in 2012, which gives Universities the institutional autonomy to facilitate and enhance vocational training and education. Higher education is influenced by the Anglo-Saxon model except for Medical and Vocational-based Institutions, which adopt the European educational model.

There are five types of higher education institutions in Indonesia. These include academies, Institutes, advanced tertiary schools, polytechnics, and universities. Most of the public Universities are affiliated with top Universities from the Netherlands and Australia.

The academic session begins in September and ends in June.

General Application Requirements

All international students can apply online to any University in Indonesia by uploading all the required documents and images or sending all documents in the mail to the chosen university. You’re expected to submit all applications approximately two months before starting a new academic year due to the student visa procedures.

Some of the most common requirements for the application process include:

  • Official academic transcript from your last graduated school
  • Official certificate of graduation
  • A statement of purpose
  • English proficiency test certificate as recognized by your chosen university
  • Proof of registration fee

Some other additional documents may be required by your chosen university (like a cover letter from your home University, Curriculum vitae/resume, etc.). Confirm from your chosen university about their application requirements because you kick start the process.

You must note that your application will not be processed if you do not include proof of the registration fee paid.

Study Options

Some of the best universities in Indonesia are located in Surabaya, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bali. The offerings of Universities in Indonesia also cover Postgraduate programs. You can specialize in areas like Medicine, tourism, arts, marketing, agriculture, economics, law, pharmacy, architecture, earth sciences, engineering, technology, and more, with most university programs focusing on interdisciplinary style.


Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the country’s official language, and it is the language of instruction used in most public universities. If you want to pursue an Indonesian-taught degree, you will be required to take the TIBA (Tes Bahasa Indonesia sebagai Bahasa Asing) Indonesian language proficiency test. 

After your enrolment, you can take an Indonesian language course in addition to your study program.

However, most international students seeking to study in Indonesia prefer choosing courses that are taught in English. If you fall in that category, you’ll be expected to present one of the following English proficiency test scores: Academic, PTE, TOEFL, or IELTS. More public Indonesian Universities are starting to offer degree programs that are purely taught in English. These institutions are predominantly located in Surabaya and Jakarta regions.

Even though the official language in Indonesia is Bahasa, there are over 700 recognized languages across the Islands. English language is spoken in the bigger cities and is used as the teaching language at Institutions; however, you will not find an advanced English level outside the major cities. Before you move to Indonesia, it is advisable to learn some basic phrases in the language to help you get around in your first few weeks in the nation. After some time in the country, you will discover that you might have picked up more of the language than you expected to; ensure that you utilize that communication skill to relate with the locals and other international students.

English Language Preparation

You need to develop your English language skills to meet up the English language requirements at Indonesian Universities offering English-taught degree programs for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere across the world and sit for the required English exam preparation course.

Visa Requirements

International Students must have a student visa (KITAS) before they can be allowed to study in Indonesia. You should first apply for a social visit visa at the Indonesian embassy in your home country. The documents required to obtain a student visa include a copy of the student’s international passport, color photos, a most recent transcript, certificate of health, a letter containing a statement of financial solvency, and sponsor letters from the university you will be studying.

You will be expected to enter Indonesia using the social visit visa and then apply for the student visa upon your arrival. The student visa and resident permit are valid for one year and can be renewed at a one-year interval four consecutive times.

You must note that a student visa does not allow for multiple entries and exits; therefore, students who need to exit and re-enter the country before the end of their studies need to make special arrangements for that.

Tuition and Program Duration

The tuition fees at most Indonesian universities are expected to be paid up-front for the entire study program. However, the good news is that the tuition fees at public universities are low and affordable. The tuition fees vary based on the type of Master’s program and school but on average; the cost is around € 4,000. The program duration also varies but is usually 1-2 years, with MBA programs being the shortest in duration.

Postgraduate Opportunities

Indonesia’s unemployment rate is relatively low compared to other nations of the world, and there are many opportunities for both Indonesian citizens and foreigners who have completed their Master’s degree program. The major multi-national industries in Indonesia include tourism, fertilizers, mining, footwear and clothing, petroleum, and gas. Half of the Indonesian workforce is currently in the service sector. A large chunk of foreigners in Indonesia is employed by foreign companies, especially in the export sector. Foreigners who are highly proficient in the English language may also find a job in the education sector. International students planning to work in Indonesia after their graduation need to secure employment before they graduate so that their potential employers can help the process work visa for them.

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Health Insurance

The Indonesian government has a government-run health insurance plan for all Indonesian citizens. However, international students are not eligible for this health insurance as only people who work or meet some specific conditions can access this health insurance.

International students need to purchase private health insurance or make arrangements for their home country’s health insurance plan to cover them while in Indonesia.

Cost of Studying and Living

Indonesia uses the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) as its official currency. The tuition fees in Indonesia varies based on the level of study and institution. International students should expect to pay between £2,300($3,000) and £4,600($6,100) annually. If you choose to study for an engineering degree or medical degree, your tuition fee will be higher than this. Confirm from your chosen institution the actual cost of each course.

The living costs in Indonesia depends on the location of your studies. For instance, if you choose to study in a big city like Jakarta, you should expect your living costs to be higher than in smaller cities. The annual living costs for students is around £6,500($8,600) on average.

Finally, Indonesia is a great study destination for international students and one thing we’re sure of is that you’ll have an unforgettable experience. We hope you found this post useful.

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