Teach English in Indonesia

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How to Begin Teaching in Indonesia

Originally Known as the Spice Islands

There is a large demand for EFL in Indonesia and students are eager to learn.

Indonesia has the fourth-largest population in the world, with approximately 238 million people and 17, 508 islands, of which 6,000 are inhabited. Some of the well-known islands are Bali, Sumatra and Java. Indonesia also boasts over 500 languages and dialects. Sitting on the equator, the weather is extremely hot and Indonesia experiences summer while Western Europe is in winter. This country, originally known as the Spice Islands due to past trade with India, China, Europe and the Middle East, produces home-grown cloves and nutmeg. These and other spices are found in the local cuisine. Dishes to liven your palate are the famous Satay Sambal, Nasi Goreng (Balinese Rice) and Gado Gado (vegetables in a thick peanut sauce). Travel opportunities are also extensive here. It is possible to visit the Gili Islands and swim with the turtles, or see the orang-utans of Sumatra, or soak up the beauty of Bali. The vastness of this country means that it brings with it a variety of choices for where to work as an English teacher. 

Indonesia is known for a famous lizard. The largest lizard in the world the Komodo dragon! The Komodo dragon lives on just five Indonesian Islands the appropriately named Komodo, Flores, Padar, Rinca and Gili Motang islands. They are feared for their toxic bites and the fact they weigh up to 150lbs, means they often hunt and kill animal far bigger than themselves.

Indonesia also has a few volcanoes, 139 to be exact. Making them the country with the third most volcanoes in the world, only behind Russia and the USA. With it's most famous arguably being Krakatoa which is in the province of Lampung. It's famous for it's eruption in 1883 eruption which was so destructive it caused 2 tsunamis, killing 36 thousand plus people and emitted with it what is consider to be the loudest sound ever heard.

With Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto declared a World Heritage Site in 2019. Indonesia now has 9 World Heritage Sites across it's islands some well regarded as some of the most spectacular places to visit in the World. The other 8 are: Borobudur Temple Compounds, Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy, Komodo National Park, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, Lorentz National Park, Prambanan Temple Compounds, Sangiran Early Man Site and Ujung Kulon National Park.  

Teaching Opportunities

There is a large demand for EFL in Indonesia and students are eager to learn. Teaching opportunities are varied, depending on where you want to teach. Jakarta and Bandung are hubs for work due to the fact that this region is home to the oil industry and Jakarta is the capital city. Another reason is that over 60% of the population live on the island of Java, where Jakarta is situated. Here you will find private language schools and state possibilities, as well as business English opportunities. If the busy traffic of Jakarta is not for you, and you are looking for a more stunning, beach-style existence then Bali, with its strong tourist industry, is also a major source for teaching opportunities. During the peak tourist season, however, you can be mistaken as a tourist, which may become annoying.    

Most good jobs require a 120-hour TEFL certificate and a degree, and offer contracts of 20-25 hours of teaching a week. Many of these jobs also come with benefits such as your flight to the country accommodation, health insurance and visa assistance. In recent years, there have been a few problems concerning visas in Indonesia. In order to leave Indonesia, you need an exit visa, which can only be obtained after written permission has been given by the work visa sponsor. In some cases, where people have worked for some private schools and the conditions have not been good they have found it difficult to gain an exit visa, leaving them stranded in the country. Before accepting a position in Indonesia, it is important to research the company that you wish to work for thoroughly through online forums.

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
Not required12 months All year round Work visa in advance Business professionals, children 6,000,000 - 9,000,000 IDR (350 - 500 GBP) 10,000,000 - 13,500,000 IDR (550 - 750 GBP)
All year round
Work visa in advance
Business professionals, children
6,000,000 - 9,000,000 IDR (350 - 500 GBP)
10,000,000 - 13,500,000 IDR (550 - 750 GBP)

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