Indonesia

Currency

Indonesian Rupiah http://www.xe.com/currency/idr-indonesian-rupiah

Government

Presidential representative democratic republic

Climate

Tropical rainforest climate.  Average high in January is 31C (89F) and in October 32C (89F) . It is generally hot and humid.  The wet season is November to March where there is lots of rainfall but also lots of sun.

School year

January to December for schools tied to the host national community and most international schools. The remaining international schools run from September to June.

What teachers like best about it

 Friendly and pleasant people, good mix of urban lifestyle with western amenities in Jakarta and natural beauty in the islands, and the low cost of living (especially outside of Jakarta).

What teachers like least about it

Warm and humid most of the year, and the traffic and rubbish in Jakarta. There is a big disparity between rich and poor. Expatriate teachers are considered ‘rich’.

Description

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and consists of over 17,500 islands spread over 735,000 square miles spanning the equator. At present, only 6000 of the islands are inhabited so the country has both densely and sparsely populated areas with the second highest level of biodiversity in the world.

There are hundreds of different ethnic groups and over 200 different languages spoken. The country has 34 provinces, and 5 of these – Jakarta, Aceh, Yogyakarta, Papua and West Papua -have greater autonomy than others, and are able to set some of their own laws and systems. So your experience of Indonesia can be quite diverse . The capital city Jakarta has a population of 28 million with many international schools. International schools are also located on other islands such as Cerebon, Aceh, Bali and Yogykarta.  

Religious freedom is a constitutional right in Indonesia, and the government recognises six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Eighty-seven per cent of Indonesians are Muslim with Christianity the next largest group at 9%.  Although not majority religions, Buddhism and Hinduism are defining influences in Indonesian culture and their traces can be seen in the architecture, textiles, dances, and more. The official language of Indonesia is Indonesian, but English is widely spoken especially in the cities and tourist areas.

There are many fascinating things to see and do in Indonesia. There are a number of low cost airlines that make island hopping very easy. Indonesia borders on Malaysia and is very near to Singapore, the Philippines and Australia. 

Top sights include the beach resort of Bali, the vast 8th century Buddhist temple of Borobudur, Komodo National Park which is home to the famous komodo dragons, the laid-back car-free Gill Island beaches, snorkelling and diving at Bunaken marine park home to more than 70% of all fish species living in the western Pacific.  A visit to the friendly Dani people of the Baliem Valley in Western New Guinea is also a must as this area remained undiscovered until the 1930s. It provides a fascinating insight into customs and practices of the Stone Age. Last but not least a visit to see the endangered orang-utans and other jungle wildlife at Tanjung Puting National Park is not to be missed.

Salaries may seem low when compared to that of western countries and other expatriate salaries, but it is important to understand the savings potential because the cost of living in Indonesia is low, especially outside of Jakarta.

Indonesia is a country rich in diversity  – language, geography, cultures and experiences- and by living and working here you will not be short of things to see and do.

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