Sitting right on the equator in between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is a tropical paradise rife with opportunities for professional development. With internships offered from Jakarta to Bali, Indonesia is one of the most up and coming destinations for young professionals looking to enhance their resumes. Along with various paid internships in Indonesia, the country also boasts placements in a plethora of fields, including journalism, construction, tourism, and education. For those looking for an off the beaten path type of internship abroad, Indonesia is the place for you.
There are quite a few different places to intern in Indonesia, where internship placements are widely available; however, the most popular places for internships in Indonesia are Jakarta, Bali, and the rural areas all around the Indonesian archipelago.
Jakarta boasts the highest number of internships in the country. While most envision all of Indonesia as a tropical jungle, Jakarta is a bustling metropolis of over nine million people. Jakarta offers state-of-the-art professional experience and an endless amount of internship placements. Along with being one of the biggest modern day hubs in Southeast Asia, Jakarta was founded as a Dutch colony and boasts over 400 years of rich, international history.
In Bali, affectionately known as the “Island of the Gods”, individuals can find a variety of internship opportunities, including those in education and community work and within the fields of logistics and marketing. While on this amazing island, interns will work directly with the companies to not only develop themselves but also the communities around them. Most internships in Bali do not require prior experience, however if the candidate majored in the field he or she is applying to, that does tend to help.
Finally, there are the rural areas to find internships in Indonesia. These placements can be some of the most exciting in all of Indonesia, as interns are able to discover parts of the archipelago that are less touristy and more filled with wildlife. One of the top internships in the rural areas of Indonesia are those that involve working in sea turtle conservation in the Pulau Banyak Archipelago. While many of the internships in rural areas can be a bit more volunteer focused, there are still internships focused on paid professional development, such as those in tourism, trading, and e-marketing.
Internships in Indonesia
Due to the sheer size of Indonesia, there are many different types of internships within the vast series of islands; however, there are a few types of internships that are more common than others, such as education, environmental studies, and business administration.
Education. Those interning in education will have a variety of different opportunities, from working in healthcare education to teaching English in a more stereotypical primary school setting. Overall this is a great internship placement for those that are comfortable in group settings and speaking in front of people, and of course enjoy working with children.
Environmental Studies. Due to the nation’s amazing biodiversity, there are quite a few opportunities for environmental internships in Indonesia. Although environmental internships are available across the country, the most exciting and popular ones are located in Bali. Typical placements will have interns working on projects in the rainforests, on the coasts, and doing environmental education work.
Business Administration & Management. With the Indonesian economy booming, there are many opportunities for internships in many different areas of business. Those who want to intern in Indonesia in business centered placements will typically not need any previous experience, and they will typically receive basic training as well as Indonesian language lessons. Business internships in Indonesia are best for those looking to gain experience in a more for-profit field.
Most organizations that provide internships in Indonesia are third party providers. This means that usually, but not always, they will take your application, find the best suitable internship for you, set you up with housing and occasionally meals, and essentially figure out all the basic logistics for you. Therefore, the length of internships in Indonesia varies quite greatly. Most organizations will offer placements that last from two weeks to a year, allowing interns to decide what length suits their interests best. One big thing to consider before applying for an internship in Indonesia is the seasons. For example, during the Southern Hemisphere summer months, December, January, and February, there are the largest amount of internships available.
Salary & Costs
How much money you have in your wallet while interning in Indonesia will determine your spending habits and location. In Jakarta, it is very easy to overspend and end up with not a whole lot at the end of your internship. The reason is the same as it is in most capital cities, the prices of most standard items are higher than in smaller towns and cities. Interns will also have access to higher end restaurants and accommodations while interning in Jakarta, increasing the risk of spending more than they can afford. While there are some paid internships in Indonesia, most are not, so those looking to save their money from burning up should look to the locals for help. Where do they eat? Where do they buy groceries? Live and eat like a local and you will surely spend a modest amount!
Since most internships in Indonesia are unpaid, interns are expected to be able to budget their finances accordingly. Inclusions vary per program, so each intern’s budget will be different. For some interns, room and board will be included, but potential interns should make sure to cover what is included and what is not with their recruiter or program manager prior to acceptance of any internship. Indonesia is a very affordable destination to intern abroad, as long as interns are smart about what they spend their money on.
Accommodation & Visas
The type of housing you will stay in during your internship in Indonesia will depend on your specific program or employer. Some companies will place interns with host families, while others offer independent housing. Many individuals who intern in Indonesia decide to rent a room at a boarding house, where they are required to pay a monthly fee. This is called a rumah kost, locally. The size of each room, as well as the included features, such as air conditioning and hot water, depend on the price, location, and the rumah kost itself. The usual going rate for a rumah host is between 1 and 6 million Indonesia Rupiah per month.
In terms of visas, Indonesia is a pretty easy going country. But again, it all depends on how long you are planning to intern in Indonesia. If your internship in Indonesia is longer than one month, you will need to apply for a sixty day social-cultural visa. However, if your internship is longer then you will need to ask your employer or internship program provider for assistance in extending your visa for up to six months or longer.
Benefits & Challenges
All in all, Indonesia is off the beaten path, a beautiful archipelago of wildlife, and a country filled with an overly vibrant culture, which also provides a variety of industries for international internships. If you choose to intern in Indonesia, you will have the unique experience of being able to choose between a budding metropolis in Jakarta or rural experience, and anywhere in between.
By interning in Indonesia you will make your resume and professional experience skyrocket, by adding international work experience which shows you have learned how to be flexible in challenging situations and adapt to a totally new work environment.
While there are many benefits of internships in Indonesia, also beware of the challenges that are sometimes inevitable. The weather in Indonesia is very warm and humid weather, and therefore, insects are prevalent. Also, the local culture is incredibly different from what most westerners are used to. Just remember the big three of every successful traveler: be patient, flexible, and open-minded. If you can do this, there is no way you can’t have an amazing, once in a lifetime experience interning in Indonesia, while also taking your career to the next level.