TEFL in Indonesia Country Guide

Teaching English in Indonesia

Indonesia boasts 17,000 islands, 200 active volcanoes, more than 500 languages, and a population of 246 million. The largest archipelago in the world presents a lot of adventures and opportunities for EFL teachers!

Those with a sense of adventure are truly spoilt for choice in Indonesia.  Explore tranquil islands, witness the continuously smoking active volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire, and see incredible wildlife such as orangutans in their natural habitat. TEFL jobs in Indonesia offer great wages in comparison to the low cost of living, so EFL teachers can really make the most of their time off. Jobs are plentiful, with many even offering benefits such as airfare and accommodation.

Teaching work can be found across the country, from the sprawling capital Jakarta to the stunning island of Bali. More than half of the population lives on the island of Java, which is where the highest concentration of jobs can be found. If you have your heart set on the immensely popular island of Bali it’s important to know that competition for jobs is understandably tougher there than in other parts of the country – keep in mind it’s just one of thousands of incredible islands that make up this amazing country!

Islands in Indonesia


Key Facts

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs in Indonesia: Jakarta, Palembang, Medan, Surabaya, Bandung, Semarang
  • Average salary for EFL teachers in Indonesia: 10,000,000 – 16,000,000 IDR (£572-£916) per month
  • TEFL qualification requirements: At least a 120-hour TEFL qualification from an accredited provider.
  • Prerequisite university degree: A BA degree is a visa requirement.
  • Peak hiring season: Year round
  • Currency: Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
  • Language: Indonesian
  • Age restrictions:
  • Previous teaching experience: Not essential, there are many opportunities to TEFL in Indonesia for newly-qualified EFL teachers. Teachers with more experience can expect to earn more in Indonesia.

A selection of Indonesian food


Living Costs

  • Accommodation: £227 – £441 per month
  • Utilities: £44 – £57 per month
  • Health insurance: Usually included in teaching contracts
  • Monthly transport pass: £21
  • Basic dinner out for two: £12
  • Cappuccino in expat area: £2.72
  • A beer in a pub: £2.98
  • 1 litre of milk: £1.12
  • 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £0.97

The low cost of living in Indonesia makes it an attractive TEFL destination. On a teacher’s salary you can live well, having enough to enjoy eating out and go on trips during your time off work.

Food is inexpensive if you’re eating local cuisine – buying your own groceries and cooking at home will save you some money but not a lot so many teachers will eat out most of the time at markets and local restaurants. Western imports are expensive and, with the exception of beer, so is alcohol.

The biggest expense for teachers is accommodation, but costs can be kept low if you share with other teachers or if you secure a teaching position that comes with free accommodation or a stipend.

Trees in Indonesia


Finding a Job

You can find TEFL jobs in Indonesia throughout the year in state, private, and international schools. Most teaching contracts are 20-25 hours a week, leaving plenty of time to explore the country as well as pick up some private tutoring work to supplement your income.

English is part of the national curriculum in Indonesia so it’s unlikely you would be teaching complete beginners. Most jobs involve teaching children and teenagers, so any experience with children you have will be a bonus. In general, you can expect your young students to be polite and highly motivated to learn English, with few of the discipline problems associated with European youngsters.

A 120-hour TEFL qualification is required by most employers and there are plenty of opportunities for newly-qualified EFL teachers with no previous teaching experience. The demand for teachers is high in Indonesia so you shouldn’t have a problem securing your first teaching job.

As well as your TEFL certificate, in order to get a work visa to teach English in Indonesia you will need a BA degree and a passport from one of the following countries: UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.

Most people secure positions before arriving in the country and you can find plenty of jobs listed online. All TEFL Org students get lifetime access to our exclusive TEFL Jobs Centre where you can find TEFL jobs all over the world, including Indonesia. You can also find many TEFL jobs in Indonesia listed on other jobs boards such as TEFL.com, Dave’s ESL Café, and ESL base.

Volcanoes in Indonesia


Student Stories from Indonesia

Helen had previously lived in New Zealand and India but was looking to experience a country without any British imperial influence. She ended up applying for a position in Indonesia and flew out in 2017.

Throughout my year-long stay, I pottered around Java island visiting nearby Bogor three times, Yogyakarta – home of the famed Borobordor temples and Serang, where I enjoyed fresh mangos from the trees at my friend’s house. The availability of fruit across the whole year was a total joy! After a three-hour boat ride to Tidung Island, north of Java, I spent New Year’s Eve cycling under palm trees on the car-free island and tried snorkeling – something I felt was probably overrated. I was totally wrong. At the end of my contract, I visited Lombok and discovered coconut and brown sugar pancakes, then went onto the three Gili Islands: Air, Meno and Trawangan.

By doing TEFL, you’ll experience huge personal development. This cannot be understated and yet I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll just say that the version of me who arrived in January 2017 experienced huge upgrades in areas where they were needed by the end of the year. When you remove yourself from a monotonous and comfortable environment and put yourself in a place where every day is an adventure and a challenge where you are constantly learning – you adapt magnificently.

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