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International Schools for Expats in Indonesia

Submitted: October 2014

The main problem with the publicly funded state schools in Indonesia is that all of the teaching is done in Indonesian. Furthermore, the standard of education and resources offered may not be considered high enough. As a result, most expat children attend private schools.

There are generally two kinds of private schools in Indonesia: Indonesian private schools and international schools. Indonesian private schools teach the Indonesian curriculum, aiming to educate the children to the level required for entry into university. International schools tend to educate to international standards such as IGCSE (UK), PSAT/SAT (USA) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). This article is only concerned with International schools.

International schools are available at primary, lower secondary and upper secondary level. Many also provide pre-school facilities from the age of three. The curriculum at each school will vary, depending on which international standard the school has adopted. Generally at secondary level your children will study maths, science, history, geography, English, art and PE, and they may also study one or sometimes two other languages.

As an expat, it is important to consider whether the standard of education received is going to be sufficient to enable your child to progress normally if you were to return home. This is especially important at upper secondary level. Some International schools will offer multiple curriculums. The most common are IGCSE and the IB, both of which will allow your child ready access to university or college. The website for the International Baccalaureate Organisation is here. The website for the IGCSE is here. There is a list of IB schools in Indonesia here. There is a list of some of the main International schools in Indonesia here.

In order to register, you will have to contact the school. The following minimum information is generally required for registration:

In addition, there may be more detailed information required. You may also have to pay a capital levy and registration fee. Tuition fees vary considerably so you will have to check with the schools themselves.

Unlike state schools, international schools are free to set their own term dates, so you will have to check these with the schools themselves. Some may stick with the three term Western model, while others will have adopted the Indonesian two term school year. Generally the Indonesian school year begins in mid-July with a holiday in late December, a short break for Eid (the timing of which depends on the Islamic calendar) and the final holiday at the end of the school year.




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