Species richness and untouched nature alongside modernity and cultural diversity – this is what the largest country in Southeast Asia offers its residents and guests. As a country located in Asia defined by 800zipcodes, Indonesia is not only the fourth most populous country in the world, but also the largest island nation in the world with over 17,500 islands. The diverse culture was shaped by a varied history, which still shapes the whole country today.
Indonesia: the center of Southeast Asia
Indonesia is a Muslim country surrounded by Buddhist states. In no other country in the world there are more people of Muslim faith. Nevertheless, there are also a large number of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus among the more than 250 million inhabitants. The state recognizes this religious diversity by making great concessions to the individual regions in the practice of religion.
Economically, Indonesia is one of the next-eleven countries, which is forecast to have a similar economic breakthrough as China. The driving economic factors are above all the young population and the large natural resources. The Papua region is home to the largest gold mine in the world and together the Indonesian islands form one of the largest rainforest areas on earth.
Another important source of income is tourism. The popular holiday island of Bali alone, the seat of Udayana University, welcomes over four million visitors every year. The large islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Java, with the capital Jakarta, also attract millions of visitors. But the Indonesians are also drawn to Jakarta. The city has around 30 million inhabitants, which makes it the second largest metropolitan area in the world.
University landscape in Indonesia
Today’s Indonesian higher education system is rooted in the colonial education system of the Dutch East Indies. During the time when Indonesia was still a Dutch colony, the universities primarily trained elites to fill posts in the colonial administration. It was not until the country gained independence in 1945 that the education system was massively expanded for all sections of the population. Right from the start, the young nation attached great importance to education and tried to give it to as many people as possible. Numerous new universities and a law that stipulated that every province must be home to at least one state university, ensured that there was a comprehensive range of universities.
Today, a distinction is made between full academic and vocational study programs in Indonesia. When setting up training structures in the vocational training sector, Indonesia was inspired by Germany. So are dual degree programs in Indonesia and more popular, a concept that originated in Germany.
Therefore, there are different types of universities in the country, which can be both state and private sponsorship. A distinction is made between Universitas, Politeknik, Institut, Sekolah Tinggi, Akademi and Akademi Komunitas. Often only the universities offer the full S1, S2 and S3 degrees, which correspond to the Bachelor, Master or a doctorate. At the other types of universities, the focus is primarily on vocational training and specialist specializations. Other degrees are awarded here.
Study system in Indonesia
Since the S1 degree corresponding to the Bachelor is normally completed in four years, it corresponds more to an Australian Bachelor of Honors than the regular German Bachelor degree. The master’s equivalent S2 is usually completed in two years.
The academic year is divided into two semesters, the winter semester called Ganjil or Semester Gasal runs from September to December. The summer semester in Indonesia is called Semester Genap and runs from February to June.
Studying in Indonesia: requirements
There are different requirements for a semester abroad in Indonesia, which can vary from university to university. Admission is usually straightforward, especially if the semester is offered by an organization such as studiesNetwork or similar. Here it is often sufficient if the students are enrolled at a European university and have sufficient knowledge of English.
In some cases, the semester programs are also open to applicants who are not currently enrolled at a European university because they have not yet started their studies or have already completed them. The aptitude test required for complete Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programs is also not required for semester students in Indonesia.
Since the exact admission requirements can vary, interested parties should find out more from the respective universities or organizations before applying.