Indonesia, in long form the Republic of Indonesia, is the largest archipelago in the world, a transcontinental country in Southeast Asia and Oceania and a democratic republic whose capital is Jakarta. With an estimated population of 240 million people, it is the 4th most populous country in the world, the 1st country with a Muslim majority and the 3rd democracy in terms of population. It has exactly 17,508 islands, it takes 12 hours to go from one end to the other and finally all the islands cover 3 time zones.
The Strait of Malacca became a major maritime crossroads with the decline of the Silk Road for trade between Indonesia and China on the one hand and between India and the Middle East on the other hand. The Indonesian archipelago is part of an international trade network.
Despite its large population and its densely populated regions, Indonesia has large wild regions, which gives the country a high biodiversity. Its 17 508 islands are home to hundreds of animal and plant species, making it the second most diverse country in the world. It is for example in this country that you can discover the Rafflesia, the biggest flower in the world (that gave its name to the Pokemon Rafflesia, for the record) or that you can observe wild Komodo dragons. However, this heritage is declining due to rapidly increasing human activities.
Indonesia is located on the « ring of fire », one of most disaster-prone regions of the world. The country, which has many active volcanoes near densely populated areas, is frequently hit by earthquakes. These natural disasters can lead to massive destruction and the displacement of whole communities. In October 2010, a tidal wave in Mentawai islands, in Sumatra, and the eruption of the Merapi volcano, in Java, killed 600 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. In 2009, Sumatra and Java islands were both hit by earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 7 on the Richter scale. After such disasters, the needs of the population are huge: temporary shelters, clean water, sanitary facilities, primary health care, essential household items and hygiene awareness actions. The size of the country and the underdeveloped infrastructures prevent emergency services from reaching victims quickly.
Cost of living in Indonesia (some examples)
|Basic products||Price in Euros / Indonesian Rupee|
|1L of water (bottle)||0,2 € / 3 036 IDR|
|1 meal (2 dishes)||1,65 € / 25 055 IDR|
|1 bus ticket||0,26 € / 3 948 IDR|
With its many islands, Indonesia has a lot of different cultural, linguistic and religious groups. Indonesia officially has 583 languages and dialects, but there are in reality more than 700, and none of these languages has a numerical majority in relation to the total population, a consequence of the linguistic fragmentation due to the insularity of the country. With the exception of the Papuan languages of West Papua (ex-Irian Jaya), a few immigrant languages such as Chinese and Arabic as the Koran language, all languages spoken in Indonesia belong to the Malayo-Polynesian language group of the Western group of the Austronesian family.
The Javanese are the most represented population in terms of numbers and political influence. As a unitary state and a nation, Indonesia has developed a common identity by defining a national language (Bahasa Indonesia, a variant of Malay) and by respecting diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim majority.
Vaccines and specific advice:
Find out about the vaccines you should make before going to this country and about the preventive and/or treatment measures for local diseases.
- Vaccine updates, specific vaccines: 1-3 months before departure
- Visit your doctor for any health problem, prescription renewal, contraception, etc. In addition, you will need to send your coordinator a certificate from your doctor certifying that you are well suited to take part in an international volunteering project.
- Dentist: a dental check-up can be useful before going!
We advise you to visit the website of your country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to consult the advice for every country.
Advice for American travellers here
Advice for Canadian travellers here
Advice for English travellers here
Indonesia travel advice
(dernière mise à jour faite le 2018-11-26T15:56:38+00:00)
Latest update: Health Section – revised guidance on sources of health information before travel
Pour plus d’info , lisez la dépêche complète Indonesia travel advice
IIWC is an Indonesian international organization that organizes international workcamps, middle and long term volunteering projects and different events during the year (volunteers day, children day, weekend workcamps…). Its objectives include promoting global friendship, motivating local populations to develop their potential and providing non-formal education for all.
Dejavato is a non-profit organization created in 2005 that aims to promote peace, solidarity, education, sustainable social development and cultural and environmental respect through volunteering and different educational, cultural and environmental activities. The NGO orgranizes short term (2-3 weeks), middle term (1 to 6 months) and long term (6 months to 1 year) volunteering programs. Most of the projects are related to education, construction, teaching, health, environment and disability.
GREAT is an NGO specialized in international volunteering in Indonesia. It was created in august of 2015 in Semarang, on Java island, and is dedicated to the improvement of young people’s living conditions (for example by accessing education). This also includes combating discrimination that prevents young people from accessing various opportunities. GREAT welcomes as many short-term as long-term volunteers, and for various projects ranging from workcamp to development projects over a semester and more (defined by the association). Its leitmotif? “Think globally, act locally”
You are good to go if the term of your stay in Indonesia is less than 30 days. If for any reason you are planning to stay longer than 30 days, please apply for tourist visa with extended duration of stay. Of course, we invite you to visit the website of the embassy before departure in order to be informed about any possible changes.
For SVI volunteers, a discount of 20 euros is granted by the company CIBT (company for visas). This discount is automatically calculated for you if you use the link here. CIBT advisors can also answer our volunteers’ questions by phone.