years-experience access-alumni-network airfare airport-pick-up assistance-with-application-process community-service-placement continuous-support cultural-trips domestic-transport emergency-support field-trips global-competence-certificate grade-transcripts host-family-placement housing individual-contact-person internship-placement language-instruction meals medical-insurance orientations-during-your-time-abroad other pre-departure-orientation product-materials re-entry-orientation school-dipolma school-materials school-placement school-transport school-uniform stipend teaching-materials vaccinations visa-and-passport-fees visa-application-assistance world-wide-presence

Study Abroad at a High School in Indonesia

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, is home to more than 300 ethnic groups and 700 languages and dialects. Study abroad in Indonesia to experience life in this diverse country. By attending a local school and living with a host family, you’ll be in a unique position to experience this fascinating and complex society, and will soon come to know why their national motto is “unity in diversity”. In the Indonesian culture where friendliness and hospitality are of the utmost priority, you’ll have the chance to make lots of new friends, learn the language, and become part of the community. By immersing yourself in a totally new environment, you can gain a new perspective on life and the world around you.

Things to know about studying abroad in Indonesia

Indonesia is made up of 17,000 islands and its culture is a rich mixture of European, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences. The vast majority of Indonesians are Muslim but there are also Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and other religions. You might have a hard time as a vegetarian in Indonesia but less so if you’re willing to eat fish, one of the cornerstones of Indonesian cuisine. Because it’s so important to Indonesians to not cause anyone embarrassment or shame, they often speak pretty indirectly; in fact, there’s twelve different ways of saying “no” in the Bahasa Indonesian language! You’ll also find that the volume of their voice while in conversation tends to be lower than many other cultures – don’t expect a whole lot of rowdy, rambunctious conversation.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare


Graduates Eligible?  No, participants cannot have graduated prior to the start of the program 
Minimum GPA  2.5 
Age Range  16 yrs, 0 months to
18 yrs, 0 months at start of program 
Language Skills  Not required 
COVID-19 Vaccine  Required by Partner Country 

Based on differences in culture, strict government regulation of medications, and other local customs, it has been our experience that not all of our international AFS partners are able to support students with certain diagnoses, including but not limited to, severe allergies, strict dietary restrictions, ADD/ADHD, and those currently taking or who have taken psychotropic medications and/or received counseling for mental/psychological issues within the past year. If this applies to you, please get in touch with an AFS Study Abroad Specialist early so that we can determine the right experience for you.

Your Journey to Indonesia

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience.  

AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you. You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure. From there, your journey in Indonesia will begin when you land in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, where you’ll be met by staff and volunteers as well as your fellow AFSers from around the world! Shortly after arrival, you will attend a five-day arrival orientation camp and get a crash course on Indonesian culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures.


Things to know before you go abroad to Indonesia

Teenage Life in Indonesia

Plan to spend a lot of your free time meeting new people and socializing. Teenagers in Indonesia share many of the same interests as teens all over the world; you might spend your time hanging out at cafes, going to the movies, or shopping. Sports are popular in Indonesia, especially soccer and badminton. You might also check out pencak silat, a tradition Indonesian form of martial arts. Another popular Indonesian hobby is constructing and flying kites!


Food You’ll Encounter

Indonesia’s cuisine is incredibly diverse and reflects influences from India, the Middle East, China, and Europe. You’ll find curries, kabobs, and stir-fries, all served up with a little Indonesian twist. The food in some parts of Indonesia is very spicy, especially in the South. Rice is served with almost every meal and fish, coconuts, and chilies are considered key Indonesian ingredients. Lunch is the main meal of the day and families usually try to eat it together. Prepare to taste fresh fruits that you may have never seen or heard of before!


Your High School in Indonesia

You’ll likely attend a public high school, where classes are taught in Bahasa Indonesia. But don’t worry –  you’ll have the opportunity to get extra language help and plenty of time to practice your language skills at school or home. All Indonesian students wear school uniforms. School in Indonesia runs from 7AM to 1:30PM, Monday through Saturday. After school you could have the chance to learn traditional Indonesian music and dance, as well as pencak silat.

Chapters in Indonesia


Study Abroad Participants will be placed in one of 20 Volunteer Chapters throughout the country. Check out the map to view all the Volunteer Chapters.


Your Family in Indonesia

Every family is different but one thing AFS host families have in common is their desire to open their hearts and share their culture with others. You should expect to be treated like a member of the family, and you’ll find that family in Indonesia is extremely important. Family members tend to be very close you might have some host siblings living with you even if they’re married. On the weekends and during holidays, you’ll find that lots of Indonesian families travel to the beach or to a theme park.

What's Included

  • 75+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 32,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

Scholarships and Aid

We believe that studying abroad should not be contingent on personal finances. When you apply, we work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with available scholarships and aid. 100% of accepted applicants with demonstrated need receive funds.

Learn More

Visa Info

Do I need a visa/residence permit for Indonesia?  YES. Visa  
How do I apply for the visa? (By mail, In-person, In host country)  In-person + In host country 
Visa/Residence Permit Process Difficulty Level (Easy, Average, Complex)  Average 
Estimated Visa/Residence Permit Expenses
($ – $$$) 
Frequently Asked Visa Questions  Visit our general visa FAQ page for more information. 

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Indonesia.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.