Cost of Living in Indonesia: Living Expenses in Jakarta

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Indonesia stands out as one of the most vibrant countries in Southeast Asia, welcoming around 6,000 international students to its world-class universities. With 5 universities ranked within the top 500 globally by the QS World University Rankings, Indonesia establishes its position as an ideal study destination for higher education. These top universities include the University of Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University and Institute of Technology Bandung. 

The enrolment rate in higher education in Indonesia currently stands at around 42.63%. Apart from academic excellence, international students are drawn to Indonesia owing to its amazing fusion of culture, friendly people and stunning natural beauty. Feeling confident about your decision to study in Indonesia? Well, if so, you must also understand the cost of living in Indonesia. 

Our comprehensive guide provides valuable insights about the average cost of living in Indonesia in Indian Rupees. We have covered everything in detail – from monthly rentals, and transportation expenses to tips and tricks on reducing your cost of living in Indonesia.

Key Highlights

HighlightTable
Number of international students in Indonesia6,000 international students
Cost of Living in IndonesiaINR 37k monthly (without rent)
Average Rent in the City CentreINR 25k for 1 bedroom monthly
Average Tuition FeesINR 2L to INR 5L
Top UniversitiesUniversity of IndonesiaGadjah Mada UniversityInstitute of Technology Bandung
Scholarships that Reduce the Cost of Living in Indonesia for Indian StudentsDarmasiswa Scholarship 2024Kemitraan Negara Berkembang Scholarship – KNB ScholarshipUI GREAT Scholarship
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Why Choose Indonesia?

Cost of Living in Indonesia: Living Expenses in Jakarta

While the island of Bali often steals the spotlight, Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago state actually comprises 17,000 islands. There are more than 500 languages spoken in Indonesia, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the nation. 

The incredible cultural diversity combined with the quality of education offered by the top Indonesian universities, makes it an attractive destination for international students. 

  • Academic Excellence: University of Indonesia is one of the top public universities in Depok, Indonesia. It is ranked #237 in QS World University Rankings 2024 and #801–1000 in World University Rankings 2024 by Times Higher Education. 
  • Promising Opportunities for Indian Students: Indian students can expect valuable research opportunities and access to international career prospects in Indonesia. Thanks to the increased collaboration between India and Indonesia at the International Roundtable Conference in Yogyakarta! 
  • Low Cost of Living in Indonesia: Indonesia is one of the cheapest Asian countries for international students. The cost of living is significantly less than in 67% of countries in Asia. For instance, the cost of Living (including rent) in Indonesia is 7.2% lower than in Malaysia
  • Affordable Tuition Fees: The cost of education in Indonesia is relatively affordable compared to many Western countries. The average tuition cost varies from INR 2L to INR 5L per year in Indonesia while in the United States, it typically ranges between INR 4L to INR 40L. 
  • Scholarship Opportunities: There are endless scholarship opportunities, both from universities and government organisations. These scholarships help further reduce the average cost of living in Indonesia for international students. Some of the renowned ones are the KNB Scholarship, the Darmasiswa Indonesian Scholarship and the International Priority Scholarship (IPS).

Cost of Living in Indonesia For Indian Students

The cost of living comparisons are useful if you are looking to explore higher study opportunities in Indonesia. When it comes to the cost of living by city, Jakarta is one of the most affordable cities in Asia, holding the 56th position. 

An estimate of the cost of living in Indonesia per month is INR 37k (without rent). However, please note that the average cost of living in Indonesia can vary significantly depending on the choice of location, your lifestyle choices, and spending habits. 

Further, the overall cost of living in Indonesia for Indian students differs from one city to another. Jakarta tends to be the most expensive city while Bandung and Yogyakarta offer comparatively lower living expenses. 

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Cost of Living in Indonesia: Living Expenses in Jakarta

Cost of Accommodation in Indonesia

When considering moving to Indonesia for higher studies, it’s essential to consider your accommodation budget. Rental housing prices vary depending on the location and type of accommodation you choose. 

Additionally, opting for flats or apartments generally incurs higher expenses than opting for on-campus or off-campus accommodation. The University of Indonesia provides accommodation facilities to international students. The monthly rental price for dormitories located within the UI Depok Campus complex ranges between INR 1,000 to INR 2,500. 

Did you know that rent prices in Bandung are 54.8% lower than in Jakarta?

Apartment LocationMonthly Living Expenses in JakartaMonthly Living Expenses in Bandung
1 bedroom apartment in the city centreINR 35kINR 20k
1 bedroom apartment outside of centreINR 20kINR 10k
3 bedroom apartment in city centreINR 1LINR 40k
3 bedroom apartment outside of centreINR 55kINR 25k

Cost of Food in Indonesia

Indonesia’s cuisine is a vibrant mix of flavours that is inspired by its diverse cultures and regions. The country is known for its street food that offers an array of traditional Indonesian and Southeast Asian delights. Make sure you don’t miss a chance to taste these popular local foods – Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Soto (soup) and Rendang (meat dish).  

Beyond street food, there are excellent restaurants catering to diverse tastes and budgets. Whether you’re craving international cuisine or fusion delicacies, you’ll find a restaurant to suit your taste buds. A meal at an affordable restaurant such as The Social Pot or Smarapura Resto in Indonesia typically costs around INR 150 (for a single person).

Furthermore, those who prefer to cook at home are in luck as fruits, vegetables, meats, and poultry are readily available and affordable in local markets. 

Here is an overview of the food cost comparison including groceries between Jakarta and Bandung to help you effectively plan your budget.

ParticularsEstimated Cost in JakartaEstimated Cost in Bandung
Meal at an Affordable RestaurantINR 180INR 130
McDonald’sINR 280INR 260
Regular CappuccinoINR 190INR 120
Water – (0.33 litre bottle)INR 28INR 22
Milk – 1 litreINR 110INR 100
Rice – 1 kgINR 80INR 70
Eggs – 12INR 160INR 130
Apples – 1 kgINR 250INR 210
Oranges – 1 kgINR 170INR 130
Potato – 1 kgINR 120INR 110
Onion – 1 kgINR 200INR 190

Transportation Cost in Indonesia

 A case study by Trisakti University, a private university in West Jakarta, Indonesia, explored the popular transportation choices. Public transport emerged as the most common mode followed by motorcycles, walking, cars, and app-based taxi services. Moreover, the choices of walking, motorcycle riding, or using taxi services are also influenced by travel distance and travel time. 

In general, access to public transportation in Indonesia is fairly convenient. You can also explore affordable smartphone transport applications like “Gojek,” or “Grab”. The price of Gojek or Grab is usually relatively low compared to taxis. The average cost for a 10-minute Grab or Gojek car ride in Indonesia is INR 130 to INR 200. 

Let’s look at the estimated cost of public transportation in Indonesia. 

ParticularsEstimated Cost
Local Transport One-way TicketINR 25
Monthly Price – Regular PriceINR 770
Taxi Start – Normal TariffINR 45
Taxi 1 km – Normal TariffINR 25
Gasoline – 1 litreINR 70

Cost of Utilities in Indonesia

The basic utility cost in Indonesia comprises essential services such as electricity, garbage, and water, among others. When calculating the cost of living in Jakarta, international students should research and plan accordingly to manage expenses while studying in the city.

Let’s look at the cost of living in Indonesia in Indian rupees, with a focus on utility costs. 

UtilitiesEstimated Monthly Cost
Internet – 60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, CableINR 2,100
Basic – Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, and moreINR 5,500
Mobile Phone – Calls and 10GB+ DataINR 400

Now that you have an idea of the average cost of living in Indonesia, let’s explore the top universities in the country and examine their annual tuition fees. This will provide you with an estimate of the total cost of living in Indonesia including tuition fees. 

Top Universities in Indonesia

Cost of Living in Indonesia: Living Expenses in Jakarta

Did you know: that Indonesia’s higher education has experienced dramatic growth since independence? In 1945, the country had only 5 universities while now there are almost 3,500. 

Indonesia currently hosts around 6,000 international students. The University of Indonesia has campuses in West Java, Depok and Jakarta. As per QS World University Rankings 2024, 5 universities in Indonesia are ranked among the top 500 globally

Top Universities in IndonesiaQS World University Rankings 2024
University of Indonesia#237
Gadjah Mada University#263
Institute of Technology Bandung#281
Airlangga University #345
IPB University#489

Curious to know about the tuition fees you will be paying at these universities in Indonesia? Read on!

Please note: The annual tuition fee can significantly vary based on the college you choose and the course you pick. These numbers are only indicative.  

  1. University of Indonesia

If research is your calling, look no further than the University of Indonesia. As one of the oldest state-run universities, it has 2 campuses – one in Jakarta and the second in Depok. The university holds the number 1 rank in Indonesia, 10th in Southeast Asia and 57th in Asia. 

What’s more? The University of Indonesia offers a vast array of programs including  62 bachelor/undergraduate programs, 68 master/graduate programs, 6 professional programs and 37 doctorate/postgraduate programs.

ParticularsDetails
Courses OfferedSocial Sciences
Law
Engineering and Technology
Business and Economics
Average Annual Tuition FeesUndergraduate: INR 1.5L to INR 2.8L per semester
Graduate: INR 1.8L to 3.5L per semester
  1. Gadjah Mada University

Established in 1949, Gadjah Mada University is a public research university located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Committed to excellence in teaching and research, the university has approximately 55,000 students, 1,187 of whom are international students. 

The best part? With an option to choose from 234 undergraduate programs, 45 Master’s programs and 45 Doctoral programs, you will never fall short of options on what to study. 

ParticularsDetails
Courses OfferedPhilosophy
Biology
Dentistry
Economic and Business
Average Annual Tuition FeesUndergraduate: INR 1L to INR 3.5L per semester
Postgraduate: INR 55k to INR 4.5L per semester
  1. Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB)

Established in 1959 in West Java, the Institute of Technology Bandung is the first technical university in Indonesia. With 130 programs, ITB offers students diverse academic choices. 

What more? The campus is a hub of innovation and research with 7 research centres, 111 research groups and 198 laboratories. 

ParticularsDetails
Courses OfferedEngineering and Technology
Arts and Humanities
Life Sciences
Psychology
Average Annual Tuition FeesUndergraduate: INR 1.5L per semester
  1. Airlangga University

Located in East Java, Airlangga University is the second oldest university. Ranked 4th among the top Indonesian universities by QS WUR, the university offers 183 study programs. Airlangga University is driven by a strategic concept of SMART, which emphasises the importance of Sustainable Education for All.

ParticularsDetails
Courses OfferedPhysical Sciences
Social Sciences
Law
Computer Science
Average Annual Tuition FeesUndergraduate: INR 2,581 in the first semester 
Masters: INR 1L to INR 2L

Please note: The amount payable in each semester may vary depending on the program

  1. IPB University

IPB University – founded in 1963 is home to approximately 345 international students. It has 3 schools offering a diverse range of programs including 48 Doctoral programs, 79 Master programs, 39 Undergraduate programs, and 17 Diploma programs. 

In addition to the academic offerings, the university also provides support facilities such as 21 research centres, advanced laboratories, a university farm, and a library to enhance the learning experience. 

ParticularsDetails
Courses OfferedAgriculture
Forestry
Fisheries
Veterinary medicine
Average Annual Tuition FeesMasters (For 4 semesters): INR 2L
Executive Masters (For 4 semesters): 2.6L

Scholarships to Reduce Cost of Living in Indonesia

Interested in scholarships to further reduce the cost of living in Indonesia? Well, you’re in luck! Indonesia offers numerous scholarships at both university and government levels. Here are a few of the most popular and prestigious scholarships that extend an invitation to international students looking for scholarship opportunities.

Scholarship NameOffered ByProgram
Darmasiswa Scholarship 2024Telkom UniversityIndonesian language (BIPA), and Textile & Craft.
Kemitraan Negara Berkembang Scholarship – KNB ScholarshipIndonesian GovernmentBachelor, Master, or Doctorate Degree
UI GREAT ScholarshipUniversity of IndonesiaMaster
UIII ScholarshipIndonesian Government in collaboration with UIII Master, or Doctoral 

1. Darmasiswa Scholarship 2024

Darmasiswa Scholarship 2024 is a one-year non-degree scholarship program that welcomes all international students to learn the Indonesian language, arts, music, crafts and more. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Must be a foreign national and should have completed secondary education or its equivalent.
  • The minimum age requirement to apply for the scholarship is 18 years old while the maximum age limit is 32.
  • Proficiency in English is required – certificates such as TOEFL, TOEIC or IELTS are acceptable. 
  • Should be physically and mentally healthy, supported by a medical certificate.
  • Must possess basic knowledge of the chosen field.
  • Not listed as alumni of the Darmasiswa Scholarship or KNB Scholarship.
  • Must not be currently enrolled in studies or employment in Indonesia.

Scholarship Coverage

  • Living allowance: INR 25k per month
  • Book allowance: INR 10k one-off
  • Settlement allowance: INR 25k one-off
  • Accommodation and transportation during the Orientation Program provided the time of arrival aligns with the schedule provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology

2. KNB Scholarship

KNB Scholarship is a financial assistance offered by the Indonesian Government to support prospective international students coming from developing countries to pursue their degree (Bachelor, Master or Doctorate Degree) at universities in Indonesia. Students have the freedom to choose from 1,457 study programs offered by 31 Indonesian universities in various fields of study. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • For bachelor’s degree scholarships, the maximum age limit for applicants is 21. For a master’s degree, the maximum age should be 35, and for doctoral scholarships, it is 40. 
  • English Proficiency Test scores required are as follows: TOEFL ITP with a score of 477, TOEFL IBT with a score of 53, IELTS with a score of 5.5, and TOEIC with a score of 510 or higher. 

Please note: this will vary depending on the program level

  • Must provide a recommendation letter from the Indonesian Embassy or the Indonesian Consulate General.
  • A recommendation letter from the employer/immediate supervisor in English or Bahasa (if working) is mandatory. 
  • Academic recommendation letters from previous schools in English or Bahasa is essential. 
  • Must submit a passport that is valid for at least 2 years again.

Scholarship Coverage

  • Covers all expenses including airfare, tuition fees, living allowance, health insurance, and more

3. UI GREAT Scholarship

The UI Great Scholarship is offered to non-Indonesian citizens applying for the Master’s program at the University of Indonesia. 

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Applicants must not have a master’s degree yet and in case of applying for a degree in research, they should submit a research proposal.
  • The scholarship does not include language preparatory courses (Indonesian or English).
  • Applicants must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 while studying at University of Indonesia
  • Applicants are not to be enrolled as students at other universities in Indonesia with or without a scholarship from the Indonesian Government/University/Institution.

Scholarship Coverage

  • Tuition Fee Waiver
  • Student visa application cost: INR 1k only once
  • Cost of a stay permit: INR 13k per year
  • Arrival ticket allowance: Maximum amount of INR 26k only once
  • Departure ticket allowance: Maximum amount of INR 26k only once
  • Settlement Cost Allowance: INR 8k only once
  • Health Insurance allowance: INR 2k per month
  • Monthly Allowance: INR 15k per month (including accommodation)
  • Books and Research Allowance: INR 2.5k per month

4. UIII Scholarship

The UIII invites scholarship applications from both Indonesian and international students. The potential master’s and doctoral program students are offered subject-based scholarships. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must possess a solid academic background to pursue Masters’s or Doctor programs at UIII

Scholarship Coverage

  • Tuition fees for two academic years for Master’s program while four academic years for Doctoral
  • Student visa and study permit for international students
  • Monthly living allowance for two years
  • One-way economy class ticket from the closest airport to the recipient’s home location to the Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Indonesia
  • One-way economy class ticket from Soekarno Hatta International Airport to the closest airport to the recipient’s home location
  • Doctoral research, health and book allowance
  • Settling in allowance after arrival in Indonesia

How to Reduce the Cost of Living in Indonesia for Indian Students?

While working part-time or securing a scholarship may not cover the entire tuition fee, it can significantly reduce your cost of living in Indonesia per month and provide you with the opportunity to advance your career.

  1. Part-Time Work

International students in Indonesia are typically allowed to work part-time jobs for up to 20 hours per week. Some of the popular job opportunities include teaching English or working in restaurants and retail stores. 

Did you know: According to a report by INSEAD, Indonesia has shown the most significant advancement among Asian nations in developing and leveraging talent over the past decade.

While the cost of living in Indonesia is comparatively lower than in other Asian countries, assessing the earning potential is wise. 

Here is a list of the top-paying jobs with their average annual salary in Indonesia. 

Top 5 High Paying JobsAverage Yearly Salary
Technical DirectorINR 25L to INR 30L
Project DirectorINR 10 to INR 15L
Operations DirectorINR 20L to INR 25L
Head of Corporate StrategyINR 10L to INR 15L
JudgeINR 15L to INR 20L

According to the annual prestigious Best Places to Work certification program, Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca and Darya-Varia Laboratoria are recognised as the top 3 best places to work in Indonesia for 2023!

  1. List of Top Recruitment Companies in Indonesia

If you are looking for a list of the top companies hiring talented individuals in Indonesia in 2024, we have you covered. Here is a list of companies actively seeking new talent. 

  • Pertamina: Energy and Utilities
  • Unilever: Consumer Product Manufacturing
  • Deloitte: Business Consulting
  • PwC: Accounting and Tax
  • Shopee: Internet and Web Services
  1. Accommodation Hacks

In order to reduce your cost of living in Indonesia, consider university-provided applications instead of renting an apartment. For instance, staying at ITB’s dormitory could result in saving significant money. Moreover, homestays that are located closer to the campus in Cisitu, and Pelesiran areas offer affordable accommodation ranging between INR 5k to INR 15k, depending on the facilities provided.

To Conclude:

Indonesia has become an increasingly attractive destination for Indian students. It offers world-class education at top universities such as the University of Indonesia and Gadjah Mada University. The cost of living in Indonesia is generally affordable for Indian students owing to the relatively low housing, food, and transportation expenses compared to Western countries. 

Through strategic planning of your living expenses in Indonesia and exploring available scholarship opportunities, you can turn your dream of studying in this vast archipelago into a reality!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Is it expensive to live in Indonesia?

    A. The cost of living in Indonesia per month can vary greatly depending on the location, lifestyle choices and spending habits. For instance, Jakarta tends to be the most expensive city while Bandung and Yogyakarta offer comparatively lower living expenses. The estimated monthly cost for a single person living in Indonesia is INR 37k (without rent). 

  • Q. What is the cost of 1 litre of milk in Indonesia?

    A. Grocery items such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and poultry are readily available and affordable in local markets in Indonesia. The cost of 1 litre of milk is INR 100. Hence, generally speaking, if you plan to cook at home, you could save significant money while enjoying fresh ingredients.

  • Q. Is Indonesian money cheaper than India?

    A. Yes, Indonesian money is cheaper. The value of 1 INR = 191.96 IDR. The favourable exchange rate makes Indonesia a more affordable study-abroad destination for Indian students. Further, Indian passport holders can apply for a visa on arrival in Indonesia, thus simplifying the visa process. 

  • Q. Is Indonesia a good place to live for Indian students?

    A. Indonesia offers a cost-effective living environment, diverse cultural experiences, and quality education opportunities at the top universities to Indian students. Additionally, the nation’s stunning natural beauty adds an extra dimension, making Indonesia an attractive destination for students seeking opportunities to broaden their horizons. 

  • Q. How much does 1 kg of rice cost in Indonesia?

    A. As of February 2024, the retail price of rice in Indonesia was approximately INR 78 per kg. This reflects an increase of around 18.41 per cent compared to the same month in the previous year. Despite the rise in price, rice remains a staple food item in Indonesia, reflecting its crucial role in the agricultural landscape.

  • Q. Which is the cheapest place to live in Indonesia?

    A. Cities in Eastern Indonesia such as Makassar and Manado offer a lower cost of living compared to Bali and Jakarta. The significantly lower living costs make them an appealing choice for those looking for budget-friendly accommodations. Specifically, the cost of living in Bali is 68% more expensive than in Makassar. Additionally, rent prices in Jakarta are 312.8% higher than in Manado.

  • Q. Which is the most common job in Indonesia?

    A. The majority of Indonesia’s workforce is employed in the agriculture sector followed by wholesale and retail trade, as well as manufacturing. In 2023, approximately 39.45 million individuals were employed in the agricultural, forestry, hunting, and fisheries sectors. The agriculture sector in Indonesia is characterised by the dominance of rice cultivation. 

  • Q. Is Indonesia cheaper than Dubai?

    A. The cost of living in Jakarta (Indonesia) is 56% cheaper than in Dubai. For instance, to maintain a similar standard of living that costs INR 6L in Dubai, you would need approximately INR 2.8L in Jakarta. This huge difference in living expenses makes Indonesia, particularly Jakarta, a more budget-friendly option for students.

  • Q. What is the official language of Indonesia?

    A. In Indonesia, there are more than 500 different languages spoken but the official language is Indonesian also referred to as Bahasa Indonesia. Despite only 7% of the vast population—totalling 242 million—having Indonesian as their mother tongue, it’s widely spoken as a second language by around 200 million individuals.

  • Q. What is the cost of living for a family of 4 in Indonesia?

    A. An estimated cost of living for a family of 4 is INR 1.3L per month (without rent) in Indonesia. However, the cost of living can vary significantly depending on the location, size, and quality of accommodation, expenses related to tuition fees, and costs associated with medical care, to name a few. Hence, families should carefully consider these crucial factors when planning their cost of living in Indonesia. 

  • Q. Are students allowed to work part-time while studying in Indonesia?

    A. Yes, international students are typically allowed to work part-time jobs for up to 20 hours per week in Indonesia. Some of the popular job opportunities include teaching English or working in restaurants and retail stores. Working part-time in Indonesia helps students immensely to cover their living expenses. 

  • Q. Are there scholarship opportunities available for international students in Indonesia?

    A. Indonesia provides a wide range of scholarships at both university and government levels, offering valuable opportunities for international students looking for financial aid. Here are some of the best scholarships that welcome applications from international students:

    Darmasiswa Scholarship
    UI Great Scholarship 
    KNB Scholarship


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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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