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Student and Intern Housing in Indonesia
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Students and Intern housing in Indonesia: Kost Kosan, Studios. Studio Apartment

If you are coming to Indonesia for study exchange or doing your internship you are probably planning to stay in Indonesia for 4-6 months up to one year. Unlike well compensated company-backed expatriate workers for whom most of their living arrangements are covered by the company, as a student or intern you are probably coming to Indonesia as an individual and you must research and arrange visa, accommodation and transportation for yourself. Without the responsibilities of the care of family members, your expectation level may be different than most expats. Fortunately, there are housing options available for all budgets when it comes to affordable temporarily housing. Because these options may be hard to find and we do get inquiries about affordable housing, we hope this article will give you some tips and show you the way.

Live near where you work

Because Jakarta is a messy chaotic city, full of massive traffic jams, traffic is an element that needs to be accounted for in your daily routine. Always assume that there will be traffic as you travel from home to work or school, so your mobility will be limited. A distance of a few kilometers may easily take you a couple of hours to travel during rush hour or inclement weather/flooding. Therefore, your employer/school may advise you to choose your accommodation close to the company’s office location/school. Otherwise you can plan on spending a half day in a bus or other public transportation for your commute.

Don’t go cheap

The availability of affordable studio apartments is great. Every area in Jakarta has some streets where these are concentrated. What you should keep in mind is obviously the quality you’d like for the money you can afford; don’t go cheap! The conceptual framework of Indonesians about what constitutes "clean," "safe," "comfortable," and "useful" and otherwise of "acceptable quality", can vary widely both far below and above expatriate expectations.

As a broad measure, you can expect that any accommodation that costs below Rp 3.5 million/month (240 EUR / 260 USD) will be unacceptable to most expats, even budget residents. You’ll find that the house staff forgets to clean the bathroom thoroughly/regularly and you’ll undoubtedly encounter other situations that will make you uncomfortable for the long term.

Included Services and Amenities

Most Indekos "kost-kosan” (shared housing rooms) are located in complexes designed for rent as individual studios. They are equipped with public living areas, kitchen, parking places, garden, and maybe even a pool. The rent package in many cases includes a household staff service that takes care of cleaning your room, laundry service, and security for the area. Water and electricity costs are mostly included in the rent fee. In some cases, internet will be included as well. Also, ask about possible costs to include breakfast, or a rantangan for dinner. If the kos owner doesn’t provide this service, they will be able to refer you to someone who can arrange these meal deliveries for you. Be sure and ask about any extra charges before you commit to rent a unit.

General Price Range

In Jakarta (in 2016) a reasonable price level for an acceptable furnished one-room studio kos equipped with AC, Fridge, cable TV, WIFI, individual bathroom, warm water, and perhaps a meal, whether or not including laundry services, ranges between 3.5 million IDR and 5 million IDR.

Easy to find!

On websites like KostJakarta and InfoKost, you can find a complete overview of most kost kosan and apartments divided by neighborhood, price range, and your preferred amenities. The listings give you a good impression of interior, exterior, situation, facilities, conditions and prices.

Share an apartment

Probably you are not the only one looking for temporarily accommodation in the same time scheme. To lease a more luxurious, spacious apartment on your own (in the range of 1200 USD and up) may be beyond your budget. Students, interns and other individuals connect easily on Facebook and regularly place announcements looking for roommates for sharing a 3 or 4 bedroom apartments or homes in Jakarta.

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Interns in Jakarta

Our thanks to Floris Graziosi of Indotrainee for sharing his experiences in this article with the community!

Last updated December 26, 2017