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Teaching in Indonesia - advice please

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Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 5:25 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Indonesia - advice please Reply with quote

Does anyone have any experience of teaching in Java/Sumatra? I have been looking at English First jobs in the area and would like to hear feedback from anyone who has: a. worked in the area and b. worked for English First - I am new to ESOL and could use some advice!!
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Joined: 07 Jun 2008
Posts: 10
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: Excellent question! Reply with quote

Let me second your question!

When I look at photographs of those beautiful Indonesian islands, I immediately want to travel there and start teaching. My wife, however, feels that for an American - especially Jewish - to teach in Indonesia would be courting trouble. While I want to believe she is just a bit hyper cautious, I'm also curious about any advice for Westerners teaching in Indonesia. Is it safe? Does it pay? What about visa rules?

By the way, is there a organization that rates and evaluates different language schools?

Consider me curious.


"In America, nobody says you have to keep circumstances somebody else gives you."
Amy Tan, Asian-American writer
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Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:08 am    Post subject: LIVING AND TEACHING Reply with quote

Hello, I have been living and teaching in Java for the past two years so might be able to help.

I have lived and travelled in many countries and by far Indonesia is my favourite. The people are great and very friendly towards foreigners. However unless you want to live in Jakarta (I don't reccomend it) don't come here expecting to get rich. The salary is easily enough to support a decent lifestyle but don't expect to be able to travel abroad or take any saviings home with you.
As for EF I've heard many bad stories from teachers here. When I moved from Jakarta to Yogyakarta I was offered a job with them, I worked with them for 1 day and was unimpressed so went to a different school. EF is a franchise though so every one of there schools will be different, but there are definetely better schools about.

For the second poster - There is absolutely no danger in living in Indonesia. Although Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country they practice a much more relaxed and tolerent form compared to other countries (I'm presuming that was why you were concerned).
Being Jewish is not a problem but Indonesia only recognizes a handful of religions, Judaism is not one of them. If you are a 'devout' Jew then I would not reccomend coming here simply because there would be no place to practice your religion. I have a Jewish-American friend here and he's never had any problems.
Visa issues are pretty simple, come here on a tourist visa ($25 on arrival) and then your school will apply for your KITAS (1 year work visa) and fly you to Singapore and back to collect it.

Hope this helps, If you have any other questions or want any more advice just let me know.
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Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:45 am    Post subject: Teaching In West Sumatra - for Allison Reply with quote

Hi Allison,

I hope my reply is not too overdue for you?

I have taught English in a Hotel in Padang, West Sumatra after having gained my TEFL certificate through a Sydney based company.

Intially, I went there after the September 30 Earthquakes to assist by providing "Gratis" building consultancy advice as my background is in this arena.

Happy to answer any questions that you may have?

I have also applied to EF for many positions since then and they would not give the time of day now they are so large. Their reason, they say is that I do not hold a complete degree? However, I suspect it is also my age as I am now a very young 50! Smile

Many of my students are still in touch with me and I was able to pick up the language very easily!

I found the both the people and my students to be very tolerant of Westerner's and friendly in all matters. My students ranged in age from 16-44. Plus this was not a school but a hotel, hence the students were also the staff! Rosters had to be scheduled around their normal working hours. About 32 students in all I would guess.

I am disappointed in EF simply because of this attitude yet I must also understand that this may be their current methodology in appraising possible new staff etc...

Feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.

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