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Indonesia Tips
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jef dam



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:07 am    Post subject: Indonesia Tips Reply with quote

This forum seems to be dying something of a death. When topics do start they usually center around money, and how terrible one company or another is to work for. It's all very, very tedious and I'd imagine it's not very helpful to anyone wishing to come and work in Indonesia. To be honest, it makes most posters here (myself included) seem altogether very jaded.

So, in the interest of making this place a bit more helpful to prospective teachers in Indo feel free to add any useful tips to this thread. Food, drink, travel, culture, whatever floats your boat.

Cheers

JD

Eat: Tongseng - Coconut stew with cabbage, tomatoes, chili, and goat or chicken. Seriously tasty, very filling, nice and cheap.

Drink: Treehouse, Kemang - Although a bit on the pricey side I'm a big fan. Great music, chilled out vibe, and great decor. They often have exhibitions by local artists, too. Great place for a few Sunday afternoon jars.

Visit: Pulau Rote, NTT - Fly direct from Jakarta to Kupang in Timor. From Kupang you can catch a ferry for about rp200,000. The ferry takes about 1.5 hours and is pretty comfortable. From the main town M'baa charter a bimo to take you to Nemberela. Totally unspoiled, with little to do santai di pantai. If you surf it's apparently one of the best breaks in the world and totally devoid of the usual crowd you'd get in Bali.
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godmachine12



Joined: 06 Feb 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drink: Borneo Beer House, Kemang (Jl. Madrasah, Jeruk Purut). It's a fabulous place for a night out.

With any luck I'll be back in Indo within the next six months and when in Jakarta, this is the place to be.
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MadRiley



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a jobs discussion forum. Jobs is the key word here. Money is a very important part of work. I am puzzled why someone would think that discussing bad scholols offering bad pay is inappropriate for a jobs forum. This is the stuff I come here to find out. Anyway flying to Roti is going to cost you $300 return from Jakarta at least and if you are earning EF money you aren't going to be able to afford that. This is the reason I wouldn't work for EF ever again. Better off just to go on a holiday rather than scrimp and save for the odd night out on bad TEFL salaries.

There are some great places in Indonesia. As a diver I love Bunaken and the Togians but unless you are earning at least 12 million a month I don't see you making it there more than once a year.
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Gajah Oling



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Jawa

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jef dam, I sympathise with you on this. There is indeed a lot of endless whining that goes on in the forums here. However, I do have to agree with MadRiley in that this is primarily a jobs seeking forum and the most common messages that people are likely to communicate about their jobs are negative.

That said, if you want to communicate with other teachers (and other expats in Indonesia) about topics having nothing to do with language schools and teaching, I highly recommend you visit www.livinginindonesiaforum.org and sign up as a member. There are many, highly active discussion boards there and contributors who are both knowledgeable and friendly.
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jef dam



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally understand that this is a jobs forum and that money talk and company reviews are going to make up the vast majority of the banter to be had here. I can live with that.

What's worth bearing in mind is that this is an ESL forum so a lot of people passing through this forum will at the very least be giving some thought to committing to spending at least a year in Indo. Why not give them a head-start on getting settled?

There is more to life than the rat race, and that's usually why people decide to go ESL teaching.

Hence this thread - Pertinent info in one place that will not encroach on the money and benefits talk that is the primary function of this forum.

Do a Google search for ESL jobs in Indonesia and you can pretty much guarantee that this website will be if not the first link then towards the top of the first page. I see no harm in having at thread about other aspects of life in a country where someone will potentially be living.

For what it's worth, I'm also a member of the Living in Indonesia forum, and as useful a resource as it is, it's just a bit, I dunno,........you can finish that sentence yourself.

Cheers

JD
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MadRiley



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jef dam wrote:


Hence this thread - Pertinent info in one place that will not encroach on the money and benefits talk that is the primary function of this forum...JD


No one is saying you shouldn't have Indo lifetsyle tips but why does it gave to be prefaced with snide comments about other users? Its a bit rich whining about other posters and then saying they are too negative. Pot kettle black.

Most TEFL teachers are not independently wealthy so they rely on their wages to travel. How much you get to eat out, travel and see Indonesia will depend on their earning power. EF paints a glowing picture of work as adventure in an exotic land but the reality is that the jobs are in concrete jungle cities like Jakarta and getting away through the traffic jams is impossible if you are working six days a week at EF Swara.

If your main desire is travel, I'd say think carefully about where you work, how much you earn and what the holiday entitlements are. Caveat emptor!
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jef dam



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've missed the point of this thread in spectacular fashion.

Well done.
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p1randal



Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Money is all relative and complaining about it here (which I have done also) should probably stop. I say it's all relative as if you make 15 mil as a single guy you are probably doing quite well. However, if you have a family and maybe kids you aren't doing as well. People complain about EF here but I've met quite a few that like it as their immediate supervisors are Western people which adds a nice element to their work life.

I personally would like this board to talk more about national plus/international schools where teachers who wish to work for more than a year or so could discuss those types of places.

In terms of Jef dam's questions

-Drink- I think Skye by Grand Indo should be visited at least once. True it is expensive, but the view is cool and I enjoyed the music. The food was actually quite good and I don't usually say that about places here in Indo.

-Visit- I recently went to Ujung Kulon with a company called media traveler, it was a bit far from JKT as it was about 5 hours by bus and 3 by boat. That being said, it was a nice escape from the traffic and I saw a lot of wild animals and did some so so snorkeling.

I think the ultimate point of Jef dam's post is as this isn't the Korean board which has a section for every thing for life in Korea. This is Indo so we have to have some good with the bad and mundane about jobs.

Cheers!
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chezal



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if you are on the lowest salary that EF offered you can still afford to travel. I used to go all over the place by bus etc when I worked for EF. I saw lots of Sumatra that way.

Also there are Indo backpacking groups that do days trips like. www.facebook.com/indonesiaroadtrip They have a day trip to the thousand islands coming up that's 135,000rp all in. Even an EF teacher could manage that.
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MadRiley



Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chezal wrote:
Even if you are on the lowest salary that EF offered you can still afford to travel. I used to go all over the place by bus etc when I worked for EF. I saw lots of Sumatra that way.

Also there are Indo backpacking groups that do days trips like. www.facebook.com/indonesiaroadtrip They have a day trip to the thousand islands coming up that's 135,000rp all in. Even an EF teacher could manage that.


The problem is that EF Swara asks you to work 6 days a week 8 months a year. You get one day a week off for the great majority of your contract. It takes at least 4 to 5 hours to get to Anyer or Carita, which are filthy beaches anyway but they are the only ones near Jakarta. With one day a week off your stranded in Jakarta for a year. A few bottles of Beer Bintang will become your main recreation.

I suppose you could go on a day trip to the 1000 islands but not even getting to stay over one night sure sounds like slumming it? Then EF gives you 10 days a year off. Not much travel but a whole lotta Saturday classes. Yippee.

Indonesia is a good place to travel but do it as a backpacker rather than an EF teacher. I wouldn't advise Indo unless you are getting 12 million or more these days.
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chezal



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is more to Indonesia than just Jakarta. As I've said before I would recommend working in Sumatra if you work for EF rather than Jakarta as your money goes further. I wouldn't recommend working in Bali either on an EF salary.

While I enjoy living in Jakarta now I'm on an International school salary I don't think I would have enjoyed working here on an ESL salary. However I really enjoyed my 4 years of ESL teaching in Sumatra as the money went further and there were many more places to visit without having to sit in hours of traffic.
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jef dam



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MadRiley wrote:
chezal wrote:
Even if you are on the lowest salary that EF offered you can still afford to travel. I used to go all over the place by bus etc when I worked for EF. I saw lots of Sumatra that way.

Also there are Indo backpacking groups that do days trips like. www.facebook.com/indonesiaroadtrip They have a day trip to the thousand islands coming up that's 135,000rp all in. Even an EF teacher could manage that.


The problem is that EF Swara asks you to work 6 days a week 8 months a year. You get one day a week off for the great majority of your contract. It takes at least 4 to 5 hours to get to Anyer or Carita, which are filthy beaches anyway but they are the only ones near Jakarta. With one day a week off your stranded in Jakarta for a year. A few bottles of Beer Bintang will become your main recreation.

I suppose you could go on a day trip to the 1000 islands but not even getting to stay over one night sure sounds like slumming it? Then EF gives you 10 days a year off. Not much travel but a whole lotta Saturday classes. Yippee.

Indonesia is a good place to travel but do it as a backpacker rather than an EF teacher. I wouldn't advise Indo unless you are getting 12 million or more these days.


Fantastic contribution.

@Chezal: Where were you in Sumatra? Aside from Bukit Lawang / Toba / Berastagi (sp?) / Bukit Tingi / Belitung do you have any recommendations?

Cheers

JD
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1092
Location: The West

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MadRiley wrote:
chezal wrote:
Even if you are on the lowest salary that EF offered you can still afford to travel. I used to go all over the place by bus etc when I worked for EF. I saw lots of Sumatra that way.

Also there are Indo backpacking groups that do days trips like. www.facebook.com/indonesiaroadtrip They have a day trip to the thousand islands coming up that's 135,000rp all in. Even an EF teacher could manage that.


The problem is that EF Swara asks you to work 6 days a week 8 months a year. You get one day a week off for the great majority of your contract. It takes at least 4 to 5 hours to get to Anyer or Carita, which are filthy beaches anyway but they are the only ones near Jakarta. With one day a week off your stranded in Jakarta for a year. A few bottles of Beer Bintang will become your main recreation.

I suppose you could go on a day trip to the 1000 islands but not even getting to stay over one night sure sounds like slumming it? Then EF gives you 10 days a year off. Not much travel but a whole lotta Saturday classes. Yippee.

Indonesia is a good place to travel but do it as a backpacker rather than an EF teacher. I wouldn't advise Indo unless you are getting 12 million or more these days.

Alright, we get it. EF is crap in your book. But if you've got a problem with them then take it somewhere else. I personally thought this thread was a good idea as I'm interested in possibly visiting or working in Indonesia, and it's a shame guys like you have to hijack them with crap that can easily be discussed elsewhere.

I've got a couple of weeks to kill after New Years and have been curious where to go in Indonesia. Seems they get a lot of rain there in January and February which sort of scuppered my plans to go there last winter. Would love to see some volcanoes and do a bit of hiking.
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chezal



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what some people need to understand is that Indonesia has a lot to offer and there are other ESL schools apart from EF. I've been in Indonesia on and off (mostly on) since 2004 the craziness draws you in ;p

Re visiting in Jan or Feb I've found that Bali - Lombok and island further east seem to be mostly dry at that time of year when I've visited. Rainy season varies throughout the country.

If you want to hike you have to check if the mountains are open. I know that G.Gede near Jakarta is often closed in January and February as it is deemed too dangerous due to the wet conditions. However I've hiked up volcanoes for new year in Sumatra and other parts of Java in the past no problem at all.


Last edited by chezal on Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For people who want to investigate Indonesia as a tourist destination I'd strongly recommend checking out tripadvisor. It has listings of dozens of hotels and restaurants for every major city and tourist spot.
It also has ratings for every major tourist sight in the country.

My personal favorite is Sulawesi. The island is far less over-populated than Bali or Java and the forest hasn't been as badly logged as in Sumatra. The Toraja Highlands are one of the most beautiful regions in the country with traditional villages and great hiking. Even Makassar has improved out of sight over a few years ago. Good restaurants. Manado is another nice city with lots to do in the hinterland.
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