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English first locations further away from Jakarta
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ryanlogic



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: English first locations further away from Jakarta Reply with quote

I've searched around this and other forums for answers to my particular questions, but couldn't find any threads that didn't turn into a bickering match between people who hate EF and people who defend it for what it is.

For the sake of putting it out there:

I know the pay at EF sucks.

I'm heavily considering taking the CELTA course in Jakarta. And looking for employment while on the tourist visa or extending it. I would be insistent that any employer sponsor my KITAS and a dependent KiTAS for my wife.

I will have two unrelated bachelors degrees and no significant experience. It seems like I will be stuck with places like EF who have the connections needed to process KITAS for someone without a degree in English.

The ideal scenario would be to secure employment, and get the KITAS process started from the United States... And then arrive in Indonesia, travel to the school and check up on everything and make sure they are on track and have everything they need... And then go to Jakarta to take the CELTA course.

After completing the CELTA course, I could do a visa run to Singapore or Malaysia and enter on the new KITAS.

I'm nervous that even after obtaining CELTA in Indonesia, I won't be able to find employers willing or able to sponsor KITAS due to my unrelated bachelors degrees... So I'm thinking about EF as a backup.

My plan would be to basically subsidize my two years teaching at EF or elsewhere by paying my rent upfront and bringing a modest savings for emergencies and travel expenses.

I would be saving up money in the US prior to coming to Indonesia, and I don't expect to save significant amounts of money realistically. I do expect to be able to return home or fly somewhere else after my stint in Indonesia is done.

I'm eager to know what you guys think about that plan and I need to know a couple things:

What are some EF locations around Indonesia that boast cheaper cost of living than Jakarta? I'm looking for more rural places that will be easier to live on the crap salary... But I still want some modern conveniences like a simple one bedroom apartment with air conditioning, access to clean water and internet access... But we don't need luxurious accommodation by any means. We just want to be able to feel comfortable and safe in out apartment.

I've been told that 2-3K USD would be a good figure to budget for two years rent up front. Does that sound about right?

I like to take pictures and go sightseeing so if I could find a place with mountains and rice patties or historic and ecological attractions that would be awesome. We are Muslims, so living in more conservative areas is not a problem... No drinking or nightclub requirements. We would actually prefer to live in a place where women typically wear hijab, because my wife doesn't want to feel out of place.

I'm really eager to hear about cities that you guys think I should be looking into. I'm not a big city kind of guy but I don't mind living in rural or suburban settings.

So far I have decided to look into Medan, Malang, and Bandung.

I'm all ears to hear your suggestions and comments about those places and others.

If you must know WHY I am thinking about doing this:

I'm looking at either gaining experience and seeking jobs elsewhere, or going to grad school afterwards. Two years of experience living and teaching abroad would help me tremendously in the way of getting better paying jobs elsewhere OR getting funded as a graduate assistant/teaching assistant in American universities. I would plan to apply for university programs in the United States while I was in Indonesia. Depending on my experience I would be be considering a M.Ed TESOL or possibly some thing else entirely.



I've posted questions here and there asking questions and chiming in on other people's threads but this thread seems to be a better way to consolidate my questions and keep answers all in one place.

If it helps to know, I am white my wife is African American, we are both American citizens but she doesn't have any degrees. We are simple people by western standards and would very much enjoy an adventure.

I appreciate any help.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 142
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really speak with any authority about EF's outside Jakarta but please be aware that the housing provided by most of the Jakarta based groups, i.e. Swara-is shared housing, and your average EF house can be a den of debauchery! 3-4-5 single males partying at the weekend-bringing back girls...etc. Very few of us ever came here with the funds to pay for a year's accommodation upfront-perhaps that's why we ended up at an EF! Given that you plan to come here and take the CELTA with a view to finding work after I would suggest looking at other options after your arrival....staying in a kos for the duration of the CELTA would be my suggestion regards accommodation....
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ryanlogic



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
I can't really speak with any authority about EF's outside Jakarta but please be aware that the housing provided by most of the Jakarta based groups, i.e. Swara-is shared housing, and your average EF house can be a den of debauchery! 3-4-5 single males partying at the weekend-bringing back girls...etc. Very few of us ever came here with the funds to pay for a year's accommodation upfront-perhaps that's why we ended up at an EF! Given that you plan to come here and take the CELTA with a view to finding work after I would suggest looking at other options after your arrival....staying in a kos for the duration of the CELTA would be my suggestion regards accommodation....


I was hoping to negotiate a housing stipend since I would be bringing my wife. There's no way we could live in shared accommodation. i know it wouldn't truly cover my housing which is why I would bring enough to pay all my rent up front... but it would probably help a great deal if I could manage to negotiate for it.

I'd like to clarify that EF isn't my first choice, but rather my last choice. I'm just scared that I won't find anything else because of the law limiting teachers without a degree in English.

If I could work in a more typical school setting maybe with older students... I would be a lot happier.. But I'm afraid if I don't get my feet wet I'm never going to make anything of myself on this world.

you mention staying in a kos (kost?). From what I can tell that seems like a bed and breakfast and would likely be a very comfortable option. thanks for the tip.

I would be taking the CELTA class at The British Institute:

The British Institute
Menara Kuningan, Unit F1
Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Blok X-7 Kav. 5
Jakarta Selatan 12940
Indonesia

whats the area like around there?
are there decent Kos (kost?) in the area?
where can I find an accurate listing of them just for research purposes?
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Jakarta you will need around $2500 per annum upwards for an apartment in the suburbs and perhaps almost twice this amount right in the centre. There are a lot of apartments in Jakarta, but I'd say 25 million p/a is towards the very bottom end. You can get a decent kosan around TBI Kuningan for around Rp 2 million a month.

In terms of EF, the schools in East Java, like Surabaya and Malang, have a better reputation overall than those in Jakarta. The EF Swara group has been the most pilloried, though complaints have been very sparse the last 12 months. Whether this means conditions have improved is far from certain.

You might want to consider Palembang, which is an improving city. They really tidied up the city for the 2008 SEA Games and its restaurant and cafe scene is quite decent. It's a long way from anywhere else, but Rp 8 million would go much further in Sumatra than it does in Jakarta. I don't know how good the school is, but it has at least not attracted highly negative reports.
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ryanlogic



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bradleycooper wrote:
In Jakarta you will need around $2500 per annum upwards for an apartment in the suburbs and perhaps almost twice this amount right in the centre. There are a lot of apartments in Jakarta, but I'd say 25 million p/a is towards the very bottom end. You can get a decent kosan around TBI Kuningan for around Rp 2 million a month.

In terms of EF, the schools in East Java, like Surabaya and Malang, have a better reputation overall than those in Jakarta. The EF Swara group has been the most pilloried, though complaints have been very sparse the last 12 months. Whether this means conditions have improved is far from certain.

You might want to consider Palembang, which is an improving city. They really tidied up the city for the 2008 SEA Games and its restaurant and cafe scene is quite decent. It's a long way from anywhere else, but Rp 8 million would go much further in Sumatra than it does in Jakarta. I don't know how good the school is, but it has at least not attracted highly negative reports.


thanks, this is exactly the kind of information I am looking for.

I will look into those locations/ institutes. Ive been looking at Sumatra.specifically around Medan just due to the close proximity to Singapore and Malaysia... but Palembang looks right up my alley so I will do some hardcore research.

I would only be staying in Jakarta to get CELTA cert. so maybe 6 weeks.
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest four cities in Sumatra are (in descending order); Medan, Palembang, Padang and Bandarlampung.

They all have EFs. Padang is very earthquake-prone, so I wouldn't live there, but you might be more adventurous. The plus side is that the interior of West Sumatra around Bukittinggi has gorgeous mountain scenery and culture. It's only 2-3 hours away.

Medan is ugly if you ask me, but it has decent malls, restaurants and cafes. It also has more schools than elsewhere.

Palembang has flights to Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia. You can also fly to Singapore on Silk Air, but that'll be pricey. The city also has its own unusual cuisine based on spicy fish soups and a specialty called 'pempek'. Takes some getting used to but I like it. Also has houseboat restaurants along the Musi River. Like most places in Sumatra, the weather is extremely hot and humid, but it has a smattering of historic buildings. Not everyone's taste but I'd consider it for a year.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 142
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add that while Medan is pretty run down city, it is the gateway to some of Sumatra's most beautiful locations-including Lake Toba and Bukit Lawang...+ of course, your EF salary would stretch a lot further in Medan!
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ryanlogic



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
Just to add that while Medan is pretty run down city, it is the gateway to some of Sumatra's most beautiful locations-including Lake Toba and Bukit Lawang...+ of course, your EF salary would stretch a lot further in Medan!


I can deal with run down in exchange for access to beautiful locations, and cheaper cost of living.

however if "run down" means I can't find a sanitary and comfortable place to live than that's different.

What kind of apartments/houses are available in Medan?

I think I mentioned earlier that I would like to keep the budget around $2500-3000USD for two years of residence.

I'd really like to see examples of similarly equipped apartments/houses. Doesn't anyone have any pictures of places they have lived in at around the same price?

I know there would be electricity, gas for the stove, water, and I would have to pay to have A/C installed if it didn't already have it.

I'm wondering about laundry. Are washing machines typical or do people usually hand wash everything.

Also curious about tailored clothing.

I'm a big guy, and I know that I would have to bring properly fitting clothes and shoes with me. But I'm wondering about having good quality shirts and slacks made. A buddy of mine (with similar build) went to Hong Kong to have suits made because the money he saved having them made there nearly paid for the trip for the trip.

I have really broad thick shoulders, a big back, and a 21" neck. I can't buy shirts off the rack because I'm not extremely Tall and I'm not morbidly obese but anything made to fit my neck tends to be made for people resembling a beach ball with legs. Although I could definitely stand to lose weight, I'm basically built like a gorilla and I carry my weight well.

I need to have my dress shirts tailored, and if I was teaching I would want to have a decent professional/casual wardrobe. Do people typically get clothing tailored in Indo? It would even be nice if I could get regular button down shirts made just for wearing around.
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to check out this link. It offers a comprehensive list of costs for Medan. I can't vouch for the apartment costs but everything else looks about right.

My advice would be to take $4000 for 2 years accommodation if you can. If you have a nice place to escape from the madness, Indonesia improves immeasurably. It's nice to be able to engage and withdraw from the hubbub.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=Indonesia&city=Medan
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ryanlogic



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bradleycooper wrote:
You might want to check out this link. It offers a comprehensive list of costs for Medan. I can't vouch for the apartment costs but everything else looks about right.

My advice would be to take $4000 for 2 years accommodation if you can. If you have a nice place to escape from the madness, Indonesia improves immeasurably. It's nice to be able to engage and withdraw from the hubbub.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=Indonesia&city=Medan


Useful tool for research purposes.

Do you mean 4000 dollars just for rent or does that figure include other expenses?
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bradleycooper



Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd suggest $2000 a year is more likely to be a good amount for comfortable accommodation in Sumatran cities. So I'd suggest $4000 for two years rent up front. You could get something for less, but you will have a much better time with a bit of comfort. Some people don't mind living in share houses when they work for EF, but as other people have said, it's likely to be some sort of version of Animal House with 20 somethings bringing loads of girls home. Not the sort of thing to appeal to a married couple surely?

Bear in mind rents are highly variable. No one can give you a hard figure. But I find it hard to believe that you will get a decent place for $2000 for 2 years. That's, what, less than $100 a month?
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ryanlogic



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bradleycooper wrote:
I'd suggest $2000 a year is more likely to be a good amount for comfortable accommodation in Sumatran cities. So I'd suggest $4000 for two years rent up front. You could get something for less, but you will have a much better time with a bit of comfort. Some people don't mind living in share houses when they work for EF, but as other people have said, it's likely to be some sort of version of Animal House with 20 somethings bringing loads of girls home. Not the sort of thing to appeal to a married couple surely?

Bear in mind rents are highly variable. No one can give you a hard figure. But I find it hard to believe that you will get a decent place for $2000 for 2 years. That's, what, less than $100 a month?


I certainly don't have any expertise to argue.

I'm trying to brainstorm upfront so I can save up what I need. If I had to work an extra couple months stateside to ensure a couple years of comfort elsewhere... That doesn't seem like a bad plan.

I mean, id like to find something good and cheap and safe but as with many things sometimes you have to choose which one you don't want.

Gotta pay to play.
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Puppets



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 30
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bogor is a pretty nice place to live. I spent a few years there and it's definitely a lot cheaper than Jakarta.

I rented a two floored house for 20million a year in Bogor in a nice housing complex, good luck getting a decent place in Jakarta for 20million a year unless you go way out!

Bogor has EF, TBI, Eden, Sekolah Bogor Raya, BPK Penabur and some International Schools.

What I always liked best about Bogor is, the people are friendly, the costs are much cheaper than Jakarta and Jakarta is still only an hour away.

I live in Jakarta at the moment and lets just say that 10million rp a month in Bogor while not a great salary by any means will get you much further than say 15 million a month in Jakarta.
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ryanlogic



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 63
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Puppets wrote:
Bogor is a pretty nice place to live. I spent a few years there and it's definitely a lot cheaper than Jakarta.

I rented a two floored house for 20million a year in Bogor in a nice housing complex, good luck getting a decent place in Jakarta for 20million a year unless you go way out!

Bogor has EF, TBI, Eden, Sekolah Bogor Raya, BPK Penabur and some International Schools.

What I always liked best about Bogor is, the people are friendly, the costs are much cheaper than Jakarta and Jakarta is still only an hour away.

I live in Jakarta at the moment and lets just say that 10million rp a month in Bogor while not a great salary by any means will get you much further than say 15 million a month in Jakarta.


Thanks for the tip!

I'll keep that city in mind as I continue to do research.

Good to know which schools are there also.
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jaybet3



Joined: 15 Dec 2010
Posts: 46
Location: Indonesia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: EF SOLO Reply with quote

No one has mentioned there is an EF in Solo City (Surakarta). That's where I got my start years ago.

Solo is a quiet city compared to Surabaya, Jakarta, etc. Since you're not into night life, you might find this town suitable.

You could find a house in a village area for $1,000 per year, some of them come furnished. Nothing spectacular, but would save you some money from buying it yourself.

Also, you could buy a used motorbike or car for travel to work, etc. Taxi's start to become expensive after a while.
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