English teaching in Indonesia

English teaching in Indonesia

Indonesia isn't only one of the most populous places in the world, but also culturally diverse. Most of the people are Muslim, however it doesn't prevent spreading other religions. Given that Indonesia includes more than 17,000 islands, it comes with no surprise that there are several local languages with different dialects. Fortunately, English is in demand, and children start learning it as soon as they go to a secondary school. Obviously, the main problem is listening comprehension and correct pronunciation. However, reading plays one of the most important roles in a school curriculum, so that other skills such as writing, speaking, and listening come from it.

There are different places which may attract adventurous ESL teachers such as Bali, Bandung, and Jakarta. Indonesian lifestyle is different but full of discoveries. You may start your day with surfing wild waves of the ocean, then have some lessons at public or private schools, and enjoy a stunning sunset at a local café talking to interesting strangers. Definitely, Indonesia will suit those, who are after adventures and vibrant lifestyle.

If you wonder what to do to make such dreams come true, we have got you covered. Keep reading this article to know how to apply for a job in Indonesia, and what to expect as soon as you have arrived.

Requirements for English/ESL teaching in Indonesia

There isn't something complicated about fitting the bill in Indonesia. In fact, the requirements are pretty reasonable and achievable. As usual, a college degree seems to be a necessity to get a well-paid job, as well as TEFL certification. Native English speakers are preferred candidates for most schools, however it's likely to be hired being a non-native speaker. In comparison with other countries such as Thailand, South Korea, and Japan, education in Indonesia has nothing to do with visa regulations. So technically, you can teach English here without a degree, however, as long as Bali and Jakarta are sough-after places, there is a competitive labor market especially for ESL teachers. In other words, there are more chances to land a decent job with a degree in any subject rather than without it.

To work in Indonesia as an ESL tutor you need:

  • a bachelor's degree;
  • a TEFL certificate;
  • citizenship in an English-speaking country (preferred, but not required);
  • a work visa known as KITAS.

When it comes to obtaining a work visa, usually workplaces help and sponsor it. You start submitting documents in your country before arrival. Don't forget to save some money for start-up costs.

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Salary & Cost of Living in Indonesia

An average salary of English tutors in Indonesia is about $600-1,100 a month. Despite it isn't enough to make dough, it's sufficient amount of money to live in a nice place with a swimming pool, eat out, and travel around. Unfortunately, not all contracts offer paid housing. However, the good news is you can have it anyway paying yourself. Indonesia offers more affordable conditions rather than Europe. Given the fact that you will get paid in a month after arrival, you need some money to live for this time.

Let's see how much money a month you need in Indonesia:

  • $10-40 on utilities;
  • $140-460 on a room in a shared accommodation;
  • $100-200 on food;
  • $60-100 on entertainment;
  • $10-30 on transport.

The cost of living may change from city to city and depends on your preferences, however, if you don't mind living in a modest apartment, there are plenty of possibilities.

Types of teaching jobs in Indonesia

There are many workplaces for ESL teachers to realize professional potential. Most of the students are children and teens, so candidates must be patient, open-minded, and positive. There are three main destinations to land a job, Jakarta, Bali, and Bandung.

If you are inclined to stay up late, you will fall in love with a vibrant and bustling lifestyle in Jakarta. There are all essential facilities such as shops, restaurants, bars, and gyms. As for Bali, such island is one of the most popular tourist attraction, so it comes with the territory that it's a quite competitive environment. You have to boast about your education, TEFL certification, a college degree, and teaching experience to get a well-paid position. It will live up to your expectations.

If you tend to spend most of the time alone relishing the wild nature, Bandung is gorgeous. On the one hand you have a chance to take a stroll in tropical forests, swim in unknown lakes, and just enjoy silence. On the other hand it isn't far from Jakarta, so if you need something, or you want to paint the town red, you always may drive and arrive in a few hours.

As most people in Indonesia are Muslim, there are some rules you should know. People leave shoes before they come in. Also, the Indonesians tend to exchange gifts with newcomers, and it doesn't require a holiday. Respect the culture and religion and be careful with summer clothes. Given the fact that it's boiling hot most of the time, you have to wear something modest. 

Public schools

Public institutions offer less in comparison with private ones. However, the requirements to apply for a job stay the same. Having a bachelor's degree and a TEFL certification you may start teaching English as a second language. As usual, teaching experience is preferred, but not required. It is unlikely to get flight reimbursement or paid housing from Indonesian employers, however, you may expect to have a paid sick leave and some national holidays. 20-25 working hours a week will let you travel around.

Private schools

Private institutions try to hire native English speakers to provide students with authentic materials, correct pronunciation, and well-known accent. As usual, they offer more lucrative work conditions rather than public schools. Also, you must attend all school events and take a part in making a course curriculum. It is likely, you will be given some textbooks, however you will be in charge of making lesson plans and searching for additional materials. As a professional, you will be able to adapt lessons and topics.

Language schools

There is a variety of students of different ages. Depending on your background and qualification you may work with kids or adolescents. It's a perfect way for those, who have some problems with early wake-ups, because, students attend lessons in the evening. The schedule is also flexible, you may spend the first half-day on a white sand beach, and devote the rest of the day to work. Language schools tend to pay attention to individual progress and difficulties rather than common ones. So, you will be given all necessary things such as course books, lesson plans, and materials, but you will always have a chance to adapt them depending on students' level and goals.

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Teaching English/EFL Online in Indonesia

If you aren't ready to spend some time on commuting and working in person, there is always a way to teach English online. Thanks to the Internet, you may set your own schedule and even price working on your own or an online school. The first way is for self-employed people, who are in charge of all staff such as making lesson plans, curriculum, and searching materials. Also, advertisement takes some money and time.

If you need a support, we recommend turning to some popular online schools. Most of the people commend DadaABC school. Moreover, this school offers the high salary and flexible requirements. There is no necessity to be a native speaker if you speak English fluently. Also, a bachelor's degree and a TEFL certificate are required, as well as 1-2 years of previous experience. Most of the students are kids, so the main teaching approach is Total Physical Response. Be ready to devote some time to a training provided by the company. Despite a decent wage about $15-25 an hour, it isn't easy to change a work schedule. You set it in advance and must warn about changes up to 30 days before next month.

You can pick the most suitable online school in our article.

Terms used:

ACCRIN, CLIL, ESL, TEFL, TESOL

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