Relocating to any new country can be an unnerving experience, there are many things to worry about and a whole new world awaits you. Getting settled quickly and avoiding common mistakes can really help take away the stress from the experience.
Here are LetsMoveIndonesia’s top tips to remember, when moving to Indonesia.
- Change your expectations
If you are familiar with Asia and its cultures, relocating to Indonesia won’t be too shocking, but if this is your first time, you are in for an interesting ride!
Things don’t work like they do in the West and this means re-evaluating your expectations. If you order food, don’t expect it to come together, or if you like sticking to a schedule, you need to relax and take a step back. Things always have a way of working out in the end.
Our advice would be to adjust your thinking and prepare yourself for the unexpected, that way you can never be too disappointed. Fortunately, the good things about living in Indonesia, certainly outweigh the negatives.
- Visa & Immigration
Obtaining the correct visa is a slow process, which usually involves leaving the country for the day and visiting a neighbouring country. Whilst there you will have to give your passport and documents to an agent, wait for it to be finalised, before rushing back to the airport to catch your flight home.
This experience can seem very peculiar at first, however it is normal procedure here.
The general work permit is called a KITAS and can take about 2 months to process. We cannot stress enough that you use a reputable agency to do this for you. If you pick an unreliable one you may experience problems and overstay charges.
There are also a variety of other working and social visas available, make sure you get the correct one to avoid either getting in trouble with the authorities or over spending for something you do not need.
- Home searching
As of now, there are no reliable property search engines on the internet. They are all out of date and generally the search parameters do not work as you would hope. Therefore, most people find a property from word of mouth and referrals.
When searching for a home, it is really important to find a legitimate agent that has accountability for their actions. There are many independent agents out there with varying standards of ability and honesty. It is not uncommon practice to take advantage of a new foreigner and ‘up the price’, avoid telling you information about fees or even in some cases, run off with your hard-earned cash.
Additionally, an interesting point to consider is the rent is usually paid up front, most commonly for 1 year. Fortunately, landlords are becoming slightly more flexible in the current climate, but it is worth noting. A good agent will assist you in the negotiations and try to find a reasonable resolution.
We advise that you use a reputable agent that has an office you can visit. This way you can ensure legitimacy and hold them accountable if you have any problems in the future.
Our final point to consider is the notorious traffic. It can be very difficult getting around Indonesia so you really need to find a property in close proximity to your main points of interests. If you are unsure of an area, a good agent will give you advice about your options.
- School search
If you want your children to go to an International school the costs can vary dramatically. Unfortunately, these schools are not cheap, the average price per year can vary between $10.000 – $30.000 per child, per year.
On top of this, it is a difficult process arranging school visits, enrolling and making the payments. Therefore, we advise you speak to a relocation agency that can do all the hard work for you.
A good agent will make all the arrangements for you, show you around a variety of schools that match your requirements and help with all the processing.
- The language
For some, learning languages is an enjoyable part of moving to another country, others however, find it a laborious task.
In Indonesia, generally the level of the locals English is quite low, which means, it is important you have some Indonesian lessons so you can at least speak the very basics.
It is advisable that you book yourself an experienced tutor that can make the experience fun, yet useful.
Nowadays you can also download apps which can help you learn key words and phrases. It would be advisable to start practicing before you land so you have a head start.
- Finding your way around
One of the many perks about Indonesia is the cost of transportation. Apps like Go-Car, Grab and UBER are all very useful and extremely cheap. Additionally, the taxis are still very reasonable and very easy to come by.
Indonesia is not a country in which people tend to walk. The lack of pavements and heat make this a challenging task, therefore getting from A – B will generally require a mode of transport.
If you are new to the city, we recommend using a relocations agency that can give you a tour of interesting places that are useful to your needs. These orientation days will focus on showing you where you can purchase goods for your daily needs, find restaurants, community groups, clubs & associations, money changers, sports facilities, medical providers, cultural information and places of worship.
A good relocations company will assess your needs and take you to all the relevant places so you can feel settled and comfortably quickly.
- Settling in & cultural awareness
As with every country, there is always a variety of cultural etiquettes and norms to abide by to minimalize the risk of offending people. In Indonesia, there are many that you need to note; such as always passing and receiving with your right hand, using the correct title when meeting elders – Pak and Ibu, or even wearing Batik (the traditional wear) on Fridays.
It is always a smart idea to do some research on cultural norms or enrol in a cultural awareness course so you can better understand how to interact with the locals.
Additionally, settling in can take time. Setting up internet, phones, TV, bank accounts etc can be quite challenging. You will undoubtable need help with all of these procedures, so having someone who can help would be extremely beneficial.
If you don’t have anyone available, we would recommend enlisting a relocation provider to help with this. The amount of stress and time it will take you to do it yourself is not worth the small cost someone could do it for you.
- Making connections
When you leave your home and move to a new country, your new friends quickly become your family. Socialising becomes a large part of expatriate life and it is important to know where to meet new people.
If you are looking to meet new people for social occasions, we recommend InterNations https://www.internations.org They hold events every month and are a great way of meeting expatriates and locals in a comfortable, informal setting.
If you are looking to expand your business connections, we recommend joining Jakarta Business Networkers http://www.jbnetworkers.info/ They specialise in lunch time business networking events, specifically with the intention of creating and strengthening business relationships.
Additionally, the Embassies also offer a variety of clubs and events. Check out their websites to see more.
If you use a relocations agency, they should give you other options during your orientation experience.
Like what you read? Then check out these other useful guides about Jakarta!
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Your Jakarta Apartment Rental Questions Answered – From the Expat Property Expert – Gary Joy
LetsMoveIndonesia’s Top Ten Apartments to live in in Jakarta! (Part 1)
The KITAS Process – Everything you need to know before applying for yours!
Multiple Business Visa – How to get yours!
Business Establishment – The Process and Requirements
LetsMoveIndonesia is Jakarta’s most trusted Real Estate & Relocations provider for expatriates. We focus on providing excellent and ethical service at a fraction of the cost of our competitors.
If you require any advice or help moving to Indonesia, feel free to check out our website: www.letsmoveindonesia.com T: +62 21 300 297 27 E: email@example.com or visit us in our branch: Upper Ground, Bellagio Mall, Mega Kuningan, Jakarta.