Indonesia is not only a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia but is also a great place to study. In recent years, the Indonesian government has made efforts to make their universities attractive to international students by providing high-quality education with cheap tuition fees and cheap living expenses. Some universities have even started providing scholarships catered specifically to international students—indeed, Indonesia has definitely started making itself known as a place to be education-wise.

Studying in this country is relatively straightforward. Below is a detailed guide on how to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Indonesia.

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Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelor’s in Indonesia

The following documents are commonly required from students wishing to study for a bachelor’s degree in Indonesia.

High School Documents

These include your academic transcripts and your diploma.

Your transcripts list down all the classes you took in high school and the grades you achieved for all of them. Most universities will require good standings from applicants, so make sure you start studying as early as possible to qualify for a good university.

Your diploma, on the other hand, is a document that serves as proof you are qualified for university-level education.

These can both be obtained from your high school administration close to or after graduation.

Passport and Other Identification-Related Documents

These include a scanned copy of your passport’s biometric page and a recent passport-sized photo.

You’ll need these as proof you’re an international student needing to pay international student fees. Make sure to go through the university websites for the exact requirements for these. Some universities may request colored scans rather than black-and-white, and some may even require a particular-colored background for your photo.

Motivational Essay

The topic of your motivational essay will differ from university to university. Generally, however, you should talk about yourself, why you want to apply to a particular course at a particular university, and what you hope to achieve in the future.

Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for Indonesia

There are two languages you need to be familiar with as an international student in Indonesia.

The first is English. All international degree programs in Indonesian universities will be taught in English, and you’ll need to submit proof of English language fluency if you want to apply for a bachelor’s degree in Indonesia. Only TOEFL and IELTS tests seem to be accepted as proof, though you could always contact universities to see if they’d accept any other equivalents.

The required minimum score varies by university and by course. It ranges from 61 to 80 (Internet-based TOEFL) or 5.5 to 7.0 (IELTS) with the higher end being required by medical and/or law degrees. Make sure to visit university websites for the exact minimum score you’ll need.

The other language you’ll need is Bahasa Indonesia. While international programs are generally taught in English, there will also be courses taught in the native Indonesian. As such, most Indonesian universities will require proof of proficiency in the Indonesian language.

There are two ways to fulfill this: TIBA or BIPA. TIBA is the Indonesian Proficiency Test and measures your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. You’ll need a minimum score of 4 for most programs. BIPA, on the other hand, is the Indonesian Language Course for Foreigners. It is a ten-month language course that teaches foreigners the basics of the Indonesian language. You’ll need a minimum score of 3 for BIPA.

Alternatively, some universities will also allow you to attend BIPA courses while studying—submit your BIPA certificate at the end of the first year to qualify for the rest of your study period.

How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in Indonesia

The application process for studying for a bachelor’s degree in Indonesia is pretty straightforward but varies from university to university. We recommend doing your research before submitting any applications—this will make the process much smoother for you.

1. Visit University Websites

As an international student, there is no common application form for any of the Indonesian universities. You will have to apply for them individually, which can take a lot of work as admission requirements can vary across universities. Thus, the first thing you should do is visit university websites to learn more about their application processes and requirements.

Here are Indonesia’s top four universities:

You will notice that some of them differentiate between regular and international programs. Always go for international—these are the ones taught in English and are specifically catered towards international students. You can still apply for regular programs, but these will be primarily taught in Indonesian and may be difficult for first-time students in the country.

You will also notice that some of these accept applications through SNMPTN—do not click this. SNMPTN is the common application process for Indonesian citizens and permanent residents only. You should look for the method that said ‘Mandiri’, which is the independent application. Most, if not all, universities will have international applicants pick this option.

2. Submit Applications Online

Most of Indonesia’s top universities conduct admissions online. They have a list of required documents and application instructions on their websites year-round and will be uploading links to their application portals once the application period starts.

To start your applications for studying a bachelor’s in Indonesia, you must register for a new account. You will then be taken to the online application form where you can fill in all relevant data including your personal information, preferred courses, and educational background. Here is where you can also upload documents like transcripts and essays to support your application.

Once that’s done, you will be required to pay a non-refundable application fee. Most Indonesian universities will require this from you, and your application will not be processed if you do not pay the fee. Payment will be done through bank transfer to designated bank accounts. Upload proof of payment to the application form and submit it before the indicated deadline.

3. Learn Indonesian Culture

International students in Indonesia often experience culture shock, especially if they come from Western countries. The Indonesian way of life is primarily based on Islam, the nation’s most dominant religion, and that can be quite a huge change for those from non-Islam communities.

For one thing, you will have to be extra careful about the way you dress—it is generally discouraged for women to wear anything shorter than knee-length. This holds true no matter how hot the weather can be, which is often in Indonesia! Another example is how much stricter their laws on alcohol consumption are. It’s discouraged to drink in public places, be drunk in public places, create mixed drinks, drink while underage, and even drink outside of special occasions.

Thus, you really need to do your research even before your arrival. Respect the culture and values of the country to prevent any legal troubles and social punishment from the locals.


I hope this article on how you can apply for a bachelor’s in Indonesia was helpful. Do visit the Asia Scholarships Page to find out more about universities and scholarships in Asia!