Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago sitting on both sides of the equator. Known for pristine beaches, active volcanoes, and distinctive wildlife, the country is among the most popular tourist sites in the world.

But other than tourism, Indonesia is a notable destination for pursuing higher education. The country’s national motto is Unity in Diversity, demonstrating an open and progressive culture suitable for international students. In this article, we will be looking at the top universities in Indonesia for international students.

Is Indonesia good for international students to study in?

Indonesia has nearly 3000 institutions for higher education, and eight universities have been included in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. International students mostly study Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Humanities, and Literature. Many pursue Islamic Studies as well since Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country globally.

The main language of instruction is Indonesian, but universities support international students with language training. Nonetheless, there are a number of programs taught in English and the majority of Indonesians are proficient in English.

Affordable tuition is also a primary reason for many international students who choose to study in Indonesia. Fees vary depending on the level of study and the chosen university, but students can expect to pay at least 3000 – 6100 USD per year. Living costs are inexpensive compared to most Asia Pacific nations as well, estimated to only 715 USD for accommodation, meals, transportation, and school and daily needs.

Can international students work in Indonesia while studying?

International students come to Indonesia with a Student Visa KITAS, which is a Limited Stay Permit for the purpose of studies. Among the legally binding commitments of a Student Visa KITAS include no paid work in the country. Therefore, international students are generally not allowed to work while studying.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Can international students stay in Indonesia after graduation?

After graduation, international students must apply for an Exit Permit (EPO) with the Immigration Office. Those who wish to go back and stay in Indonesia may apply for a different permit depending on their purpose. A tourist visa allows foreign nationals to stay in the country for 60 days. To be able to stay for longer periods, highly-skilled individuals like university graduates can apply for Work KITAS that is valid for six to twelve months and extendable every year up to five times.

Best Universities in Indonesia for International Students

1. University of Indonesia (UI)

The University of Indonesia is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Indonesia. It is a public university established in 1924 with campuses in West Java and Jakarta. The UI sites are models of sustainable campuses, and the university established the GreenMetric World University Rankings. Besides the commitment to going green, UI is strongly devoted to providing quality education in 14 faculties, two schools, and one vocational program across a wide range of subject areas.

UI is an active member of international higher education networks, such as the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the ASEAN University Network (AUN). Through these and many other collaborations, UI strengthens its mobility and service for international students.

2. Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)

The Bandung Institute of Technology is the first technological university in Indonesia and has a strong reputation in science and technology among South Asian institutions. This top university in Indonesia is located in an expansive campus in Bandung City, a major industrial area in Indonesia where ITB’s experts and graduates often find internships and employment. ITB consists of 12 faculties and schools in the engineering and sciences, as well as a small cluster of social science and humanities programs.

ITB also manages seven research centers, 24 institutes, and 198 laboratories, including a mining research center for national and international studies. Other than academic offerings, ITB also has extensive recreational activities for students, such as dedicated student centers, sports facilities, and dining areas.

3. University of Brawijaya (UB)

The University of Brawijaya, one of the best universities in Indonesia for international students, is an autonomous university and considered an elite campus in Indonesia. It carries the name of the kings of the great Majapahit kingdom from the country’s history. The university comprises 18 faculties and 221 departments across the sciences, technology, medicine, and social sciences. UB is renowned internationally as it was ranked 51st in Asia, and among the top 400 worldwide. The prestige has opened doors for cooperation with universities from all continents.

UB is the second-biggest and wealthiest university in the country, with four campuses spanning 981 hectares overall. These campuses in Malang City, Kediri, and Jakarta house over 55400 learners, including international students.

4. Diponegoro University (UNDIP)

Diponegoro University is a public university in Semarang City, Central Java. It is named after Diponegoro, a Javanese prince who played an important role in the Java War and the nation’s history. Founded in 1957, UNDIP belongs to the top national universities in Indonesia and is among the most competitive in research and publications. UNDIP offers first-rate education in 11 faculties as well, with subject areas ranging from medicine and humanities, to natural and social sciences, to engineering and economics.

With international classes held in English, this top university in Indonesia has about 230 international students as of 2020. The university is continuously building a reputation internationally with the UI GreenMetric award, Most Patent Rights, awards in the Euroinvent International Competition, and many other global achievements.

5. Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)

The Universitas Gadjah Mada, one of the best universities in Indonesia for international students, is the first state university in the country and bears the name of Gajah Mada, the first unifier of the nation. It is known for its international standard curriculum in medicine and computer science, as well as eight more dedicated international faculties included in the total of 18 faculties that comprise the university. The other equally high standard faculties offer programs across the arts & humanities, engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences. UGM also manages a business school, a medical school, a graduate school, and a vocational school.

UGM has rich recreational activities in addition to its study programs. There are active units for sports and the arts, as well as spirituality activities in different religions. Altogether, UGM provides a complete academic experience to international students.


We hope that this article on the best universities in Indonesia for international students was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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