There are also international schools that cater for expat students from other countries, such as France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and Singapore.
International schools cater for children as young as two years old. They provide the International Baccalaureate programme as well as other college prep courses.
Maximum class sizes in play groups are 20, ranging up to 24 in the elementary school and high school.
Classes at international schools in Indonesia are taught in English by native English speaking expatriate teachers and bi-lingual Indonesian teachers.
Be aware that tuition fees are often set at the international standard and are in line with the fees for private schools in Western countries.
Annual tuition rates will vary depending on the international school of your choice, and also the age of your child. The average international tuition ranges are as follows:
- Early childhood: USD 8,000 – USD 15,000
- Kindergarten – Grade 5: USD 12,000 – USD 18,000
- Grades 6-12: USD 15,000 – USD 22,000
Many international schools also charge a non-refundable annual capital fee which can be as high as USD 4,000 per student.
Most employers in Indonesia will only pay for expat children’s education from Kindergarten to Grade 12. It is best to check and understand the clauses concerning the payment of tuition fees within the employment contract.
The British, American and International Baccalaureate schools tend to be the most expensive in Jakarta. For example, JIS tuition fees for the whole year are around USD 26,000, including a capital fee of USD 4,000. This fee also excludes any fees for extra trips and extra-curricular activities like music, skiing, diving and sports.
Finding an international school in Jakarta
The task of finding the right international school can be dauting for a new arrival in Jakarta. Like finding a good school for your child in any city, do your research and find the school that meets the needs of your child.
Here are some tips for finding the right international school in Jakarta:
Friends, Indonesian colleagues and fellow expats can give you recommendations on the best and worst schools in Indonesia. Word of mouth and personal references are always the best kind of resource.
Use Google and visit expat websites. There are plenty of online resources which provide more detailed information from a local, and personal perspective.
Talk to the school
After doing the research, get on the phone and talk to the school. Pay a visit to the school to see the environment and meet the teachers. Ask about the turnover of staff. If the teachers change every six months then look elsewhere as this will cause distruption in the student’s education.
Get on the waiting list
Some international schools such as JIS and BIS are very popular among expats, and it is no surprise that they have waiting lists for some grades.
If the international school of your choice has no openings, don’t be disappointed. Put your child on the waiting list. If you like the school so much, you can write a letter to the school stating why you like the school. While this might not guarantee the child a place in the school, it lets the school know how enthusiastic you are about their teaching programme and hopefully this will leave a good impression.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions regarding your child’s schooling, do not be afraid to ask your employer for help. Your employer might be able to find an agent, or local employees to help you in your school application for your child.