Expat parents will have a wide variety of schooling options to choose from in Indonesia. While public schools are not a popular choice for expat families, the country boasts an impressive array of private and international schools.
Public schools are known as national schools in Indonesia. These schools are overseen by the government and follow the Indonesian curriculum. The teaching language in public schools is Bahasa Indonesia, while other indigenous languages are still used in more remote parts of the country. Due to the language barrier and the poorer quality of public schools, expat children do not often attend public schools in Indonesia. 

Private schools in Indonesia are referred to as national plus schools. These schools tend to have higher standards and offer the Indonesian curriculum in conjunction with an international curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB). Some of these schools also teach in English. 

While the majority of students at private schools are Indonesian, some expat parents choose to send their children to these schools due to the lower fees compared to international schools and the opportunity for cultural integration. 

There is a wide range of international schools in Indonesia, with schools offering the national curriculum of a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, the USA, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and Singapore. Many of these schools also offer IB programme.

There has been some confusion with regards to the status of international schools in Indonesia in recent years due to legislation which no longer permits schools to use the word “international” in their title. This has meant that a number of international schools have had to change their names. These changes have all been a part of government efforts to tighten regulations surrounding international schools operating in the country and prevent low-quality schools charging a premium for education by merely adding the word “international” to their title.

Tuition fees can be extremely high in Indonesian international schools and choosing the right school can be a daunting task for new arrivals. Road traffic can be a problem, particularly in Jakarta, so the location of a school is also something to take into consideration when deciding where in a city to live.