“Moving to Jakarta is a shock… It is not the easiest place, but it can be great with the right preparation.” - Domine Brown, Early Years Co-ordinator
Relocating to Jakarta can present many challenges for people when they first arrive. Indonesian people are warm and welcoming and have a genuine fondness for children but inevitably, moving to any new environment requires a settling period and adjustment to local norms.
Dos and Don’ts
- Come with an open mind. “The people that struggle the most are the people that are not culturally sensitive or aware. If you are someone that is nervous around many different nationalities then Jakarta will be difficult,” says Early Years Coordinator Domine Brown.
- Have patience. Systems and processes often don’t run as smoothly as you they do in your home country so it is important to be adaptable and flexible.
- Be prepared to learn the language. Although many Indonesians speak some English, most do not. Taking the time to learn some basic words and phrases to help you get by will make your time in Jakarta much easier.
- Find a buddy. Learning the ropes from someone that has lived in the country can make integration a lot easier. NIS are able to co-ordinate this process to help make the transition smoother.
- Be polite and modest. In a conservative society like Indonesia, politeness and modesty are highly valued virtues.
- Lose your cool. In many Asian cultures becoming obviously frustrated and angry is seen as a characteristic of someone that lacks self-control. It will rarely produce the result you want and will often make matters worse.
- Be afraid to ask other expats for advice; it's a good idea to get tips from someone who has been through it all before.