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Where will I live?
This is the first question that all ACICIS candidates have. In fact, however, arranging accommodation in Indonesia upon arrival is the least of your concerns.
Students settle on one of three main options in ACICIS programs. 99% of students opt for a kos, or student boarding house. This can be a house with a set of attached rooms or a house/building which is essentially like a mini-apartment block. They are in over-supply in university precincts where every third or fourth dwelling seems to be a kos. There are a number of types—male, female or mixed. The latter are rare in cities such as Yogya and Malang, but quite the norm in Jakarta and Bandung. A kos might be full of university students, while in Jakarta they are often used by workers as an alternative to long commutes from the suburbs. The most important thing is that they are filled with Indonesians, and as such constitute an important starting point for establishing social networks. Some kos have rules (such as curfews for females) and all come with managers or the owner-family. Payment is upfront and monthly, although three months can be a minimum contract period. They usually have a basic common kitchen, parking area, guest room, and security/domestic staff. In some laundry is inclusive, in others such extras involves additional fees. Kos are a very flexible option as you have a great range of choice and can always move if your original pick turns out to be unsatisfactory.
Homestays are a second, albeit more expensive option. Whereas the kos is simply a furnished room, a homestay entails all meals and incorporation into the routines of the host family. Options are more limited than the ubiquitous kos. ACICIS can advise on options once you are in-country.
Rental properties are the third option, and are more suited to families. Rental properties are generally difficult to find due to the fact that there are no listing agencies. They are found via word of mouth and surveying. Payment is upfront and contracts for less than six months are often difficult to secure.
All accommodation options are affordable. A basic kos in Yogya or Malang may cost as little as Rp.500,000 a month (3x4 furnished room with a bed/mattress, wardrobe, and desk. Rp. 800,00-1,500,000 is the norm however, as little luxuries such as ensuites, wifi, and cable TV creep into the deal. Rp. 1,500,000 is a starting point in Jakarta, where strategically located kos with all mod-cons can cost as much as Rp.4,000,000 a month. Bandung sits somewhere in between. Rental properties vary widely according to location and size. A house in Yogya can range from Rp. 7 million a year for a basic dwelling in the outskirts, to Rp. 40,000,000 a semester for a large, strategically located house close to university.
Your host university international offices and ACICIS will provide you with detailed accommodation guides upon arrival. We also maintain a student buddy system whereby all ACICIS students will be taken around by local counterparts during the orientation period to survey accommodation options. You will spend a couple of afternoons knocking on doors and inspecting the options, ringing around to check on vacancies, and weighing up your options before deciding on your favourite. Virtually all ACICIS students find suitable accommodation by the conclusion of the orientation period. So we implore, do not worry about where you are going to live, it is an aspect of the program that ACICIS and your host universities are very experienced in managing. With a massive and highly mobile population, Indonesia rates as a very easy country in which to arrange long-term student accommodation at short notice.
The majority of students choose to live in a kos:
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