Safety & Security
Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta – where our international campus is located- is the 2nd safest city in Southeast Asia in 2021. The metropolitan city is also still lively beyond midnight. While Jakarta is relatively safe to explore, you still must be aware of your surroundings and avoid engaging in potentially harmful activities.
Some safety issues and reported unpleasant experiences you might find (and hopefully never experience) are,
- Pick-pocketing or bag snatching, especially in public transport during rush hours, markets, pedestrians, and small streets.
- Occasional scams with an MO such as selling things/ promo packages, getting you to withdraw money from an ATM, asking for help (asking for mobile data or transferring money), offering you laced snacks or drinks, offering you a ride
- Catcalling, improper physical touch in crowded places
- Stereotyped inconveniences or conflicts
How do you stay safe?
- Be on your guard in public places, and keep a close eye on your personal belongings. Keep your gadgets safely in your bag if you go to crowded places and on public transport. Avoid carrying too much cash.
- Keep your passport safe and secure – you can bring your passport in digital form or copies, and keep your original passport locked and secured at your accommodation.
- Keep your eyes and hands on your bags especially when you are taking calls outside, reading signs/ schedules, or waiting for buses and trains. Try not to get distracted and keep alert.
- When eating out, keep your belongings close to you and where you can still guard and see them.
- Dress properly and dress to blend in with the locals. Avoid wearing flashy jewellery and clothing that attracts attention and makes you a target for thieves. Research on what is common and appropriate to wear by locals.
- Choose your transportation options carefully, especially at night. It will be safer to book a Bluebird taxi if you are going out late at night. Don’t drive if you are out for a party and drinking.
- When travelling in taxis, keep your car doors and windows locked.
- Learn the word “Tolong”, which means “Help.”
- If you are an adventurous person and want to explore the less-travelled places, consider going in groups and involve your Indonesian friends and guardians. Do research about the places you go to.
- Avoid going out alone, especially at night, so you have a partner to depend on if emergencies arise. Don’t go anywhere with strangers too!
- If suspicious people are offering you food, asking for help and you are unsure about it, or offering you a ride, feel free to ignore and approach bigger groups.
- Keep emergency contact numbers in your phone:
- 112 – general emergencies
- 110 – police
- 113 – firefighters
- 118/119 – ambulance
- (+6221) 4250767 or (+6221) 4227875 – poisoning
- Tips: you might to have your family members/ ISE counsellor/ BSQ counsellor and front office team/ friend on speed dial for emergency purposes.
Some safety issues might arise due to cultural differences and stereotyping. Here are some tips that might contribute to guarding your safety and help build your awareness:
- Blend in and learn as much as you can about Indonesian values, norms, habits, people, and culture. Go hang out with your iBuddies and make friends with your Indonesian classmates to learn about Indonesia and Jakarta. They will be much help to prevent (and guard you) against being trapped in an unfavourable situation you are unfamiliar with. When you blend in and hang around with locals, you will also develop the cultural skills needed (and they will also learn about you and your country’s culture and views, too!) and build a friendly, safe environment.
They can also advise which parts of towns are safe, what to wear, how to go to places safely, local norms and some taboos (and local legends that you might want to keep yourself out of trouble, believe it or not) etc. It is always nice to have a local company when exploring Jakarta and Indonesia.
- Learn Bahasa Indonesia. Trust us, it’s helpful to know some basic Bahasa Indonesia. You will have a Bahasa Indonesia for foreigners class, but don’t forget to practice with your friends. It will help your Indonesian fluency develop – and ready to explore more places and activities in Indonesia safely.
- Be kind. Introduce your culture and values in a kind manner. Most Indonesians are actually friendly and curious about new things! Sometimes we are just shy to ask you first. We often freeze and stare at foreigners (as some of us are too shy to speak English – or with limited English) without any harmful intentions. Sometimes we misunderstand and misread your gestures, which are unfamiliar from the Indonesian’s point of view. But we want to know and understand more about you too! You can help us, the shy Indonesians, to understand you better through your kind first moves to introduce your country’s culture.😊
You will be fine and will find Jakarta is safe if you are following safety precautions. And you are not alone. Have a fun, safe experience while studying in Indonesia!
(2021) Crime and Safety Index: Jakarta. Numbeo. https://www.numbeo.com/crime/in/Jakarta
Living in Indonesia Expat. (n.d.), Security at Home and Around Town. Colliers International. 10 June 2022. https://www.expat.or.id/info/security.html
(2021). Jakarta. Wikitravel.org. https://wikitravel.org/en/Jakarta#Stay_safe
TravelSafe Abroad. (2021). How Safe is Jakarta for Travel?. Travel Safe Abroad. https://www.travelsafe-abroad.com/indonesia/jakarta/
(2022). Personal Safety Abroad. ISEP Study Abroad. https://www.isepstudyabroad.org/while-you-are-abroad/health-and-safety/personal-safety-abroad