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The Republic of Indonesia is an archipelago of comprised of approximately 13,000 islands that stretch from mainland Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea. The country's far flung geography and many islands have historically ensured the development of incredible diversity among its peoples. Many arger islands served as waypoints for Indian, Arab, and Chinese traders dating back to at least the 7th centuries, and in this areas, cross-cultural influences remain strong. However, many societies also developed independently from external influence. Thus, today, Indonesia is home to over seven-hundred living languages and equally pronounced cultural diversity.

Current Indo PCV's serve on Java, Indonesia's economic and political center. In terms of area, Java's size of 128,000 kilometers squared is comparable Florida. However, the island's advanced agriculturalism and rich, volcanic soils support an astonishing population of over 135 million, or approximately 58% of the country's total population.

Volunteers serving in Java are able to witness and take part in an important period of national identification for both the country and its people. For although Indonesia is home to the world's largest Muslim population, the vast majority of its people are committed to the tolerance and openness exemplified by "Pancasila," the nation's philosophical foundation, which calls for social justice, religious pluralism, just government, and democratic rule. And as Indonesia continues to embrace and develop its recently reformed democracy (1998), the country has the potential to stand as a powerful political example within Southeast Asia and beyond.

Indonesia (Listeni/ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/ or /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands.[5] It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world's eighteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and fifteenth largest by purchasing power parity.

The Indonesian archipelago has become an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.

Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest—and the politically dominant—ethnic group. Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread.[6][7]

US Peace Corps

Status: ACTIVE

American Overseas Staff (FY2010): FP 03 (Gordonshapkaliska, Joyce, $ 78,505), FP 03 (Vegso, Betsy, A, $ 83,287), EE 00 (Lehman, James, D, $ 123,916), FP 01 (Puvak, Kenneth, A, $ 142,772)

Latest Early Termination Rates (FOIA 11-058):

Peace Corps Journals - Indonesia Feedicon.gif

Peace Corps Welcome Book


Country Director:

Ken Puvak



Program Dates:

1963 - 1965
2010 - Present

Current Volunteers:


Total Volunteers:


Languages Spoken:

Indonesian, Javanese, Madurese, Arabic


Flag of Indonesia.svg


Peace Corps History in Indonesia

Forty-five physical education Volunteers served in Indonesia from 1963-1964 working with Indonesians in advancing their sports programs. The program was brought to a close in 1965 as a result of political upheaval and concerns for the safety and security of the Volunteers.

In October 2006, the Government of Indonesia invited Peace Corps to send an assessment team to Indonesia for the purpose of reestablishing a program. A full assessment was completed in February 2007 and was followed up with a safety and security assessment in the fall of that year. The respective Governments signed a new agreement regarding the establishment of a Peace Corps program in December 2009.

Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle

Living Conditions Most if not all volunteers will live with host families. Living with host families can initially be challenging however your host families will be integral in exposing and helping you better understand Indonesian culture, customs, and most importantly with community integration.

Peace Corps Staff, in collaboration with the selected school will find living arrangements that meet Peace Corps standards. Prior to site placements, there will be a brief interview in which you can discuss specific requests about your arrangements. All volunteers will live in homes with running water and electricity. You'll be provided with a bed, desk, and dresser. You will be given a small readjustment allowance to purchase any additional items you may need to make your new living situation more comfortable, including money for a bicycle.

Most volunteers will have access small family-operated shops that sell basic amenities, markets, post offices, internet cafes, and some form of public transportation (though that doesn't mean it's consistent).

In the home, it is most common that your host family will provide meals. Most Indonesian homes do not have laundry machines. Laundry will usually be hand-washed by the volunteer, however there are places in most neighborhoods that offer laundry services. As for bathrooms, most volunteers will be using squat toilets and taking bucket baths at least twice per day.

Volunteer Lifestyle

PCVs receive a comfortable monthly living stipend provided by Peace Corps.

It is possible for most PCVs to have internet in their homes, however most schools have WiFi.

Generally most PCVs will come to find that they are living quite well with what they are given.

Pre-Service Training

Pre-Service Training is an intense 10 week program that prepares volunteers to be successful in their final post. Indonesia’s PST consists of cross-cultural, language, TEFL, medical, and safety & security training. Because PC Indo is set up to be a Community Based Training program, trainees live in small villages and receive a large amount of training there. Trainees live with a host family in order to gain access to the language and community quickly and more fully. During PST, trainees are also required to teach at a practicum school (3 weeks) to learn about how Indonesian schools and classes are run. PST for both ID4 and ID5 groups has been in the city of Malang, East Java.

Healthcare & Safety

Peace Corps provides all PCVs with adequate healthcare during training and throughout service. Upon arrival in Indonesia, the Peace Corps Medical Officer will equip you with a medical kit (a list will be posted soon) that can be refilled with anything you need at any time. There is no need to bring basic medicine from the States.

During training and throughout service you will participate in a number of detailed medical and safety sessions that will prepare you a variety of situations.

Cultural and Work-Related Challenges

Diversity of site placements and Volunteers’ personalities guarantees that each PCV has a unique, in-country experience. That said, both staff and Volunteers respect each trainee’s right to “figure out” Indonesia for him or herself, to write his or her own story. The list of “cultural and occupational challenges” included here, then, has been simplified. Its contents target only some of the broadest obstacles we face as Indo PCVs.

Cultural Challenges

Work-Related Challenges

Packing List

Advice (will expand in the coming months!): Pack minimally. Don't be too surprised as you will be able to find most things you need in Surabaya. If you need items from a special brand or company, you may have a little trouble but getting items shipped over is not too difficult, though fairly expensive. It is suggested that you buy high quality and durable items in the States as foreign brands can be more expensive overseas.

Before you purchase some major items, be sure to check out discounts that are offered to Peace Corps Volunteers, this can save you a lot of money!

Keep in mind, you have an 80lb weight limit and you will be charged at the airport if you exceed this.

Clothes:  Many of you, male and female, will be given a uniform by your school. Knowing this may reduce the amount of “teaching” clothes you feel you need to bring.

Peace Corps Indonesia New & Other Useful Links

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.

See also

Facts about IndonesiaRDF feed
Country name isIndonesia  +
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