Vaccinations for Indonesia

You can find many information what kind of vaccinations for Indonesia you may need, if you are planning to come to here for longer time (or shorter). But the risks to health whilst traveling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities in Indonesia, length of stay, in which part of Indonesia you will stay and general health of the traveler. As well maybe some of the vaccines you already got in the childhood?

It’s recommended that you consult with your general practitioner or practice nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travelers can’t be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

My suggestion:

    • First of all check in your medical report which vaccines you got in the childhood and for how long it valid (or ask your parents)
    • Second, talk with the doctor, give as much as possible information – where exactly you will stay in Indonesia, for how long, what are your plans for traveling around.

The doctor will recommend vaccines and you can choose which one you really need. Don’t make too many vaccines just because of safety. Many things will depend on you, for example where you will eat, how you will take care of your hygiene, how you prevent yourself from mosquitoes and etc.

Before coming to Indonesia I made such vaccines:

      • Hepatitis A (I manage to make only 2 before coming and after all I found out that I didn’t need this one at all, like I got it in childhood)
      • Hepatitis B (I made 2 before coming to Indonesia and 3rd in Indonesia)
      • Tetanus-diphtheria
      • Typhoid


Which vaccines to make suggest some internet sources (you can find and other recommendations)
  • Courses or boosters usually advised: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid.
  • Other vaccines to consider: Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travelers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Notes on the diseases mentioned above:

  • Cholera: spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. More common during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. It would be unusual for travelers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
  • Diphtheria: spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
  • Hepatitis A: spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.
  • Hepatitis B: spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.
  • Japanese Encephalitis: spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is higher for long stay travelers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Rabies: spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when per-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
  • Tetanus: spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
  • Typhoid: spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.
  • Malaria risk is present in most areas, except Jakarta municipality, main cities, urban areas and the main tourist resorts, throughout the year. Risk is highest in rural areas and in the five eastern provinces of East Nusa Tengarra, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua.
  • In North Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu, Borneo/Kalimantan, Central, South East and North Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara, risk is not high enough to warrant antimalarial tablets for most travelers, however, it may be considered for certain groups who may be at higher risk e.g. longer stay in rural areas, visiting friends or relatives, those with medical conditions, immunosuppression or those without a spleen.
  • There is low to no risk in Jakarta municipality, the main cities, urban areas and the main tourist resorts, including Bali and Java.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets. Atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is the first choice.
  • Malaria precautions: avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • If you have been traveling in a malaria’s area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly.
  • Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
  • If traveling to high risk malaria’s areas, remote from medical facilities, carrying emergency malaria standby treatment may be considered.
Dengue Fever
A viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain – hence its other name “break bone fever”. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. Every 5 years in Indonesia exist outbreak of Dengue fever, this year (2015) was the 5th year, so many people got it.

Some information used from internet sources.

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Here you can find answers for frequently asked questions (FAQ) that new Darmasiswa scholarship students asks before applying for the program or after it. If you don‘t find the answers here – fill the question form (in the end of the page) and I will try to answer or give information where you can get the answer.

Application form:

Do I need to translate my diploma in English language?
Nowadays most of universities already gives diploma written in 2 languages (native and English). If you have such diploma – it‘s enough.

If your diploma written only in native language – then you will need to add to application the original diploma written in native language and the translation of it. Sometimes Indonesian embassy’s in different countries have their own rules, so it‘s better to ask embassy in your country if you really need to add translated diploma.

What kind of medical report I should add to application?
Each country has international form for medical report written in English. You should ask your doctor for this form and he will fill needed lines about your general health condition. This filled document should be add to application. Here is my example from Lithuania.

Medical report for Darmasiswa







What to select in line ‟Where do you prefer to stay“?
Before coming, it‘s hard to decide where you would like to live, as well different universities has different situation with their students host. Some universities have their own dormitories, others – don‘t. My suggestion, in application select the most suitable place.

Don‘t worry, after you will arrive you can change your mind and live in another type of house than you selected in application. Here is my recommendations how to find a place to live in Indonesia.

Communication with Indonesian embassy:

Indonesian embassy don‘t reply to my e-mails, what should I do?
Most probably you will have many questions, would like to clarify something before applying or after you will be selected. But you won‘t be the only one with many questions :). As well some Indonesian embassies administrate couple of countries requests.

My suggestion, just be patient, they will answer you, just maybe not so quick like you used to. In urgent case – you can always call to embassy. If you didn‘t get the answer after ~ 1,5 week you can remind them that you still waiting for answer (of course in polite way :)).

Study and scholarship amount:

How many and what kind of classes I will have during studying time?
Everything depends on study that you choose and university. Each university and department has their own timetables. Unfortunately you can‘t get this information before applying, like all new year study programs and information is preparing during that year June-August. But you will get all information from your coordinator when you will come to your city.

Just for example, I was studying in ISI Yogyakarta, ‟Seni Tari“ (traditional dance). In first semester I needed to choose 3 classes that I want to attend. In some days I had lessons from 7.30 am till ~2 pm (with breaks). Other days I had 1 lesson in the morning, 2 lessons in the evening or even only 1 lesson per day. In second semester the time table was different.

Those who didn‘t select study object “Bahasa Indonesian“ (Indonesian language) will get first 2 months of language course (approved only exact hours amount for language courses, so can be that different universities can manage to organize those hours quicker or slower).

Will I have exams like regular university students?
You should have (in some study objects instead of exams – final projects). Just some teachers are more flexible to evaluate you, others the same strict like for local students. Everything depends on university and teachers policy concerning foreigner students.

Most of the time, those who choose “Bahasa Indonesian“ – will have not only exams but as well to write essay and other final works.

Will be enough scholarship amount for living in Indonesia?
In my blog you can find more information about Indonesian scholarship amount and my recommendations how to save money in Indonesia.
When the studies will finish?
In each university it can bit a bit different studies year ending time. Even some of the same university departments finish in different time. So you need to ask your scholarship coordinator in university.
But preliminary studies year finishing between the end of May and end of June.
Even scholarship program closing ceremony can be organized when you won‘t finish officially studies in your university ;).
When I can travel during study year?
There are many opportunities to enjoy long weekends and holidays as there are 13 national holidays in Indonesia. So you can travel during them (but you should know that during such weekends Indonesian people will travel as well, so many places will be quite crowded). As well you will have some long vocations in the end of Christmas till ~the end of January or even middle of February. Again the period depends on each university. Just ask your university scholarship coordinator the timetable of study year, there will be marked all free days from studies :).
Can I quite scholarship program and not stay all 6 months or 1 year?
You should discuss about such case with your university program coordinator, like it can be many important reasons (because of your health condition, some case related with your family issues and etc.).
But if you want to quite because you see that you don‘t manage to live in Indonesia, too many differences between your previous surrounding and etc. I suggest just wait a little bit more ;). Usually at least adapt in new surrounding need not less than 3 months. Some students who quit the program earlier – later regret that they gave up so early and were missing life in Indonesia. So, try to adapt and see positive things, if nothing will change and you will “suffer” in Indonesia then talk with your university program coordinator about quitting the scholarship.

Selection procedure:

Who selects the students for scholarship?
First of all, your application form will read the responsible person in Indonesian embassy in your country.

Then you will have conversation with this person (by “Skype‟ or live). This person will put some notes after meeting and will send your application, notes to Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia (in Jakarta).

Later, the responsible person (or group of them) in Ministry of Education and Culture will read your application and embassies notes. They will make first selection and decide to which university to send your application (for university that you choose like first option or second).

After it, the selected students application forms will be given for university that you applied (first or second option). They will read your application and will decide to choose you or not.

Each university has fixed amount of students that they can accept for scholarship, unfortunately they can‘t accept all applicants that Ministry of Education and Culture send to university.

I don‘t find information about selected students on the day when they should be announced, what to do?
Like many people and institutions are involved in the selection process, sometimes announcement of selected students can delay ~ 1 month from the date that written in the timetable. So you need to be patient and check official Darmasiswa scholarship website for the further information. Usually as well about date changing they inform in Darmasiswa scholarship „Facebook“ page.
What will be after selection?
You can read about it here.

Preparation before coming to Indonesia:

What should I do and what should I take before coming?
Find more my recommendations what to do before coming to Indonesia and what to take to Indonesia. Can be useful to read about vaccines for Indonesia too. 

Living in Indonesia:

What should I know about life in Indonesia?
You should know some things before coming, but many things you will explore, discover by yourself :).

You can find some information here:
Indonesian people lifestyle
Good manners in Indonesia
How to do things in Indonesian style
Interesting facts about Indonesia
Indonesian holidays
Ramadhan and Lebaran in Indonesia


What to take before coming to Indonesia

It’s my recommendations what to take before coming to Indonesia. Mostly this information useful for Darmasiswa scholarship students but as well some parts for those who are planning to come to Indonesia longer than for 1 month or just for short period.
It’s just advices, nothing is mandatory. Only you know what you can need during living abroad.


Don’t take too much clothes, in Indonesia you can find second hand shops, other cheap clothes shops as well very known brands. Also don’t take clothes that are expensive, have some meaning for you, a lot of white ones and etc. like in laundry sometimes soon those clothes will change color,  white will become grey, can be damaged or lost. With the shoes the same – during rainy season will be very humid, so your shoes can be damaged by mushrooms.

In Indonesia, people are more discreet than in Europe or other countries. Usually girls wear a T-shirt, rarely a low-cut or a sleeveless T-shirt. Nobody will criticize you because of your clothes, nobody will do or but don’t feel harassed when you get stares. In most universities it’s forbidden to come with the flip-flops (called sandals in Indonesia). At university or any institution, public or religious building, proper clothes are a must
Large sized men and women may not easily find ready-to-wear clothing to fit them. However tailors and seamstresses can easily make custom clothing to fit any size individual. Large shoe sizes are also not available, the exception being sports shoes at the factory outlet stores. Indonesia generally uses the European shoe size system, making up to size 38.

My suggested list for girls:

  • T-shirts (that covers shoulders, with straps, long ones)
  • Shorts (till knees, short ones)
  • Skirts (till knees or long ones)
  • Dress (casual till knees, nice one till knees to wear in official ceremonies for example weddings if you will be invited, meeting with important community people and etc.)
  • Pans (for trekking, for evenings – like during rainy season will be a bit colder, as well going with the scooter in the evenings the wind can be cold)
  • Leggings (longer, shorter – very good for daily activities, going with scooter. But in Indonesia you can buy it as well with batik patter and etc. :))
  • Sweater or jacket (for trekking, colder evenings/ going with scooter and light one for very sunny days not to get burn your skin, which covers all arms)
  • Shoes (sling back, slippers, sneakers, trekking shoes (if you like to trekking), suitable for rainy weather – for me was very good – “Crocs”)
  • Swimsuit (better to take couple – one-piece for those beaches that’s comes not a lot of tourist or just swim with shorts and T-shirt – like it’s common between local people and second – separate for touristic beaches)
  • Raincoat (if you have your favorite take it with you (if you like trekking you can take warmer one as well), if not – during rainy season you can buy in Indonesia very cheap and choose from many kinds :)
  • Sleeping clothes (if you wear it during the night ;))
  • Home clothes – where at home (if you changed them after coming from outside)
  • Underwear (for the girls with more curvy hips, you must know that most underwear is not available in your size, except for the international, expensive brands)
  • Scarf (for entering some visiting places, cover in the beach)
  • Hat (if you have your favorite, take it – if not, you can buy it in Indonesia)
  • Belts (if you need for pans, your dress or other clothes)
  • Socks (for trekking, wearing at home during rainy season because can we quite cold walk on the ceramic pavement)
  • Clothes for your studies (if you choose dances, ceramic and etc.)

And any other clothes that you think you can need or you like to wear :).

Hygiene stuff:

  • Cream for face (everybody told me not to take it, like it’s humid and the skin becomes very quick oily, but for me it helped during the trips on the road, like it was easy  to remove the dust from face and it’s not stay straight on the skin, the cream observe it)
  • Ears pick (just for the beginning, like later you can easily find it in Indonesia)
  • Shampoo (travel size – the empty bottle will be useful for the trips in Indonesia and later you can easily buy here, except if you use some specific shampoo then take bigger amount). Notice: most girls in Indonesia experience hair fall, lack of shine and less smoothness. A reason for this is the low quality of tap water. It is highly treated with chemicals (absolutely not drink it) but it also affects the skin and hair.
  • Comb (take your favorite from home)
  • Tooth paste (travel size – till you will find nearest shop where to buy normal size, except if you use some specific toothpaste, then take bigger amount)
  • Toothbrush (just for beginning, later you can easily find new one)
  • Dental floss (if you use it, it helps to keep tooth clean after all Indonesian food and I didn’t find in Yogyakarta, where to buy it)
  • Sun cream (you can easily find here but only till ~30 SPV, if you use specific one or stronger, take with you from home)
  • Bath gel (travel size – the empty bottle will be useful for the trips in Indonesia and later you can easily buy here, except if you use some specific shampoo then take bigger amount). Better to take antibacterial – like the water in some places not so clean, so you can get allergy, acne (but in Indonesia you can easily find soap “Asepso” – for me helped a lot)
  • Body lotion (even if in Indonesia quite humid, still sometimes skin needs some “help”)
  • Scrub (for face and body if you use separate products, it helps to remove the dust after driving, walking)
  • Shaving tools (take more recharge, like in Indonesia hard to have opportunities to choose from different brands and find it, as well it’s quite expensive comparing with Darmasiswa scholarship amount). Also take shaver cream, if you use – epilator (for me it was the best solution). Waxing is mostly not available in Indonesia, so if you like it – take with you enough tools.
  • Tampons (if you use it, take enough, like here it’s very hard to find, if you are lucky it will be very expensive for small amount (compering with Darmasiswa program money) or better take menstrual cup – water to clean you will find everywhere)
  • Pads (if you have your favorite, take enough, if not – in Indonesia you can buy easily in bigger supermarkets. There are many brands of normal pads, night pads, day pads, etc.
  • Manicure tools (everything that you use, if like – take some colors, remover you can buy in Indonesia)
  • Pumice for foots (if you use that, like after trips, walking without shoes it’s very useful)
  • Perfume (take if you have your favorite smell, but I almost didn’t use it, like on sweaty body (and during dry season you will sweat a lot :D, take a shower probably couple times per day) it doesn’t smell nice :()
  • Deodorant (take if you use it, I took ball it was much better than spray)
  • Make up tools  and remover (if you use make up, take your favorite tools and colors)
  • Eyebrows tools
  • Wet napkins for cleaning (just for the trip) if you will need later – you can easily find in Indonesia as well as disinfection liquid for hands
  • Spry from mosquitoes (strong one, like during the trips and at home, you will have them. And mosquitoes can cause Dengue fever)

And any other stuff that you think you can need or you used to use :).


  • If you use some medicine by recipe – take the recipe with you and enough amount of medicine because possible that you won’t find exactly medicine in Indonesia. Also if you usually use some medicine at home – just write on the list their name and if you will need, you can show for doctor (for example almost nobody in Indonesia use probiotics, like the expenses of them insurance here doesn’t cover – when I asked to give me some – they asked me what kind of brand I usually use – I didn’t remember and they give me whatever they found in the medicine list :). Medicine you can buy here as well but you may not find exact brands that you used to use and also the same brand medicine for Indonesian people can be modified by their health condition (like usually health condition of different nations are different).
  • Antibiotics (if you can’t get them before coming in Indonesia, take it – it will be helpful during rainy season, like weather will be windy, sometimes cold and humid, easily to get flue and similar disease)
  • Plaster (for the trips and till your foots will adapt hot weather, sweating foots and disappear calluses )
  • Bandage (especially useful for the trips)
  • Deodorant or powered for foots (useful for trips and first months till foots adapt for hot weather)
  • Disinfection liquid or cream (useful from scratches, like fly can bring you easily infection on it)
  • Cream from mussels paint, tension, bruise
  • From the paint (head, muscles, stomach)
  • From diarrhea (especially can be during first months till stomach adapt for the new food)
  • From nausea (especially can be during first months till stomach adapt for the new food)
  • From fever
  • From throat paint (will be very useful during rainy season or during the hot days, drinking cold drinks and the going to air conditional room)
  • From the flue (by accident you can get it even during dry season because of temperature differences between outside (hot) and air conditional rooms (in shops, university and etc.)
  • Drops for eyes  (if you have contact lenses it will help your eyes to keep not so dry, as well because of big air pollution even those that not use lenses can feel dry eyes, so it useful)
  • From acne (if you use some medicine at home, take with you, also good to have some preparation from it because of sweating, air pollution and not quality water you can get it easily)
  • Vitamins for immunity system
  • Contact lenses and liquid for cleaning it (if you use it, I suggest to take enough pairs for all Darmasiswa scholarship period)
  • For girls: contraception pills or other medicine that you use (if you use it take enough for your scholarship period and take the recipe as well. Can be that you won’t found exactly the same that you use, as well in some pharmacy (especially in smaller towns, villages) they can ask you to show marriage paper before selling it (not allowed to have sex before marriage and if you are not married it means you don’t need such pills ;)) It’s difficult to find the morning-after pill.
  • Condoms: you can find to buy them in Indonesia in pharmacy or supermarkets. You can find international brands and local production. But don’t expect to have such big variety like in Europe, so if you have some favorite ones – just take it with you from home.

And any other medicine that you think you can need or you used to use :).

Other stuff:

  • Passport
  • Plain tickets
  • International driving license (if you have. In Bali only with international driving license you won‘t be stopped by police)
  • Vaccination book (if you will take any vaccinations before coming to Indonesia)
  • Insurance document copy (if you will have it, in a case if you will need to use it immediately)
  • Laptop
  • Mobile (take with you and your country SIM card, like sometimes it’s cheaper to contact with your family in emergency case)
  • Photo camera
  • Hard disk (to put pictures from laptop, to download movies, make a copy of your laptop documents)
  • USB (good for files that you can need to be printed)
  • Chargers (for mobile, photo camera, computer and other devices that you will take). Your device system should work in Indonesia with a transformer, if necessary, to adjust to voltage differences.
  • Scissors (moved to new house you never know what you can need to cut and first weeks you may not know where to find what)
  • Strong glue (in a case you will need to glue your shoes, furniture and etc.)
  • Towel
  • Mirror (at least small one, like you don’t know if in a house will be any)
  • Sun glasses
  • Earplug (if you are sensitive for sounds, in the beginning you will need it because of loud callings from mosques for praying and etc.)
  • At least one time fork, spoon, knife (you never know what will be in a house for first days)
  • Stuff for trips (if you like travel so you will need some usual things that you take with you. Sleeping bag – you can buy here quite cheap, mattress for trips or tent as well)
  • Flash (for trips and if electricity will be gone)
  • Books (at least couple of them, later you will find some places where you can change your books, rent it or buy-but in English language it will be more expensive)
  • Souvenirs from your country (sweets, some traditional cookies, postcards, magnets – whatever small, like you will visit some places, also can be organizes international evening where you will need to present your country)
  • Jewellery (if you use it)
  • Bag, purse (for daily use) – but in Indonesia you can find really colorful and beautiful ones.
  • Money (enough for first months when you will need to pay for rent, buy some things for a house)
  • Catadioptre (if you will walk in the evenings in the streets without light, here nobody use it – so if you would like to buy, I don‘t think so that will be easy to find)
  • Mosquitoes protection (net to cover the bed – here you can find but can be not good size, not good material, so better take what you usually use during the trips) also can bring electrical tool from mosquitoes, like during rainy season there will be a lot of them.
  • E-bank facility (if you use take with you security codes or other things that you need to log in to your e-bank)
    Passwords: in safe place write the passwords to log in your e-mails, e-bank, mobile. If you won‘t use it frequently you can just forget it.

And any other stuff that you think you can need or you used to use :).


All imported food in Indonesia is expensive (comparing with Darmasiswa scholarship amount) and not in every shop you can find known food brands. So if you like to cook, I suggest to bring from your country:

  • Olive oil (even small plastic bottle)
  • Spices (oregano, pepper, tarragon and other that you usually use)
  • Chocolate (Indonesian one doesn’t taste like real one)
  • Alcohol (just in a case wine bottle or something stronger, like here in shops you won’t find a lot, mainly can drink in restaurants that is orientated to a tourists)

And any other products that can last long, doesn’t take much space and weight, is specific from your country.

Maybe you have other suggestions what to take more? Share your ideas :)

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