Work and Travel in Indonesia

Help us grow. Share what you know about getting work in Indonesia for travellers.


Think Indonesia and you think Bali. But Indonesia has so much more to the country than that. Indonesia has 6,000 islands and is the largest archipelago in the world. It’s also got no shortage of volunteer opportunities. We’re going to discuss some of the epic volunteering opportunities in Indonesia that are going to leave you with skills and experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

You won’t find these projects in any other travel guide for Indonesia!

1. Rescue Wildlife on Java

Work and travel in Indonesia and one of the first things you’ll notice is the abundance of wildlife. The island of Java gives you a chance to take care in aiding rescued wildlife there. One such opportunity involves taking care of the endangered Indonesian orang-utan.

Your duties will depend entirely on your skills. Anyone with prior experience may even be able to command paid work with international organizations.

2. Conserve the Rainforests of Java

Indonesia has a long history of illegal logging. Together with the destructive palm oil industry, the rainforests of Java have been destroyed at the same astounding rate as the Brazilian rainforest. You can help with both the conservation of existing trees and the re-growing of other trees.

These projects are often combined with protecting the local wildlife and making sure they have the habitat they need to thrive.

3. Construct Schools in Bali

Travel in Indonesia and you’ll see that Bali is the party capital of this country. But there’s so much more to it than that. One such volunteer project in Indonesia is the opportunity to build and rebuild schools that have fallen into disrepair. You can do this and provide a future for young Indonesian children in the Ubud district of Bali.

The skills you’ll need could be anything. If you have construction skills you’ll be considered extremely valuable. However, even a spare pair of hands that want to work in Indonesia will be welcomed.


Indonesia is one of the most open countries in the world to foreign tourists. UK citizens don’t need a visa to enter Indonesia. The same goes for EU citizens, North Americans, citizens of South Africa, South Korea, Japan, Russia, and most of South America.

The only exception is that citizens of Colombia do require a formal visa to enter Indonesia. But other than that you’ll have little problem walking right into Indonesia.

The problem with this visa is that it only lasts for a grand total of 30 days. For longer stays you’ll need to apply for a Permit for Short Term Stay or one of the longer term residency visas. Most volunteer projects will require more than the conventional tourist visa.

Thankfully, the visa process can usually be completed in less than two weeks. And you don’t need to make a payment until your visa is accepted. That way you won’t have to spend a lot of money only to leave disappointed if you don’t get the necessary visa for whatever reason.



Spring time is often characterised by extremely humid temperatures on the islands, particularly the part that stretches into the southern hemisphere. This time of year is the ideal time to cool off by the coast. Many surf camps are open at this time of year because it’s considered to be one of the best times to experience surfing as they travel in Indonesia.

This is despite the fact that spring time is actually just before the Indonesian winter, so these projects typically only last for a couple of months at the most if you decide to volunteer on the coast.


The Indonesian winter, in contrast to other countries, is the best time to work and travel in Indonesia. It’s when the bulk of the tourists arrive in the country and the humidity drops to something more manageable. To coincide with this time of year you should head to Bali.

This is also winter time in Australia so a lot of people head to Bali. Any job you can find in a hostel, a night club, or with an excursion company will pay well at this time of year. Many volunteers in Indonesia work on commission by selling to the tourists, in lieu of any wages.


Autumn is a season of contrasts. It remains dry for the first half of the season, before the humidity starts to increase again. Autumn is a time for starting and finishing conservation projects, as well as animal protection projects. You may even want to consider remaining in Bali at this time of year as the tourists begin heading to the beaches in anticipation of the winter season.


The coming of winter doesn’t bring a significant decrease in temperature. This is when the rains start to grow heavier and the monsoon storms can last for up to three hours every single day. Volunteer programmes tend to suspend themselves during the winter season, so it’s wise to take the time out to travel in winter.

Take note that any volunteering skills found within construction projects and English teaching will be confined to the urban areas as getting around rural dirt roads is nearly impossible at this time of year. Bear in mind as you travel in Indonesia that outside of the major urban centres a lot of roads and bridges are impassable.


Work and travel in Indonesia is simple as it’s become one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world. With a long colonial history and a mix of cultures, Indonesia is warm and welcoming.

Within the major tourist resorts you should expect to be bothered by the local touts and sellers, but this won’t impact your ability to volunteer. There’s a highly developed volunteer infrastructure here and you should have no problems finding the work you want in a variety of industries.

Are you ready to challenge yourself with work and travel in Indonesia?

Recent Contributors

  • Edited on Jan 15 2018 by Yara

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