Scholarships opportunities in Indonesia for Americans

Scholarships, Fellowships, & Volunteer Opportunities in Indonesia for Americans

The 70 years diplomacy relationship between the United States and Indonesia since 1949 has brought more opportunities for U.S. scholars, students, and/or professionals to experience living and study in Indonesia.

In this article, you will find some educational route options including scholarships, fellowships, internships, and volunteer projects that might be useful to help your way to Indonesia.


U.S. Government Scholarships

Fulbright/AMINEF (American Indonesian Exchange Foundation)

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. For twenty-five years the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation (AMINEF), as the binational Fulbright Commission for Indonesia, has carried forward the vision and mission of the Fulbright program in Indonesia.

The Fulbright Programs for U.S. students, scholars, and professionals can be seen below:

    1. Fulbright grants for U.S. scholars – these awards are given to ten American senior scholars to either teach for six months (one semester) in an Indonesian university or to conduct research for up to ten months.

      Public Lecture on “Rapid Urbanization: The Challenges and Opportunities for the Sustainable and Smart Indonesian City” by Fulbright U.S. Scholar Year 2019 grantee, Professor Christopher Silver—Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Florida, at Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB), Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of AMINEF)
    2. Fulbright grants for U.S. students – these awards are specially designed for recent graduates, master's or doctoral candidates, and young professionals (including writers, journalists, etc) to conduct an individual research project, or to be an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in selected Indonesian high schools.

      The Fulbright U.S. Student English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in the East Asia Pacific Region Year 2018 grantees at a workshop, hosted by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (the Fulbright commission in Taiwan) and the Department of State, in Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of AMINEF)
    3. Fulbright Specialist Program – this program is dedicated to either senior scholars or professionals and artists outside academia to collaborate with Indonesian institution hosts for short-term projects, including lecturing, conducting seminars, teacher training, assessments and evaluations, special conference or workshops, or collaborating on faculty development and curriculum planning.

      Workshop on “How to Prepare Research Proposal” for Master's Students by Fulbright Specialist Program Year 2018 alumna, Dr. Doris Macdonald—Associate Professor on Applied Linguistics in TESOL of Department of English at Northern Illinois University (NIU), at Universitas Mulawarman, Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of AMINEF)
    4. East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Regional Travel Program (RTP) – this program enables U.S. Fulbright scholars in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region to promote their expertise by conducting lectures, workshops, graduate or faculty seminars, master classes or recitals, curricular advising or panel presentations in other EAP region, including Indonesia.
    5. Critical Language Enhancement Award – this award is designed for a Fulbright U.S. Student grant in order to enhance the proficiency of Bahasa Indonesia prior to and during the Fulbright grant period and beyond.
    6. Fulbright-National Geographic DigitalStorytelling Fellowship – this collaborative fellowship program between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and storytelling in one, two, or three countries on a globally significant theme. Storytellers publish stories on the Fulbright-National Geographic Stories blog.

      A selfie with a group of Indonesian students in Kota Tua Square, Jakarta, by Christina Geros during her storytelling project as Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship Year 2015 at Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Christina Geros)
    7. Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Award – this fellowship program of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of International and Foreign Language Education provides opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies.

      Presentation on workshop titled “Academic Writing Workshop: Publishing in International Journals” by AIFIS (CAORC) Year 2016 alumnus as well as Fulbright U.S. Student Research Year 2016 and Fulbright-Hays DDRA Year 2017 alumnus, Jonathan McLeod—PhD student in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, at State University of Papua (UNIPA) in Manokwari, West Papua, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of AMINEF)
    8. Fulbright ASEAN Research Award Program – this program allows U.S. scholars with a PhD or (also considered) a master degree to conduct collaborative research in the area of specialization on an issue of priority to ASEAN or to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship in one or up to three of the ten ASEAN countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

For more information about Fulbright AMINEF Grantees and Alumni, please click the following links: Fulbright AMINEF Current American Grantees, Grantee storiesAlumni, and Alumni Voices.

Boren Awards—Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) Program

Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) Program by Boren Awards provides opportunities for students from any U.S. college or university to study Bahasa Indonesia and to experience cultural immersion through domestic and overseas language programs at the State University of Malang (UM), Indonesia. U.S. undergraduate students may apply through the Boren Scholarship for the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI), whilst graduate students should apply through Boren Fellowship for the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI).

Critical Language Scholarship (CLS)Indonesian Program

Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) provides opportunities for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities to study Bahasa Indonesia (as one of the 15 critical languages) and to experience a cultural immersion program at the State University of Malang (UM), Indonesia.

Betty Nen, CLS Indonesian Program Year 2017 alumna. (Photo courtesy of Betty Nen)

“My favorite experience with CLS Indonesian was the second-to-last weekend of the program. An uncle in my extended host family had recently gotten married, and the entire extended family took a snorkeling trip on an island.”Read more

Click here for more alumni profiles of the CLS Indonesian Program.



American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS)/Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Grants for American Scholars

The American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS), with the funding of $6,000 (for each awardee) provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State through a grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), invites applications from American graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to conduct their research activities in Indonesia. The research projects should be in any field of contemporary and traditional Indonesian studies, with the preference given to applications focusing on sciences and technology, broadly understood; food security, literature, arts, and humanities, as well as Islamic studies and/or the Indonesia-United States relations.

Click here for more information about CAORC Fellowships and Programs.

Public Discussion titled “Buiding Morals and Characters through Music Education and Community Development” by AIFIS (CAORC) Fellow Year 2017 as well as Fulbright U.S. Student Research Year 2017 and Fulbright U.S. Student English Teaching Assistant Year 2013 alumni, Gillian Irwin—Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology the University of California, Davis, during her research in Java, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of AIFIS)

Sarah Tucker, AIFIS (CAORC) Fellow Year 2015 alumni. (Photo courtesy of AIFIS)

“I received the American Institute for Indonesian Studies CAORC Research Fellowship in 2015 to examine vulnerable grouper fisheries in Indonesia. I used the fellowship to extend my research time and geographic scope in Indonesia, as I had just finished a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Student Research Fellowship.”... Read more




Click here for more alumni profiles of AIFIS Fellowships.

Click here for more information about AIFIS past fellows and projects.



Private Funds

Freeman-Asia Awards

Freeman-Asia Awards is sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE). This program provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.

American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS)/Henry Luce Foundation Grants for American Scholars

The American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS), with the funding of $6,000 (for each awardee) provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, invites applications from American scholars who wish to conduct a collaboration research with Indonesian scholars across the field of contemporary and traditional Indonesian studies, including the sciences, planning, agriculture, history, arts, etc.

“AIFIS has played a fundamental role in improving my research experience in Indonesia. From initial field visits, navigating RISTEK, and settling into Indonesia AIFIS has helped in a tremendous way with research relating to my dissertation.”... Read more

Click here for more alumni profiles of the AIFIS Fellowship.





Study Abroad Organizations

The School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad program offers a number of foreign study courses, including two courses in Indonesia. The Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change course involves cultural study on the islands of Java and Bali, as well as an intensive study in Bahasa Indonesia. Meanwhile, the Indonesia: Biodiversity and Conservation in Bali and Borneo (Summer) course will involve an examination of biodiversity, resource-use patterns, and conservation initiatives on the extraordinary islands of Bali and Borneo, as well as learning basic Bahasa Indonesia.

SIT offers various need-based scholarships and grants to its students, including the SIT Pell Grant Match Award. The average awards range between $500 to $5,000 for SIT semester programs, and between $500 to $3,000 for SIT summer programs.

Furthermore, the Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship provides support for SIT Study Abroad and International Honors program alumni to return to their study abroad host country to pursue projects that advance human rights.

Pictures of some activities conducted by the SIT Study Abroad's Indonesian programs students: (a) Participating in traditional Balinese feast, (b) Visiting Chinese temple, (c) Praying with a Balinese homestay family, (d) Showing off their own art and batik designs, (e) Working on rice field, (f) Showcasing the lowland forests of West Bali National Park. (Photo courtesy of SIT Study Abroad)



 U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Project

Volunteer Project in Indonesia

Volunteers in Indonesia work with their communities on English education projects by teaching in either a "state" school or an Islamic school (madrasah). Volunteers will co-teach English, work with colleagues to improve English communication skills and teaching methods, and lead extracurricular and community activities of all kinds. Currently, the volunteers in Indonesia are placed in either East or West Java. Thus during their service in Indonesia, volunteers will also learn to speak local languages, including Bahasa Indonesian, Javanese, Madurese, and Sundanese.

Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL) volunteers in Indonesia have the opportunity to participate in the Peace Corps TEFL Certificate, an externally-validated credential based on 120 hours of training and two years of supervised teaching experience.

In addition, the Peace Corps also provides the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program, which is a graduate fellowship program that offers financial assistance to returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Rachel and Evan, Peace Corps Indonesia Volunteers Year 2014, speak to a class at Rachel's old high school, which is also her partner school with the Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools program, after returning from their serving at an Islamic middle school on the island of Madura in East Java, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corp)

Click here for more stories from Peace Corps Indonesia Volunteers.



Indonesian Government Scholarships

Darmasiswa Indonesian Scholarship

Organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) of Indonesia, this scholarship program is offered to all foreign students from countries which have diplomatic relationship with Indonesia, including the United States, to learn Bahasa Indonesia as well as Indonesian's art and culture at one of the 71 host universities in Indonesia for 10 months.

Pictures of welcoming activities of Darmasiswa awardees at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC), Republic of Indonesia)

Pictures of Angela Arunarsirakul, Darmasiswa Year 2013 alumni at Universitas Negeri Semarang (UNNES), Middle Java, Indonesia, (a) On the orientation day with her cohort, (b) Ready for their ziplining adventure, (c) With her roommate showing off their first batik, (d) With other hockey team members. (Photo courtesy of Angela Arunarsirakul)

Click here for more stories from Darmasiswa alumni.



Indonesian University Scholarships

Jenderal Soedirman University (UNSOED)

Jenderal Soedirman University (UNSOED), one of Darmasiswa Indonesian Scholarship host universities located in Purwokerto, a municipal city in Banyumas regency, Central Java, Indonesia, provides internship and scholarship for foreign students to experience studying and working in UNSOED.

Pictures of some UNSOED International Students Programs: (a) Community Engagement of Foreign Student (COMEFORS), (b) UNSOED Intercultural Summer Camp (UIS). (Photo courtesy of International Relation Office (IRO) of Jenderal Soedirman University)

Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR)

Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), one of Darmasiswa Indonesian Scholarship host universities located in Surabaya, the capital of East Java, Indonesia, offers so many scholarships for international students. Two of them are such as:

      1. Academic Mobility Exchange at Airlangga (AMERTA) for both master degree students (AMERTA for Master) and undergraduate students (AMERTA Exchange Program @Airlangga)
      2. Airlangga Development Scholarship (ADS), a non-fully funded scholarship program provided for international students who would like to pursue their master degree or doctoral degree at UNAIR.

Other partial-scholarships for short-term international programs offered by UNAIR which required some fees from the participants are such as:

    1. Airlangga Summer Program (ASP), a short program for undergraduate students which offers a cultural trip to Mount Bromo, a Language and Culture class, and various activities including:
      • Creative Industry in Indonesia - a closed observation of Indonesian Creative Industries including the Batik home industry, handcrafting of recycling good, and knitted ware industry.
      • Indonesian Traditional Medicine (JAMU) - the learning activities about Jamu including the understanding process of Jamu medicines production in a scientific way.
      • Safari Program - an observation and case studies of Indonesian exotic animals and wildlife at Baluran National Park, as well as Indonesian oceanography.
      • Pluralism in Harmony: Unity in Diversity - the learning of Indonesian Legal System, including its Adat (Customary) and Islamic Law, and how it can accommodate the diversity in terms of race, ethnic, religion, and customs.
      • Community Health Nursing in the Coastal Area of East Java - the learning of most Indonesian health and practices, including physical and psychological health, as the means of an effective method of curing and healing.
      • CERIA (Community Empowerment Program at Airlangga) - a community program designed to empower the society.

Click here to watch the Airlangga Summer Program (ASP) video.

2. Indonesian Diversity at Airlangga (INDIAIR), a two-weekend of year break session which offers the learning of the Indonesian cultures and diversities, including attending credited classes such as Physical Anthropology, Consumer Culture, Language and Urban Society, and Chinese Diaspora in Indonesia, learning traditional dance, learning traditional music instrument, Batik painting, visiting historical landmarks and village which portrays the Indonesian diversities.

Pictures of some INDIAIR 2019 activities: (a) Visiting Cheng-Ho Mosque, (b) Visiting Jodipan Village, (c) Participants showing of their own Batik designs. (Photo courtesy of Airlangga Global Engagement Universitas Airlangga)

Bina Nusantara University (BINUS)

Bina Nusantara University (BINUS), located in Jakarta, Indonesia, provides BINUS World Class Scholarships for international students from all nationalities at the undergraduate level to join its undergraduate programs at BINUS International, BINUS Northumbria School of Design, and BINUS ASO School of Engineering.

There are two types of BINUS World Class Scholarships:

    1. BINUS World Class Equity Scholarship - full scholarship (financial need-based, but also available as merit-based for International Accounting & Finance applicants).
    2. BINUS World Class Merit Scholarship – a full-tuition scholarship (merit-based, but also available as a full scholarship for Accounting Program).

Other than BINUS World Class Scholarship, BINUS International also provides some programs for international students, such as:

    • Summer Programs (including SME Business Short Program).
    • Semester-based Programs (including Student Exchange Program and Study Abroad Program).
    • Special Programs (including Bahasa Indonesia short course, workshop, internship, volunteer program, and study tour program).

Please note that these programs might require some contribution fees. Some discounts are also available for international students from BINUS partner universities. Click here to check whether your home university is a BINUS partner.

Click here for more information about BINUS International Students programs.

Emily Pulley, BINUS Study Abroad Program Year 2014 alumni. (Photo courtesy of BINUS University International Office)

“My exchange experience was good. I enjoyed my stay in BINUS SQUARE …  I felt a bit like a celebrity being a “bule” … The best experience was traveling around because everywhere I went was different. It was always a new experience.” ... Read more

Click here to watch Emily's story about her study abroad program at BINUS.

Click here for more testimonials and stories from BINUS International students.




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Researched & compiled by: Dania Setyaning / Edited by: Olla Chas.

Updated in May 2019.

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