FYI for the girls


Since the start of the Darmasiswa 2014/2015 is near, we’ve figured to add some ideas to packing and about the lifestyle here, concerning girls especially ­čÖé since 90% of Indonesia is Muslim, some things are quite different. But life in bigger cities is not as strict, yet for smaller cities, some things must be taken into consideration. For Malang we can give some solutions too, as for other cities, locals or former students can help.

1. Clothing
While at school or any institution, public or religious building, proper clothes are a must. Yet, in your free time you can wear what you like, but bear in mind the politeness towards the new culture. Nobody will do or say anything about your style, but don’t feel harassed when you get stares. You will be under public attention all the time, don’t let clothes make it worse. Also, as an advice, traveling by angkot (the mini public bus) or by motorcycle short pants, short skirts, short tshirts are uncomfortable for you, for the other passengers and might burn your skin… A wavy blouse, baggy pants, comfy shoes, sunglasses and a sun hat will give you the liberty to move around much better. Our highly recommended purchase as you come here is a “sarung”, a local scarf, soft and big enough for all occasions, either at the beach, as night wear, to cover your head from the sun, etc

1.a Swimming suit
Most public pools require decent clothing for ladies. Indonesian girls usually bathe with their short pants and tshirt, but it is so uncomfortable. Pack a whole body suit extra for these situations. For the beaches or more modern pools, 2 pieces swim suits are not a problem. But be aware that you will be under attention all the time, and will be asked for photos a lot, and many photos without your approval will be taken anyway, the Western way of going to the beach it is still strange here.

a normal day at the beach…

1.b 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. But local bargain stores don’t have them in stock, ever, although XL or XXL might be written on them. Sometimes you might get lucky, but it is not easy. With pants and jeans, that hasn’t been a problem, but maybe a certain style you like might is not available.

2. Beauty
Bath & beauty products. A lot of the local products, even international brands like Garnier have whitening properties, as it is in high demand here. You have to check all the time if they are for this purpose or not. There are some, local brands, very good. And scrubbing is very popular here, so you can find extremely affordable such creams. A very close attention you should give to shampoos. 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. Going to the SPA and buying professional products helps.

2.a SPA
Here is SPA heaven! Every 5m there is another SPA with facial treatment, body massage, body scrub, hair masks, anything you can imagine, so many types, very good quality, very affordable price! On this aspect, there is nothing to be worried about, you will be happy and feel like a queen.

2.b Waxing
This Western beauty technique is NOT available here. In Malang, there is one place, but only does legs length for almost $20. If you love this technique, it will be tricky. Yet, our girls found an Indonesian local that makes home made wax with honey and sugar, reusable and provides the strips too, also good for facial purposes. Having an electric depilatory machine would be a good idea.

2.c SPV
On the local market, there is just 1 SPV cream, maximum 30 SPV. As you would imagine, this product is not on profit here. This particular cream from the brand Vaseline is quite good, but if you have more sensitive skin confider bringing your own bottles, or when traveling to Bali you can refill your stock. Maybe stronger SPV protection creams can be found in branded shops, but no need to pay the extra taxes when you can pack it in advance ­čśë

3. That special time of the month…
This subject is on the list, to make it clear that for those who prefer internal tampons, these are not accessible. There are many brands of normal pads, night pads, day pads, etc, but they are considerably more thick than European ones for example. You can bring your own supply of tampons for the whole period, or travel to Bali or Jakarta in search for them.


While at school



In Indonesia, the students have to dress modestly and neatly as a way to respect others. Thus, most schools / offices in Indonesia strictly prohibit their workers / guests / teachers / students to wear flipflops (called sandals in Indonesia) / sleeveless t-shirts / miniskirts / tank tops, etc during their activities around schools / offices and very encourage them to wear long / medium sleeves clothes, long pants, shoes, etc.


Bring the sufficient amount of shoes and clothes to wear during your activities at Indonesian schools.


It is important to behave politely inside or outside class. Different with your country, some attitudes / gestures may be considered as impolite here but okay in your country and vice versa. For example:

  1. Burping after meals may be considered as impolite in your country but in Indonesia it shows that you are satisfied with the food served;
  2. Dashing your hands against your waist in front of elder is okay in your country but considered as disrespectful here;
  3. Slamming door, speaking in high volume, having tense arguments are considered offensive attitude in Indonesia.
  4. Put the feet on the table is considered as impolite here but it may be okay in your country.

Health care matters:

Darmasiswa RI scholarship provides you with health insurance allowance every month which will be given to you along with your monthly scholarship. However, the amount is not very much, thus we strongly suggest you to arrange International Health Insurance before coming to Indonesia in case something happen which cannot be covered by the health insurance allowance as we have experienced with some previous students.

Darmasiswa VEDC

Packing your bags for Indonesia


Here is a list of things you should consider packing when you come to Indonesia ­čÖé

  • SPV protection: the tropical sun is very bright and shiny from the early morning to around 4 PM, and especially if you have white sensible skin, consider wearing sun block at all times (you can add sun hats, umbrellas with sun block, sunglasses, etc). You will rarely find SPV cream here, so consider bringing a few extra bottles.
  • a fan: or you can just buy it here, but surely you would feel the need to cool off, a fan is a good idea
  • a one-piece swimming suit: most public pools and water parks require a┬ádecent swimming suit for women. Most women here wear t-shirts and short pants when they go to the pool. To avoid any inconvenience, just pack a one-piece swimming suit, or a surfers suit with a zipper. FYI for girls: tampons are practically impossible to find, if you use them, consider packing enough for the whole time you are in Indonesia.


  • baggy clothes: especially pants, most probably you will never wear jeans, also add to your bag┬álong t-shirts or shirts. Because a lot of your time you will spend it on the floor to eat, or try to fit in a small bus, these kind of clothes are comfortable, no embarrassing moments, they cover you from the sun and the curious eyes of the ones around you.
  • stuff from your country: of course the flag, maybe traditional clothes, money, postcards and anything else you can carry with you. You’ll be an ambassador of your country, and everyone would like to know more about your life back home, be prepared!
  • medicine: bring your own medicine since Indonesia has it’s own dosage which may not be suitable for your body. However, you can go to the┬ádoctor at any time and medicine will be provided to you.
  • mosquito repellent:┬ábring mosquito net or sprayer because the mosquitoes here are more aggressive,┬áduring rainy season they are everywhere at any time! If you can find a mosquito net to put over your bed, you can consider yourself the envy of everyone else!

Darmasiswa VEDC