Relocating overseas and living thousands of miles away from home can be a very difficult experience, for both yourself and your family. From learning a new language to finding the right home, enrolling your kids to the right school and simply adjusting to simple day-to-day activities can be very unsettling without the right guidance. It is even harder when you do not have your usual support system at your beck and call.
This is why it is always important to find and enroll yourself in expat communities wherever you are. Being an active part of one or more communities is an essential step in settling down in a foreign country, mostly because there is nothing like having a group of peers that understands and empathizes with your situation. These peers can also offer you survival tips, networking opportunities and other valuable resources that could further help your adjustment period.
There are a myriad of issues an expat faces and having a group of peers to bounce questions off of, can be incredibly reassuring, especially when they become long-term friends. There are a variety of expat communities to choose from based on a wide range of special interests. Below are some of the most popular communities in Jakarta – simply pick your preferred ones and be a part of it!
While InterNations is not a physical community, it is the largest global network of International communities online. This site helps you connect with fellow expats or like-minded individuals both online and offline. It is an incredible way to exchange information, experiences as well as make new friends. InterNations also offers global networking opportunities and information on local events, activities and more. You will be able to find forums and expat-relevant information as well as destination guides, which provide valuable tips and information on the site.
InterNations membership is by approval only, which ensures the high quality of the network.
The Jakarta Players
The Jakarta Players is a popular non-profit community theatre group that provides English language entertainment for the capital’s theatre-loving community including musicals, dramas, comedy shows, and other forms of theatre arts. The Jakarta Players welcomes all nationalities to be involved in their community and there are many ways to do so, from directing to performing, stage-management, props, costumes, make-up, marketing and much more. The large group of dedicated volunteers help produce shows every year, where all the profits are donated to local charities. So be a part of Jakarta Players, where you are able to be part of a fun-loving community and provide entertainment while helping the community.
Indonesian Heritage Society
The Indonesian Heritage Society, Jakarta is a non-profit and multinational organization, which provides the opportunity for expats to learn more about Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage such as the nation’s history, traditions, and art through various activities. Some of these activities include tours, lectures, study groups and more, which are mostly conducted in English, however, there are special sections that conduct these activities in various languages including Chinese, French, Japanese and Korean.
Women’s International Club (WIC)
Women’s International Club is a non-political, non-profit organization, which is exclusively open to women from all backgrounds. Currently, the members consist of 60% Indonesian women and 40% foreign nationalities. WIC provides women with the opportunity to mingle, meet new friends, exchange valuable information and be a part of activities and events happening around town.
Address: Gedung Nyi Ageng Serang, Jl H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. C-22, Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan
Telephone: (+62 21) 526 3301 / 3302 / 3303
Wine and Spirits Circle
Calling all wine lovers of Jakarta, Bali, and Lombok to the Wine and Spirit Circles. Be a part of this boozy community and enjoy monthly gatherings every last Friday of the month at different venues, which include wine tasting sessions and dinner. As a bonus, members of Wine and Spirits Circle are granted free corkage at many restaurants in Jakarta.
Address: VIN+, Jl Kemang Raya No. 45B, Jakarta Selatan
Telephone: (+62 21) 7179 2577
Toastmasters Club in Indonesia
Established in 1979, Toastmasters Club in Indonesia aims to provide individuals with the opportunity to learn communication and leadership skills, as well as help, develop their self-esteem from a supportive and positive environment. There are 43 Toastmasters Clubs in Jakarta and 78 clubs in Indonesia, all of which are under Toastmasters International in the U.S.A, which you can be a part of with a small fee.
Address: Menara Kuningan F2 Floor, Alpha L Room, Jl HR Rasuna Said Kav 5, Karet Kuningan, Setiabudi, Jakarta Selatan
Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club (JFCC)
The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club (JFCC) is a non-profit organization, which consists of more than 400 Indonesian as well as international journalists based in Indonesia working for international media. JFCC aims to serve the foreign journalist community by providing the opportunity to network with prominent people such as newsmakers, analysts, diplomats, foreign correspondents and Indonesia’s important decision-makers at their various gatherings. While these events are open to the public, JFCC members get significant discounts.
ASEAN Women’s Circle of Jakarta
Established in 1975 by Madame Nelly Adam Malik, wife of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, together with the wives of the ASEAN Ambassadors in Indonesia and other women officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Indonesia, the ASEAN Women’s Circle of Jakarta’s (AWC) mission is to gather like-minded women to promote and form solidarity and friendships. As members, you can be involved in various social-cultural activities as well as AWC’s fundraising efforts such as sports events, seminars, culinary demonstrations, fashion shows, gatherings and more.
Jakarta Animal Aid Network
Calling all animal lovers! Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the welfare of animals in Indonesia. There are two divisions to the community – Domestic and Wildlife animals. There are many ways you could be involved, from being a volunteer to providing foster homes and assisting in events.
By: Divyha Pridhnani-Bhojwani