Help with where to live in south jakarta


New Member
Dec 13, 2016
I hope I am posting this in the right section!
We are moving from australia to jakarta in the next few months for my husbands work. We have two sons aged 1 and 3. My three year old will be going to the australian international school, therefore living close to the school is really important. My husband will be working in the city, strategic square or something like that(?).
We want to live in a compound / village where other expats are living. Kids facilities, playgrounds and safe grounds for them to ride their bikes, play with other kids etc etc. I am a very social person and am going to miss my friends terribly, so living in close proximity to other mums in my situation is really important to me. The company is not much help in advising where we should look. Found binamega (executive paradise) and kemang club villas on google, but really don't know if I am looking in the right proximity. I don't know what I don't know!
any advice would be much appreciated.
Welcome to the forum! I'm sure someone will be able to provide you with advice.

I have a friend who lives right next door to AIS in a small modern residence. I'll see if I can get some info as to whether houses are available or not.

In any case, Kemang is known as the expatriate area of Jakarta so you are definitely looking in the right direction.

AIS is in Pejaten Barat which itself is next to Kemang on the east. The whole area is full of expats.

Are you planning on visiting Jakarta before hand to look at houses and the various options?
Hi Perthmummy! Welcome to the forum.

Our son went to AIS when he was in 5th grade and we lived nearby in Pejaten Barat, so maybe I can help. Yes, if you want a compound not far from AIS you are looking in the right places, especially Kemang Club Villas. Do you have an agent helping you? There are a lot of compounds near AIS but they aren't all as clearly marked or well known. If you have a good person/company helping you, they can show you all of what is available nearby. Assuming you have a comfortable expat budget (USD 3000/mo or higher), I would engage Collier's (locally known as Koll) or someone similar to help you find something. Koll is really, really good. Their web presence is incredibly bad for people like you, so don't be put off by that; the actual PEOPLE are a lot better. PM me if you need the name of a contact; I just met someone who works there helping expats get settled, and I'd be happy to put you in touch if you like.

Failing that, spend a little time with Google Maps and study satellite pics of the area around the schools - you should see some stuff on the aerial views that looks worthwhile. Then drive around the area in a car looking for signs and taking down phone numbers. The market is pretty soft right now, with more people leaving than moving in, so you should be able to find something good.

I've had friends living at both Executive Paradise and KCV - they liked those places pretty well and felt a sense of community (lots of Japanese at EP and they are somewhat insular from the rest of the community).

If you have more questions, please ask away. My "baby" is now 18 and away at college, but he was mostly raised in Jakarta and we've had six houses here (two in Menteng, two in Kebayoran, one in Pejatan Barat, and one in Pondok Indah). So I've done a lot of househunting (although I never looked in a compound, as I prefer a free-standing house).

Also, if a community of people like yourself is important to you, try out ANZA, the Australia-New Zealand women's association in Jakarta. Link: They may also be able to help with your questions.
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Some more thoughts - I see you have selected AIS, which is certainly an excellent choice. However, if you did that automatically because you are Australian and the school has "Australia" in the name, you may want to research matters further to be sure it offers what you want. (If you have already reviewed several schools and picked AIS, no need to read further.)

Most of the students at AIS are not Australian - there are lots of Indonesians and mixed kids. This can be a plus; after all, why bother to live abroad if you don't want to meet people from different cultures? However, it does mean that your child will not be interacting with native speakers of English at school most of the time. Also, whether it is due to cultural differences or some other reason, the schools does not have nearly as much of a community feel for parents (especially moms) as JIS does. At JIS, quite a few moms, especially of younger kids, practically live on campus themselves, doing volunteering and socializing of various sorts. It was quite clear to me, as a JIS parent, that the school was a lifeline for many moms; AIS never gave me that feel.

So if you haven't definitely made up your mind, consider something like this: our old house (5 bdrms, pool, extremely quiet street, fabulous landlord) is available for something like USD 3000/month. It is within walking distance of JIS and there are nearby areas great for kids to bike ride (last year I knew one 8-year-old who lived in that area and rode his bike to school every day - something like that is practically unheard of in Jakarta). As a mom, you could easily spend time at the school making new friends, and there would be plenty of like-minded folks around you in Pondok Indah. (Well, maybe not as many as there used to be, because so many expats are leaving. But that is a problem no matter where you live.)

So, if your mind isn't made up, I'd say: think about it! Some quick comparisons between the schools:

  • PRICE - AIS and JIS are comparable. (Edited to add: Maybe - see posts #5 and 6 below.)
  • LOCATION - Pondok Indah is much prettier, with quiet, tree-lined streets, overall; but there are probably more insulated compounds around AIS.
  • PARENT COMMUNITY - Much stronger at JIS (according to me, anyway; but research it yourself, I am only one person).
  • CURRICULUM - AIS uses Victoria, JIS uses American.
  • SCHOOL SCHEDULE - AIS is southern hemisphere, JIS is northern hemisphere.
  • OTHER PLUSSES/MINUSES: More English speakers/expat types at JIS (which is a plus OR a minus, depending on what you want). AIS is much better at serving special needs kids, so if your son needs a speech therapist, occupational therapist, a "shadower" for ASD, etc., they are the best.

Good luck, and feel free to come back with more questions.

ETA - Just thought of another point: both JIS and AIS offer bus services, although you would have to confirm that they are provided for kids in the 3-4 year old range. Bluebird operates the JIS service, so it is extremely professional. The AIS bus was late fairly often, although this wasn't particularly a big deal.
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PRICE - AIS and JIS are comparable.

Hmmmm, I think your numbers are slightly out of date.

Last I heard JIS is pushing $30,000 USD per year, as opposed to AIS who are closer to $20,000 USD per year.

*ETA-I have not actually sat down and compared prices, purely going on heresay. But if JIS and AIS are same prices, would not even need a second thought as to which is the better school.

Hmmmm, I think your numbers are slightly out of date.

Very possible. When my son was in 5th grade there, the parents used to complain that AIS waited until JIS released its tuition prices for each year, and then matched whatever JIS was charging - which, given the superior physical facilities of the JIS campus, annoyed all the parents who were footing the bill for AIS tuition themselves. However, that was indeed 7+ years ago (where does the time go?). So it would be a good idea for interested parties to double check, not just rely on what I say (true for everything, not just prices).
From Perth to Jakarta ?? You're in for a culture shock and a half. Bring the Xanax.
It's disappointing when someone like puspawarna goes to the trouble of giving lengthy detailed excellent advice with the original poster not acknowledging that effort with a simple thank you. It annoys me.
It's disappointing when someone like puspawarna goes to the trouble of giving lengthy detailed excellent advice with the original poster not acknowledging that effort with a simple thank you. It annoys me.

Perthmummy hasn't connected since she started the thread. Maybe she's busy? Let's give her some time, I'm sure that when she connects and reads this thread she will at the very least say thank you and most probably will have more questions :)

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