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advice on a teenager settling in..?

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  • advice on a teenager settling in..?


    I would like some advice to help our teenage son to settle in - he will be arriving in two months and Jakarta will be a major challenge for him, as he only knows Europe. We hope to get him a Bahasa teacher as soon as he arrives but we would nevertheless like him to engage in some teenage club near home, in South Jakarta.

    Any suggestion?

  • #2
    Where will he be attending school? Depending on the schedule, there may not be a lot of free time before he starts - it sounds like he may arrive around late July, and JIS starts fairly early in August, while AIS follows a southern schedule so they'll be returning from winter break in late July or early August. Once he is in an international school he will have plenty of opportunities to join clubs and meet English-speaking friends.

    Also keep in mind that he is arriving right around Ramadan. NOTHING happens during this period - even if you identify a great club for him to join, it is quite possible they won't be meeting between approximately 20 July and 20 August.

    Finally, although it pains me to say so, a foreign teenager living in Jakarta may never become particularly proficient in b. Indonesia and may never feel the need. All of his social activities and schooling are likely to be conducted in English, and there are only so many hours in the day. Our son (age 14) speaks almost no Indonesian. I'm very sad about that, but he has a full and very happy life anyway, and really no time to learn. He's too busy with homework, scuba diving, animal rights club, viola lessons, and spending time with friends.
    Last edited by Puspawarna; 22-05-12, 13:30.


    • #3
      hmm please dont get it wrong , but do you go to church? there are several english speaking church in jakarta, and they have the teens service so he'll meet some teens that (hopefully) would not be giving bad influence ( i mean in general.. would be better to meet teens from church than teens from motor gang)

      if you need the address in south of jakarta let me know, i know the pastor ..
      dont judge a book by it cover. judge it by it price. good books are expensive


      • #4
        thank you all for all the advice - our son will have to improve his English at the same time he learns some Bahasa (that is part of the problem). he will be arriving around mid-August (perhaps end) and will be attending AIS, which seemed a better school option in terms of language support (or at least we got a better impression than at the interview at JIS).

        Puspawarna - may I ask you about that animal rights club? our son is very much into that sort of activity (nature in general, which is a great, healthy choice for a teenager but also the main reason he is less keen on big cities..). is the club near South Jakarta? He is also learning scuba diving but I was not sure there were courses in town (?).

        I have also looked for horse riding clubs for him to continue with this activity and there seem to be good ones in Jakarta. It just looks like an option for Satuday ealry mornings due to heavy traffic to get in an out from South Jakarta.


        • #5
          Okay, it sounds like he'll be starting school immediately. Realistically I would not worry about bahasa Indonesia if he needs to work on his English - one thing at a time, and he'll need the English far more than he will need Indonesian. Also, I assume AIS offers bahasa Indonesia courses at the high school level - my son went to AIS for 5th and 6th grade, and they did have classes at that level (albeit not very good ones, I'm afraid). Also, if you think your son will graduate from high school in Jakarta, there are laws that require that he complete some language/culture coursework. AIS will be offering those classes, I'm sure. Actually, even if there is no chance he'll graduate from high school in Indonesia, he could probably still take whatever classes AIS offers for kids to meet the requirement.

          If you've already committed to AIS I am sure it will be fine. But if you are still looking at both schools (and if your son can get admitted to JIS -- they are so full that getting a slot may be hard), I would not write off JIS. I can't say what the high school is like, but in the younger years they have a very strong ESL program. We loved AIS for our son when he was younger, but as the kids get older I think places like AIS are less desirable. The AIS student body is much smaller than JIS for high school (which may be a good thing, but I would rather there be a large pool of potential friends and a diverse set of activities/talents around for my son, and when you only have a tiny class you don't get those advantages).

          Horseback riding at the equestrian club around Sentul sounds fabulous - one of my friends had a daughter who did that throughout high school and loved it.

          The animal rights club is a JIS activity. I don't know if AIS has a similar club. You could contact the Jakarta Animal Aid Network ( and ask about opportunities to get involved with animals.