by Meg Dillon

Indonesia Yogyakarta, Destination Features

Welcome to Yogyakarta, Indonesia’s capital of culture, and now home to our brand new programme! 

In Yogyakarta, you’ll find ancient Indonesian traditions entwined with modern-day living. This bustling city with unique cultural heritage boasts over 20 universities, making it a real melting pot of old meets new.


Exploring the city

Yogyakarta, known to the locals as Yogya (“Jogja”), is one of the oldest cities on the Indonesian island of Java, renowned for its welcoming atmosphere and friendly locals. Surrounded by a landscape of volcanoes, lush forests and some of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites, there’s plenty to experience on a Work the World placement in Yogyakarta.


Attracting domestic and international tourists alike, Yogya is a must-see if you’re interested in experiencing traditional Javanese culture. On the famous and fascinating Malioboro Street, you’ll find an eclectic mix of shops and street vendors selling an assortment of handmade souvenirs. Coming alive at sundown, don’t miss the street’s bustling night markets. After a day on placement, get your hands on some authentic Indonesian street food and soak up the vibrant atmosphere!

Not only is Yogya celebrated for its arts and crafts scene, but it’s the only city in Indonesia still ruled by a monarchy. The city’s royal palace, the cultural heart of central Java, should definitely be on your list of things to see during your free time. Get there early and you’ll be treated to a number of traditional performances and shows.

But it’s not just hustle and bustle in Yogya. As well as chilling out in the abundance of hip coffee shops, taking in the unique Javanese architecture, and exploring the city’s many museums, venturing out of town during your free time is also a must.

Borobudur temple is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, and the world's largest Buddhist temple.

Just a short drive from the city centre, you can visit the spectacular Prambanan temple - an icon of Indonesia's cultural heritage, or catch the sunrise over the majestic Borobudur temple - the world’s largest Buddhist monument. 

If you’re after more adrenaline-fuelled adventures, check out Mt. Merapi the “fiery mountain” and take a lava tour across its volcanic slopes in a 4X4 jeep. Or head to another of Yogya’s natural highlights - Goa Jomblang - and abseil into a huge sinkhole for a spectacular view of an underground forest. For nature lovers, head to Kalibiru National Park for incredible treetop views and picture-perfect sunsets. The park also offers some great trekking trails too! 


Exploring Indonesia and beyond...

Java, one of the larger islands in the Indonesian archipelago, isn’t short of Insta-perfect travel opportunities either. A traveller’s paradise, it’s the perfect jumping-off point for some of the country's (and the world’s) most epic adventure spots!

Rice paddy at sunrise, Bali, Indonesia

Why not head to Bali for a weekend off? Easily accessible from Java, you won’t want to miss this popular island’s lively bars and unique surfing spots. Or perhaps you fancy a weekend of relaxing after a busy week on placement? Try some yoga and meditation in Bali’s cultural town of Ubud, famed for the lush green rice terraces that surround it. 

If you’re looking for paradise beaches and a taste of island life, look no further! Becoming increasingly popular and on every traveller’s bucket list are the Gili Islands. Spend a weekend exploring the trio of islands by bicycle or horse-drawn cart (you won’t find motorised vehicles here), chill out in one of the many beachfront bars, or grab a snorkel and hit the crystal clear water to spot tropical fish and sea turtles. 

A brown colored horse is harnessed to a small passenger carriage which is decorated with festive, bright colors. The horse is standing on beautiful white sand next to the turquoise blue sea.

Feeling adventurous? Get off the beaten track and seek out the beautiful and untouched Karimunjawa Islands. A marine national park, this small archipelago of mostly uninhabited islands is a beautiful place to relax after a busy week on placement. Think mangrove forests, idyllic white-sand beaches, coral-fringed islands and abandoned shipwrecks.

For the intrepid travellers, head further afield to Borneo Island where you can get up close to wild orangutans swinging through the canopy of the Island’s dense rainforest. Take a boat tour through tropical flora and keep your eyes peeled for some of the country’s most exotic wildlife. 

A female Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is sitting on a wooden jetty which leads into the rainforest of Borneo. Orang Utans are critically endangered, mostly because their habitat has decreased rapidly due to logging, forest fires and the conversion from tropical forests into palm oil plantations.

And when your placement finishes, Java puts you in an ideal location to explore the rest of Southeast Asia and Oceania too. From Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam through to Singapore and Malaysia, all the way down to Papua New Guinea and Australia - you could be off exploring the world in no time!

The opportunities in Indonesia are endless. From Yogyakarta and its ancient Indonesian traditions, to the country’s archipelago of characterful islands, you’ll have adventures aplenty on a healthcare placement in this vibrant and welcoming country. 

To find out more about our healthcare placements in Yogyakarta, click below to visit the destination page for your region:

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