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Batam, Indonesia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 26, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Batam, Indonesia is 1.2 million people. People describe Batam as a vibrant and bustling city with a diverse culture and plenty of attractions. Expats love living in Batam for its low cost of living, friendly locals, and easy access to Singapore. The weather in Batam is typically hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 75-90°F (24-32°C). The average cost of living for an expat is relatively low, with basic expenses such as food, transportation, and utilities costing around $500-$700 USD per month. A one bedroom apartment in Batam can cost anywhere from $200-$400 USD per month, while a two bedroom apartment can cost around $400-$600 USD per month.

What do I need to know about living in Batam?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Batam, they said:

"Think very hard, it's interesting to see the local culture and be so close to Singapore, but you will be living in second or third world standards. Power cuts, dirty water, trash everywhere, poverty, unreliable internet...the benefit is that it is cheap and expats can own land here. But the corruption makes that an expensive goal," added another expat in Batam.

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What do I need to know before moving to Batam?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Batam, they said:

"It can be difficult for a new expat, but I would recommend driving around and looking at several houses and complexes before making a decision, so you get an idea of what to expect," explained one expat living in Batam, Indonesia.

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How do I find a place to live in Batam?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"I looked around and used local housing agents for my first house, which I overpaid on significantly. The next house was a much better deal, though still had to pay 1 year in advance," said another expat in Batam.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Batam?

"3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, driveway, not much of a yard. This is pretty typical for the area, and a lot of expats live in this area," explained one expat living in Batam, Indonesia.

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How do I meet people in Batam?

When we asked people living in Batam about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Not hardly anything here. A few people informally meet up. There is an English-speaking international church with lots of expats...otherwise it's up to you to meet others," remarked another expat who made the move to Batam.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What should I bring when moving to Batam?

People living in Batam were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"My favorite deodorant, an extra pair of shoes (I've got big feet), a decent pizza I packed pretty light," mentioned another expat in Batam.

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Will I be able to find a job in Batam?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Batam, they reponded:

"Manufacturing, oil, shipping, construction, etc... Not many expat jobs unless you are sent by your company to run one of the multinational companies," mentioned another expat in Batam.

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What is life like in Batam?

When we asked people living in Batam what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Everyone revolves around work. All the large manufacturing companies have compounds outside of the city where their people live. Interaction is difficult with everyone all spread out. For the nationals, this is such a transitional city. People come for two years of work then go home," remarked another expat living in Batam, Indonesia.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Batam accepting of differences?

"It has a boom-town feeling, fast development and lots of jobs for the local workforce. Almost all locals or Chinese/local mix. Very young population as this town has many factory jobs open. As mentioned before, since it is far from where people are from they come here, work for a few years and go back," remarked another expat living in Batam, Indonesia.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Indonesia

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What are the schools in Batam like?

"Sekolah Global Indo-Asia is the only IB World school in Batam, and has a well-deserved reputation for being the best school for international curriculum," said another parent with children at Sekolah Global Indo-Asia in Batam.

"If you are considering relocating to Batam, then this is the school for your child. The curriculum used is from Singapore and the USA and the school is accredited by the USASD. The facilities are outstanding and there is an open environment in which teachers and parents regularly communicate. Check out the school's website at www.sekolah-djuwita.com," commented one expat when asked about Sekolah Djuwita (Djuwita School) in Batam.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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