Climate | Biodiversity | Culture

Probably the most culturally and ecologically diverse country on Earth!

Indonesia spans the heart of Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the largest archipelagic country in the world with over 17,000 islands and a land mass of 1,904,569 square kilometres. It is the perfect country to visit for anyone interested in conservation, culture and adventure. There is a huge range of flora and fauna, as well as stunning natural landscapes and an incredibly rich cultural tapestry.

Why Indonesia?

Climate | Biodiversity | Environment

Indonesia’s islands are scattered over both sides of the equator, the 14th largest by land area and 7th in the combined sea and land area. Approximately 6,000 of its islands are populated with over 261 million people making it the 4th most populous country in the world. With the landscape being so varied we can explore a diverse range of both marine and terrestrial ecosystems – and everything in between! All Odyssey Institute field sites contain opportunities for meaningful service learning projects.

We can help you develop a programme that brings your classroom learning subjects to life by ensuring your students get their hands and feet dirty with real life experiences. The team at Odyssey have vast experience and knowledge of the best locations and local resources to deliver top notch educational experiences in some truly breath-taking locations.

We work closely with each school or institution to determine the best site to host the expedition.

Indonesia lays along the equator with a balmy, tropical climate that tends to be relatively even all year round. Indonesia has two seasons – a wet season and a dry season.

For most of Indonesia the dry season falls between April and October with the wet season between November and March, but no matter when you visit you will be greeted by a tropical warmth that inspires adventure and play.

Indonesia’s size, tropical climate, and archipelagic geography support an amazingly high level of biodiversity. In fact Indonesia is second only to Australia in terms of total endemic species, with 36% of its 1,531 species of bird and 39% of its 515 species of mammal being endemic. No wonder this country was such a source of fascination for Darwin and Wallace – it literally inspired the theory of evolution!

Indonesia’s coastal ecosystems are some of its most fascinating (and accessible) as they are the point at which the marine and terrestrial worlds collide and also some of the most populated. With over 80,000 kilometres of coastline there is an incredible range of habitats to explore, such as beaches, savannah, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, coastal mudflats, tidal flats, algal beds, and small island ecosystems.

After the students have learnt all about the rainforests and their inhabitants, they can also switch to experiencing the crystal clear waters filled with some of the most amazing coral reefs in the world.

The modern day cultural environment of Indonesia is incredibly rich and complex due to the longstanding interaction between indigenous cultural practices and multiple foreign influences.

Indonesia’s geographical position along the ancient trading routes between the Far East, South Asia and the Middle East has created a convergence of religions and languages which in turn have shaped a myriad of unique cultural forms across the archipelago. These interplays between the ancient and the modern are never more fascinating than here in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s burgeoning population is especially concentrated on the islands of Java and Bali which places enormous pressure on local ecosystems. Problems include deforestation, exploitation of marine resources, unsustainable agricultural practices and waste management issues. All fascinating subjects (along with their solutions) for young global citizens to explore and to start engaging in action now.

The Islands

17,000 islands make Indonesia the world’s biggest archipelago. This makes it a daunting exercise in whittling down locations – but don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work and have a number of amazing locations across different islands to help you create the best possible learning adventure and experience possible.


Our original home and the residence of our headquarters, Bali is the perfect island to engage with the full catalog of Odyssey programming.

  • Rich cultural traditions with tangible opportunities to participate and engage? Check!
  • Diverse environments to support a range of ecology-based activities? Yep!
  • Hospitable people willing to learn with students and explore their own ways of living? No doubt!

Bali is the magazine cover of Indonesian travel and for good reason. With the relationships forged, time spent, and knowledge gleaned, OI is perfectly situated to deliver on our claim of world class experiential learning!


The largest island in Indonesia, Sumatra provides a diverse backdrop for students to explore its geographic, cultural, and historical heritage through dynamic, highly-engaging programming.

Whether it’s exploring the majesty of Sianok canyon, the elegance of the Mingangkabau dance, or simply immersing within the pace and traditions of local village life, Odyssey’s Sumatra programs deliver world class experiential learning adventures!


Java is often considered the cultural hub of Indonesia, as it is its most populous island. Odyssey programs focus on the rich history of central Java with its breathtaking natural landscapes, ancient temples, and elegant artistic tradition.

Students on a Java program will take an in-depth look at the dichotomy between modern Indonesia and the traditions of old that persist in daily life. Be it a workshop in street art, a class in the puppetry of Wayang Kulit, or a trek through the tea plantations and lush landscapes of the region, our Java programs are sure to provide students with an authentic window into Indonesian life.


Lombok is an impressive wilderness of dense rainforests, towering waterfalls, and soaring mountains juxtaposed by pristine white sand beaches. Indonesia’s second highest volcano, Gunang Rinjani is a striking sight to behold, and the coral reefs provide sanctuary for countless marine fauna with an assist from the nearby mangroves.

If you couldn’t tell by that description, Lombok is a diverse ecology perfect for our Environmental Education, Global Citizenship, Geography, and Environmental Systems and Societies programs!


East Kalimantan is an island at the crossroads of our current affairs. A beautiful place, home to the awe-inspiring orangutan, the island is under duress from the pressures of global agricultural demand, commerce, and development.

While the realities of today pose grave environmental concern not to be taken lightly, it is our reality, and one from which education is a vital component.

Odyssey Institute partners with local NGO’s to give students an experience on the frontlines of habitat conservation, Orangutan rehabilitation, and environmental renewal while exploring the full range of dynamics that are shaping this impressive wonderland.

There is no better place to drive home the importance of Global Citizenship through the efforts of our Service Learning and Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) programs!

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