Living and Studying in Undana

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Kupang is made up of two districts or Kabupaten. The first Kota Kupang (Kupang city), is the core of the city and is closer to the coast and main ports of trade. You can think of it as urban Kupang. The second is called Kabupaten Kupang (Kupang district), which covers the wider area outside of the city and stretches into the centre of Timor Island. Think of this district as rural Kupang.

The airport, the University of Nusa Cendana (UNDANA) where you will be studying, and the accommodation we recommend in this guide, are all located within the district of Urban Kupang. How you decide to get around Kupang, will largely depend on where you decide to stay. We have provided a number of recommended accommodation options for you. Each of the options in the following section makes consideration of factors of safety, convenience, and comfort.



We recommend the kos and homestay option for the long-term stay 2-3 weeks or more. These options are more cost-effective and you will gain access to a more authentic language and cultural immersion context (this may involve becoming more adaptable to electricity cuts). Remember that adjusting to the living conditions of locals in a developing country might require some patience and open-mindedness.


  • Kos Toko Jason : Single Bed (1-2 available)
  • Kos Rusunawa (on-campus) : CDU and UNDANA are currently arranging for block deal for BIPA students. As a result this will be the most economic and conv- enient option for students. Accommodation Hotels. Hotels are useful as a starting point. If you have just arrived or are about to leave these options may be ideal since they often have airport transfer (although you should double-check this). Hotels are also more likely to be able to provide a level of comfort and luxury which we are more accustomed to in a developed countries like Australia. Often with gym, swimming pools and breakfasts included, Hotels should also have back-up generators if there are electricity cuts throughout Kupang (which is very common)


  • La Hasienda : 20 minutes walk from university / 5 minute bemo ride
  • T-More Hotel : 5 minutes walk from university
  • Hotel on the Rock (swimming pool and ocean view) : 15 minute bemo ride from university
  • Hotel Crystal Suisse Bell : 20 minute bemo ride from university


  • Lavalon : 30 minute bimo ride from university
  • Maliana Hotel : 25 minute bimo ride from university

NOTE: The kos or homestay option is a great way to get to know the local people and build relationships, but please bear in mind that kos is very simple, often without hot water, household white goods, or wifi for internet access.



It is best that students obtain a ‘Social-Cultural Visa’ (Visa Sosial Budaya) before entry into Indonesia. A ‘Social-Cultural Visa’ will cost you $US60, but you must apply for this before you arrive in Indonesia. It will take at least three working days to process, plus extra days allowing for postage and handling. This visa will allow for 60 days in Indonesia with the possibility of an extension of another 30 days. Extensions can be obtained from the immigration office. Please send your passport, $60 money order, a recent photo of yourself, plus a repaid stamped envelope for postal return:

Consulate of Indonesia

20 Harry Chan Avenue

Darwin - NT – Australia 0801 9.

As the Southernmost point of Indonesia, many refugees and migrants hoping to make their way to Australia find their way to these parts. Many are now being held in a specially designated holding centre (like a hotel) to the West of UNDANA. As this is a relatively politically sensitive issue it is best students do not try to enter these enclosed areas.



  • Bemo / Angkot

Bemo / Angkot are a form of transport; bemos means mini-van, while angkot is short for angukatan kota (city transport). These will be your main option for getting around town. These brightly coloured mini-vans are often covered in strange and unique customized paintjobs. With pictures of Jesus, famous football players and celebrities; no two bemo/angkots are the same. Despite their unique appearances, you will probably be able to hear them long before you can see them. The loud booming music of the discotek berjalan, or traveling disco is what defines the bemo/angkot. Much like the paintjobs, the playlists are very unique and diverse ranging from eurotrash music to pop/romantic Indonesian songs from Java to a strange mix of house music. Whether you find the music awesomely terrible or terribly awesome, it is a matter of preference, but it is a great way to meet and talk with locals. These mini-vans were built for up to 9 passengers but commonly squeeze in around 10-16 passengers. As a result get ready to be a little cramped especially due to the low hanging roofs. Standard short trips into town will cost you Rp.2000, or 20 cents, while longer trips to the end of the line will cost Rp.4000. It is recommended you carry small change, Rp.1000 or Rp.2000 in notes or coins as bemo conductors will often pretend not to have enough change for large bills. Unlike public transport in Australia, there are no designated stops, besides the main terminals. To let the driver know you want to stop and get out of the mini-bus you will need to clap your hands or tap the hanging metal handle bar on the ceiling loud enough so the driver can hear over the thundering music, if that doesn’t work yell “kiri”, which literally means left.

Travelling by bemo/angkot is best for getting in and out of town. They are very frequent but the routes are quite limited to some areas. Another negative is the time limit as the bemo/angkot usually only travel between 6am and 7pm. If you are out late at night you will need to prepare another option to get around town or get back to your accommodation.


  • Ojek

Ojek or motorbike taxis are common in Kupang and widespread throughout the city. These will usually cost you a moderate amount since they are relatively convenient. A note of caution: the helmets provided by ojeks may not be reliable but any helmet is better than no helmet when you have no other option.

Ojek rates:

Distance Rate :

Airport to university Rp.10-20,000

University to centre of town Rp.20-30,000

Town to airport Rp.30-40,000


  • Taxis

Taxis are quite rare and most often ferry passengers between hotels and the airport. There are various numbers which can be called: Teddy’s Taxi: +62380 832762

Taxi rates:

Airport to university Rp.20-30,000

University to centre of town Rp.30-40,000

Town to airport Rp.40-50,000


  • Private Hire Cars

Private hire cars Around most hotels and restaurants are drivers who usually have a four-wheel drive. These aren’t cheap as they cost Rp.70,000 per trip, or for longer hire they start at Rp.140,000 for a minimum of two hours, and Rp.70,000 per hour thereafter. You might be able to negotiate, but usually the driver is under strict orders from the car owner. These guys will usually approach you and give you their name card, which is handy to call when you are stuck for travel options. Although their services are relatively expensive, between four students one trip split between four will cost less than Rp.20,000, or $2, each.


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