Training as a volunteer guide at the national museum, a great human adventure

When Florence, Virginie and Cécile signed up for the Volunteer Guide Training at the Nasional Museum in Jakarta organized by the Indonesian Heritage Society, they had no idea of ​​the crazy adventure they were going to take part in for 12 weeks, from September 21 to December 7, 2021.

A multi-faceted guide training

A multi-faceted training: conferences, library research, teamwork with sharing of knowledge, oral presentations via zoom or on site at the museum, a lot of writing, a lot of reading, a little stress sometimes, we don’t go not hide it, but in the end a lot of fun.

The subjects studied covered all aspects of Indonesia in relation to the museum: geography, ethnography, history, colonial presence, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, textiles, weapons, ceramics and porcelain, jewelry, precious objects. Following each weekly lecture, everyone had to research a specific object on display in the museum, then present it to the rest of the group in an orderly and concise manner (without notes and be careful not to exceed 3 minutes!) Imagining being in front of the group. visitors. At the end of the training, a 90-minute guided tour before being certified, then diving into the deep end: the first visit to the museum in front of the public.

Under the keen but completely benevolent gaze of the trainers (the American Dennis, the German Gerda and the Chinese Kelly), the group of nine apprentice guides thus accumulated a ton of knowledge: the Indonesian Lala, the ‘Spanish Killian, the Italian Valeria, the Japanese Makiko, the Hong Kongese Anna, the Romanian Cata and of course Virginie, Franco-Indonesian as well as Florence and Cécile, French women, who share their impressions with us here.


Virginia :

Being Franco-Indonesian, it was important to me to get to know Indonesia better and the IHS museum guide training more than met my expectations. Between research, oral presentations and classes every week, for 3 months, it was rather intense, but so rewarding! It was a real challenge for me who had just been a mom, but if I had to do it again, I would do it again. I highly recommend this training to anyone wishing to immerse themselves in Indonesian culture. It allowed me not only to discover Indonesia from a new perspective but also to meet people from various backgrounds who nevertheless share the same passion. I still have a lot to discover but I can’t wait to share everything I learned on a next round …


Even in the midst of a pandemic, via zoom and the closed museum, I had the chance to follow the training of guide of the National Museum. Indeed, it is a chance to be able to learn, to dig, to assemble little by little the pieces of a puzzle towards a better understanding of Indonesia, just acquired through a few trips.

Beyond the enrichment of knowledge, dominate the human factor, the connection with people of all horizons or any nationality and the intercultural exchange with our mentors and the other participants.

Of course, I would be lying to say that it is very easy … it takes time, rigor in learning English, but I received infinitely more in return. Speaking in public was my biggest challenge!

In short, don’t hesitate to join the next session!


What a pleasure to be part of this cosmopolitan group! Sharing these intense moments, we all united. We were all a little hesitant at the start of our presentations: it was fascinating to see how each of us revealed ourselves, including to ourselves, in a climate of trust.

Really I recommend this training to anyone, especially newcomers to Jakarta. First of all, I realize that the knowledge I acquired during the training brings enormous added value when I travel to the rest of Indonesia: it enriches for example a visit to a temple in Bali or the excursion to a volcano in Java. Even make me want to explore even more. Secondly, it’s a great way to make new friends in Jakarta: people who are curious, different from us and who bring their own vision of our host country. We all laughed a lot together and I know that I will keep in touch with each of them for a long time. Even though I still have a lot to explore, I can’t wait to share with the general public my favorites from the National Museum of Indonesia.

Address of the National Jakarta Museum: Jalan Merdeka Barat N12- Jakarta center

Closed Mondays and holidays

Hours: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Free tours of the museum in English are offered by the volunteer guides of the Indonesian Heritage Society Given the health situation, it is now necessary to book visits which are organized in small groups with respect for barrier gestures. Contact:

The French-speaking section of the IHS regularly offers tours of the museum in French. For more information, contact them by email at the following address:

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