Medan is the third largest city in Indonesia, after Jakarta and Surabaya. The city is the capital of the Sumatra province, and is colloquially known as ‘the Paris of Sumatra’. The metropolitan area of Medan had an estimated population of more than 4.3 million people in January 2014. The city is renowned for its varied and interesting history and expats living in Medan will be able to enjoy many unique architectural finds. One such site is the Catholic Temple devoted to Our Lady of Good Health. The building is a fusion of temple and church architecture, and is recognized as one of Asia’s most important pilgrimage sites. Expats in Medan will find many examples of interesting historical buildings to explore. Medan was initially colonized by the Dutch, who are responsible for much of the city’s architecture. A key example of their legacy on the city is the iconic Tirtanadi Water Tower, which was built in 1908 and is still used today. You can discuss the ins and outs of moving to another country with expatriates living all around the world on the InterNations online community.
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The city has a very diverse population, reflecting its colonial past. The blossoming business sector in the country has attracted expats from around the world, who are moving to Medan to live and work in their thousands. Many people have relocated to Medan from around Asia, and in particular from China. Expatriates moving to Medan will encounter a huge range of languages spoken throughout the city, including English which is largely used as a business language. Any expatriate considering moving to Medan can find much more information about living and working abroad in InterNations’ Expat Magazine which covers are range of topics, from expat finance to culture shock. Or you can simply use our platform to socialize and network with fellow expats living in Medan and across the world and pose any questions you might have on our forums.
Medan is considered to be an economic and commercial hub of the northern part of Indonesia. In the last decade, the business sector in Medan has grown significantly – with a number of technology, telecommunications, financial and marketing companies establishing in the city. Retail and education are also large employment sectors for those living in Medan, and the city’s complex infrastructure and transport system also provide a significant amount of employment in the area. The tourist industry in the city is not large, but is developing, particularly as the number of business travelers coming to and working in Medan and its surrounding area increases. More unique employers include the large crocodile farm located just outside the city center, which houses over 2,000 crocodiles and acts as an educational tourist attraction.