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The Just Student Jobs Country guide for gap year travel in South East Asia - Brunei

Where to Go - South East Asia

Click on the links below to view information on a specific country.

Brunei | Cambodia | Indonesia | Malaysia | Myanmar | Singapore | Vietnam


Population : 336,376

Literacy rate : 88.2%

Life expectancy at birth : male – 71.23 yrs, female – 76.06 yrs

Infant mortality rate : 14.84 deaths/1,000 live births

Population growth rate : 2.17%

GDP growth rate : 2.5%

GDP per capita : £11,800

Unemployment : 4.9%

Inflation : 1%

Climate : tropical; hot, humid, rainy

Time : GMT +8.

Electricity: 220/240v AC. 50Hz. Round or square 3 pin plugs.


The official Brunei Government site is at

This is a country whose ruler decided to buy a television set – for everyone in the country. This is an extremely pleasant place to live and work, but you will have to conform. The locals obey the Sultan and don’t rock the boat – so should you. It is politically stable and there is (usually) no income tax. You will also be well placed for the rest of SE Asia (Korea, Japan, Thailand etc.).

Some oddities; there is practically no public transport so you may need to hire a car. Get a driving licence or learn how to drive. Also, weekends are Friday and Sunday – this is an Islamic state. All the usual restrictions apply; no alcohol, no pork or pork products, no mini-skirts and no using the left hand at table.

The country is in two parts separated by Malaysia. They are reputed to be thinking of buying the bit in between – this is a seriously rich country although still officially in the third world. Nevertheless, the government provides all medical services and subsidises food and housing. The petroleum sector accounts for over half of the GDP, the rest is from foreign investments. Efforts are being made to diversify the economy, but the Sultan is wary of too much foreign influence leading to unrest.

The country consists of a swampy coastal plain rising through foothills to a mountainous region on the border with Sarawak. Equatorial rainforest covers 75% of the land area. Average daily temperature ranges from 24 to 30 º C, while humidity ranges from 67 to 91%. Air conditioning is nice if you can get it.

Politics here is strange – the Sultan once said, “ We tried democracy, but it didn’t work”. Elections are now postponed indefinitely, but with all the benefits offered to the citizen, no-one is complaining. The official language is Malay.

Entry requirements

Your passport must have at least 6 month’s validity.


Hepatitis A, Polio, Yellow Fever and Typhoid.

Tax and Insurance

Usually no income tax. Get health insurance and a full check-up before you go. Free medicine is only for nationals.

Gap Year Programmes

Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in Brunei

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