Why study in Malaysia: Top 10 Reasons

Have you finished your secondary or high school education?

Considering going abroad for your university but not sure where to go? 

Why not consider studying in Malaysia?

Located along the equator between Singapore and Thailand, Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia’s education hubs. There are many public and private universities here, and the best part is that studying in Malaysia is easy on the student  pocket. 

Not sure if Malaysia is the right place? We’ll convince you with ten amazing reasons to study in Malaysia. 

study in Malaysia
Photo by Zukiman Mohamad

Is Malaysia good for study?

Yes, Malaysia is an excellent country to study in. Students here enjoy high-quality education and can obtain foreign degree qualifications from universities in Australia, the UK, and the US at a comparatively lower cost than studying in these countries. 

The cost of living is lower, too, without compromising the quality of life. The country is generally peaceful, and you’ll feel safe living in this nation. It’s comfortable, too – plenty of amenities and facilities are offered by and around most colleges and universities. Finally, applying for a student visa is not difficult, as immigration procedures are pretty straightforward. 

Top 10 reasons to study in Malaysia

Now that we’ve ascertained that Malaysia is a good place to continue your tertiary education, here are ten pretty convincing reasons to study in Malaysia. 

It is affordable

One of the best reasons to study in Malaysia is the affordable tuition fees. While tuition prices are course-dependent, studying in Malaysia allows one to receive almost the same quality of education compared with other more developed countries. 

Malaysia is also an affordable country to live in. Compared to many other nations, monthly rent is considerably cheaper – it’s still possible to obtain a non-sharing room with an attached bathroom for RM500 monthly. Of course, accommodation prices will be even lower if you don’t mind having roommates. 

Food is affordable
Photo by KH Tan

Food is affordable too. If you’re not keen to cook or your accommodation doesn’t have kitchen facilities, a simple hawker meal costs about RM5 to RM8, depending on your area. Additionally, public transportation such as the LRT, buses, and trains are inexpensive, so you’ll be able to move around easily. 

English is spoken widely

Even though the official language in Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia (BM), English is spoken widely, along with numerous other languages such as Mandarin and Tamil. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about communicating with the locals. While basic BM can be quite useful, you’re all set as long as you have a good understanding of English. 

Malaysia is culturally rich and diverse

Malaysia is home to numerous races and religions, including Malays, Chinese, Indians, and Orang Asli (indigenous) people groups. Mainstream religions practiced in the country are Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. 

As such, you’ll be able to experience and rich culture that comes from the diversity of Malaysia’s people. Don’t miss out on the festivals celebrated throughout the year. You’ll want to be part of the ‘semagat muhibbah,’ or in English, the ‘spirit of togetherness’ as Malaysians come together for national, religious, and cultural holidays.  

Malaysia is home to incredible wildlife

Did you know Malaysia has over 30 national parks? These parks and Malaysia’s rainforests are home to some spectacular flora and fauna, including the giant rafflesia flower, the rhinoceros hornbill, Malayan tapir, and the Asian elephant. If you love the outdoors, semester breaks or long weekends are the perfect time to explore these parks. 

Besides this, Malaysia also has miles of white sandy beaches and numerous islands you can head to for sun, wind, and sand. Remember to bring along your sunblock as you catch the rays. 

It is safe and peaceful

Although Malaysia is a country with many religions and races, it’s a safe and peaceful country. In fact, the Global Peace Index 2020 ranks Malaysia as the 20th safest in the world and the 5th safest in the Asia Pacific. 

Perfect weather year-round

Malaysia is a tropical country, with a mean temperature of 25.4°C. It’s sunny year-round, except during the monsoon season when tropical rain showers hit. So Malaysia is the perfect place to study if you’re not keen on cold weather or love being outdoors. 

It’s a chance for you to live independently

Studying abroad in itself is quite an experience. If you’ve never left home, now’s your chance to live independently. You will learn many life lessons and life skills, including budgeting, cooking, managing your time, and undertaking the decisions your parents would usually make.

Because Malaysia is a safe place, you’ll be able to step out of your comfort zone and start living independently with minimal stress and worry. This is especially true if you’re living near your university, as there are usually all the facilities you need within walking distance. 

Leading education hub in Southeast Asia

Because Malaysia is affordable and English is widely spoken here, Malaysia has become one of the leading education hubs in Southeast Asia. Students from Southeast Asia and as far as Africa come here to complete their tertiary studies as they know that Malaysia’s universities offer top-notch quality education. 

Delicious food everywhere

Malaysians love to boast about their delicious food. Indeed, people travel from all over the world to taste our mouth-watering cuisine. There’s delicious food everywhere, from street food and hawker centers to upscale restaurants. Choices are plenty when it comes to food in Malaysia. You can choose Chinese dishes, Malay food, Indian cuisine, and many more. 

You’ll make lifelong friends

One of the best reasons to study in Malaysia is that you’ll make lifelong friends. Local Malaysians are a friendly bunch – we’re willing to think the best of others till proven otherwise. So your life will be richer with true friends you make here who will journey life with you.  

How much does studying in Malaysia cost?

This depends on factors such as the course you’re taking and the institution you plan on enrolling at. Public universities are cheaper, with international students typically paying about RM7,000 per year for a degree course. Private universities are much more costly, and students can expect to pay anywhere from RM15,000 and above per year. 

As for living costs, it’s recommended that you have a budget of at least RM10,000 per year although RM15,000 would be ideal. This would include accommodation, transportation, and food. If you choose an institution in bigger cities such as Kuala Lumpur, be prepared to fork out more for living expenses. 

Is there financial aid for international students? 

There is financial aid available for international students, but you’ll have to apply for it. Financial aid for international students in Malaysia includes grants, tuition funds, loans, bursaries, and scholarships offered by the Malaysian government, universities, and private sector NGOs. 

For example, the Malaysian International Scholarship is offered by the government to outstanding students who want to pursue their postgraduate studies in Malaysia. 

How to start your study in Malaysia journey?

If you’ve decided to pursue your tertiary education in Malaysia, here are five steps that will help you tremendously in your journey to this incredible nation. 

Get to know Malaysia

Do some research and get to know all Malaysia offers before jumping on the plane. Malaysia comprises three federal territories and 13 states, Malaysia has a population of over 30 million people. Kuala Lumpur is the largest and busiest city in Malaysia. Have a read of this overview for more on Malaysia. 

Choose your course

You must choose a field you’re passionate about and a course you’re interested in. Look for courses that suit your strengths. Also, because many universities offer the same degrees, you’ll want to check out several institutions before making your choice. 

Plan your budget and finances

Part of leaving home to study abroad is to manage your finances. You’ll want to ensure that you have adequate funds for your studies and living expenses. A plan, even if it’s just a rough budget, will help you cover all your basic necessities and medical emergencies. The extra money that you have can be used to travel around Malaysia and even its neighbouring countries. 

Apply for visa

International students will require a ‘Student Pass,’ which is essentially a student visa to study in Malaysia. You can do this online or ask the institution you’re applying for to do it on your behalf. Regardless of who applies for it, you’ll need to prepare the following:

  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your university acceptance/offer letter
  • Passport sized photograph
  • Academic transcripts and relevant certificates. 
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your studies.  

Get ready to live in Malaysia

Once you’ve got your visa, all you need to do is book your flight and start looking for suitable accommodation. Some students opt for on-campus lodging provided by the university of their choice, which makes their journey simpler. Either way, it’s time to get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Best courses to study in Malaysia

Some of the most sought after courses that international students in Malaysia take up include: 

However, there is no one best course. The best course depends on your interest and ambitions. As such, pursue an area of study in which you can see yourself in. If you’re unsure what course to study, UOW Malaysia KDU’s free career test allows you to discover what you’re most suited for in 15 minutes.


20 October 2022


General News