10 reasons to study in Malaysia
1. Diversity hot spot
Calling all creature lovers
Malaysia is considered a megadiverse country; with experts estimating it is home to around 20% of the world’s animal species. Malaysia is also said to possess high levels of endemism, meaning it is home to a large number of unique species that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet. Increase your chances of witnessing some of these unique creatures by exploring Malaysia’s protected ancient rainforests or snorkeling in the bountiful oceans.
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual society. A hub of diversity that sets that stage for vibrant markets, nightlife, culinary experiences and a plethora of celebration.
Activities to suit all tastes
Are you a person who prefers the air-conditioned comfort of 21st-century megamalls in Kuala Lumpur, or the adventure of trekking through the Cameron Highlands? Perhaps you’d like to set foot inside the world’s tallest twin skyscrapers, the Petronas Towers, or maybe you’d rather explore the tropical archipelago of Langkawi? Whatever your preference, Malaysia offers a diversity of experiences to suit everyone.
2. Up and coming for a reason
Popular among students
In recent years, Malaysia has been consistently recognized as an emerging education destination. There’s a reason UNESCO ranks Malaysia as the world’s 11th most preferred study destination! Malaysia is a pluralistic society where a multiplicity of ethnic groups live harmoniously, respecting each others’ cultural practices and beliefs. The Malaysian government credits a strong sense of ‘being Malaysian’ as the prevailing bond that ensures political and economic stability, providing a safe and stable environment for international students.
Emerging knowledge economy
Malaysia is home to four universities ranked in the top 25 of the QS Top 50 under 50 rankings for 2018, which recognizes academic institutions that were established in the last 50 years but are on the rise in terms of global ranking.
Prestige without the price tag
With the likes of Monash University in Australia, and the United Kingdom’s universities of Nottingham, Reading, and Newcastle establishing campuses in Malaysia, students can receive their degree from an established university with the associated prestige, but for only a fraction of the cost it would entail if the degree was undertaken in countries like Australia or the UK.
3. A safe study choice
Same degree, less cost
The cost of studying and living in Malaysia is comparatively lower than countries like Australia, The United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For this reason, Kuala Lumpur was ranked by QS as the 2nd most affordable city for students in the world (after spending the preceding two years in first place). According to a 2014 HSBC global university fee comparison report, an undergraduate degree undertaken in Australia, the United States, or the United Kingdom will cost an international student between US$20,000 and $25,000 per year. Whereas the equivalent degree offered in Malaysia will cost an international student around US$2,500 annually.
Most university students are familiar with the experience of living on a modest budget, which means the cost of living while studying abroad is an important thing to factor into your decision about where to study. If you’re keen to immerse yourself in all the experiences your host country has to offer (when you’re not busy studying, of course), then the cost of living in Malaysia makes this possible. According to the HSBC report, the average annual cost of living in Malaysia for international students is estimated to be just under US$10,500, significantly lower than in countries like Australia where students pay around US$18,000 in living expenses.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education closely monitors the quality of education offered by the country’s universities and has committed to transforming Malaysia in a center for excellence in higher education. This vision has been exemplified through EduCity – a 350 acre integrated education hub that is home to eight international universities, higher education institutes, research and development facilities, and student accommodation (plus all the fun stuff like leisure and entertainment facilities). Malaysia is also home to campuses of leading universities from around the world, including the U.K.’s University of Nottingham, and Australia’s Monash University.
5. Gateway to Asia
Kuala Lumpur is one of the busiest international airports in the world and the operational base of low-cost airlines like AirAsia. This makes Malaysia the perfect base from which to experience the rest of South-East Asia. Your biggest challenge will be deciding how you’d like to spend your study breaks. Perhaps head to Cambodia to wander the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, soak in some sun on the beaches of Bali, or even explore the bustling streets of Bangkok in a tuk-tuk are just a few ideas that come to mind!
6. Scholarships & Support
Scholarships provide a great opportunity for international students to minimize the economic impact of pursuing higher education. The Malaysian government offers academic scholarships for international students who demonstrate exceptional aptitude in their chosen field. Additionally, individual institutions offer a range of scholarships to assist students in meeting the financial requirements of their degree. To discover what scholarships you might be eligible for you should contact the relevant institution directly.
With you every step of the way
When studying in Malaysia, there are tailored pathways to success available to all international students catering specifically to the individual’s skill level. For those needing to polish their English language skills before embarking on a degree, language programs like the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are the best options. International students also have access to pre-university programs such as the U.K.’s The GCE ‘A’ level, the Canadian Pre-University Program, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma. When the time comes to begin a Bachelor’s Degree, international students can choose from areas such as business, engineering, IT, hospitality & tourism or medicine. Furthermore, upon completion of the degree, students have access to preparation programs for professional examinations.
7. International Student Friendly
Getting there is straightforward
The process of acquiring a Student Pass and Entry Visa for study in Malaysia is relatively simple. Furthermore, many institutions provide their students with support from pre-arrival, like visa applications and airport transport, to post-arrival, such as arranging social activities to help students settle into their new environment. Check with your chosen institution before embarking on this process to see what assistance they can offer.
If you’re looking for opportunities to top up your bank balance while you’re studying, then you’ll be pleased to know that international students in Malaysia are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week in certain occupations during their semester breaks. Conditions do apply though, so make sure you speak to a representative at your university before commencing any employment.
Great accommodation options
Most Malaysian higher education institutions provide extensive support to international students, including providing safe and comfortable accommodation. Student accommodation is a great way to meet new people and is usually conveniently located near the university campus. It also often enables easy access to cafes and shops, activities and entertainment facilities.
Getting around is simple
Traveling around in Malaysia’s larger cities is reasonably simple, with most cities offering multiple transport options. In Kuala Lumpur, for example, there are various public transportation systems including the Light Rapid Transit, Monorail and Komuter lines, and MyRapid KL buses. Lift companies like Uber and GrabCar also operate in the metropolitan areas, offering a convenient alternative to public transport. Some universities even provide free shuttle buses from campus to public transport centers.
Malaysia is known for its cultural diversity, with the local population consisting of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other non-Malay indigenous peoples, as well as a range of other minorities. The country is also home to a flourishing international student population incorporating students from a variety of countries and backgrounds.
Students from across the globe
Malaysian universities presently attract students from about 80 different nationalities. Students from countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, and Singapore (to name a few) see Malaysia as their country of choice for higher education. And with universities from countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands opening campuses in the country you’re bound to cross paths with a variety of students from around the globe opting to study a Semester or two in Malaysia. Not only does this provide excellent opportunities for learning about other cultures, it means you’re likely to connect with other students who share similar life experiences to your own.
9. Perfect a second language
Practice your English
The majority of universities conduct their degrees in English, so you don’t need to worry if you don’t have a grasp of Malay. Many higher education institutions also offer English language courses for students who feel they need some additional help.
Learn the local languages
If you’re interested in mastering a new language that you haven’t yet tried, gaining exposure to a slightly less familiar dialect won’t be a problem in Malaysia’s multicultural society. While Malay and English are the most common languages spoken in the country, you may also come across Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Tamil as well as many others.
10. Live the life!
Malaysia is sure to live up to its reputation as a culinary paradise. Again, Malaysia’s embracement of multiculturalism has resulted in an abundance of food offerings for international students to try. Much of its culinary diversity can largely be attributed to it being part of an ancient spice route. For this reason, local cuisine is predominantly influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Javanese, and Sumatran cultures. The best part is, students can enjoy the country’s culinary offerings on a budget because most of the local cuisine is very reasonably priced.
Malaysia’s reputation for great food might only be matched by its love of festivals. The mixture of ethnicities that make up Malaysian culture has led to the observance of a range of different cultural and religious celebrations. The most observed national holiday is Malaysia’s Independence Day, Hari Merdeka, on August 31st, but in addition you will also find locals celebrating (to name a few examples) the Hindu festival of Thaipusum, the Muslim festival of Hari Raya Puasa marking the end of Ramadan, the Chinese New Year, and Malaysian Christians observe Good Friday and Christmas.
The ultimate lifestyle
If food and festivals aren’t your thing, you’ll find Malaysia’s average 28°C climate conducive to getting out and exploring your new host country. There are plenty of amazing trails to hike, such as Broga Hill and Bukit Tabur, gorgeous beaches like Juara to enjoy, and in case your outdoor plans are interrupted by monsoonal rains, a myriad of shopping malls to keep you occupied (and dry!)
Adventus Malaysia partner universities
See the list of all Adventus Malaysia partner universities