International Student Guide: 9 Preparations To Study In Malaysia
October 16, 2023
Are you an international student looking for an opportunity to study overseas? If yes, Malaysia might be a perfect education journey for you!
With its amazing universities, rich culture, and beautiful scenery, you are in for an unforgettable educational experience.
But before you pack your bags, you must be fully prepared for your journey.
That's why this article will give the inside scoop on everything you need to know before starting your academic adventure in Malaysia.
Trust us. You won't want to miss out on any of these valuable tips!
9 Preparations To Make Before Study in Malaysia
1. Visa and necessary documents
If you're considering pursuing higher education in Malaysia, reviewing the entry requirements for a visa is important.
And don't forget to double-check your passport validity and that you have all the necessary documents, like your entry visas and travel tickets.
You must also bring some passport photos with a white or blue background since you will need them for official documentation.
However, you must follow passport photo rules according to Malaysia's regulations. The rules include the photo's size, background, and reflections.
The sizing of the passport photo must be 45mm (height) x 35mm (width). And it has to be professionally printed.
A professionally printed passport photo prevents enlargement of the face.
Next, the photo must be taken against a white background. Plus, if you are wearing spectacles, ensure that your photo shows no reflections from the eyewear.
A passport photo that has eyewear reflection may cause rejection in official documentation.
2. Health insurance
In Malaysia, there are walk-in clinics operated by General Practitioners (GPs) that provide emergency services around the clock.
However, going to a hospital for serious illnesses or injuries is advisable.
It is wise to identify nearby clinics and hospitals in advance in case of an unforeseen medical emergency.
It's easier to find appropriate medical facilities when you are healthy and ready than when unwell and require immediate attention.
As a requirement for student pass approval, all international students must purchase medical insurance that covers their entire study period in Malaysia.
Learning a new language can be a challenging experience involving memorization of words, phrases, and alphabet systems.
However, if you're considering pursuing higher education in Malaysia, don't feel you need to focus solely on learning Bahasa Malaysia.
Malaysians have a unique way of communicating.
They often switch between Bahasa Malaysia and English or other languages they're comfortable with, even when speaking to people of the same ethnicity.
This switching of languages is not limited to specific ethnicities or situations.
Even two Malays may use English to communicate if it's the most comfortable language.
So, don't worry.
You can learn simple phrases in Bahasa Malaysia or communicate in English and still be able to navigate daily life in Malaysia.
Also read: 6 Effective Tips How To Improve English
4. Weather and clothing
If you plan to study in Malaysia, it's a good idea to check the weather beforehand so you can pack accordingly.
Since it's hot and humid, it's best to wear light and breathable clothing for maximum comfort.
And since rain is common, don't forget to bring an umbrella and raincoat.
On the other hand, if you are a nature lover, adventurous activities like hiking and snorkeling might be perfect choices.
Hence, you must pack the right sports clothes for your planned activities.
5. Malaysian currency
Before your trip to Malaysia begins, you must convert your currency to Malaysian Ringgit (RM).
Doing this step beforehand is super convenient and efficient.
But if you are unable to do so in your country, don't worry! Malaysia has a lot of authorized money exchange booths in the airport.
Eventually, you also must open a local bank account in Malaysia. However, this process may take some time.
Hence, converting your currency and preparing some Ringgit Malaysia cash is advisable to avoid any physical transactional activities in Malaysia.
Searching and booking a suitable hotel or apartment in advance is recommended to ensure the availability of suitable rooms.
Once you have made your reservation, keep your booking confirmation safe and save your accommodation's contact information for easy access.
Nevertheless, remember to bring your pillows and sheets if you stay in university housing.
Bringing your sheets can save you time and money upon arrival, as stores and shopping centers are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Additionally, you can bring a small pillow to rest while on the plane and at home until you can go shopping.
7. Personal planning
When planning your trip to Malaysia, the first step is to create a list of places you wish to visit and the activities you want to do.
You can google to learn about popular attractions and local activities.
Although you are still a student, visiting local places of attraction may help you to feel refreshed.
Some of the best places to visit in Malaysia are Pasar Seni (Kuala Lumpur), Ipoh (Perak), Genting Highlands (Pahang), and many more!
These places have so much to offer, such as great ambiance, aesthetic coffee shops, and affordable prices.
And don't forget to take pictures of the scenery and send them to your family. At least they know that you are doing great in a foreign country.
Plan your time well and allocate the days you want to spend in each place.
Estimating all expected costs is important to help you stay within your budget.
8. Local SIM Card
When planning a trip to Malaysia, ensuring your mobile phone is ready for international use is essential.
This service allows you to use your phone outside your home country. It enables you to make and receive calls, send text messages, and access the Internet while traveling.
Furthermore, before you travel, you should check that your internet settings are configured to allow easy connection to Wi-Fi at the airport.
Doing so lets you connect to the Internet, stay in touch with your loved ones, and download essential travel apps.
Additionally, you can purchase a local SIM card from telecommunication companies such as Hotlink or Celcom to stay connected while in Malaysia.
Once you arrive at the airport, you can easily buy a SIM card that will give you a local phone number and access to local services.
9. Emergency numbers
One of the most fundamental things you can do to ensure your safety is to be aware of the local emergency numbers.
In Malaysia, you can reach the Police, Fire and Rescue Department, or Ministry of Health by dialing 999.
999 is an emergency number (known as Malaysian Emergency Response Service, MERS) as the Malaysian government's initiative to provide urgent assistance.
Alternatively, you can dial 112 from your smartphone, whether it has credit, barred, or locked.
112 is a standard emergency number globally, and all calls would be redirected to 999 Response Centres.
In addition to emergency numbers, having the contact information of a trusted relative or friend is important.
In conclusion, as an international student who plans to pursue higher education in Malaysia, you must know the country you will visit.
Bringing necessary documents, securing health insurance, and having fun can put you at ease. Visiting a foreign country for educational purposes is different from traveling for fun.
This educational trip might be long, so knowing what to do is best.