EasyUni logo



International Student Guide: How To Make The Best Student Life In Malaysia?

October 02, 2023


international student guide to Malaysia

Being an international student in Malaysia allows you to experience its diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, and local traditions. 

However, it could be challenging for some students due to their distinctive living and academic environments. 

Therefore, this article will guide you to make the best student life as an international student in Malaysia. 

Let's dive into this topic deeper! 

Understanding Malaysia and Its People 

Malaysia is a country that consists of different ethnicities, languages, and religions. 

Each ethnicity retains its cultural customs, which heavily impact the people's lifestyle. 

Since Malaysia is a multicultural country, the locals are very attentive towards their interactions (verbal and actions) with people of all backgrounds. 

Hence, you must not neglect this important advice. 

Malaysian locals are bound to cultural norms and taboos of what they believe is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. 

For instance, you have to take off your shoes before entering one's house. 

Visiting someone's house while wearing shoes that have accumulated dirt or debris is considered inappropriate. 

Alternatively, this action shows that Malaysians practice politeness and cleanliness. 

Therefore, as an international student, asking the locals about cultural and religious practices is best to prevent unnecessary misunderstanding. 

Here's How To Make The Best Student Life in Malaysia

  • Enjoy your breakfast as a Malaysian

international students guide in Malaysia

If you're looking to immerse yourself in the local culture in Malaysia, indulging in a traditional breakfast is a must. 

There are some delectable options to choose from. 

One of the most popular dishes is Nasi Lemak. 

It is a meal that consists of rice cooked in coconut milk and served with accompaniments like anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, and a spicy sambal sauce. 

If you enjoy spicy food, Nasi Lemak is the perfect dish. 

The combination of creamy coconut milk, fragrant pandan, and spiciness from the sambal creates an unspeakably delicious taste. 

Alternatively, you can try Roti Canai. It is a flaky flatbread typically served with dhal or curry. 

Or, if you are in the mood for something sweet, Kaya Toast (Roti Bakar Kaya) is a great choice! 

You are probably familiar with strawberry spread on your toasted bread. 

But do you know what makes toasted bread taste different in Malaysia? 

It's the Kaya, a delectable coconut and egg jam. 

The Kaya spread on the toasted bread will melt in your mouth, giving off a hint of pandan fragrance. 

It's sweet, creamy, and the best to eat with warm, toasted bread! 

You can also spread butter on the toast to make it even more delicious! 

These dishes offer a unique and flavorful glimpse into Malaysia's vibrant and diverse culinary landscape.

  • Explore local markets

If you want worth-instagramable pictures, why not detour to Pasar Seni

Pasar Seni is a must-visit place as it has a lot of attractions, such as florist shops, Batik DIY shops, aesthetic cafes, and thrift shops.

What's more, Pasar Seni is accessible via public transportation, such as LRT and MRT. 

This location is convenient for international students to enjoy their weekend. 

There is nothing wrong with having a little fun, right? Being a student is not necessary to study 24/7. So, chill and have fun exploring Malaysia! 

  • Try wearing traditional attire

Malaysia consists of Malays, Chinese, and Indians as the dominant races. Hence, each of them has different traditional clothes. 

For instance, if you befriend Malays, you would notice that they wear Baju Kurung (for women) or Baju Melayu (for men) as one of their everyday attires. 

Some Malay students wear traditional clothes to class, formal events, or simply because they want to. 

Hence, you can try wearing the local attire and will probably love it! 

And don't worry about the clothing materials. Most of them are comfortable to wear despite the weather in Malaysia. 

  • Eat at a hawker stall 

International students guide to Malaysia

Did you know that people in Malaysia have a cool mentality of not judging a book by its cover? 

This means that they don't judge someone based on their physical appearance. 

And guess what? They apply the same principle when it comes to food, too!

As for that, you have to try the hawker stalls there. 

They may look small and not offer many meals, but the food quality is exceptional and worth every penny!

You won't go hungry and might even crave more. Take Char Kuetiau, for example. 

It isn't easy to find a more delicious Char Kuetiau in a restaurant. The taste is unique, and the ambiance is unmatched.

Moreover, buying a meal at a hawker stall is affordable and can save you money. 

The price range varies depending on the type of food you choose, but the food usually costs around RM6-RM10.

With these affordable prices, you can enjoy a satisfying and delicious meal of the day!

  • Learn basic Malaysian phrases

If you want casual and fun conversations with Malaysians, you can learn their basic phrases.

Not only will they be delighted that you try to communicate with them in their language. 

But this action also shows that you are respecting and appreciating the locals. 

Although Malaysian students communicate with international students in English, don't hesitate to ask them to teach you a few simple words. 

However, learning simple words is very helpful if you use them wrongly. Hence, you can ask them when and to whom the words can be used.

  • Balancing between part-time and study

For many international students, financial support for their studies comes from part-time work. 

However, managing both work and academics can present a challenge. 

It is, therefore, essential to communicate your work schedule and commitments with your professors and supervisors. 

Doing so enables them to understand your availability and adjust their expectations accordingly. 

Prioritizing your education is also paramount, so avoiding overwhelming yourself with work is important. 

On-campus job opportunities with flexible schedules can provide an ideal balance between work and academics. 

By following these recommendations, you can effectively manage your time and succeed academically and professionally.

As an international student in Malaysia, you can have an amazing day by immersing yourself in the culture, exploring the diverse landscapes, and connecting with the friendly locals. 

Malaysia provides various opportunities for unforgettable experiences, such as trying out traditional cuisine and engaging in cultural activities. 

Therefore, plan your day and prepare to create lasting memories in this beautiful country.

Kickstart your education in Malaysia

We'll help you find and apply for your dream university


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using this site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions .

Maximum 6 courses for comparison!

Chat on WhatsApp

Courses selected for comparison