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Study In Malaysia For International Students

Here's 7 reasons why you must study in Malaysia without breaking the bank

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Are you considering studying abroad that offers world-class higher education with affordable living and tuition fees? 

If yes, Malaysia should be on your list! 

Aside from having diversity and top universities, Malaysia is known as an education hub that provides theoretical and practical lessons in various courses at a reasonable cost. 

However, choosing the right university and courses can be challenging, especially for newcomers to Malaysia. 

It would be best to consider which university or courses to enroll in that align with your interests and budget

If you are having trouble finding the best local university for your studies, don't worry. EasyUni is here to provide you with all the assistance you need! 

But first, let's look here to understand why studying in Malaysia could be the right choice for you. 

How To Apply Study in Malaysia? 

When choosing to study in Malaysia, you must first choose a course offered by a Malaysian university or college. However, each institution may have different requirements, so you must check them before applying.

After you have made your choice, your university will need important documents to apply for your Student Pass. The university will request the following documents:

  • An official letter of acceptance from the university
  • A completed student application form
  • Three copies of your passport-sized photo
  • One softcopy of your passport
  • A copy of your medical health examination report

Important note! 

After receiving the Offer Letter from the university, you must check the necessary initial payments. These payments will cover your application and Student Visa fees. 

The Offer Letter will provide the university's bank account information. So you must pay the fees accordingly to prevent any delay matters. 

Once you have paid, the university will submit your documents to Malaysia's immigration for your Student Visa approval. 

This process takes 6-8 weeks, hence you must not delay the payment process. 

For the time being, you need to visit the Malaysian Embassy in your country to obtain a Single Entry Visa. 

This visa is important as it allows for a single entry into Malaysia for three (3) months from the issued date. 

7 Reasons To Study In Malaysia

1. Malaysia offers world-class education

Most people might have heard about world-class education. But what does it mean? How is it different from the traditional, standardized approach? 

To begin with, you must know that the Malaysian higher education system is under a statutory body, namely the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA). 

So, what does MQA do? 

MQA's main responsibility is to ensure the quality of higher education in Malaysia meets global standards. 

Therefore, the statutory body evaluates and sets accredited academic programs that meet international standards. This approach allows university graduates, local and international students, to possess established qualifications and be globally recognized.

Does this mean that MQA solely focuses on academic achievements? 


MQA continuously provides educational standards that align with global requirements through academic achievements and practical experience. Therefore, Malaysian higher educational institutions take proactive initiatives to boost students' growth. 

As the job market gets more competitive, local universities actively form partnerships or collaboration events to refine the students' skills and gain practical experience. 

For instance, institutions like Taylor's University and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) collaborate with industry leader Samsung Malaysia Electronics to host the Developer Day Hackathon.

Focused on enhancing app UI/UX for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, this event provides hands-on technology experience, fosters product evaluation, and improves skills. 

What is the difference with the traditional educational approach? 

In contrast to the traditional educational approach that relies on examination marks and rankings, the current methods emphasize real-life experiences. While good grades are essential, they do not guarantee the development of soft skills. 

Hence, the Malaysian higher education system will continuously provide the best world-class education. It is to help university students build their skills and gain practical experience in meeting current demands.

2. Affordable education

Another significant reason you must choose Malaysia as your educational journey is its affordable tuition fees. Malaysian universities and colleges have various high-demand courses, such as engineering, business, accounting, pharmacy, and more.

Although some courses, such as Medicine, might be costly. However, the course in Malaysia is relatively affordable and cheaper than other countries. Below is the comparison tuition fee for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Taylor's University and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia: 

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBSS)
University name Taylor’s University Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
Type of university Private university Public university
Tuition fees RM453, 934 (10 semesters) RM13,  600 (10 semesters)

If you have any questions regarding academic courses and tuition fees or which university suits you (based on your requirements, interests, and budget), you can contact EasyUni. You may contact them via email or WhatsApp. Don't worry, the consultation is FREE. You can also browse a list of Malaysian universities and college here

The Malaysians understand that one size does not fit all, especially regarding education. 

Therefore, the tailored fee structure allows you to experience the best international education for your needs. Whether you pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate program, Malaysian higher institutions maintain academic excellence while keeping the tuition fees affordable.  

  • Pre-U courses (Foundation, A-Level, etc): RM20, 000 - RM30, 000
  • Diploma courses (2 years): RM11, 000 - RM27, 000 (per year)
  • Bachelor's degree: RM11, 000 - RM97, 000 (per year)
  • Master's degree: RM18, 000 - RM116, 000

What about scholarships for international students? Do Malaysian institutions provide that?

Yes, they do provide scholarships and financial aid. However, getting either financial aid is not guaranteed

3. English language proficiency

Studying in Malaysia requires a certain level of English language proficiency. 

"Do I have to be fluent in English to study there?" 

The answer is no, so don't worry.  English proficiency in Malaysia does not require you to sound like a native speaker. 

Malaysians generally use English for education and speaking to people of different races. Let's go for the former point; English is used for educational purposes. 

The English language serves as the primary language for higher education in Malaysia. It is the medium of instruction in classes. So, you must understand the basic commands to engage successfully in lectures, group discussions, and research projects. 

Due to this reason, Malaysian higher institutions have a standardized benchmark for English language proficiency before admitting international students to the universities. 

The benchmark is based on the results of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which you can take in your home country. 

The English test result is an important requirement for enrolling in a Malaysian university. 

And, if you want to understand in-depth about IELTS and TOEFL, you may refer here

"What about everyday conversation? Do I have to be fluent in English so the locals can understand me?"

Your everyday interactions don't demand native-level fluency, too. If you can express yourself in basic English and comprehend the underlying message, you are on the right track. 

4. Cultural and food diversity 

study in Malaysia

Understanding Malaysia's diversity is like entering a world of surprises. In Malaysia, you will encounter three major races, which are Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Each race brings its unique traditions and festivities. 

Picture yourself celebrating Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, or Deepavali, where the streets come alive with joy, colors, and the aroma of delicious foods. 

And speaking of foods — oh, the joy of eating! 

Malaysian cuisine is a mix of flavors and offers many options to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even supper. The most common ones are nasi lemak and roti canai. 

But do you know that Malaysia has a customized dish called nasi berlauk?

Nasi berlauk means a plate of white rice paired with various dishes or gravies — customizable based on your preferences. Craving spice? Go for sambal (chili-based gravy) dishes. Not a fan of spicy food? Opt for a comforting chicken or beef soup. 

Sounds simple, right?

But here's the insider tip: when indulging in Malaysian cuisine, it is all about the mix. Blend the main dish — be it rice, noodles, or bread — with the delectable gravy. That's the secret to a full spectrum of flavors; spicy, salty, sweet, or sour. 

However, if you are unfamiliar with Malaysian food, don't worry! 

Malaysia is a food haven. Fancy some Arabian or Western flavors? You can name the food. From spaghetti aglio-olio, shawarma, kunafa, or Mandy chicken rice  — Malaysia has got you covered! 

5. Safe environment 

As an international student, finding a peaceful and safe country to pursue your overseas studies is one of the valid reasons. According to the Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2023, Malaysia stands at the 19th position out of 163 countries. 

This ranking underscores Malaysia's commitment to societal safety, political stability, and positive international relations. 

Besides that, the Malaysian forces also prioritize the safety of the international university student community. They make regular safety patrols and public awareness campaigns in the institutions to ensure a secure and reassuring learning experience. 

Moreover, for international students who apply for on-campus accommodation, local universities go the extra mile to ensure your safety. Security measures, such as curfew times and guard postings at each hostel, are implemented to ensure your campus and residential areas remain secure. 

6. Public transportation

Getting around in Malaysia is an everyday blessing, given its affordable public transportation options. 

You have several public transportation options, such as buses, trains, and taxis. But how do you commute to each public transportation? 

a) Concession Card as a payment method for MyRapid transportation

As an international student in Malaysia, you can apply online for a Concession Card under MyRapid. This card will give you a fare discount of 50% when you use MyRapid public transportation services such as MyRapid bus, LRT, MRT, or Monorail. 

b) Bus

You can always find this budget-friendly transportation in big cities or suburban places. Some local universities allow buses on campus, saving you the trek to an off-campus bus stop. It is convenient and safe. The bus ride will take you to the cities or the nearest train station. 

c) LRT, MRT, and KL Monorail train services

study in Malaysia

As for the train services, Malaysia has several choices, such as Light Rail Transit (LRT), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), and Monorail. 

LRT can be found in urban and suburban areas. It has 2-coach and 4-coach trains. Its destination lanes are within a city. For instance, you want to travel in the Subang Jaya area. You can take the LRT Kelana Jaya or Sri Petaling Line to visit the place. 

MRT, on the other hand, is designed for dense urban areas. It is a recent form of public transportation; hence, it is faster and more spacious than the LRT. Unlike LRT, MRT is an ideal transportation if you want to travel between cities. 

For example, if you want to travel from Ampang to Damansara city, you can take the MRT for a seamless journey. 

KL Monorail, on the other hand, is an intra-city public transportation. However, this service operates only for 11 stations. If you want to travel to the key destinations in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, taking the KL Monorail is the right option. 

d) Taxi or e-hailing 

study in Malaysia

You can find a taxi service at any bus stop or train station. However, using a taxi requires you to pay the fare using cash. For modern e-hailing services, you can download Grab, SoCar, or Airasia Ride, where you can pay with cash or e-wallet. 

7. Living costs in Malaysia 

Understanding the living costs is important for international students considering Malaysia as their academic destination. Let's break down the key factors that contribute to the living expenses of international students in Malaysia. 

a) Accommodation

Living on campus is often a more cost-effective option. Universities provide the necessary amenities such as cafeterias, a library, and sports facilities, making it convenient and budget-friendly.

On the other hand, off-campus accommodation may lead to higher costs due to several factors. Factors such as location, room types, and accessibility to public transportation play a key role in determining the cost of a rented room. Therefore, you must consider these aspects carefully when choosing off-campus housing to ensure the costs fit within your budget. 

b) Food and beverage 

Although Malaysia offers a variety of delicious food, as a student, it is understandable to prioritize saving money on meals. For affordable dining options, hawker stalls are your best bet. 

A typical meal at a hawker stall can cost anywhere between RM5 to RM15. If you have a particular craving for Arabic rice, you might even find it at a lower price than RM15. 

However, if you decide to dine at a mid-range restaurant, the prices could range from RM20 to RM40 per person. When it comes to beverages, a cup of hot and sweetened drink can range from RM2 to RM5. 

It's worth noting that prices may vary depending on the location. In major cities, prices tend to be higher compared to what you might find at hawker stalls or university cafeterias.

Top Malaysian Universities Ranking 2024 According To QS 

No.  Malaysian Universities QS World Ranking 
1. University Malaya (UM) 65
2. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)  137
3. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) 158
4. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) 159
5. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia  188
6. Taylor’s University 284
7. UCSI University 300
8. Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) 307
9. Universiti Utara Malaysia  538
10. Universiti Teknologi MARA - UITM 555
11. INTI International University 556
12. Sunway University 586
13. Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) Malaysia  621-630
14. Management and Science University 621-630
15. International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)  711-720

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can international students work in Malaysia during their studies?

Yes, but there are certain restrictions to it. International students are permitted to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week during semester breaks and holidays

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