Studying and Living in Malaysia for International Students

International students in Malaysia can access world class amenities and facilities while pursuing higher studies here. Students can also work while they study. They can learn while they earn and aim for qualifications that will equip them to excel in their professions.

Banking and Currency in Malaysia for International Students

Studying and Living in Malaysia
Currencies: Transactions in Malaysia are carried out through use of currency known as Ringgit and Sen, which is equivalent to the US dollars and cents respectively. Currency is available in RM1,5, 10,20,50 and 100 notes and in 5,10,20 and 50 sen coins. Local as well as global banks can be found in massive number of towns and rural areas. 

Functioning: Most work through the weekdays as well. More banks offer 24/7 services through telebanking, withdrawal, deposit, payment of utility bills and internet banking. Commercial banks are authorised forex dealers and licensed money changers. The money changers with license are also found in major towns. International currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged for a nominal fee. Major credit cards are accepted at all outlets in Malaysia. Daily exchange rate on units of foreign currency per Malaysian Ringgit can be obtained from the Central bank. 

Accommodation in Malaysia for International Students

Accommodation is readily available in Malaysia and the higher the budget, the easier it is to land the best. Institutions of higher education provide hostel accommodation and non Malaysian students who are first timers in the nation are given preference. Many different standards of hostel accommodation are available for student living. Students can also share accommodation through private rentals or apartment sharing with peers. Universities as well as colleges help the students to find suitable accommodation.   

Communications in Malaysia for International Students

Communication Systems: Fixed line, mobile phone networks and broadband internet are readily available via service providers including Telekom Malaysia and Maxis as well as Digi, UMobile and Celcom. Public libraries, schools and universities also provide computers for email and contact purposes. Internet cafes are also readily available for communication.  Public phones take coins or stored value cards, Text messaging and mobile phone calls are also a popular choice with students. Global roaming can be set up on the mobile phone from a student’s country and the prepaid mobile card can either be purchased or an account can be set up with local mobile service providers in the country. Local postal service across Malaysia functions 5 days of the week from 9 to 5. 

Landline and Mobile Phones: There are different kinds of telephone calls that can be made through landline as well as mobile phones. Communications infrastructure is extremely well developed and landlines for home and business are readily used here. International calls will be made from fixed telephones or direct exchange lines. Dialling 101 enables users to access Domestic and International Services as operators can assist in making local, national or global calls. Students can also dial 103 for Directory Enquiry Services. For other services from Telekom Malaysia, they can use a toll free number or call 100.Through IDD services, customers can dial calls overseas as well. Cheaper and faster phone connections are available and charge for the call depends upon the country to which it is made. 

Mobile phone is the most well established type of communication for Malaysians as well as global students. 4 popular service operators are available to choose from for cellular phone services namely Celcom, Maxis, Digi and U Mobile. Malaysian government has also introduced tariff ceilings for fixed as well as cellular telephony services. Rates are based on market competition as they are not regulated.

Internet: Many Internet service providers are available in Malaysia and users can subscribe to internet service account with these operators for dial up/broadband or wireless access. Public places are equipped with internet, email as well as broadband facilities. WiFi services are also available at colleges, restaurants and cafes. Malaysia also offers the most affordable internet in all of Asia. Broadband services are around RM48 per month and many cyber cafes charge prices of around RM2 per hour.

Medical Services: Medical services can be found in towns as well as cities at government run hospitals and private clinics/hospitals as well. Medical charges and hospitalisation costs at these hospitals are extremely competitive compared to developed nations. Doctors in Malaysia are well equipped with medical expertise.      

Safety and Security for International Students in Malaysia

Police stations are also found in busy areas and the tourist police force is there to help visitors. Serious crime is rare and Malaysia is a relatively safe place to live and travel in. 

Utilities in Malaysia for International Students 

Malaysia offers piped water and electricity supply to urban residential homes as well as rural areas. The metric system of weights and measures is followed here. Electricity is available 24/7 across the country and supply is extremely reliable. Fuel price in Malaysia is one of the lowest in the region. Cost of travelling by car here is affordable. Malaysia has one of the lowest costs of living alongside a high quality of life and modern infrastructure as well as facilities.  

What makes Malaysia Top Educational Destination?

Studying and Living in Malaysia
Political Stability: Malaysia is a politically stable and safe nation with a low crime rate. It values diversity and promotes cultural freedom. English is spoken throughout the nation and it has modern, up to date infrastructure. Excellent educational services are available at reasonable costs. Students can choose from private as well as public educational institutions.  There is also efficient medical services for students in the event of a health emergency. According to Study Malaysia, the government has allocated close to 20% of the national budget for education and HRD. International students as well as their families enjoy a safe and comfortable environment in Malaysia. 

All Round Development: This nation has achieved a total score of 0.829 on the UN HDI in 2009. Malaysia is home to 80,000 international students from over 100 nations. It is the perfect choice for a study destination because it offers excellent courses at reasonable prices. Malaysia is the best getaway for students who want  access to excellent educational and career development opportunities.  Higher education opportunities are provided in Malaysia through public universities, polytechnics, community college, private universities and university colleges as well as foreign university branch campuses and private colleges that offer twinning and franchised programmes.  International students get numerous options for quality education at a reasonable price. The website as well as Education Malaysia are the ideal options for those who want further information. Malaysia’s education as well as study opportunities are ideal for students who want the best.  

Health Insurance in Malaysia for International Students

Malaysia has a state-of-the-art healthcare system with a combination of public as well as private clinics and hospitals. In numerous cities and towns, there are a huge number of treatments available including osteopathy, acupuncture, homeopathy and naturopathy. It is mandatory for international students to possess medical insurance and students may be covered if they visit a clinic or hospital which is part of their insurance plan. University campuses also have a student health care centre on site for treatment. 

Work while Studying in Malaysia for International Students

Global students can only work with the permission of the Department of Immigration. Students without permission regarding this approval will face revocation to their pass if they are found in violation of the rules. Students can work only part time for a maximum of 20 hours in a week during semester breaks or holidays of more than 7 days while pursuing full time studies in Malaysia.   

Checklist for International Students in Malaysia

  • Create a list of possible institutions and short list the ones you are interested in
  • You can group all the possible institutions under different categories which involves research and complex prior understanding 
  • Following this, you need to short list the correct institutions that meet your criteria such as type of institution, courses provided, qualifications and foreign universities as well as tuition fees, educational fund and student service support
  • Visit the institution and survey the course syllabus choice 
  • Send in your application depending upon course requirements  and financial status 
  • Apply for a matriculation or higher education programme depending upon your financial status and ability to meet the course needs
  • Choosing the right course and institution is a massive challenge and you should find one that meets your personal and academic needs quite effectively
  • This decision making and selection process is important for your future career and educational progress
  • Choose if you want to study at a local institution or opt for further studies at foreign university branches


Malaysia is one of the top educational destinations in the world. It has excellent institutions, world class education and top of the line infrastructure. There are many reasons why Malaysia is the prime choice of students abroad and in Malaysia itself.
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