Malaysia As a Study Destination

Cosmopolitan Living

Malaysia is a great shopping destination offering a wide variety of brand names to satisfy even the most discerning shopper. There is something for everyone, ranging from affordable goods sold in the numerous street-side shops to luxury labels located in high-end boutiques found in many of its modern shopping malls.

Malaysia’s malls also offer a host of other activities that include dining, bowling, archery, rock climbing, movies, spa attractions, video arcades and many, many more.

With many different forms of public transportation available such as buses, trains and taxis, travelling is convenient and inexpensive. Buses are the cheapest and most common form of transportation depending on the distance and route.

The railway system in Malaysia is also very well-connected as there are several railway lines such as the Monorail, commuter trains and Light-Rail Transit (LRT) and soon-to-be implemented Mass Rapid Transit system. Commuter trains run efficiently within the Klang Valley area and will connect you to the amenities you require in different precincts.

Food Paradise

One thing is for sure – if you make the decision to study in Malaysia, you will never go hungry. If there is one thing this country is famous for other than being an education destination, it’s the wide selection of cuisines available here.

Dining in Malaysia can be an unending gastronomic adventure with numerous ethnic groups in the country contributing various cuisines, as well as a fusion of culinary styles that have evolved with the entry of migrant communities over the centuries.

Most residents of Malaysia are well-versed with the primary cuisines – Malay, Indian and Chinese – as well as the distinctive style of mixed cultures such as Peranakan and Eurasian cooking. Malay, Indian and Peranakan dishes in Malaysia are known for their lovely flavours, achieved by the expert blending of herbs and spices that make each dish distinctive to the taste.

Today, with the influx of students, immigrants and expatriates from different parts of the world like the Middle East, Africa, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia has truly become a gourmet’s paradise as the food from these cultures becomes available in new restaurants sprouting up.

Restaurants that serve Western, Continental and European food are becoming increasingly common in Malaysia, while Middle Eastern restaurants are also in abundance, serving various popular dishes like shawarmas and hummus. There are also a number of restaurants that serve African food. Although these restaurants are few in number, they are spread across different locations that are easily accessible.

As far as other Asian cuisines go, there is an abundance of Japanese, Korean, Thai, Taiwanese and even Indonesian restaurants that serve many of the popular dishes of the respective countries. The restaurants that serve these international cuisines can be found all over the country.

There are also numerous fast-food restaurants serving burgers, hot dogs, pizzas, fried chicken and the like, similar to those found in many other countries. The wide choice of cuisines has not only exposed Malaysians to different kinds of cuisines, it has also allowed us to cater to the needs of homesick foreigners.

Cost of Living

Aside from affordable tuition fees, another great reason to study in Malaysia is the relatively low cost of living. Kuala Lumpur has been ranked one of the least expensive cities in the world to live in. Whether you choose to live on or off campus, you will find that it is quite possible to live very comfortably within a budget of USD5,000 per year. To give you an indication, here’s a breakdown of living costs for students in Malaysia:

Accommodation

Your average monthly rental for a single room on a twin-sharing basis could be between USD100 and USD150, depending on the area, the type of accommodation and the facilities available. Currently, REG is offering international students a waver on their accommodation monthly rent for duration of studies!!!

Meals

You can have an immensely satisfying meal at a shop for just USD1.50, while three square meals can be enjoyed for under USD5 per day. So, if you’re prudent, your food bill for a month can be contained within USD150.

Laundry

The cost of washing and ironing your clothes can be from as low as USD20 per month if you lead a normal student lifestyle.

Telecommunication/Mobile Phone Bills and Utilities

Your costs in this area would depend on your usage charges and could be anything from USD10 onwards.

Public Transport

Students who stay on or near campus may not incur any travel costs going to and from classes. However, other travel costs could come up to USD15
per month

Medical Insurance

Be prepared to allocate an average of at least USD15 per month to cover medical and hospitalisation insurance as well as for outpatient treatment at a private clinic in case you are taken ill.

Personal Expenses

This would very much depend on your personal lifestyle. Your cost for toiletries, grooming, clothes and other necessities can start from as low as USD35 per month. Add another USD 20 for the occasional movie or social outing, and you can lead a decent student lifestyle.

Adding all of the above up, you have a figure of USD410 per month, or just short of USD5,000 per year in living expenses if you are prudent.

Embark on an exciting student experience in Malaysia.

Safe & Stable Environment

Malaysia is one of the world’s most peaceful and politically stable countries. It boasts of being one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant economies, which is the fruit of decades of industrial growth and political stability.

Consisting of two regions – Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, which are separated by 1,030km of the South China Sea, Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories where the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans and other ethnic groups live in harmony.

This plural society comprises many races and faiths that speak a variety of mother tongues, and each continues to maintain its respective traditional culture in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance that has ensured peace and stability for the nation through the decades

Cultural Diversity

Malaysia has an extremely culturally diverse environment to offer. Not only is it multi-cultural, but it is also filled with many different ethnicities and religions that can broaden your perspective and build your inter-cultural communication skills, preparing you to be a global citizen who will be at home in any country or culture in the world.

The three largest ethnic groups in Malaysia are the Malays, Chinese and Indians. They are complemented by minority ethnic races that include the Orang Asli, or aboriginals, the Eurasians, Peranakan and people from East Malaysia such as the Iban, Dayak, Melanau, Kadazandusun, Bajau and others. To add to this abundance of heritages, the different races have been mixing and marrying over a period of time, forming new, distinctive ethnic groups such as the Peranakans and Eurasians who have added colour to Malaysia’s sociological scene.

As a foreign student in Malaysia, you will soon become entranced with the way all the races come together to celebrate one another’s festivals and traditions. While Islam is the national religion of the country, freedom of religion is practiced in Malaysia, allowing the people to embrace other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity. Thus, whatever religion you practice, you are bound to find a house of worship belonging to your faith in Malaysia.

One of the things you will most enjoy about the festivals of each ethnic group in Malaysia is the fact that all the communities get together to celebrate. The major festivals of the different faiths are Hari Raya Puasa, celebrated at the end of the Muslim fasting month, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas, during which the community observing the festival will hold an “open house” party.

This is a uniquely Malaysian custom in which the celebrating community will play host to the others in their homes or, in the case of dignitaries, in a hall or stadium. It is an unspoken rule that everybody is welcome at an open house.

The presence of varied ethnic groups in Malaysia has also resulted in a rich heritage in terms of the arts. Malaysia is home to unique Malay art forms such as wayangkulit, silat, makyong and gamelan. The Indians have enriched the country with ancient dance traditions such as Bharatanatyam and Odissi, as well as the livelier Bhangra from Punjab. The Chinese have made their lion dance and war drums a firm part of the country’s culture. Other minorities in Malaysia also have their traditional dances like the Sumazau from the Kadazandusun in Sabah and the Ngajat by the Iban of Sarawak.

As a student in Malaysia, you will have the opportunity to observe many traditional art forms, but rest assured that you’ll also have the chance to be immersed in contemporary culture as Malaysian society is modern and progressive.

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