Living In Malaysia
- Malaysia is known as a melting pot of various ethnic, culture and religion which are blessed with a geographical landscape of natural beauty. Today, with its increasingly cosmopolitan business environment, Malaysia has geared up to become a choice destination for an oversea learning experience. Under a recent strategy to create itself as an excellent international hub of higher education, it is targeting some 150,000 international students studying in its Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) by 2015, or 200,000 by 2010.
- Its population of some 28.8 million is made up of various races such as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Dayaks, and Kadazans, all living and working with each other in harmony.
- Islam is the official religion of the nation. However, the Malaysian Constitution guarantees freedom of worship, and as such, Malaysians embrace other religions, such as Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.
- Malaysia is one of the most prosperous and progressive countries in the world. Malaysia was ranked 10th in the 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook by the International Institute of Management Development (IMD), 26th in the 2010 Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum, and No. 35 on the KOF Index of Globalization. Our student and education fees are also some of the most affordable in the world.
- Malaysia has a pleasant tropical climate and is predominantly sunny weather all the year round with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 32°C. The general weather is humid with annual rainfall varying from 2,000mm to 2,500mm. Malaysia has numerous tourist destinations waiting to be explored and is also well known throughout the globe for its food and culinary galore.
Pre Arrival Information
- Valid International Passport (with at least 6 months validity).
- Letter of Acceptance / Letter of Admission from the Higher Education Institution (HEI).
- Entry clearance. Check on requirement at your local Malaysian Embassy or Consulate or High Commission well in advance.
- Evidence of financial support (documents to show that you have enough money to allow you to complete your course, e.g. letter of scholarship award, bank statements, etc.)
- There is a personal bond fee required by the Malaysian Immigration Department which is payable at your HEI when applying for a student visa. The fee varies from RM200 to RM2000 which is refundable upon completion of your course.
- A medical examination is compulsory for all international students in Malaysia. If you have not done it prior to departure, you may have your examination done at your HEI.
- In addition to tuition fees, you must also take into consideration expenses related to accommodation, books, stationery and equipment, health insurance plan, food, clothing and entertainment.
- It is strongly advised that all new students entering Malaysia via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or other entry points to inform the International Students Office of the HEI about the flight number, estimated time of arrival or other detail of mode of entry. Most HEIs will have representatives waiting to receive the students at KLIA or other points of entry upon arrival. (Suggested arrival date: One(1) week before the actual enrolment day as stated in the Letter of Acceptance)
Immigration & VISA Requirement
- All international students in Malaysia are required to apply for a student visa called ‘Student Pass’ regardless of whether they are full time or exchange students.
- Application for a student pass must be made through the Immigration Department. However, all HEIs will apply for the pass on behalf of the student if he or she is accepted into the HEI.
- Please allow sufficient time of at least one (1) month for your HEI to facilitate the application.
- The related fees are as follows:
- Student Pass is RM60 per year or part of the year (it is renewable every year).
- Visa fee (varies according to country of origin and does not exceed RM50)
- Payment of a personal bond to the HEI, refundable upon completion of studies. The fee varies from RM200 to RM2000
- An international student is permitted to apply for permission to take on employment from the Immigration authorities subject to the conditions below:
- A student is permitted to do part time work for a maximum of 20 hours a week during semester breaks or any holidays exceeding 7 days.
- Part time work is only permissible in restaurants, petrol kiosks, mini markets and hotels. The job should not involve financial aspects of the company
- Permission to work part time may be extended by the immigration authorities subject to receipt of good academic reports on the student.
If you are entering Malaysia via KLIA, your international flight will arrive at the Satellite Building. Here are some guidelines for you to follow:
- Always look out for signage indicating where you want to go.
- Board the automated train shutter or aero-train to the Main Terminal Building
- You will arrive at the mezzanine level of the contact pier. Take the escalator down to the arrival level.
- Follow the signboard and find your way to the airport’s Immigration office.
- Remain seated there until you are approached by your HEI’s representatives.
- The representatives will introduce themselves as the assigned representative from the college and their job there will be mainly to see that you are through the immigration check-point without any hassle. Please cooperate and surrender your international passport to them who will meet the immigration officer on duty on your behalf.
- When that is cleared, the representatives will return to you your passport and then show you the way to the luggage hall to retrieve your luggage before proceeding to Customs’ checkpoint for next clearance.
- When all are done with, the representatives are set to drive you to Ipoh.
Living in Malaysia
Being away from home as a student in a foreign country can be a daunting experience. The following information may help make your stay in Malaysia a comfortable one:
Rental of a serviced 3-bedroom furnished condominium in Ipoh could cost you between RM1200 to RM1800 per month. Other facilities included air-cond., swimming pool, gym and security guards. It can be very much cheaper if you choose to live in a rented unfurnished linked-house.
- Financial Matters
Malaysia has an internationally linked banking and financial services sector. There are usually banks and ATMs at all major HEIs in Malaysia where you can withdraw money using your credit cards or ATM card. You are encouraged to open up a bank account with any major bank to facilitate all your banking needs. If you are a sponsored student, you are advised to make arrangements to have the allowance deposited directly into that account.
- Medical Facilities and Health Insurance Plan
International students usually go to a designated private clinic nearby to their living place if they wish to seek medical attention. Or, you may choose to go to either a private hospital or government hospital for that. Non-citizens pay a higher rate at government hospitals but this still tends to be lower than the charges at private hospital. The Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia has made it compulsory for all international students to purchase a comprehensive health insurance plan to cover medical treatment cost throughout their stay in this country.