Another factor that makes Malaysia an ideal study destination is the low costs associated with taking up higher education in the country. Compared to other popular study abroad destinations such as the US, the UK and Australia, its fees for degree programs are generally less expensive at around USD 11,400 to USD 23,400 for the duration of study. Of course, these fees vary per institution, depending on whether they are state-run, private or foreign.
Cost of living is also quite cheap compared to other study destinations. A comfortable budget is around USD375 to USD500 a month, and this should take care of accommodation, food, household expenses, transportation, utilities, school material and other personal expenses.
Most international students coming to Malaysia can get a student pass in a very simple process. One can be issued upon arrival at immigration as long as the student has a valid travel document and an approval letter from the Malaysian Immigration Department. The application for the approval is done in advance through the educational institution offering admission.
The official language of the country is Bahasa Melayu, although international students will have no trouble communicating as English is widely used and spoken. Generally, it is taught as a second language in schools and is used as a medium of instruction in most private higher education institutions. Because of its varied communities, other languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese and Hindi are common in some areas.
Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital, is located in Peninsular Malaysia and is home to a population of over a million. It houses the Petronas Twin Towers, the National Mosque, the National Monument and the Central Market, making it a tourist hotspot. It is also quite famous for its shopping and retail outlets and events that have become quite popular with tourists. Universiti Malaya is located in this city. Aside from being one of the oldest universities in the country, it is also the highest ranked.
Also located on Peninsular Malaysia is Penang. Penang is comprised of two major areas, which are Penang Island and Seberang Perai. George Town, founded in the late 1700s by the British, is considered today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making the area a top tourist destination. Another one of the oldest educational institutions in the country, Universiti Sains Malaysia, can be found here. Additionally, Penang is also home to a number of medical schools and colleges.
As one of the major commercial hubs in the country, Johor Bahru is also one of the fastest growing cities. It frequently receives tourists from neighboring Singapore and Indonesia. Like Kuala Lumpur, its retail outlets and shopping malls draw visitors from all over the region. Some institutions located in Johor Bahru include the University of Southampton, Raffles University and Newcastle University.