Important Questions Students Should Ask About Studying in Malaysia

Sharing is caring :)

Malaysia is undoubtedly one of the most popular study destinations in Asia for many international students. However, before you start your dream course in Malaysia, it is important to ask the right questions and get the necessary information in order to experience an enriching study experience with no regrets. 

Below, we have provided for you the most important questions international students should ask about studying in Malaysia and the answers to these questions to help you kick-start your education journey in Malaysia.

1. How to Choose a University to Study in Malaysia?

When choosing a university, the most famous university does not mean it will guarantee you success. You need to choose a university that is the best match for you which will provide you with the skills that you are looking for. Oftentimes, different universities have different entry requirements, course structures and tuition fees, which are some of the crucial things you need to look at.

Some students also like to look at rankings of the university when choosing a university. Although Malaysia does not have an official ranking system, the MQA and Ministry of Malaysia does have a rating system for universities in Malaysia called the SETARA Rating System. So this is also something students could look at before deciding on the university. In addition to this, it is necessary for you to check if the program you are looking to pursue in the university is accredited by the relevant bodies

Campus culture is one of the most important things that can heavily influence your overall study experience. Choosing a university that has an English speaking and a culturally diverse environment can be highly beneficial for you as an international student to make you feel more accepted and at home at your campus. Good thing is most Malaysian private universities offer diversity and a good English speaking environment, so you have many options to choose from! 

Choosing the right university for you in Malaysia can take a lot of time and difficult decisions. Hence, talking to counsellors who are experienced in this field can be quite beneficial for you. If you need assistance in choosing a university in Malaysia, do not hesitate to contact Excel Education.

2. What are the Minimum Entry Requirements to Study in Malaysia?

As per Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), international students are required to have a minimum twelve years of education with a national or international examination recognized by the Ministry of Education Malaysia, in order to be eligible to apply for diploma or degree programmes in Malaysia.

For international students from non-English speaking countries, you will be required to prove your efficiency in English through English Language Qualifications such as IELTS, TOEFL, MUET, CAE and PTE. The typical IELTS score for international students 

For the requirements may vary among universities for inquiries on specific entry requirements, contact Excel Education 

3. What are the Top Cities for International Students in Malaysia?

Listed below are the best cities for international students in Malaysia and some of the top private universities in these cities: 

i) Kuala Lumpur

Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia, with some of the top private universities of Malaysia located in it, such as;

  • Asia Pacific University (APU)
  • HELP University
  • UCSI University
  • Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL)
  • International Medical University (IMU)

For more information on university entry requirements, scholarship availability and application process, contact Excel Education 

ii) Selangor

Photo Credit: Selangor Travel

Selangor is the most developed state in Malaysia with more than 42 private universities located in it. Listed below are some of the top private universities in Selangor

  • Taylor’s University
  • HELP University
  • University of Wollongong, KDU 
  • Monash University Malaysia 
  • SEGi University College 
  • Heriot Watt University, Malaysia 
  • Mahsa University 
  • University of Nottingham Malaysia

For more information on university entry requirements, scholarship availability and application process, contact Excel Education 

iii) Penang

Photo Credit: Travel Triangle

The “food paradise” of Malaysia, Penang, is one of the states with the nation’s highest population densities and is one of the country’s most urbanised states. Some universities in Penang that make it a popular state for international students include;

  • UOW KDU Malaysia Penang 
  • SEGi University Penang

For more information on university entry requirements, scholarship availability and application process, contact Excel Education 

iv) Johor

Photo Credit: Property Guru

Johor is the southernmost state in Malaysia linked to Singapore. Johor is also a preferred location in Malaysia for international student as it has some of the top private universities including;

  • Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia
  • Raffles University Iskandar
  • University of Southampton Malaysia
  • University of Reading Malaysia 
  • Multimedia University

For more information on university entry requirements, scholarship availability and application process, contact Excel Education 

v) Sarawak

Photo Credit: Harian Metro

Sarawak, neighbour to Brunei, is Malaysia’s biggest state by size. Apart from being famous for natural resources it has such as timber, palm oil and rubber, it is also one of the most popular locations for international students as it has some of the top private universities in Malaysia including;

  • UCSI University Kuching Campus
  • Swinburne University of Technology Malaysia
  • Curtin University

For more information on university entry requirements, scholarship availability and application process, contact Excel Education 

4. What is the Cost of Living in Malaysia?

A budget of RM2000/USD500 per month should be sufficient for you to live a comfortable life, and cover all costs including rent and other expenses, in Malaysia as an international student. 

According to Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), whether  you choose to live on campus or off-campus, you will find that it is quite possible to live very comfortably within a budget of USD 5,000 per year. 

To compare costs of living in different regions of Malaysia, you can visit

5. What are the Student Accommodation Options in Malaysia?

Listed below are the most popular accommodation types in Malaysia for international students. 

On campus – On campus accommodation is referred to the hall of residences of student hostels provided  by the university. This is often the most convenient option for international students, due to close proximity to the campus. If you require on campus accommodation it is important to indicate that you require accommodation from the university when accepting your course offer. Most universities offer a range of accommodation options, from single bedrooms, shared bedrooms to even shared apartments. However, you will need to abide by certain rules, for example some on campus stays do not allow students to cook or bring in overnight visitors. 

Off-campus (preferred by most students) – A lot of students prefer to rent apartments outside of the university with friends or housemates. Apartments and condominiums usually have 3-4 bedrooms, a living hall, and bathrooms. When choosing a stay off campus it is important for you to check whether there is a mrt/lrt station nearby or even buses to make your daily commute easier. You can search for off campus accommodation from one of the most popular accommodation search websites, iProperty

The rent prices generally fall  between the range of RM600-RM1000 for students in the city of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, if you choose on campus accommodation or choose to share an apartment off campus with your friends. 

6. Can International Students Work and Study in Malaysia?

The answer is yes! However international students are only allowed to work part time for a maximum of 20 hours per week ONLY during semester breaks or holidays of more than 7 days at restaurants, mini marts and hotels. Please also note that you are required to get approval from the Department of Immigration beforehand, which has to be done through your enrolled university. 

The type of work students can be involved in is also very limited, as the Department of Immigration does not allow students to work as cashiers, singers, or masseurs. 

For more information you can refer to Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGs).

7. Can International Students Work in Malaysia After Graduation?

Yes. The first step to gain full employment in Malaysia is to secure a job offer from a company in Malaysia. The employer will then be responsible for getting you a work permit and advising you on the requirements documents which must be submitted in order to process a successful application. 

If your application is successful, you are provided with an employment pass which is valid for a minimum of two years and a maximum of 5 years. 

However successful completion of the application is not guaranteed as there are several terms to be met in order to be eligible for a work permit, for instance your age and your income. This is mainly because Malaysian government aims to aim and retain talent in the country by prioritizing locals while giving jobs.

8.Can International Students Study Part-Time in Malaysia?

Currently, international students are only allowed to enrol for full-time courses in Malaysia. However, since your schedule depends merely on your academic course, you can choose subjects in a way that is more convenient for you, if you want to pursue other hobbies or interests in between. 

9. What is the University Application Process in Malaysia?

A. Research course and university 

The first step is to obviously research a course and university to study in Malaysia. 

B. Submit documents 

The second step is to make sure you meet the entry requirements of the course at your preferred university. If you do, and if the tuition fees fit your budget you can proceed with submitting documents for your application. You are also required to pay a specific amount for application fees while submitting your application. 

Listed below are the documents Malaysian universities typically require you to submit;

  • Completed Application Form
  • Passport size photograph
  • 1 copy of passport 
  • Certified copy of qualification transcripts
  • Application fee

Please note that the pre-arrival medical screening has to be done 3 months prior to your entry in Malaysia and not before that. 

C. Receive and Accept Offer Letter

After you have submitted all the documents and paid all the fees required to process your application you will be receiving an offer letter which you need to accept and revert back to the university. 

D. Visa Application

Next, you are required to apply for a student pass or student visa which is done through your university. You are required to  submit the following documents for your visa application.

  • Medical report
  • EMGs Student pass processing fee
  • EMGS Medical insurance fee
  • EMGS Medical screening fee
  • EMGS eVAL Fee

Please note that the pre-arrival medical screening has to be done 3 months prior to your entry in Malaysia and not before that. 

E. Receive Electronic Visa Approval Letter (eVAL)

The next step is to wait for your eVAL which often takes 3-4 weeks to process after submitting all the documents. Meanwhile, you can track your visa application status through the EMGS website

After you receive your eVAL it is now time for you to book your tickets and start your journey into an enriching experience in Malaysia as an international student.

10. What does Excel Education do?

Excel Education – E2 is a education consultancy agency providing a wide range of personalized services such as counselling on which course or university might be the best fit for you, planning your studies abroad with you, helping you apply to your preferred university, assistance with exploring different scholarship options, and even assistance with finding accommodation. All in all, E2 is here to make your education journey easier for you, from the start till the end.

Our services are completely free of charge, so that there is no barrier between you and an easier journey into your dream university! 

Recommended Articles

Contact us to find out more!

Student enquiries:

Call/ WhatsApp: +60182414802

Email: [email protected]

For more stories like this, join the Excel Education community on Facebook or follow us on Instagram

Need help with your universtity application? Connect with us here

About The Author

Mariyam Naufa
I like to keep it simple. 
Sharing is caring :)