Malaysia is a fascinating and enchanting nation of different races, cultures and religions, co-existing in harmony in a tropical paradise in the heart of Southeast Asia. Malaysia comprises two distinct land areas, West Malaysia and East Malaysia. West Malaysia is a peninsula, flanked by the South China Sea on the east and Straits of Malacca on the west, with Thailand as its northern neighbour and Singapore sitting to the south. West and East Malaysia cover a total land area of about 329,758 km² and are separated by approximately 40 miles of sea.
East Malaysia consists of a federal territory and two large states, namely Sabah and Sarawak, which occupy the north of Borneo Island. West Malaysia consists of 11 states and 2 federal territories, all of which have their own distinctive attractions.
The country is 8 hours ahead of the GMT and 16 hours ahead of the US Pacific Standard Time. The climate is warm and humid throughout the year. Malaysia is a physically blessed country which does not experience drastic weather changes or natural calamities. Temperatures are around 35°C during the day and 23°C at night. Light, cotton, cool and casual clothing is recommended all year round.
Why study in Malaysia?
Students and their parents have many things to consider when deciding on where and what to study. In choosing Malaysia as a study destination, students benefit from:
- An international standard and high quality education, which is closely monitored by the Malaysian Education Ministries through their quality control authorities and appropriate legislation such as The Education Act, 1996, The Private Higher Educational Institutions Act, 1996 and The Malaysian Qualifications Agency Act 2007.
- Competitive course fees and an extensive selection of popular courses.
- A wide range of study options and universities and colleges to choose from.
- Twinning degrees & 3+0 degree programmes conducted in Malaysia, which offer a cost-effective route for quality education and qualifications from universities in the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and France.
- Foreign Branch Campus Universities operating in Malaysia, which enable students to acquire their prestigious university qualifications in a country that has lower living expenses.
- Wide usage of English, which makes living and studying easy for students who are proficient in English while at the same time creating an environment for those who want to pick up the language.
- Life in a multicultural society, where Malaysians of different races and religions live in peace and tolerance with each other.
- The experience gained in providing education to the existing 50,000 international students from more than 100 countries, which testifies to the world-wide acceptance of Malaysia as a favoured destination for further study.
- Affordable living expenses, which can be as low as RM12,000 (USD3,500) per year.
- An economically sound and socially safe country, which has a stable government and a low serious crime rate.
- A geographically safe environment, with Malaysia situated in a zone free from most natural disasters.
- A food paradise which has a huge variety of cuisines available including vegetarian, halal, ethnic and western.
- An excellent transportation system, which allows for easy mobility and a huge variety of interesting places to visit for relaxation.
Food & Culture
Malaysia is a haven for food and cultural activities. The races which make up the Malaysian population provide excellent and diverse cuisines. Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes are easily and cheaply available at most restaurants and hawker stalls, whilst fast-food restaurants and western food are easily found too. In addition, various other delectable cuisines are also available, such as Middle Eastern and Thai food. Malaysia is popularly known as Asia’s Food Paradise.
Culturally, Malaysia presents a kaleidoscope of colours and diversities as different races exhibit their individual traits and traditions through festivals, songs, dances and traditional attire. Bahasa Malaysia is the official language, but the races also speak their own ethnic dialects. English, being taught as a second language in schools, is widely used in the higher learning institutions, for daily communication and business transactions.
Dubbed as ‘Mini Asia’, Malaysia is a multiracial country with a population of more than 29 million which consists of Malay, Chinese and Indian as well as many other indigenous races, all coexisting in harmony. There are also people of other nationalities studying, working and doing business in Malaysia. Islam is the official religion of Malaysia but the Constitution guarantees freedom of worship to all races, so faiths like Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions are freely practised. This politically stable nation emphasises the sharing of power among the races, which ensures a peaceful and harmonious environment.
Education is another growing industry where Malaysia is gaining acceptance as a reputable study destination in the region. The education sector offers a variety of higher educational programmes as well as professional and specialised skill courses that are competitively priced and of excellent quality. Underlying this is the current trend of setting up branch campuses in Malaysia by reputable universities from the UK and Australia. Furthermore, various universities from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and New Zealand are offering twinning, franchised and external degree programmes in partnership with Malaysian educational institutions.
There is an impressive network of roads and rail links, while the international airport, KLIA, provides world-class facilities and services, as well as hosting airlines from every corner of the world.
Meanwhile, Malaysia is also becoming a formidable force in sea related activities by having some of the best ports in the world. Port Klang, a transhipment hub, is positioning itself as Malaysia’s sea gateway to the world and together with Northport and Southport, offers impressive multipurpose port facilities which have encouraged many shipping lines to increase their calls at these ports.
Internet & Telecommunication Services
Modern wireless internet services, high-speed broadband and mobile internet services are available in Malaysia. There are a number of internet service providers in Malaysia and the packages and prices are very attractive. There are also a number of mobile phone service providers for students to choose from. Students need not worry about getting connected to the world via internet or family members back at home.
Places of Interests
The capital city, Kuala Lumpur, offers a large variety of activities, from gastronomic delights to shopping and museums to parks and local theatres. In addition, the federal government’s administrative centre in Putrajaya, located to the south of Kuala Lumpur, is a lure for tourists because of its excellent Islamic-inspired architecture and its huge parkland areas and lakes.
Other must-do activities are visiting the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin-towers in the world; trekking and getting up close with the wild flora and fauna through tropical jungles and national parks; and basking in the numerous pristine beaches.For those who prefer shopping and good buys, Malaysia offers a variety of local and international luxury brands as well as affordable items in its numerous shopping malls and retail stores.
Malaysia is well connected in terms of transportation and communications, both within the country and with the rest of the world. It also provides easily available medical, banking, telecommunication (telephone, Internet cafes) and postal services, which can be conveniently accessed in towns and cities. In addition, police stations are often found in busy areas and there is also a tourist police force ready to assist visitors.
The local currency is the Ringgit, which is made up of 100 sen. Credit cards are accepted in most commercial businesses, while Traveller’s Cheques can be changed at any of the numerous commercial banks, hotels and authorised moneychangers.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been widely embraced in many service sectors in both urban and rural areas. With the increase of online services being made available, all Malaysians are able to benefit from the new technology.