How to Apply to a University in Malaysia as an International Student

February 06, 2024


How to apply to a Malaysian university

Are you looking for an overseas university to pursue your higher education with reasonable tuition fees? Look no further, as Malaysia can fulfill your needs!

Malaysia has become a popular educational destination, thanks to its affordable academics, cultural diversity, and inclusive learning environment for international students.

If these criteria check off your list for finding a higher education destination, rest assured. We will help you by providing information on the Malaysian university application process.

The summary of the application process

The TLDR version of the application process is like this. Please read the details below after this list.

  • Shortlist universities. If you're overwhelmed, our Study Advisors can help you find the right university.
  • Compile documents and send. If you meet the admission requirements, you will be issued an Offer Letter, a document that contains all information about your admission to the university, including the initial fees and their payment schedule.
  • Choose one of the universities and sign the Acceptance Letter.
  • Pay the student visa fees (also known as EMGS fees). This amounts to USD 600-800.
  • Send the proof of the EMGS fee payment (i.e. receipt or SWIFT transfer copy).
  • After EMGS fees have been received, the student visa process starts. This process takes anywhere from 3 weeks to 8 weeks.
  • Once the student visa is approved, you will receive Electronic Visa Approval Letter (eVAL).
  • Take the eVAL, the Offer Letter and your passport and get a Single Entry Visa (SEV) at the Malaysian embassy in your country.
  • After you get the SEV, you can buy your flight tickets and fly to Malaysia!

What should you know about Malaysia?

apply to a Malaysian university

Before you proceed to study in Malaysia, here is some information about the country that you should know:

1. Cultural diversity

Malaysia is known for its diverse cultures from Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous communities. As an international student, you can enjoy the multicultural environment, which is seen in festivals, food, and everyday life.

2. Tropical climate

Malaysia experiences a warm tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity. Therefore, it's essential to pack appropriate clothing and essentials to stay comfortable in the hot weather.

3. Language landscape

While Bahasa Malaysia is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in academic settings. Most university classes are conducted in English, making it easier for international students to communicate.

4. Cost of living

Malaysia has a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many Western countries. However, it's important to plan your budget carefully, considering expenses like accommodation, transportation, and daily needs.

Read this: Cost of Living in Malaysia for International Students

5. Nature and culture

Malaysia has beautiful natural landscapes, like rainforests and beaches. Make the most of your time there by exploring the diverse ecosystems, historical places, and lively cities, creating a well-rounded cultural and educational experience.

Read this: The Cultural Experience of Being A Student in Malaysia

What is the application process to enter a Malaysian university?

The application process to gain admission to a Malaysian university is a step-by-step procedure. It involves various steps such as exploring universities, providing supporting documents and English proficiency certificates, and more.

Below are the details:

1. Explore university and course options

The first step you need to take is to explore Malaysian universities and the courses they offer. To make this process easier, you can browse a list of universities and courses on our website.

Now, the question is, how do you choose a university?

Several factors must be considered before making your decision, such as university rankings and courses. 

University rankings can assist you in narrowing down your choices and simplifying the decision-making process.

Another important factor is the range of courses offered. Universities in Malaysia provide a wide variety of courses at different levels of study, including pre-university, foundation, Bachelor’s Degree, Masters, and Ph.D. 

Each level of study has specific entry requirements, so be sure to carefully check these before applying.

2. Check entry requirements

As mentioned in the previous step, you must check academic entry requirements before applying to a Malaysian university. 

These requirements include minimum academic qualifications, subjects studied, and additional entry criteria. 

Additionally, verify whether your previous academic qualifications are equivalent to Malaysian universities' standards, especially if they are from a non-Malaysian institution.

3. Prepare supporting documents

As you aim to further your higher education in Malaysia, you must prepare supporting documents such as academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. 

4. Provide English language test certificate

One of the entry requirements for gaining admission to a Malaysian university is to provide an English language test certificate. This means that you must submit test scores from examinations such as IELTS or TOEFL.

Submitting this test certificate is essential to ensure that you can understand basic commands in English, thereby ensuring a smooth educational journey in Malaysia. 

This is particularly important because English serves as the primary language of instruction in universities and colleges in Malaysia.

Moreover, a good command of basic English will facilitate communication with other international students from various countries and Malaysian students.

However, there are some exemption rules from taking the English language test. One of them is if your previous academic institution taught in English. 

In that case, you don’t need to take the IELTS or TOEFL test; instead, you can obtain a letter from your school confirming that English was the medium of instruction.

Read this: Types of English Language Proficiency Tests in Malaysia 

5. Submit your university application

As you have prepared all the necessary documents, you can now submit your university application. 

When filling out the application form, you must ensure that all provided information is correct. Additionally, pay attention to the deadline for application submission, as late submissions will not be accepted.

6. Monitor your application

Don’t forget to regularly check the status of your application. You can do this by monitoring it on the university’s admission website. 

By doing so, you won’t miss any important updates, such as additional documents requested by the university.

Important info: Some Malaysian universities may conduct interviews as part of their admission process. So, be sure to monitor your application to ensure that you won’t miss this important event.

7. Apply for a visa 

After receiving an offer letter from the university, the next step is to apply for a visa. 

However, you won't be the one applying for the visa; instead, your university will handle the application on your behalf. It's crucial to initiate the visa application process upon receiving the offer letter.

The offer letter will contain essential details, including the fees to be paid and the university's bank account information. 

Once you've made the necessary payment, your university will begin processing your Student Visa. Keep in mind that this process may take up to 4-8 weeks, so it's important not to delay your visa application.

For more detailed information about the application process to gain admission to a Malaysian university, you can find our comprehensive guide here.

What are other necessary steps you must take?

apply to a Malaysian university

Other than the admission process to a Malaysian university stated above, there are additional steps that you must take. 

These include undergoing a medical check-up and allocating sufficient funds to purchase medical insurance upon your arrival in Malaysia. 

1. Allocate funds for medical insurance 

As an international student in Malaysia, you are required to purchase medical insurance. This insurance will cover hospitalization and accidents.

Hence, it is best if you set aside funds to purchase medical insurance upon your arrival in Malaysia. 

2. Undergo a dental check-up

It is advisable to have a dental check-up in your home country. This is because dental treatment in Malaysia can be costly. 

Plus, by addressing any potential dental issues beforehand, you can avoid unexpected expenses during your stay. 

Taking preventive measures prior to your arrival ensures a smoother experience and helps you manage your healthcare more efficiently while studying in Malaysia.

3. Pack essential documents and items

To ensure a smooth journey when departing to Malaysia, it's essential to pack necessary items and documents, such as your passport, offer letter, eVAL (Electronic Visa Approval Letter), and others. 

And don't forget to pack appropriate clothing for the tropical climate in Malaysia, along with any necessary medications you may need.

In conclusion, starting your higher education in Malaysia involves a series of carefully planned steps. 

If you find these steps overwhelming, feel free to contact our Study Advisor to find a Malaysian university that suits you. 

Our Study Advisor will guide you through the process from A to Z. And what's more, our service is 100% free of charge! So don't hesitate to reach out to us at EasyUni.

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