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Study in Malaysia for International Students

Get a university education without breaking the bank.

Thinking about studying in Malaysia? Well, you've come to the right place! We're here to help you discover some great colleges and universities in Malaysia, no matter where you're from.

But before we dive into that, here's a quick peek at what Malaysia is all about.

As of 2022, Malaysia is home to a whopping 170,000 international students from 162 different countries. It's like a mini world gathering here, with folks coming from all over, especially from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Malaysia is a pretty happening country with over 30 million people. It sits right in the heart of Southeast Asia. What's cool about Malaysia is that it's a melting pot of cultures. There are folks from all sorts of backgrounds living here, which means you get to experience lots of different traditions, languages, and, most importantly, delicious food!

Think of Malaysia as a place with beautiful beaches, awesome festivals, and some seriously tasty cuisine. And one of the big reasons why international students love coming here is because of Malaysia's diverse culture. It's like a big cultural buffet!

Oh, and one more thing: the cost of living here is pretty reasonable compared to some other places. So, you can have an exciting adventure without breaking the bank.

5 reasons why study in Malaysia

  1. Quality Education. Malaysian universities consistently rank among the top in Asia, offering a wide range of academic programs across various disciplines. Many institutions collaborate with international universities, providing students with access to global resources, faculty, and research opportunities.

  2. Affordable Tuition Fees. Compared to Western countries, the cost of education in Malaysia is relatively affordable. Tuition fees vary depending on the university and program, but they are generally lower than what you might find in countries like the United States or the United Kingdom.

  3. Cultural Diversity. Malaysia is known for its cultural diversity, making it an ideal destination for international students. You'll have the opportunity to interact with people from various ethnic backgrounds and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures.

  4. English as the Medium of Instruction. The majority of courses at Malaysian universities are taught in English, which is beneficial for international students. This eliminates language barriers and allows students to focus on their studies.

  5. Stunning Natural Beauty. Beyond academics, Malaysia offers breathtaking natural landscapes, from lush rainforests to beautiful beaches. You'll have the chance to explore the country's natural wonders during your time as a student.


The higher education system in Malaysia is improving every year and boasts top colleges and universities. Most of them have been recognised not just locally, but also abroad.

EasyUni has made it easy for you - click here to view the latest list of universities and colleges in Malaysia.

To put together this list, we referred to both the internationally-recognised QS World University Rankings and the prestigious Malaysian rating system, SETARA.

Top Universities in Malaysia according to QS World University Rankings 2022

QS World Rankings 2022 for Malaysian universities.

It is also worth noting that Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) is ranked 280 in Asia.

Applying to study in Malaysia

A. Language Requirements

In Malaysia, courses are mainly taught in English. Hence, you must be able to communicate in written and spoken English should you wish to study in Malaysia. Some universities also require you to take an English proficiency test like TOEFL or IETLS, which you can take in your home country.

Take Note!

  • Don’t worry if your English is not so good yet. Most colleges in Malaysia offer English proficiency classes to improve your English. Besides, there is no better way to learn a language than to be surrounded by English speakers at a Malaysian university.
  • Universities in Malaysia generally do not require international students to take any admission tests. You can apply using your high school diploma/certificate and recommendation letter.

B. Visa Requirements

To enter Malaysia as an international student, you must first choose a course offered by a Malaysian higher education institution. Their requirements vary, so be sure to check first before you apply.

Your university is required to submit some relevant documents to apply for your Student Pass. The documents they will request are:

  • An official letter of acceptance from the university
  • A completed student application form
  • Three copies of your passport-sized photo
  • Two photocopies of your passport
  • A copy of your medical health examination report

Important note! 

Once you receive the Offer Letter from the university, be sure to check the necessary initial payments. These payments will cover both your application and Student Visa fees.

Don't worry. The offer letter will also provide the university's bank account information.

Hence, you must not delay making these required payments. Your Student Visa approval process will also be delayed if they are delayed. 

Once you have made the initial payment, the university will submit your documents to Malaysia's immigration for your Student Visa approval. 

This process typically takes 6-8 weeks, so you must not delay the payment process to avoid dragging the dates. 

In addition, you will need to visit the Malaysian Embassy in your country to obtain a Single Entry Visa. 

This visa is important for international students as it allows for a single entry into Malaysia for three (3) months from the issue date. 

Remember, prompt action is necessary to ensure a smooth and successful process.

Tuition Fees

Aside from global recognition, universities in Malaysia are reputable for their affordable tuition fees.

To give you a general idea of the tuition fees of Malaysian universities, you can see the ranges per level below.

  • Pre-U courses (Foundation, A-Level, etc): USD 3,000 - 5,000 per year
  • Diploma courses (2 years): USD 2,500 - 3,000 per year
  • Bachelor's degree: USD 3,500 - 10,000 per year
  • Master's degree: USD 3,500 - 5,000 per year

To study abroad is a big step - we know that all too well. Our website has guides and articles full of the information you need, so do check them out to compare courses and universities.

Cost of Living in Malaysia

Malaysia as you know it, is home to one of the most affordable student cities in the world. This is why the number of international students in Malaysia are growing tremenduously. Refer to the table below for more information:

Cost of living in Malaysia diagram.

Based on the table above, on average you will need around USD 800 to live comfortably in Malaysia. In fact this number can be much lower depending on your lifestyle.

After Graduation Opportunities in Malaysia

Done with your studies but don’t want to leave Malaysia just yet? Yup, we feel you!

Should you wish to work in Malaysia, you can apply for a job to obtain your work permit as long as you have the qualifications.

Once your application is approved, your employer will then apply a visa for you to work legally in the country.

The available working visas are Employment Pass, Temporary Employment Pass, and Visitor’s Pass (Professional). The duration varies from six months up to about five years, as do the terms and conditions so be sure to check your eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can international students work in Malaysia during their studies?

Yes, but there are certain restrictions to it. International students can only work a maximum of 20 hours per week during semester breaks or long holidays of more than 7 days.

2. As an international student, can I work in Malaysia after graduation?

Yes, but you will need a work visa and this is usually sponsored by your employer.

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