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Destination Guides
Study in Malaysia

Straddling the South China Sea and home to an array of cultures, a diverse geography and a futuristic capital city, Malaysia is a truly unique country, in both its landscapes and its citizens.

Choose to study in Malaysia and you’ll discover that the country’s natural beauty extends way beyond its ancient rainforests, national parks and glorious beaches. In the cities too, there’s plenty to keep all the senses occupied, from colorful and varied markets to the mosques, Buddhist temples and Hindu shrines that are often found side by side, and the profusion of annual festivals celebrating both traditional and modern aspects of Malaysian culture.

One of the world’s most politically stable countries, Malaysia may be second to Singapore in terms of regional economic clout, but it offers a much more organic lifestyle than its city-state rival. One half of the country, situated on the southern tip of the peninsula below Thailand, is known as Peninsular Malaysia. This is where the highest ranked universities in Malaysia can be found, along with the most diverse and vibrant urban areas. The other half, Malaysian Borneo, shares an island with Indonesia and remains the quieter of the two halves, offering solitude, authenticity and jungle life.

Fast Facts

  • Although Kuala Lumpur is the capital city, the headquarters of the federal government is in Putrajaya.
  • The currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).
  • Amount needed for living costs per year: approximately US$3,440.
  • Students can work up to 20 hours per week, but only during semester breaks of more than seven days.
  • Major exports include petrol, electronic equipment, natural gas, wood and palm oil.
  • The national language is Malay (or Bahasa Melayu), but English is also widely spoken.
  • The western and eastern halves of the country, separated by the South China Sea, are 640km apart and known respectively as Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo.
  • Peninsular Malaysia shares a border with Thailand in the north, while Malaysian Borneo shares an island with Indonesia and Brunei.
  • The country is divided into 13 states and has three federal territories: Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.
  • The constitution recognizes Islam as the official religion, but there are also sizable Christian and Hindu minorities. The religious plurality in the region means individuals should feel free to practice any religion.
  • The tropical climate means warm and humid weather all year round.
  • A significant proportion of Malaysian territory is covered by tropical rainforests, much of which is surprisingly accessible.