Study in Malaysia
Higher Education in Malaysia
The growing reputation afforded to private universities in Malaysia has attracted thousands of international students over the past decade. Some of these private schools offer programs that allow students to earn part of a degree at that university and part of a degree at another institution. Called "twinning", this method facilitates the transference of transcripts and credits and also makes admission to programs offering associate degrees automatic if the program is provided by a local institution. Better known universities in Malaysia include Monash University Malaysia Campus, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus and Malaysia's oldest university, the University of Malaya located in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Students can receive Bachelor's and Master's degree at Malaysian universities in the amount of time similar to European and American degree programs. Most private and all public universities offer Master of Science degrees by completing required research and coursework. Doctorate degrees are earned when students can exhibit research results in the form of a published paper. Malaysia also has polytechnic colleges that resemble traditional vocational schools by offering associate's degrees, advanced diploma degrees or certificates of special skills.
Acceptance to a Malaysian university is not difficult but requires students submit proof of grades earned from previous schools attended. Malaysia is becoming well-known for its exceptional higher education programs concerning technology, business and science and welcomes bright international students to study at any one of its universities.
Student Visa Requirements
Students will need to acquire a tourist Visa to travel to Malaysia. Once they arrive at their University, students are issued an International Student Card and passports are stamped by university authorities. Students will need two passport photos, an international passport that has been valid for at least six months, two completed application forms, fee payment, proof that they can support themselves while in Malaysia, a letter of introduction and a certificate stating they have been given a yellow fever vaccination before entering the country.
Why Study in Malaysia?
Students will receive quality education at an affordable cost when earning their degree in Malaysia. Typical course fees include registration, tuition, deposit, laboratory fees (if applicable), course materials and health insurance which, for a Bachelor's degree, is approximately RM (Malaysian Ringitt) 80,000, or $10,000 in U.S. dollars. In addition, the cost of living is low compared to other countries and students are permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while studying in Malaysia, as long as they obtain a student permit or pass.
Malaysia is on the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia. The nation also includes Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo to the east. Most of Malaysia is covered by forests, with a mountain range running the length of the peninsula. Extensive forests provide ebony, sandalwood, teak, and other wood.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia that consists of three federal territories and 13 states. Sharing land borders with Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand and maritime borders with the Phillipines, Singapore and Vietnam, Malaysia is distinguished for founding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the East Asia Summit.
A multicultural and multi-ethnic country, Malaysia has a constitution that affirms the state religion as Islam but also protects the freedom of its citizen to practice the religion of their choice. Due to the past influence of colonialism, the government system resembles that of the Westminster parliamentary combined with legal procedures outlined by English Common Law. The King, or head of state, is referred to as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who is elected from a list of hereditary rulers overseeing Malaysia's 13 states. The Prime Minister of Malaysia is considered the "head of government".
The majority of Malaysia's political parties are based on the ethnicity of members. Actions such as the National Development Policy were enacted to promote the status of indigenous tribes and Malaysians collectively called the bumiputera. The bumiputera are considered to be Malaysia's original inhabitants, rather than the Malaysian Indians or the Malaysian Chinese. Similar to the Affirmative Action policy implemented in the U.S. in the 1970s, policies like the National Development Policy gives preferential treatment to the bumiputera in regards to employment, social welfare amenities, education and scholarships.
Essential Facts about Malaysia
- The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, currently the sixth most visited city in the world.
- Foreign policy is centered on principles of neutrality and the ability to maintain peaceful relations with all other countries regardless of political or religious systems.
- Tourism is Malaysia's third largest source of revenue from foreign exchange.
- One of Asia's most developed infrastructures is found in Malaysia, with its telecommunications network second to Singapore.
- Being born in Malaysia does not automatically grant someone citizenship. However, any child born to two Malaysian parents outside of the country is granted automatic citizenship. Malaysia does not allow dual citizenships.
- Main ethnic groups in Malaysia are the Malays and the bumiputera. The Malaysian constitution defines Malays as Muslims who practice traditional culture and customs.
- Hari Kebangsaan, or National Day, is the most celebrated holiday in Malaysia and falls on August 31. It commemorates the independence of Malaysia from British Colonial Rule in 1957.
Climate of Malaysia
Malaysia experiences tropical weather that is not as hot as it is humid due to being surrounded by the South China Sea. Average temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 30 degrees Celsius). October through February is the rainy season for the west coast and the east coast of Malaysia sees heavy rains between November and February. Students attending school in Malaysia will hear these regions referred to as the Southwest Monsoon and the Northeast Monsoon. Monsoon is a derivative of "mausim", the Arabic word for "seasons".
Religions in Malaysia
Islam is the state religion, with about 60 percent of Malaysia's population practicing the Muslim faith. Other religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Confucianism.
Languages in Malaysia
Malaysia's official language is Malaysian, with English being its second most spoken language. A type of English associated with British English called Malaysian Standard English is used to instruct students in public schools. Manglish is also heard, which is colloquial English influenced by Tamil and Malay Chinese. However, Malaysia does contain nearly 140 other languages that are spoken by peoples living near Peninsular Malaysia, the coastal areas and East Malaysia where tribal differences in languages exist. Additionally, Malaysian is not like other Southeastern Asian languages such as Vietnamese and Thai in that it is not tonal.
The currency of Malaysia is the ringgit, formerly called the Malaysian dollar. Divided into 100 cents, the ringgit currently equals about three dollars in U.S. currency and a little over four euros.