Expat Guide

All You Need To Know About International Schools

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Feb 11, 2020

Currently, in Malaysia, there are around 170 international schools. These schools are a popular choice for parents who are planning to send their children to institutions that not only offer an international curriculum that guarantees their children an all-rounded education and knowledge, but also an international perspective and understanding. Here is some information on international schools in Malaysia and the different experiences they offer.



Most of the international schools in Malaysia are located in either Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Selangor as they are the main hubs for education at all levels from primary all the way to tertiary. So, if you are looking for schools, do look at these particular areas as they are heavily populated with international schools.

School Price tiers

Price Tiers

While international schools are believed to be expensive, it is not entirely true. There is a wide price range and the institutions can be categorized into 6 different tiers from most expensive to least expensive (source: www.schoolselectmalaysia.com). Every international school has different fees and payment structure and hence, you will surely find a school within your budget that can provide your child with quality international education. Some examples of schools within each tier are as follows.

Tier 1: 80 - 100,000 MYR

-The Alice Smith School

-The British International School of Kuala Lumpur

-The International School of Kuala Lumpur

Tier 2: 60 - 80,000 MYR

-Australian International School Malaysia

-IGB International School

-Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar

-Nexus International School Malaysia

-St Joseph’s Institution International School

Tier 3: 40 - 50,000 MYR

-Cempaka International School

-Fairview International School

-GEMS International School Tropicana Metropark

-HELP International School

-Sri KDU International School

-Sunway International School

Tier 4: 30 - 40,000 MYR

-Beaconhouse Newlands International School

-Hibiscus International School

-Kingsley International School

-Nilai International School

-Rafflesia International School (Puchong)

-Taylor's International School (Kuala Lumpur)

-Templer Park International School

Tier 5: 20 - 30,000 MYR

-Brighton International School

-Straits International School (Rawang)

-UCSI International School (Subang)

Tier 6: Under 20,000 MYR

-Global Indian International School

-Sri Dasmesh International School

-St John's International School

-Wesley Methodist College

-Westlake International School

Please note that the tiers are categorised by price per annum and schools are arranged alphabetically within each tier.

Expat Teachers

Expat Teachers

Depending on the school, there will be a certain number of teachers from various nationalities. International schools in higher tiers will usually have teachers from multiple nationalities compared to the schools in lower tiers who will mostly have local teachers. One of the reasons why higher tier international schools are expensive is because of the number of foreign teachers they hire. Most of these teachers are from the curriculum’s country of establishment and thus it is believed they would be able to teach the curriculums better than local teachers. For example,

1) Alice Smith School: 86% teacher population are British

2) Sri KDU International School: The faculty is 60% British nationals 

Students from different Nations

The population of Students from Different Nationalities

Like expat teacher population mentioned above, depending on the school and the tier they are categorised in, the student population’s nationalities will depend. Schools categorised in higher tiers will have a larger international student population compared to schools in the lower tiers who will have local students mostly. For example, schools such as The Alice Smith School, The British International School of Kuala Lumpur, Epsom College Malaysia, Garden International School, The International School of Kuala Lumpur and Mont-Kiara International School, will have a higher international student population.

1) The British International School of Kuala Lumpur: 68 nationalities

2) Garden International School: 70 nationalities (65% expatriates, largest population are Japanese and South Koreans)

4) The International School of Kuala Lumpur: Over 65 nationalities

5) The International School of Penang (Uplands): Over 40 nationalities

Sibling Discounts

Sibling Discounts

Sibling discounts will depend on the institutions as some offer them while some do not. International schools that do offer a family or sibling discount will offer discounts to families who have two or more children attending the same institution at the same time. For example, IGB International School offers a family discount for the 2nd sibling, the 3rd and subsequent siblings. Sibling discounts range from 5% to 25% depending on the school and the number of your children attending the institution. So if you have more than one child of school age, it would be best to enrol them in the same school and one that offers sibling discounts.

Extra Curriculars

Wide Variety of Extra-Curriculars

International schools are known for their variety of extracurricular activities that are offered to their students. Extracurricular activities are important for children’s learning experiences and expose them to things outside academics which will allow them to explore who they are. There are two types of activities; arts/music or sports.


-Cross country








-and many more

Arts and Music







-Music and Instruments


-School bands


-and many more

School Trips

School Trips 

International schools conduct school trips both locally and internationally. For example, the British International School of Kuala Lumpur has a Nord Anglia and FOBISIA school status which allows the students to be connected via a Global campus and participate in programmes that offer their students activities in school, online and foreign destinations.

Some students at the school, especially the resilient ones, will vie for the coveted Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, a travel-centred challenge meant to cultivate a greater sense of community service and personal responsibility.

Similarly, International School Of Kuala Lumpur also conducts school trips, with the noteworthy being Global Action Programme and Malaysia Week whereby students participate in outdoor, service-oriented trips aimed at creating awareness among them.

If you believe these are factors that are important to you when it comes to your children’s education and is interested in sending your child to an international school in Malaysia, Check International Schools Page for more information and a list of international schools! It will list the school type, curriculum and average fees, and you will also be able to enquire for more information.