Expat Guide

Applying To International And Private Schools

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Feb 12, 2020

In Malaysia, there are a variety of schools to choose from. However, the most common choices are international and private schools as they are more open and welcoming to the international community. These schools can be distinguished by their different curriculums and their mediums of instruction. 

Although the application process for international and private schools are the same, before applying do know where and the type of school you want to enrol your children to. For families who wish to come to Malaysia and enrol their children to schools here, the steps to apply to these schools are as follows:

Step-by-Step Process for applying to International and Private Schools Malaysia:

International School

  1. Submit an application

Submitting an application to your desired school is the first step that must be done in order for your child to be able to study in Malaysia. Some schools want the candidates to either send in an application online, while others might want them to mail the documents. Regardless of how you send it, it is important to follow the instructions of the application process on the website.

Usually, the completed application form is to be submitted together with the following documents:

• A copy of a student’s birth certificate and passport

• A copy of each parent’s passport

• A copy of each parent’s Entry Visa stamp on their respective passports

• A copy of a student’s school records for the past 3 years translated into English

• A copy of the student’s official leaving certificate from the previously attended school (if the students are transferring)

• A copy of the student’s health report (including immunisation records)

• Two (2) recent passport-sized, coloured photographs

• Payment of a non-refundable application fee that ranges from RM500 to RM3,500 depending on the school. It is important to note that this payment does not guarantee a place for the child in the school.

Interview or Assessment

  1. Assessment or Interview

When your application has been assessed, the school of your choice will contact you and have you come in for an interview. An interview will be conducted to see whether your children, as well as you, are the right fit for the school. Usually, the schools will just have you come in with the children for an interview, however, some schools will have the children take an assessment test in order to finalise their decisions on giving the candidate a spot in the school. The assessment is for determining which study guide the child is suitable for by analysing their knowledge. The assessments are usually conducted for mathematics, science and English.

  1. Application Review

After the interviews and assessments, the student’s application will be analysed and the results of their assessments will be checked thoroughly by the school’s admission officers to ensure that the child will be able to settle in happily, and also if the school is capable of meeting the child and the parent’s needs as well as expectations.

Offer of Place

  1. Offer of Place

When the child’s application is successful, the school will issue an offer letter. The offer must be accepted first before the child is able to commence school. Also, registration fees and deposit fees must be paid in advance to ensure and confirm the child’s placement in the school.

  1. Admission

After all of these steps are completed, the child will be able to experience the Malaysian educational system and create new memories, achieve their goals and explore new possibilities in and outside of the classroom!


Applying to Public Schools:

Students who want to study in public schools in Malaysia are allowed to as well, however, there are some downsides if you choose to do so. If you do proceed, applying for government / public schools in Malaysia have a different and long process compared to applying to any other type of school in the country. The application process is explained below in detail as the process can be very complicated and lengthy.

  1. Apply for a Foreign Student Pass

In order to study in a public school in Malaysia, there are some processes that must be followed first. For foreign individuals, if you want your child to enrol in a public school, you must settle documentation with the Immigration Department and the Education Department. You must apply for a foreign student pass for your child before you can apply to public schools. Non-Citizen Students may apply using Form PU(A)275 First Schedule through the Communications and Registration Unit at JPN. The form may be obtained at the nearest PPD.

Foreign Student Pass

  1. Documentation Review

After submitting the documents to the immigration department, the documents will be reviewed to see whether your child is able to study in the Malaysian public schools. When the documents have been processed and have been given approval, you will receive the foreign student pass for your child. Till then, you are not allowed to apply to any public schools and if your child is found in the school without proper documentation, they will be pulled out. So, only when you receive the student pass will you be able to continue with the process of sending your child to public schools.

  1. Submit an application

Once your child has a foreign student pass you are allowed to submit an application to the school of your choice. The application process is similar to the above mentioned private and international school application process. However, it is recommended that you do visit the school before applying and go through the application process with the school admission officers since applying to public school for foreign individuals can be complicated and hence it is advisable to have help during the process.

Application Submission

  1. Offer of Placement

When the child’s application is successful, the school will issue an offer letter. The offer must be accepted first before the child is able to commence school. And although government schools are free for local students, a foreigner might need to pay a certain amount. Discuss it with the school since you might need to clear the payments first.

  1. Admission

After all of these steps have been taken, the child will be allowed to experience local Malaysian schools with true Malaysian flavours.

Please note that there are disadvantages for foreign students who choose to study in public schools, so do be warned if you choose to send your child there.

Firstly, the medium of instruction in public schools is Malay so it will be hard for your child to understand, read, write and speak with their fellow classmates. However, there are some classes in English and exams can be a mixture of both. In addition, the parents sending their children to public schools will have to fork out RM250 a year in school fees and will be denied all benefits like a Book Loan Scheme that is given to all of the students who are of Malaysian citizenship. So do keep this in mind before opting to send your children to Malaysian public schools.