Expat Guide

Facts About Malaysia

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Feb 12, 2020

If you are planning to relocate to Malaysia but find yourself asking, “what can this country offer?” The answer is that there are various things that one can experience during their stay in Malaysia. There is so much this beautiful tropical country has to offer that you will not regret your choice of living here. Malaysia is one of the most coveted destinations for foreigners with families and here we give you the reason why!

Living in Malaysia

Malaysia is known for being a place with low living expenses especially if you come from a foreign country with a high currency exchange rate. Especially, you can save a lot by choosing where in Malaysia you plan to stay. Living in places such as Kuala Lumpur or commonly known as KL or Penang can be quite pricey because of all the amenities and facilities they offer such as tourist attractions, offices, prominent schools and higher education institutions. If you choose to live a little way away from the main city, in places that are less densely populated such as Negeri Sembilan, which is right beside Selangor, living expenses can be cut down to half of what you would spend in KL or Penang.



There are different ways to go around town in Malaysia and some of the options are cheaper than you might think. Firstly, using the train systems in KL and Selangor is very affordable and is a common option for the student population. The rail transport consists of the commuter rail, the light rapid transit (LRT), mass rapid transit (MRT), monorail, and an airport rail link. This wide network of rail lines can take you around the city for an affordable price and help you reach numerous destinations without any trouble.

Another option, if you want to get to places quicker or if you’re with a group of friends, is to travel via e-hailing cars. There are quite a few ride-hailing services in Malaysia for individuals who choose not to drive themselves or do not have a car of their own. The e-hailing cars can be fairly cheap when you travel around with a group of friends so it also saves on parking fees (which can be expensive in some areas).

Malaysian Food


Food can come in all variations and costs; it just depends on where and what you choose to eat. Options for cheap yet delicious food include mamak stalls, kopitiam shops, and nasi kandar. There are also high-end expensive eateries. The good thing about Malaysia is that people here are foodies and so the choice is seemingly endless.

Malaysia Culture


Malaysia is known to be a cultural hub as all Asian cultures are represented here in this country. The colourful mixture of individuals from all over the world from different ages, backgrounds, cultures, races, beliefs, religions and genders can be found here integrating with one another. The Malaysian citizens consist of 50 percent Malays, 25 percent Chinese, 10 to 12 percent Indians and the rest Orang Asli or the “aboriginal people” who are mostly situated in Sabah and Sarawak. Foreign individuals who visit or plan on staying in Malaysia are able to experience this myriad mix of cultures, be it through the festivals celebrated here to the different educational systems offered within the country. Malaysia’s diversity in culture has led to a transnational educational system with a multicultural study environment which makes the country unique and distinctive.


Due to the mix of cultures that can be found in Malaysia, the issues with language barriers can be disregarded here. Foreigners do not have face any difficulty communicating as the Malaysian people are fluent in multiple languages, English being one of them. Most Malaysians can speak Manglish which is a mixture of Malay or Chinese with English. The other common languages that are spoken here are - Malay, Chinese and Tamil. The country is home to speakers of 41 different languages making diversity a major element here.

Education System

Educational System

The educational system in Malaysia is substantial as there are five different types of schools parents can choose from and they are public, private, international, home schools and religious schools. Because of the range of schools to choose from, the educational system here is seen as convenient and satisfactory by most international families. Before choosing the kind of school most suited for children, you must take into consideration the location you wish to live in and your finances.

Location is important because the traffic in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur, can be pretty hectic. And on the financial aspect, if you are on a tighter budget, the best option is to send your children to Public Schools or have them Home-Schooled. Please note that in both cases you would need to get some paperwork done prior to commencement.

There are two types of public schools in Malaysia: National Schools and Vernacular Schools. For Expats, public schools may not be an option as there are certain conditions you must fulfil, which includes staying in Malaysia for more than 5 years under the student pass/visa, so only if you are planning to stay more than 5 years then you may consider this route.

If budget is not a constraint, you may consider Private Schools or International Schools which have better curriculums and may offer a better range of subjects for your child to choose from which will benefit them in the future for their tertiary education and their future careers. International Schools offer international curriculums such as American, Canadian, Australian, Indian and Singaporean to their students and may offer you the choice to have your child enrolled in a pre-university course in the last leg of their high school years.

In the end, the educational system in Malaysia caters to all students from all backgrounds and all ages to prepare them for the future, help them grow and become a well-rounded person.

Now that you know what Malaysia has to offer, it’s time for you to choose the type of schools you want to apply to for your children. Just know that people will be welcoming when you come here as the country is very friendly and open to foreigners.