Making the decision to study abroad is not an easy one. There are many factors to take into account including academic, financial, career, and quality of life considerations. Once you have discussed the feasibility of studying abroad with your family, you can start searching for the best place to take your academic journey to the next level.

With the COVID-19 era completely altering the career landscape in many countries, it has never been more important to choose a destination country that will set you apart from others, teach you valuable knowledge and soft skills, prepare you for a highly competitive job market, and yet allow you to grow and flourish as a person.

At MyUniZone, we make it no secret – we believe Malaysia is the premier destination for students wanting to get a degree in a safe, affordable, and rewarding country. But this is not a sales pitch, we have considered all possible aspects of studying abroad and have put together the most important reasons why studying here will ultimately be the most beneficial decision you will make in your life as a student.

1. One of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the world

If this reason wasn’t on your list before, now it should be. You will likely be spending 3 to 4 years in the country you study abroad in. If it is a country with a high number of COVID-19 cases, then it is extremely unsafe and unadvisable for you to go. Malaysia is actually one of the safest countries in the world to study in. It was one of the first countries to respond to the pandemic by going into a full lockdown and ceasing economic activity on 18 March 2020 until 4 May 2020.

Since then many aspects of life have returned back to normal, however with strict SOP guidelines, QR code check-ins at every shop, social distancing, and a mandate for wearing masks, abundant precaution is still being taken. The results have been comparatively excellent, as Malaysia is ranked #83 in the world for COVID cases (higher number = less cases) while the U.S. is #1 and UK #9 as of the writing of this article.

Malaysia is a destination where you can live in the ‘new normal’ without being worried about living in a high risk country.

2. High Quality Education

The Education Ministry in Malaysia places a strong emphasis on turning Malaysia into a world class research hub. This means that if you join as a student now, you will be benefitting from the increased investment by both the government and private sectors to invest in its students – meaning you! Take part in ground-breaking research, be taught an updated curriculum that will be challenge you, and become well rounded in your field through internships, workshops, and seminars.

3. Campuses built to help students thrive

Malaysia has invested a lot in developing cities and campuses that students can thrive in. It of course helps that Malaysia has natural scenic beauty for campus architects to build upon. Campuses that are located in a more suburban setting, such as Asia Pacific University or Asian Institute of Medicine, Science, and Technology feature a lush campus surrounded by hills and trees. For more urban campuses, SEGi University and Sunway University have solid urban style campuses with modern facilities. No matter which university you choose in Malaysia, it will be wonderful place to get your degree from.

4. Affordable Tuition & Low Cost of Living

If you come from a country where the value of your country’s currency is low, Malaysia will be a far more cost-effective option for you than other countries. Studying in Western countries such as the US, UK, or Australia means spending not only extra on tuition and cost of living, but losing tons of value because of the exchange rate.

Furthermore, Malaysia wants everybody to be able to access education no matter what your parent’s income level is, so it prioritises affordable education. Tuition rates are much lower in Malaysia. For example, if you want to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, you would be spending upwards of $10,000-50,000 a year in western countries. In Malaysia, you can do an entire 3.5 year degree program for $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the university.

The savings also spills over in cost of living. On average, the cost of living in Malaysia is $268 or RM1100 if you live on campus. Day to day activities such as going to the movies are also affordable.

For a detailed breakdown of the cost of living in Malaysia, read our guide The True Cost of Living for International Students in Malaysia.

5. Easy Online Student Visa Processing

Compared to other countries, student visa processing in Malaysia has been streamlined by one agency – Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS). Typically you will apply for your student visa through your university, unless you apply for one directly yourself. The process is straightforward and you can view your progress online through their application dashboard.

6. Low Crime Rates

Malaysia is a stable country both politically and in day-to-day life. In 2019, it was ranked the 5th safest country for women among all Asia Pacific countries. This means that although you should take precautions like locking your door, keeping your phone secure, and not walk around dodgier parts of Kuala Lumpur at 4am, you will generally be safe and can focus on your education and social life.

7. The Melting Pot of Southeast Asia

Among all the Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia can truly call itself a melting pot with its unique and diverse cultures. Malaysia’s citizens come from 3 major racial backgrounds: Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Each of these cultures are deep and complex, and bring richness to the Malaysian identity found nowhere else. Malaysia recognises Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu auspicious days as national holidays, where everyone can celebrate Eid, Chinese New Year, or Deepavali and enjoy each other’s special customs.

In terms of international students, over 140 nationalities call Malaysia their home while they pursue their degree. This exposure to such a wide array of cultures will certainly make you a far more culturally aware and interesting person.

8. You only need English to get around

Although the national language is Bahasa Malaysia, English is prevalent throughout West and East Malaysia. Luckily, Bahasa Malaysia is written in the Roman alphabet, so you will already be able to read street signs and pick up the language as you go along. Universities in Malaysia usually require you to take 1 or 2 classes in the local language as way to integrate here easily. Other commonly spoken languages here include: Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Punjabi. If you’re an aspiring omniglot, Malaysia is the perfect destination!

9. A Vacationer’s Dream

You ever see that movie Finding Nemo, with all of its colourful tropical fish? Imagine snorkelling and seeing that movie before your eyes. Malaysia has some of the most beautiful islands in the world such as Perhentian, Redang, and Tioman islands. Not only is the water crystal clear and a pristine blue hue, but it has a wide range of some of the rarest tropical fish and fauna on Earth. Vacationers from all around the world love coming to Malaysia’s islands as they are not over commercialized like in Thailand. Furthermore, it’s quite affordable even on a student budget to make a quick weekend trip with your friends. There is also plenty to do on land, including historic cities such as Penang and Malacca. Surely you will never have a dull moment while living here.

10. Food, Food, and More Food!

We’ve already described to you how diverse Malaysia is, therefore it should be no surprise that the diversity extends to Malaysia’s cuisine as well. In fact, food is such a closely guarded treasure here that rivalries even develop between cities! (Like who has the best Laksa, Penang, Johor, or Sarawak?) Food is the glue that bonds this country together, and no matter what time of day, you’ll be able to find a restaurant, canteens, or street hawker stalls that will make your stomach squeal with delight. Want a sneak peak of the food you can eat here? Check out our blog 5 Malaysian Morning Delights for a look at delicious morning classics here.