6 Countries Malaysian Students Love To Study Abroad In (Most Affordable to Most Expensive)

countries malaysian students study abroad

According to a survey done by educations.com, over 2,700 international students agree that when choosing their designated location to study abroad, the country comes first over the university or programme. Let’s face it; even if our intention to study abroad is to learn the language, there’s no doubt that the idea of staying in a different country for an extended period is all because we want to experience a culture or lifestyle that interests us most. So, when it comes to choosing one, which of the many countries that Malaysian students love to study abroad in the most?

From most affordable to most expensive, we have listed down what we think are the six most loved countries for Malaysians to study abroad! From sushis to leprechauns, we’ve got you covered:

1. South Korea

countries malaysian students study abroad

It is no surprise to any of you that South Korea is number one, but why is it such a popular choice for Malaysians to study abroad? From its continuous rising popularity amongst Malaysians from K-Pop to K-Drama, these two alone have caused endless Malaysians to be flocking into the glam and culture that they always see around their favourite idols.

Aside from that, for Malaysians, Korea is definitely one of the most affordable options for tuition fees compared to America, United Kingdom, Japan, or even Australia. Some of the most pursued courses by international students are Engineering, Computer Science, Business, and many more. It’s a no-brainer that you would need to study and be able to speak, read, and understand the Korean language. Still, you will also need to have certificates from TOEFL, IELTS, or C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency in English to be accepted.

Average Living Cost:

Rent:
– Four main options are dormitories, one-room apartments, goshiwons (an off-campus dormitory), and share-houses.
– Costs can range from RM1,100 a month in a dormitory or goshiwon (an off-campus dormitory) to RM4,000 in an expensive one room, with some places also including utility costs.

Food:
– Comparing groceries in Seoul to Los Angeles, Seoul is 30% more expensive (expect to spend around RM125-290 a week).
– In terms of eating out, Seoul is 45% cheaper (from RM12 to 80 per meal)! So eating out is often cheaper than eating at home.

Transport:
– Train rides and bus rides are around RM4 each way, and this means that you can expect to spend around RM8 for every trip.

2. Japan

countries malaysian students study abroad

Introducing the land of beautiful zen-like architecture and where all the most iconic and beloved Anime originated. With some of the world’s most high-tech gadgets, Japan attracts loads of young people around the globe due to its manga, Anime, cosplay, Japanese fashion, and the country’s overall ambiance.

Some of Japan’s most popular majors include economics and business, science and technology, education, and humanities. Moreover, the Japanese government has made a tremendous effort in recent years to offer financial support and make the environment more diverse and welcoming for international students. However, take note that Japan has an extremely high cost of living and the work-life balance is not the best. Whether the delicious food and beautiful culture make up for all that, that’s for you to decide!

Average Living Cost:

Rent:
– International students have three options, which are university-owned dormitories, guesthouses, and private renting.
– Costs can range from RM1,100 a month in a dormitory or goshiwon (an off-campus dormitory) to RM4,000 in an expensive one room, with some places also including utility costs.

Food:
– Restaurants and eateries offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner for ¥400-1000 (RM15-40).
– Costs drop significantly if you are cooking yourself. Convenience stores are also another good option, selling sandwiches and other meals for ¥200-500 (RM7-20).

Transport:
– Students get a 20% discount on commuter passes which are also valid at weekends.
– A 3-month train commuter pass costs about ¥20,000 (RM700) for students. However, the closer you live to university the cheaper transportation costs will be.

3. Australia

countries malaysian students study abroad

Take a trip down under and experience snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef or hiking in the Outback during your summer breaks when you study in Australia. Australia is a wonderful choice for Malaysians to experience studying abroad while only being a few hours flight-away back to the homeland.

Ranking third in the world for its higher quality education, Australia offers you a number of top universities to choose from in some of their famous cities such as Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney. Australia also ranked seventh in the world for personal development, thus you’re getting more than just quality education. While the living can be pretty high, you can apply for a student visa and work part-time. Another thing to note is that Australia values family time; hence stores are only accessible from 9 pm until 5 pm, which gives you a small window to shop after classes.

Average Living Cost:

Rent:
– Average prices for common accommodation options are as follow: Homestay (RM1,400 – 3,800/month), Student halls of residence (RM1,400 – 3,500/month), Rent an apartment (RM2,400 – 5,400/month) and Share a rented apartment/house (RM1,200 – 2,700/month).
– However, many international students choose to rent a private property or live with a local family (homestay).

Food:
– Groceries usually require around 500 – 1,000 AUD per month (RM1600 – 3000). You can save some money by shopping at the cheapest supermarkets, like Aldi, Coles, and Woolworths.
– The average cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs 18 AUD (RM60).

Transport:
– Depending on your area, you can benefit from other discounts from state programmes such as SA (South Australia), QLD (Queensland), or VIC (Melbourne).
– A public transport pass for students costs between 30 and 70 AUD/month (RM95 – 220), depending on the city.
– You can also get around using a bicycle by renting it for around 40 AUD per day (RM125).

4. Ireland

Immersing yourself in this stunningly calm and serene nature of the shamrock, and the harp, the Republic of Ireland provides an easy life for international students because of the friendliness and hospitality of the Irish people. Ireland offers a great balance of city life and country life where you will experience Ireland’s Patron Saint with Saint Patrick’s Day, watch Irish dancing, or even get lost in Irish myths and legends.

With ample amount of government funding, Irish universities are among the top 1% of research institutions worldwide in fields such as Business Analytics, Computer Programming, Investment Banking and Finance, Data and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and more. So, what are the disadvantages? With its constant change in weather, be prepared for its dark and gloomy weather as it rains most of the time. Additionally, if you’re unfamiliar with their thick Irish accent, that is another hurdle you have to jump over during your studies.

Average Living Cost:

Rent:
– Higher education institutions offer accommodation in student residence halls, which usually costs 200 – 300 EUR (RM900 – 1,500).
– You can also rent/share an apartment or choose to live with an Irish family. Living alone will cost you an average of 400 – 900 EUR/month (RM1,900 – 4,500), while living with a partner/colleague costs around 450 – 550 EUR/month (RM2,200 – 2700).

Food:
– On average, you’ll spend around 250 – 350 EUR/month (RM1,200 – 1700) for grocery shopping.
– You can also dine in a small restaurant and pay 15 EUR (RM75).

Transport:
– Students can benefit from discounts for transportation if they use the Student Leap Card or the Bus Éireann services.
– For public transport, there is a monthly pass with a special discount for students that cost around 50 – 55 EUR/month (RM250 – 270).

5. New Zealand

Known as the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, it is unsurprising to know that New Zealand is the #1 study abroad destination in the world! The Kiwis have the right mix of opportunities, culture, economy, and climate, which makes your entire experience there worthwhile. However, there is more to the land than stunning natural splendor, and scenic trails made famous by the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Did you know that you will be getting a first-class education there with all of its eight universities being in the top 3% in the world? It is also at #2 for career goals, and #6 for adventure, making your study there all the more exciting. Nonetheless, these all come with a cost and an expensive one at that. New Zealand is at the bottom of the globe geographically and travel expenses can be expensive. Depending on where you are from, the exchange rate can make study pretty expensive.

Average Living Cost:

Rent:
– Accommodation options available include Halls of residence (or hostels), homestay (or private board), and independent flats.
– Student’s stay at the hall, for example, a 38-week stay costs around $11,451 (RM48,000), on-campus flats, which requires 3 or 4 other students and are all fully furnished, cost around $273 (RM1,100), and off-campus flats are around $13-US$17 (RM55 – 70) per week.

Food:
– The average expenses for food can be around NZD 200 (RM600) per month.
– It can increase or decrease as per the eating habits and preference of an individual.

Transport:
– Public transport is available in all cities and major towns of the country.
– This can range anywhere between NZD120 – 250 (RM350 – 730) per month but it is a good idea to get monthly passes as these can be fairly cheap.

6. England

Not sure if England’s historical ties with Harry Potter’s castle or its British accent, but for some reason, it is a huge fan favourite among students to study abroad in England. From the bustling metropolis of London to the medieval streets of Edinburgh, all international students are guaranteed to fall in love with England.

Thanks to Oxford and Cambridge, it scored first in the world for higher-quality teaching. For the most part, you will find international students pooling themselves in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and Belfast. England offers an abundance of cultural differences which makes finding your favourite brands from back home much easier. However, the cost is a concern, hence students are recommended to look for programmes outside of London for more affordable options.

Average Living Cost:

Rent:
– The cost of accommodation in the UK for international students depends on the type of accommodation you chose.
– For university residence, the average cost in London is £727 (RM4,200) while other cities cost £515 (RM3,000).
– For private housing, the average cost in London is £848 (RM5,000) while other cities cost £505 (RM2,900).

Food:
– If you buy your own food, try and budget for about £25 to £30 (RM150 – 175) per week to purchase groceries.

Transport:
– Apart from walking and cycling, you can choose to travel via buses and trains.
– Public transports usually offer discounts for students, and you should consider using a railcard to reduce the overall cost of living in the UK.
– Average monthly transport ranges between £43 – 56 (RM250 – 330)

 

Related: Top 10 Overseas Scholarships M’sian Students Must Know to Study Abroad

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