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In this peaceful, plural and modern society, Malaysia, located in South East Asia, is a testimony to the world of what it is able to offer academically, socially, ethnically, culturally and in every other aspect of life to make the stay of any international student worth their time, money and effort. It is a fascinating and enchanting nation.
The strategic location of Malaysia makes the country an ideal base for students to travel and explore neighbouring countries (at cheap air rates). Malaysia can also be easily accessed by flight or other alternative transportations at a minimal cost.
The country is also a food haven and presents a colourful feast to locals and visitors with its display of culinary delights of different cultural traits and traditions, living up to its name as the one-stop window to Asia – portraying the true essence of Asia.
With 20 publicly funded universities and at least a further 20 privately funded education providers offering masters or PhD programs, the range of choice is unparalleled. The larger universities, such as UniversitiSains Malaysia, located in Penang and specializing in science, UniversitiTeknologi MARA, focusing on technology and related disciplines in Selangor, and the Universiti Malaya, located in the capital Kuala Lumpur, all offer a high level of teaching and research in addition to the complete range of amenities one would expect of a university anywhere in the world.
There are some additional material benefits to pursuing a masters or PhD program in a Malaysian institution as well. The level of tuition fees international graduate students currently pay is a fraction of those at equivalent universities in Australia, the UK and the USA. Ranging between US$3,000 and US$7,000, depending on the institution and the program of study, Malaysian graduate degrees represent great value for money , an issue further highlighted when one factors in the reduced cost of living in the country.
Since 1998, 5 international reputable universities have set up their branch campuses in Malaysia and offered their own courses to students (both local and international) in order that these students can acquire identical university qualifications at a lower education cost in Malaysia. For example, the tuition fee of a 3-year UK Engineering Degree is priced at about USD24,500.
The cost of living for international students to study in Malaysia could be as low as RM10,000 which is approximately US$2,632 per annum (the cost of living in the city is about 10% higher). As such, the low living cost besides the cheaper tuition fee would appeal to both international and local students in terms of great savings of living expenses while studying in Malaysia
The average Malaysian spends around 150 euros every month on food. Eating out is very affordable although there are also high-class restaurants which are rather expensive. Curry, noodles, stew and dried fish are just some of the common delicacies eaten by the average family in Malaysia. These meals could cost only around 2 euros but if homemade and ingredients are bought from local markets, overall price could go down to less than one Euro per dish depending on the meat or fish. Tea and milk are common beverages and are also very affordable.
Being recognised as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, one of the success factors is the ability of the higher educational institutions to provide professional, career-focused education. The institutions here work closely with leading companies, industry professionals and foreign partner universities to ensure that the courses offered are up-to-date and market relevant so as to enhance the employability of their graduates.
Malaysia is a politically and socially secure country that is governed by a stable government with safety measures incorporated in the laws of the country. It is also free from racial and religious mishaps. The tropical climate is warm and humid throughout the year without any drastic weather changes. Malaysia is also geographically safe from major natural disasters as it is located in a natural catastrophe-free zone.
As such, from the political, geographical, social and economical point, Malaysia is a very suitable place for students, especially international students to study and live in.